The iOS Notification Race

When the NCAA Men’s and Women’s National Championship games ended, I was at my desk at work and an idea came to me. We all have multiple news source apps on our phones and tablets and with big national news, multiple alerts. Of course the alert timing depends on when you last opened an app, your service quality and the OS itself, but there has to be a race.

Quicker alerts lead to opening an app (presumably) which leads to more in app actions, which leads to a better pitch when selling adds or collaborating with others.

I guess the winners of this race are making mobile a bit better and make more money while they’re at it. Here are the results from my phone:

1) @SportsCenter
2) @BloombergNews ??
3) @nytimes

1) @SportsCenter
2) @nytimes
3) Nobody…

I made sure all apps had been quit to standardize the results.

Some apps are general news providers but some provide specific news or have better readership in certain areas. I’d expect the following relationship regarding timing for alerts. (Pardon the handwriting)


There is more time elasticity because you’ll see less-relevant apps like Bloomberg get thrown in the mix from time to time.

At some point very quickly after the even there are no more alerts. This timeframe is tightening because of competition.

What have you noticed about notifications with time sensitive content? I’d like to hear!


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