Beside adding image, GIF or video to notification, we can also allow user to interact with it. Using UNNotificationAction, we can add button for user to response to the received notification. It can be attached to to any type of notification using category.


Follow the setup below:

//1) Create action
let snoozeAction = UNNotificationAction(identifier: "Snooze", title: "5 more sec", options: [])
let stormOutAction = UNNotificationAction(identifier: "StormOut", title: "Cancel all Orders!", options: [])
let okayAction = UNNotificationAction(identifier: "Okay", title: "Okay", options: [.destructive])

//2) Attach to a category
let serveLaterCategory = UNNotificationCategory(identifier: "ServeLater", actions: [snoozeAction, okayAction],
  intentIdentifiers: [], options: [])
let cancelOrderCategory = UNNotificationCategory(identifier: CafeNotificationCategory.SoldOut.rawValue,
  actions: [stormOutAction, okayAction], intentIdentifiers: [], options: [])

//3 Register the category
UNUserNotificationCenter.current().setNotificationCategories([serveLaterCategory, cancelOrderCategory])

The codes at 1) simply create three different UNNotificationAction. identifier is use to identify which action is tapped and title is the text displayed to the user.

2) group the different action into a UNNotificationCategory. Each will have its own unique identifier and come with a set of actions.

Then in 3) we register the created categories with UNUserNotificationCenter.

In order to attach it to a notification, we will have to set the categoryIdentifier like this:

let content = UNMutableNotificationContent()
content.categoryIdentifier = "ServeLater"
// set title, text and sounds as well...

We would get a notification with action button like this:

Notification Content Extension

We could also go a step further and design our very own notification content view using storyboard.

In order to do that, we first must add a Notification Content Extension.

In the same project, Choose File> New Target> Notification Content Extension. Give it a name and click Finish, a new Folder with the given name will be added to your project:

Some settings that we should be paying attention to in the Info.plist are:

  • UNNotificationExtensionCategory - should match the categoryIdentifier when creating the UNNotificationContent.
  • UNNotificationExtensionDefaultContentHidden - can toggle to show / hide the default title and body of the content.
  • UNNotificationExtensionInitialContentSizeRatio - is the number we play around with to get the perfect size for the custom notification view.

MainInterface.storyboard contain a the view of the NotificationViewController. We could use it to set the design and layout of the content just like any view controller. However, direct interaction with the view is not possible thus UIButton would not work here.

In NotificationViewController, we can use protocol of UNNotificationContentExtension to update the view with the received notification content.

We use a mandatory didReceive to update the text of our @IBOulet UILabel.

func didReceive(_ notification: UNNotification) {
    self.titleLabel.text = notification.request.content.title
    self.bodyLabel?.text = notification.request.content.body

If we need to handle the interaction on UNNotificationAction, we can conform to another protocol in UNNotificationContentExtension:

func didReceive(_ response: UNNotificationResponse, completionHandler completion: @escaping
  (UNNotificationContentExtensionResponseOption) -> Void) {
    if response.actionIdentifier == "StormOut" {

Having implement all this, we would be able to get our very own custom notification view:

Sample Project

A completed project with different kind of notification setup could be access on GitHub.. Each Order button trigger a different kind of notification. Feel free to play around with it.