I have been racking my brain trying to understand how Push Notifications and Local Notifications are handled by iOS devices. I have come to understand that Push Notifications refer to those notifications that come from a server through the Apple Push Notification service (APNs) while Local Notifications are scheduled on a device by a delivery time and date without any connection to a server. However, on the user end all notifications appear the same and are seemingly managed as the same whether in Settings>Notifications or within an in-app settings page.

My one question however is with the common Push Notifications request alert that is often displayed when an app is first launched (image linked below). Here, Apple uses the language of "Push Notification" which would seem to deal with turning on or off APNs notifications. The problem I think is that the distinction would not be clear to users who do not encounter that difference anywhere else while managing notifications.

Does this alert only deal with remote Push Notifications (APNs) or does it also turn on or off local notifications?

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1 Answer 1


Yes, preferences under Settings / Notifications work too for Local notifications.

Apple's Documentation states that:

[The user] can also selectively enable or disable push notification types (that is, icon badging, alert messages, and sounds) for specific applications.

Which is not exactly clarifying, but, I've just tested it with a small App which only has Local Notifications and, disabling all possibilities do disable Notifications.

Bear in mind too, that an App which only has Local Notifications will be shown too among the Notification's Settings, which makes no sense if those settings won't affect that App.

  • Thanks for the help. Do you know why Apple uses the phrase "Push Notification" in the popup shown in the screenshot that I provided? Or is the text of that popup defined by the application developer?
    – Shimon
    Feb 19, 2013 at 22:43

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