iPhone is getting one of Android's worst features

iPhones will get more advertising-packing push notifications
(Image credit: Future)

Apple, long accused of bending its own rules, is apparently relenting and changing its iOS policy in a way that will make iPhones more like Android phones. 

In a March 4 update to its App Store Review Guidelines, the company adjusted language concerning push notifications, so that apps can use Push Notifications for "promotions or direct marketing purposes," which was once verboten in iOS. Unless you were Apple, which promoted its own Carpool Karaoke show via push notifications.

Our own staffers have noted that these app push notification ads have happened on Android for years. On the official Android developer site, a page titled "Drive user engagement and extend your app's visibility with notifications" is filed under Engage, Design, and Marketing.

The only caveats are that customers must have "explicitly opted in" to these notifications, and that the app provides "a method ... for a user to opt out from receiving such messages."

Apple's existing rule has been bent by developers for a while. As I wrote this story, I noticed my lock screen had yet another coupon code from the Postmates food delivery app. This change only suggests the ads in your lock screen will only multiply over the coming months.

And, yes, Apple has that language about opting into those push notifications, but I'm not sure how well that will work. People tend to just keep tapping OK as they install new apps, which is how you get the existing notifications you don't like, as well as other privacy-bending features disabled.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • Saga Lout
    Does Apple offer an equivalent to the Android Terminal Emulator so users can kill the junk?
  • Engineer.AI
    What started off as a competition between a Fox and a Wolf, has culminated with the Fox donning the Wolf's skin, after gutting it part by part, till the Fox is but a distant memory.

    Apple has no standing, all they have ever been, is a company that steals other's ideas (and it is ringing true even to this day). I saw the other day that Apple was planning to develop its own "fold-able" smartphone, in the same vein that S20 was.

    Now through this, they're merely conforming to the status quo, which they they once opposed, but now uphold