iOS 8 Wishlist: Interactive or Actionable Notifications

iOS 8 logo

Apple is widely expected to unveil iOS 8, the next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the WWDC 2014 Keynote on June 2nd.

So with less than a month to go, I take a look at some of the features that I really hope make it to iOS 8’s feature list.

Interactive or Actionable Notifications

Currently the banner notifications, and the notifications in iOS Notification Center perform the role of informing us when there is a new notification that needs our attention. However, to respond to the notification, you have to tap on the Notification, which launches the relevant app. After you’ve responded to the Notification, you’ve to use the app switcher to go back to the app. It is not very efficient and makes banner notifications less useful as you’ve to leave the app you’re currently using.

In a single-window based operating system like iOS, productivity can be improved significantly if these Notifications can be interactive or actionable, and don’t force you to leave the app you’re in. For example:


When you receive a message notification, you should be able to reply directly from the notification or opt to delete the message you’ve received without having to leave the app you’re currently using.

Quick Reply for Messages
Concept of Quick Reply for Messages


In case of the Mail app, you should be able reply directly to the email or delete it from the Notification without having to leave the app you’re in.


When you get FaceTime calls, we should be able to either accept the call, or if you need to decline the call, then have an option to reply to it with an iMessage or set a callback reminder right from the Notification.

These are just some of the examples. I am quite hopeful as Apple introduced most of these features in OS X Mavericks. While actionable notifications is a nice to have feature in case of multiple windows based operating system like OS X, I believe it is must-have in iOS.

I also hope that Apple will allow developers to support the feature for their third-party apps, so that it is not limited to just the stock apps, and can be used with apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. as well.

If you’ve a jailbroken iPhone then jailbreak tweaks like biteSMS, auki etc. already offer this functionality. In fact, the concept of the Quick Reply feature above is thanks to auki.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to find out what’s on your iOS 8 wishlist, so please feel free to to share them in the comments.