Critical notifications

Critical notifications were introduced in iOS 12 and are designed for sending high-priority notifications that you don't want to miss - for example security system, water leak sensor, and smoke/CO2 alarm alerts.

iOS gives special priority to this type of notification. Critical alerts always appear at the top of your lock screen above all other notifications, and play a sound even if Do Not Disturb is enabled or the iPhone is muted. Because we never want you to miss a critical notification, they are allowed to bypass the app notification rate limits as well.

A simple example of sending a critical notification is:

iOS iOS example

automations:
- alias: 'Fire Detected'
trigger:
- platform: state
entity_id: sensor.smoke_alarm
to: 'smoke'
action:
- service: notify.mobile_app_<your_device_id_here>
data:
title: "Wake up!"
message: "The house is on fire and the cat's stuck in the dryer!"
data:
push:
sound:
name: default
critical: 1
volume: 1.0

android Android example for high priority notification

automations:
- alias: 'Fire Detected'
trigger:
- platform: state
entity_id: sensor.smoke_alarm
to: 'smoke'
action:
- service: notify.mobile_app_<your_device_id_here>
data:
title: "Wake up!"
message: "The house is on fire and the cat's stuck in the dryer!"
data:
ttl: 0
priority: high

If you have previously read the sounds documentation this syntax should be mostly familiar. Note the example expands the sound attribute to include the critical: 1 flag, and volume: 1.0 to set the volume to 100 %.

iOS For CarPlay users, it's also worth mentioning that critical notifications are the only ones that can appear on the car's built-in display, making them very useful if you want to know when something critical happens while you're driving.