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Actionable Notifications and the Apple Watch

Actionable Notifications and the Apple Watch Tom Edwards
One incredibly useful iOS feature has flown under the radar for most branded applications. With a recent flurry of adoption from brands such as Walgreens, actionable notifications are quickly gaining traction as a mechanism to drive action through iOS notifications without the need to open an app.



The actionable notification API was originally announced at the 2014 Apple world wide developer conference (WWDC) and officially became available with the arrival of iOS8 last September.



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Actionable notifications essentially allow a user to take an action directly from a notification. By simply interacting with the notification, the user is then prompted with unique app based actions that can be performed without the need to open an app.



actionable notifications



Repost of actionable notification animated example from Nick Jensen



Walgreens is leveraging actionable notifications to provide utility for existing app consumers by allowing them to directly refill an Rx directly from the notification. This is a great example of a brand maximizing the impact and flexibility of the operating system to create a seamless experience that does not require the user to open the application



Actionable notifications will also be available as a part of the upcoming release of the Apple Watch. After going through one of the "personal fittings" I was impressed by the potential of how notifications can extend through various notification use cases.



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After trying on the 42mm pictured above, I was impressed by the size and responsiveness of the interface.



Apple WatchKit will offer two types of notifications short-look & custom long-look notifications. Short look gives attribution to the app, title and app name and is visible only briefly.



Example of Short Term Apple Watch Notification





Short Look



With custom long-look we can incorporate up to 4 custom action buttons and custom graphics. Long-look is activated when a user either taps on a short look notification or if their wrist is raised.





Example of Long Term Apple Watch Notification



Custom Long-Look Notifications



One of the key points to consider is that just because the API exists does not mean that it is ideal for all scenarios. It is important to test the notification threshold of your user base and focus on extending value to existing behaviors vs. simply pushing messaging.



If there is a viable use case to create custom notifications that are simple extensions of your branded application then this API could be a great way to drive a certain behavior without the friction of forcing a user to open the full application.



Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360



BlackFin360

Epsilon is a global leader in data, marketing and technology enablement. As the Chief Digital Officer for Epsilon’s agency business, Tom is guiding Epsilon agency clients as a trusted advisor to meet the business needs of today while...

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