Should apps have to ask for permission to send notifications?

Android offers many features and settings to manage app notifications. In addition to turning off and on all notifications for an app, it is possible to enable only the type of notifications desired.

Google introduced these categorized notifications in Android 8.0 Oreo in late summer 2017. A fundamental difference between Android and iOS handling of notifications is that apps must ask for permission to send notifications in Apple’s system.

Being allowed to send notifications is a system permission in IOS while all apps have the right to send notifications in Android. As a rule, iOS apps ask for permission to send notifications on first launch. After recently factory-resetting a Pixel phone and reinstalling a bunch of apps, we were struck by the merits of Apple’s approach.

A number of apps, established and reputable, sent spam-like messages to the notification menu. Notifications had to be turned off manually from the notification menu for each app, which involved multiple taps. In a survey from last summer, 65 percent answered that they chose to only allow individual apps to send notifications.

Should Google make apps have to ask for permission to send notifications, so we don’t get unwanted notifications and they can be easily dismissed with a single tap, or is the current solution better?

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