Apple’s ‘spam’ push notifications strategy upsets some users

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Apple advertising 1
One example of Apple's recent push notifications.
Photo: Steve Lederer/Twitter

Apple is continuing its strategy of sending out push notifications to iPhone and iPad users, intended to promote the company’s services and offerings.

It appears to be part of a new more aggressive marketing strategy on Apple’s part. But not everyone is happy about it.

The first recent instance of an Apple push notification of this sort was noted earlier this month. As noted by developer Steve Lederer on Twitter, Apple sent out a push notification prompting users to upgrade to the iPhone XR or XS. This was sent only to members of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, although Lederer raised the question of whether it was violating Apple’s own anti-spam rules.

Section 4.5.3 of Apple’s App Review guidelines states that developers should not send, “spam, phish, or … unsolicited messages to customers, including Game Center, Push Notifications, etc.’”

Pushing out push notifications

Since then, Apple has followed up with at multiple messages which further blur the line. Two of these were push notifications sent to promote Apple’s Carpool Karaoke show. As at least one user commented on Twitter, these were sent despite the user in question not having expressed any interest in the show.

Its latest push notification advertises to Apple Music that Apple’s streaming music service is supported on Amazon Echo device.

Not all of these push notifications were sent to users in all markets. It’s also worth noting that notifications can be managed inside the Settings menu on your iOS device. None of it is likely to inflame anger quite like the free U2 album pushed out to all users a few years back. But it’s definitely a change in the way that Apple pushes its devices and product.

Have you been hit by any unrequested Apple push notifications? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: The Verge and 9to5Mac