Actionable notifications are a tool for driving user interaction without the need for users to open up the app on their iPhone. In a recent article for iMedia Connection, Tom Edwards discussed how the notifications work on the Apple Watch.
Originally announced at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2014, the Actionable Notification API was made available to developers as part of iOS8 in September last year. They will also be available as part of the Apple Watch, which is due for release on Friday 24 April, 2015, meaning users can interact with apps directly from a notification on the Apple Watch, removing the need to open up the full application on the handset.
Apple WatchKit will offer two types of notifications. Short-Look notifications give attributions to the app icon, the title of the notification and the app name, as a simple and brief notification. Long-Look notifications are activated when a user raises their wrist, or taps on an existing Short-Look notification. They display custom graphics and can incorporate up to 4 custom action buttons, such as Accept, Maybe, Decline, or Dismiss, in response to an event invitation.
The API is being put to good use by Walgreens, who is leveraging actionable notifications to allow existing users to refill an Rx directly from the notification. It is important to consider that this type of notification does not have relevant use-cases for every type of scenario, and that they should only be incorporated if they offer value to the user. This means extending value to existing behaviours, rather than simply pushing .