Those pesky notifications


Feb 25, 2018 by Perttu Talasniemi

Those pesky notifications Those pesky notifications

Let’s talk about the app notifications – on iOS and Android platforms – and how irritating they can be.


I guess I’m a good demographic to write about this subject because I don’t like push notifications. You could say I’m a bit neurotic what comes to the push notifications. I want to keep my phone clean and my mind clear. I only allow push notifications for alarm, calendar, calls and SMS and sometimes temporarily for Messenger and WhatsApp. Call me old fashioned but that’s it! My dislike against notifications is most likely due to a historic reasons: back in the day calls and SMS were the only notifications you would get. Then around late 90’s alarm and calendar came into the picture and I was happy. Now when we can have tens or even hundreds of apps installed, we don’t want to get notified on every single one of them for every minor reason. Ok, we actively use around 5 to 10 of all of those installed apps but still, do we really need an update every time someone posts something or someone has a birthday or work anniversary? I’m sorry but no I don’t.

Think about if you’re following for example Donald Trump and Kanye West. There were days when Trump tweeted over 16 times about just one topic and Kanye went on a rampage against Wiz Khalifa, ending up tweeting over 30 times in just one day. Think about getting notification of every tweet from these guys… plus all the notifications from the other people you’re following. Not to forget other social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. All those notifications would drive me crazy! And I’m not the only one.

What sucks on Android is that the push notifications are ON by default. And for someone as neurotic as me, it’s super irritating and time consuming to go through each and every app to turn OFF the push notifications. At least the new Android Oreo offers quite a lot options for notifications for example Twitter allows to choose when to receive a notification. Of course all of the options are ON by default. 😑

On iOS the push notifications are OFF by default. Thank god! On iOS the app has to get the permission from the user to set it ON. I personally prefer this method even though it can make the first experience with the app a bit painful because some apps attack you with full set of permission requests on the first start by asking access to location, photos, camera, microphone and of course to notifications.

There are also in-app notifications which can be almost as irritating as push notifications. For example Facebook reminds you forever that you haven’t given your phone number and Instagram keeps pushing you to turn ON push notifications. After the 100th time turning down these requests, it would be nice to them to understand that I’m not interested. Newsflash: It’s not good user experience to harass users. Not to forget the Facebook’s chat heads. 🤦 Here’s a public petition to Google: Please do not enable notifications by default.

Comment on Twitter what are your thoughts about notifications. Do you hate or love them? When do you find notifications extremely useful? When the apps go overboard with the notifications?

Share and comment on Twitter using #applevsgoogle & #avsg9 hashtags.


#android #apple #google #ios #notifications