Push notifications for smartwatches: The winner takes it all

Your paper doesn’t have a native app for Android Wear, the Apple Watch or a Pebble Smartwatch? No worries – you can still stay in the game. Push notifications from your smartphone app will ensure you remain visible on the new platform.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | April 30, 2015

Indeed push notifications could become the new starting point for your readers’ digital journey: i.e. the first app you open when your smartwatch displays a new headline.

After using the Pebble smartwatch myself for more than a year, I find it second nature to check a breaking headline on my watch and then pull out my phone to open the app that sent the notification.

In my experience, there are three things to points to consider if you want to stay in pole position as one of the publishers allowed to send push notifications:

  1. Being fast is good – being reliable is better. Nothing is more annoying than receiving a push notification on your smartphone, pulling out the smartphone, launching the sender’s app, and discovering that the article for that headline is not available yet. That happens to me about 30 percent of the time. But it’s getting better day by day – because every time it happens I delete the offending app from my phone!
  2. The winner takes it all. Sooner or later I will allow only one platform to send me push notifications. It’s tedious to get the same notification from five different platforms on your wrist.
  3. Customisability is king. Platforms like the German news magazine Spiegel and the German soccer magazine Kicker offer interesting options for personalising your push notifications.

Need more ideas and backgrounds for your wearable strategy? Check out the WAN-IFRA Wearables Report.

– by Ralf Ressmann

Ralf Ressmann is the Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa for WAN-IFRA and an unapologetic gadget geek.  He has over a decade of experience in digital media working in varied roles. Ralf began his career as an editor and editorial team leader for T-Online in Germany. He went on to hold leadership positions at Coop Press, ETH Zurich, Information Architects and Denon Allmedia in Switzerland. Ralf has a Masters Degree in Political Science and Rhetoric from the University of Tübingen. Today he is responsible for WAN-IFRA’s numerous activities in the EMEA region.

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