Study: Device users more responsive to Android app notifications than iOS

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2015
Mobile development services firm Urban Airship on Thursday released a study that found Android users are on average more than two times more responsive to push notifications than iOS device users.



Drawing from a data set of almost 3,000 apps and 100 billion push notifications sent out to 500 million users in 2014, Urban Airship sampled notification response rates for apps in the 90th, 50th and 10th percentiles, ranked respectively as high, medium and low performers.

Medium-performing apps generated engagement rates of 20 percent for Android and only eight percent for iOS. Year-over-year data showed Apple device user engagement up one percent, however, while Android dropped eight percent over the same period.

Apps classified as high performers saw engagements grow 24 percent and 13 percent for iOS and Android, respectively, suggesting notifications from certain categories are becoming more effective.

Urban Airship said response rates are likely higher on Android due to the way Google's operating system handles incoming push notifications. On Android, notifications remain on the lock screen until dismissed, and are subsequently moved to the Notification Status bar once the device is unlocked.

Apple's solution is similar, but when a device is unlocked notifications are automatically routed to the Notification Center where they are grouped by app in chronological order. In addition, iOS device users can manage notification badges, banners and sound alerts on a per-app basis.

In an industry-level analysis, finance apps drew some of the highest response rates for both iOS and Android, an unsurprising result considering users in this category are likely receiving alerts from banks or credit card providers.

For Android, business apps sat at the top of Urban Airship's rankings with an engagement rate nearing 60 percent. Apps of the same ilk notched performances in the top-five for iOS, but fell far short of Android with rates below 20 percent. Social networking titles also saw decent notification response rates on both platforms, coming in an overall second for iOS and third for Android.

Finally, engagement rates of high-performing apps grew across the board, with top iOS apps jumping 24 percent and Android apps boosted 13 percent year-over-year.

"A core advantage of apps is the ability to reach out beyond their confines to engage people on device home screens and smartwatch faces--the only always-on screens that are never more than a glance away," said Urban Airship president and CEO Brett Caine.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    frykefryke Posts: 217member
    But what does that mean? It sounds to me like "unsolicited ads in your mailbox", in which I simply don't engage. I have no idea what the "almost 3,000 apps and 100 billion push notifications sent out to 500 million users in 2014" said. Was it an offer for an upgrade? Did the messages tell you you should play a game more? Did the messages just say "Hello!", and Android users opened the apps, whereas iOS users tend to better ignore spam? :)
  • Reply 2 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,423member
    fryke wrote: »
    But what does that mean? It sounds to me like "unsolicited ads in your mailbox", in which I simply don't engage. I have no idea what the "almost 3,000 apps and 100 billion push notifications sent out to 500 million users in 2014" said. Was it an offer for an upgrade? Did the messages tell you you should play a game more? Did the messages just say "Hello!", and Android users opened the apps, whereas iOS users tend to better ignore spam? :)
    Ads don't get notifications as far as I know, so they aren't for spam. Ads don't even show up in the regular GMail mailbox, at least not mine anyway. I have to go looking for them in a separate folder, tho I've never had a reason to.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    frykefryke Posts: 217member



    Oh, I meant a real life box. For your snailmail. Sorry. Might have been a tad unclear. My point is: I dunno what the push notifications were in their test.

  • Reply 4 of 42
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,914member
    This only serves to show that Android users need notifications just to find apps on their phone. I know people that ask me to send them an instant message just so that they can open that respective app. Without the notification, they have difficulty finding it in their Android mess.
  • Reply 5 of 42

    could be that when you install an iOS app, you have to manually activate notifications when asked. I'm pretty sure on android it's on by default and you have to root through settings then switch them off app by app.

  • Reply 6 of 42
    I only allow one or two apps to send me notifications. Whenever a new app asks if it can send them, I say no, and if I find that an app is sending them, I either delete it (easiest) or turn off its notifications. That's why I deleted the Facebook and LinkedIn apps %u2014 the websites work fine on an iPhone, but I don't have to put up with the constant updates. Currently, the only things I let put notifications up are Calendar, Twitter, Messages and WhatsApp, and WhatsApp is living on borrowed time, as it was a key tool in a project I'm now only marginally involved in.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    adm1 wrote: »
    could be that when you install an iOS app, you have to manually activate notifications when asked. I'm pretty sure on android it's on by default and you have to root through settings then switch them off app by app.

    Probably. 98% of the time I deny the request to send notifications as well.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    maltamalta Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post



    I know people that ask me to send them an instant message just so that they can open that respective app. Without the notification, they have difficulty finding it in their Android mess.

     

    Completely made up story to help reinforce a point of view.

     

    1. Can rearrange and organize apps on home screens anyway the user wants making it easier to find apps.

    2. There is the app draw that list all apps in alphabetical order. Can't find it there? You might need to go back to school.

    3. App history list showing all the apps most recently used. 

     

    So try again.

  • Reply 9 of 42
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,734member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Ads don't get notifications as far as I know, so they aren't for spam. Ads don't even show up in the regular GMail mailbox, at least not mine anyway. I have to go looking for them in a separate folder, tho I've never had a reason to.



    Uhm, there are apps out there that send "ads" by notification.

     

    "Sale today -   get Fubar Game for 50% off"

     

    "Limited time -- get 50% more crystals"

     

    "Upgrade now!  Unlock new weapons"

     

    etc.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,423member
    chadbag wrote: »

    Uhm, there are apps out there that send "ads" by notification.

    "Sale today -   get Fubar Game for 50% off"

    "Limited time -- get 50% more crystals"

    "Upgrade now!  Unlock new weapons"

    etc.
    I get a dozen or more notifications a day but never one for an ad. I'll take your word for it tho.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,419member
    Might this have something to do with Android users' tendency to shun silent mode in favor of loud and obnoxious audio notifications? Every time I'm at a Starbucks there's some douche with a Samsung phone loudly whistling every 5 minutes. Seems to be the same type of customers that used to love those obnoxious Nextel push-to-talk phones years ago.



    I want to buy a pit bull and train it to attack the source of this sound.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,734member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I get a dozen or more notifications a day but never one for an ad. I'll take your word for it tho.



    I get one or two like that a month from some game I have installed.  Either promoting some sale on in-app purchases, reminding me to play the game (haven't seen you in a while), or promoting a sister game from the same publisher.

     

    I thought such things were against Apple policy but I don't remember the details of the policy.

  • Reply 13 of 42
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,355member
    The reason for this is obvious. There is a higher percentage of Android using neckbeard dorks, who obviously do very little with their time, have no social life, and thus excitedly address every push notification as soon as they get it. Meanwhile, iPhone users are actually doing shit, so ignore or take longer to respond to stuff.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,734member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I get a dozen or more notifications a day but never one for an ad. I'll take your word for it tho.



    I have one that I got 5 days ago from "Bridge Constr" (I think it is called Bridge Construction [Set] -- have not played in a long while)

     

    "Tank Operations: European Campaign -- Change the history in this epic strategy game!  Now 55% off!"

     

    and from a game called "Pirates" (not played in a long while)

     

    3x

     

    Pirates -- Collect your Daily Reward today!

     

    1x

     

    Pirates -- Don't you hear the call of piracy?  Come back for more plunder

     

     

    and from a game I installed for my daughter called "Free Fall"

     

    2 days ago

    Have you see[sic] the adorable Snowgies?  Find them on the NEW endless map

     

    4 days ago

    Join Olaf and enjoy delicious ice cream cones in this BRAND NEW game mode!

     

    6 days ago

    Join the Frozen crew and play on a BRAND NEW endless map!

     

     

    From SwiftKey 5 days ago

    SwiftlKey themes now here!  Tap here to get your theme.

     

    [had to edit as auto correct on OS X changed  "SwiftKey" into "Swiftly" for me.  Thanks OS X!]

     

    -----

     

    Those are just the ones I have not already cleared.   Battle Bears in one of its versions has sent several "sale" type ones though I have not seen one in a month or two.  Other apps (mostly games) do it too.

  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by adm1 View Post

     

    could be that when you install an iOS app, you have to manually activate notifications when asked. I'm pretty sure on android it's on by default and you have to root through settings then switch them off app by app.




    Reading your comment reminded me of a recent WSJ article titled, "LG Watch Urbane Review: Why Android Trials Apple".

     

    Here is a snippet of the article...

     

    "The Urbane’s default settings do the opposite. When I just want to check the time, the Urbane often teases me with a notification “card” on the bottom of its screen. You’ve got four new emails! It’s 68 degrees today! You can quickly swipe it away, but after that one’s gone, there’s usually another card waiting.

    Android Wear tries to predict what you want to see, but it isn’t clairvoyant. The stream of cards is a combination of phone-app notifications and suggestions from Google Now, which picks tidbits of info from your Gmail, calendar and searches. Unlike on the Apple Watch, you can’t even order or prioritize items in the stream.

    Friends who store their whole digital lives in the search giant’s services enjoy Google Now, but the information it sends me is too random to deserve a spot on my wrist. My Urbane reminds me when “Jeopardy!” will be on TV, I think because I once searched for it. It likes to remind me about the birthdays of long-forgotten colleagues. At random points in the day, it tells me how long it will take to get home.

    Android lets you turn off the watch-face previews, notifications from individual apps and, if you dig around enough, even Google Now. But these are all on by default, because the know-it-all stream is actually the watch’s main function."

    Here is the link to the article... http://www.wsj.com/articles/lg-watch-urbane-review-why-android-trails-apple-1432670527

    I am uncertain Android user responsiveness to app notifications can be considered a good thing. But, if Google needs this metric to help its Android users appear more responsive than iOS users, more power to the Android users! :-)))

  • Reply 16 of 42
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,734member



    Just looked on my iPhone 6 (I use the 6+ as a phone).  I used this for a week and then tested the 6+ and stuck with the 6+.  The 6 is used for app development and has no SIM card in it but it has all the same apps and stuff as on my normal phone (as of when I last used it as a phone at least)

     

    I had 5 various notifications from the game "Tapped Out", a Simpsons based game, including pushing a tv episode, as well as various game features in an attempt to get me to run it again

     

    And there is another one from "FreeFall" from 32d ago that says

     

    "FLASH SALE:   Celebrate Spring and get up to 100% MORE in the store, this weekend only!"

     

     

    My development iPhone 5s (which was my main phone until I got the 6+) probably has a bunch saved on it as well since I hardly ever clear the notifications on it and it has most of the same stuff installed on it.

  • Reply 17 of 42
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    I agree with this survey. I don't care too much about notifications. Mostly I just ignore them and deal with them when I'm convenient.

  • Reply 18 of 42
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:


      On Android, notifications remain on the lock screen until dismissed, and are subsequently moved to the Notification Status bar once the device is unlocked.


     

    Sounds like it would drive me nuts. But I'm not opposed to Apple allowing customers choose this nuisance behavior if they wish. I'd like more customizable behavior: There are some texts I don't want to miss, so I have mine set to repeat 10 times until I dismiss it. But for texts from people I'm not interested in, it drives me crazy. Would be nice to assign this behavior to only certain contacts.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    patsupatsu Posts: 430member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Ads don't get notifications as far as I know, so they aren't for spam. Ads don't even show up in the regular GMail mailbox, at least not mine anyway. I have to go looking for them in a separate folder, tho I've never had a reason to.

     

    Check their website. UrbanAirship is in the business of push ads. 

    Naturally, they are inter
    ested in measuring the performance of ads notifications.



    In this aspect, iOS users of course respond less to ads. The platform and UI are designed to honor privacy instead of maximizing ad opportunities. The people gravitate to the platform to turn off notifications, or avoid spam altogether.



    But if they do respond to a notification, it may be they are more serious than your average spammed audience. In this regard, it would mean the businesses can be more efficient in running their campaigns. They don't necessarily have to pay for a larger (less effective) list.

  • Reply 20 of 42
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member

    I have app notifications turned on for only a very few apps. Of course I don't respond to them as much as other users might.

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