Great Question. I actually wish more developers would think about the UX in these situations.
First… yes, iOS requires permission, Android does not.
And here’s where there’s no right answer but there’s good and bad UX. When you open an app for the 1st time and it prompts you for notifications… what do you do? Me… I decline EVERY TIME. I don’t know enough about the app or trust it yet to feel secure that their notifications won’t be intrusive in my life.
It’s been tested that when users are informed at proper spots in an app as to why the notifications benefit them, the timeliness of notifications, etc… users are more likely to agree to them by a WHOPPING 50% (I’ll try and find the source I read that from but it was a legit study).
My recommendation here… don’t worry about notifications until the user feels like 1 would be useful. An example… Your user looks up a flight and make a booking. Perhaps there’s an ability to receive updates on the booking in-app or perhaps there’s a confirmation process to the booking request that takes time… this is a great spot that the user would already be wondering “how will they let me know of the update”… it’s a spot here where a warm intro into opting into notifications would be a welcome instead of an annoyance. Providing a screen 1st for them to learn why they want notifications and asking them if they want to receive them or not BEFORE the official screen appears is a great strategy.
1 thing about notification request prompts… you only get 1 shot at sending them 1. If they decline, in order to change their mind, they have to manually go into the Phone’s Settings app -> Notifications -> your app name -> toggle notifications on. That’s TERRIBLE! Who wants to do that. Apple’s iOS doesn’t allow you to change their mind for them so you really wanna be smart about when you prompt them to accept the official request because you don’t get a second chance later.
Also, if you inform them and ask them if they want to opt-in (before they officially do), and they decline there… you now have an opportunity down the road to ask them again (maybe for a new compelling reason) in your app, and if they accept then… then you display the official request.
This is something more teams need to take seriously. I can’t believe in 2019, new apps appear with all the request permissions spilling into the 1st screen. it’s just terrible UX and they do a disservice to the value the notification can hold for the user.
Thanks for asking.