iOS 8 Interactive Notifications are a game changer for iBeacon apps

Ben Howden /

Like many people in the mobile marketing community we were expecting to hear more about iBeacon at Apple’s WWDC earlier this week. We didn’t get any iBeacon specific updates from Apple, but we did hear about something that will make beacons appeal to brands and marketers even more.

We are talking about the introduction of Interactive Notifications which allows messages to get through to users engaged with other activities or apps on their phone. The notification can also serve content that users can easily interact with or ignore without having to switch apps. For example, Interactive Notifications could allow users to share, like or redeem an offer directly from the notification. Or, if I’m reading a news story and someone sends me a text, I don’t have to stop reading the news story to respond. I can read the text message and respond directly from the notification.

The great thing is that actionable push could go a long way to making notifications seem less overwhelming if we have a large number of apps installed on our phones. Being able to respond and manage them without leaving the current open app makes a lot of sense from a user experience point of view.

So what does this mean for iBeacon applications? Well we’re most excited about being able to offer custom actions directly from a notification. Custom actions could include like, comment, share, buy, redeem, add to passbook and many more. We’re still working our way through the developer information but there’s no doubt we’ll be taking advantage of Interactive Notifications in future releases of Lighthouse.