iOS 10 brought with it a new set of API and a powerful notification system revamp that let developers and marketers alike create really engaging experiences for users. Apple allowed the ability to do custom UI on a notification (such as Calendar or iMessage) and even prepare content for download and display, such as tweet attachment previews.

iOS 11 doesn’t bring with it too many new features — but it does bring something I think is really important to users — and that’s privacy. When you think about it, the content of push notifications are typically very personal to you, and it’s not something you may want to share. This could be anything from iMessages from your partner through to fitness information through to shipping notifications. This is all data that should be, if you want, hidden until you unlock your phone.

iMessages has had this feature in iOS 10, where you can turn off previews of messages when your phone is unlocked or not at all.

Starting in iOS 11, this setting is on all apps, and developers can tweak what is shown as the placeholder text. For messages, it simply says “iMessage”, but your app could say “New Tweet”, or “Purchase Confirmed” or “<Number of> Purchases confirmed” or “Health data Updated”.

Developers gain set complex placeholders for different scenarios and support for collapsing and reporting on multiple occurrences of an event.

This change is a big win for privacy for users on iOS, and as a developer or marketer, you should support this feature as soon as you can. By default, your notification text will be “Notification”, but by supporting this feature in your app with your own placeholder text, you can respect a user’s privacy but still drive engagement to your app. Respect your users, and they’ll respect you back.

Most of these settings would be made out of the SDK you use with Push Notifications, such as Carnival or something else, so you can start experimenting with this now with the betas. Enjoy!

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