Push notifications: Knowing the technology

Push notifications is a technology that lets you send messages to Smartphones which have the App of your company installed on their devices even when the user is not actively using the application.

They work, from the point of view of the user, in a similar way to receive an SMS; but the messages do not use the telephone operator, in fact, they are transmitted over the Internet, so they have no additional costs.

It's a great way to interact with clients, notifying them about new products, events, answers to technical support, chat messages, alerts, etc. Even they can be combined with the user base and / or the geolocation, in a way to send targeted messages or according to their location -for example if they are close to a determined location-, etc. The advantage is the immediacy.

Messages are sent from a push notification server, as InnovaPortal ™, and are received by all devices that have opted to receive notifications from us. When the user touches them, the App opens. Notifications can be sent manually or automatically by the server.

How does the push notification technology work?

We can briefly say that the process consists of two stages:

1. Device Registration
When a user run our App for the first time, it asks if you want to accept notifications. If the person says yes, the App registers the Smartphone on the server, so after this, its ready to receive messages. So obviously the App must be prepared for this function.

2. Sending notifications
As discussed above, notifications reach the cell phones even if the App is running or not.
How can this happen? Well, each manufacturer has an electronic service for this purpose; iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iWatch, etc.) are connected to the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS), Android devices to Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Windows Phone to the Microsoft Push Notification Service (MPNS). Messages aren't sent directly to the smartphone, they are sent to the device belonging service and delivers it as shown in the following figure:

By Gustavo Gretter