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Whenever someone pitches me with an app idea, my first instinct is to ask, “Why can’t this be a website?” I love apps, and there are many reasons to develop them, but many ideas don’t need to be native.

The point where my argument inevitably breaks down is when the person pitching says, “then it sends a notification” … OK, so it does need to be an app. 😬

Or does it?

I was excited to read the announcement on the WebKit blog that Safari on iOS 16.4 will support Web Push and icon badges for apps installed on a home screen. If I’m honest, I wish that restriction didn’t exist, but I’ll take it if it means we get website push notifications. It looks like this was all announced at WWDC last summer, but I must have missed it!

“But Dave, why don’t you love native development?” I can hear you asking. I do! However, it’s rare that apps which only need a small set of native functionality, like push, make the best native experiences. This announcement fills a large gap between a tab in Safari and a full-blown native app, and I’m delighted to see it.

Dave Verwer  

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