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TLDR: Mobile is sad Dead. Can we have web push notifications?

(While the eventual intended audience will know what I'm talking about, Google has a nice, though somewhat technical article on what this is. I don't expect it to happen soon, but it would be nice to put it on the radar.)

For starters - and this could take the proverbial 6-8 weeks or more, could we have web notifications on the mobile/grand unified responsive design pages? This would help do notifications for both desktop and Android (apparently iOS doesn't do webworkers/notifications correctly yet - but whatever work's done would be useful even after that). I'm not sure what else the mobile apps offer but this is the one thing I'd miss. Its definitely not a high priority but something I'd like to put on the radar.

Considering that there are plans to unify the mobile and desktop views, this might work for both.

The mobile applications are something that power users of Stack Exchange love. That said, they kind of have been left stagnant a while - and they're essentially technical debt, especially with, well, the mobile landscape changing a fair bit. Might be worth planning for the time they are no longer around. Even for folks holding on to 'old' versions, they're starting to break. As of 2021, the application crashes in Android 12 and I'm no longer getting notifications at all.

They're formally no longer supported, and it would be really nice to have at least one of the critical features they supported - mobile notifications, somehow supported..

Opt in notifications (by installing the app) are one way I stay engaged with goings on in Q&A I have participated in across the network, even on sites I frequent less. The ability to get notifications via any supported browser would be a lighter/simpler alternative.

While this feature is deferred - it might be worth considering a few factors in implimenting

  • Everyone else has an annoying pop up asking for it. Is there a better way? Maybe a profile option?

  • How can discoverability be balanced with unobtrusiveness?

  • Can/could this be done globally for public Q&A and on a per-team basis? More broadly, can we opt in to different types of notifications somehow, and enable them on a per device basis?

  • If network wide, where would this live? (Hopefully not SO for public Q&A.)

  • Would PWA/PWA-like features fit in with SE's development (ugh, I wish someone who knew these things better asked, but here we are.)

  • could this be used by third party apps to support notifications? - there's a handful of third party apps, and at least the android one that's the most polished lacks a good way to do it

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    +1 sad mobile app :-(
    – Super Jade
    Dec 28, 2018 at 6:17
  • What do you expect to be webpushed then? Just inbox notifications? Something else?
    – rene
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:18
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    Well pretty much the same things as the app does, so yes
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Dec 28, 2018 at 10:22
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    It'd be sad to have to fall back to email notifications for inbox items. Email gets mixed in with other email and is also less immediate. I love getting inbox notifications directly. I don't use the app to handle them, but it telling me what they are is super-helpful. Dec 28, 2018 at 15:12
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    Oh, please don't suggest terminating the app. It may have its (numerous) problems, but the mobile site is atrocious. Probably 75% of my interaction with the Network is through the Android app. It would be awful if the app was removed from the site and I was forced to use the mobile. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way. Dec 28, 2018 at 16:16
  • Would desktop notifications even fulfil the same purpose as mobile notifications? i mean, the whole point was to be able to get notifications while away from a desktop.
    – Kevin B
    Feb 19, 2021 at 17:41
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    Reasonably close to - it does work fine in phones. At the time of this question, app support wasn't formally abandoned and this was a forward looking question. Any workable alternative Is appreciated of course!
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 19, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1

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Update: given we've officially delisted mobile apps and plan to eventually look at web notifications, I've set this post to .

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Based on our current roadmap, this isn't work that we will take on, as it doesn't coincide with functional areas that we plan to improve in the near future. We recognize that there's community support for this, but unfortunately, we can't prioritize it at this time.

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    Well - I'd settle for some supported means of notification on mobile. The phone app shambles on, undead until my next phone upgrade, but I really miss realtime-ish notifications in places like teams. Even if it's implemented - it might not be in the manner I suggested.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 20, 2021 at 2:14

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