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Apple sends email to devs on Safari Push Notifications in Mavericks

updated 10:13 pm EDT, Wed September 4, 2013

New feature in next OS X upgrade expected to augment websites

Apple on Wednesday sent out an email to developers reminding them about a forthcoming feature in the next upgrade of OS X, known as Mavericks (10.9). The feature, Safari Push Notifications, allows websites to send non-advertising messages to users, even when Safari isn't running -- a news site sending headlines at the user's request, for example, or an auction site notifying a user when their bid has been surpassed. Mountain Lion's Notification Center is mostly limited to installed apps, but Mavericks will bring widespread, persistent web notification to OS X for the first time.

The company has set up a page on its Mac Developer Center with videos and other resources showing how the service works and how to implement it. In the email, Apple mentions that the pop-up messages will identify the sender through the use of the website's favicon, as well as the text and any links.

A few websites already make use of the HTML5-based technology, which works with Safari 6.x, but the feature is thus far very rare, with being the best-known site that supports it. For an example of web notifications, users can visit this site to set a simple alarm as a test.

With the Push Notifications in Safari 7.0 under Mavericks, the browser does not have to be running for users to receive messages, but the service requires that users opt-in to receive notifications, and can turn the service on, off or tailor preferences in the Notifications system preference. The feature will formally debut with Mavericks, the release date of which hasn't been set but is expected in the near future.

It is considered unlikely that Apple will debut the 10.9 upgrade on the same day as its September 10 iPhone event, and developers received a seventh beta of Mavericks just yesterday that still has known bugs (particularly with iCloud Keychain, another new feature). In all, OS X Mavericks is expected to offer some 200 major and minor features, most focused on efficiency and refinement of existing Mountain Lion technology but also including entirely new features such as advanced power management and iBooks for Mac.

by MacNN Staff





  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 12-06-99

    Actually, Safari in OS X Mountain Lion DOES have support for notifications (go look in Preferences). It's just that no site I know of uses them yet. Pity.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    You're right, mr100percent, I'll have the story edited to reflect that. Also, I did find a site that uses the notifications -- uses them (with permission of course) :)

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Quite frankly, if this catches on, it will quickly turn into a source of nothing but spam, and eventually have to be completely turned off by default and end up being abandoned. Especially if there is anything even remotely close to a security hole involved. Just for a start on how this is a bad idea waiting to explode: How, exactly, will the "no commercial messages" rule be enforced?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Probably not, Vicar. Apple will control the content of the Notifications, since they have to go through its server under Mavericks in order to work when Safari isn't open.

    As noted in the article, the technology is already in use by GMail among other sites, with no problems reported so far -- plus it is opt-in on a site-by-site basis (and the user can turn it off on a site-by-site basis very easily).

  1. noibs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-09-07

    Hard to think of a more obnoxious "feature" than this. Can't wait to hear from family and friends to who install Mavericks and want to know how to turn this off.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    On the contrary, it would be extremely nice to be informed of website updates. This way, I won't have to visit my 5 or 6 daily sites every hour or two to see if there's any new information posted, provided the sites employ this feature correctly.

    noibs, it's off by default (but not the entire service itself). That's part of what "opt-in" entails.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Don't want it. But thanks.

  1. seanpatterson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-11

    How about they send an email that says they have added back in full RSS support? Ridiculous.

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