iOS App Development iOS Swift Tutorial iOS8

iOS 8 Notifications in Swift

iOS 8 Notifications in Swift

In this iOS Development tutorial series we will look at notifications and how to use them in our Swift app.

User Notification

These are the interactions which user can interact with or see that are delivered by your app when the app is in the background mode.
* Badge Notification
* Sound Notification
* Alerts

  * Modal Alert stay until user interact
  * Alert in the notification center
  * Alert displayed on the lock screen.

User notification can be delivered locally using UILocalNotification or remotely using Push Notification

Registering for User Notification
func application(application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [NSObject: AnyObject]?) -> Bool {
   let notificationType = UIUserNotificationType.Alert | UIUserNotificationType.Badge | UIUserNotificationType.Sound
   let settings = UIUserNotificationSettings(forTypes: notificationType, categories: nil)
   return true

After the alert for getting the permission is shown the didRegisterUserNotificationSettings is called with the necessary notification settings the user has allowed.

Notification Actions

In this section we will describe the workflow for dealing with Notification Actions.

  • Register for Notification Action
  • Push/Schedule Notification
  • Handle Notification Action

If you are interested in learning iOS Development I suggest you take a look at Building an app every month in 2015

Register for Notification Actions
let notificationType = UIUserNotificationType.Alert | UIUserNotificationType.Badge | UIUserNotificationType.Sound
let acceptAction = UIMutableUserNotificationAction()
acceptAction.identifier = "Accept"
acceptAction.title = "Accept"
acceptAction.activationMode = UIUserNotificationActivationMode.Background
acceptAction.destructive = false
acceptAction.authenticationRequired = false

let declineAction = UIMutableUserNotificationAction()
declineAction.identifier = "Decline"
declineAction.title = "Decline"
declineAction.activationMode = UIUserNotificationActivationMode.Background
declineAction.destructive = false
declineAction.authenticationRequired = false

let category = UIMutableUserNotificationCategory()
category.identifier = "invite"
category.setActions([acceptAction, declineAction], forContext: UIUserNotificationActionContext.Default)
let categories = NSSet(array: [category])
let settings = UIUserNotificationSettings(forTypes: notificationType, categories: categories)
Schedule Local Notification

The next step once we have configured the settings is to schedule local notification. Make sure the category is what we have configured in our case invite identifier.

var localNotification:UILocalNotification = UILocalNotification()
localNotification.alertAction = "Testing notifications on iOS8"
localNotification.alertBody = "Local notifications are working"
localNotification.fireDate = NSDate(timeIntervalSinceNow: 5)
localNotification.soundName = UILocalNotificationDefaultSoundName
localNotification.category = "invite"
Handle Local Notification

After we schedule the notification we need to perform certain action depending on what option the user selected. We need to implement the function handleActionWithIdentifier which gets called when the user selects any of the option.

func application(application: UIApplication, handleActionWithIdentifier identifier: String?, forLocalNotification notification: UILocalNotification, completionHandler: () -> Void) {
   NSLog("Handle identifier : \(identifier)")
   // Must be called when finished

Remote Notification

This by itself needs a complete blog post take a look at Remote Notification or Tuts+ Remote Notification

Location Notification

Location notification helps app in triggering a notification when the user enter a particular region. Location notification can be configured to trigger once or multiple times.

User should register for Core Location Authorization before the Location notification can be used.


Registering core location.

let locationManager = CLLocationManager()
locationManager.delegate = self
Scheduling Local Notification

One thing to note is that when scheduling a location notification make sure you dont have a firedate set for the local notification as it would crash if we set both the fire data as well as the region together.

var localNotification:UILocalNotification = UILocalNotification()
localNotification.regionTriggersOnce = true
localNotification.region = CLCircularRegion(circularRegionWithCenter: CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 37.33233141, longitude: -122.03121860), radius: 50.0, identifier: "Location1")

Let me know if you have any questions / suggestion in the comments below.

About the author


Backend/Infrastructure Engineer by Day. iOS Developer for the rest of the time.

  • Joe

    Thanks for the tutorial.could you help me to understand how to trigger a LOCAL PUSH NOTIFICATION when UIDeviceStateChanged like charging state,low battery alert.

  • Pruthvi Hariharan

    Hi Shrikar,
    I have implemented location based local notification, every thing works fine except that every time I cross the boundary notification is triggering and of course, I have set the regionTriggersOnce property to true. One more interesting thing is, Its triggering only once in simulator, but in device its not triggering every time. Can you please let me know what could be the reason!!! It really helps!!

  • dimitest

    Thank you for this. Where in the code/ how can I load map points for the location notifications (from a locations.json file or preferably a data request to the json on my webpage, of map points)?

  • Jayesh R Gyanchandani

    Hi Shrikar,
    I am getting three notifications, i need to perform action on this notifications individually.
    but when i tap on first notification the action is being called three times.
    Any solutions to this why this happens?

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