Notifications

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Notifications

bilbosax
I am about to release my first three apps on the App Store.  I am already
thinking about my first program modifications.  I will immediately need to
provide a notification system in my app to let people know when new
properties hit the market.  I have never looked into notifications on AIR
yet.  Do most of you use some sort of service, an ANE, or do you program
notifications manually???

Thanks for any insights!



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Re: Notifications

Erik J. Thomas
Hey Bilbo:

This is a big subject. There is no simple way, but there are hard ways and less-hard ways to do this. I suggest you don't write your own PN providers for Apple and Google as that's a big project.

The simplest way we found (and expect this to take you a few days to get completely working the way you want it) was to use an ANE that is dedicated to using OneSignal which is a FREE push notifications service that will get you Android and iOS support relatively easily.

https://airnativeextensions.com/extension/com.distriqt.Notifications

We use this ANE and it's very solid.

You have to carefully read the Wiki instructions on the ANE's github because there's a LOT to configuring your custom app descriptor file to support both google and apple PNs.

In a nutshell:

For each app, in your Apple developer account certificates page, open your app ID and add push notifications support and generate a production APN certificate, save and generate your provisioning profile, replacing your old one, and export the PN certificate, double click it to get into your keychain, then open keychain access and export the public and private keys as a p12. You'll need that for OneSignal.

In OneSignal - https://onesignal.com

Sign up for a free account, and add your applications. Configure the iOS first, and upload your p12. Then configure your Android if using, but you have to get a Google Firebase account here: (https://console.firebase.google.com), and create your apps there and copy two keys from Firebase to OneSignal for each one. This could take you a while to grok if you haven't worked with firebase before.

In the app, if you will blast PNs to all users, you can set up OneSignal to just send to active and inactive users. If you want to send to users based on any information about that user, you need to register a push token for each user during the ANE initialization by creating a service endpoint and hitting the API with the push token the ANE generates along with some logged in user id. Then you have full capability to send PNs to individuals who meet some criteria. Or you can set up segments on OneSignal but that comes with it's own headaches because you have to do it manually. OneSignal is free and has APIs you can call to send, but no APIs to configure things like user segments. You're better off using your own logic and sending to specific users by push token.

Be glad there is this ANE, and OneSignal though, because it's harder to do native, and especially if you create your own PN service providers. Theoretically you can do PNs from AIR directly, we went down that road at first and decided it was simpler to use the ANE that wraps the OneSignal native SDK. It hides a lot of complexity.

If you decide to go this route, I'm willing to share some source code and config settings with you.

Have fun!

Cheers,

Erik

On Mar 24, 2018, at 12:32 PM, bilbosax <[hidden email]> wrote:

I am about to release my first three apps on the App Store.  I am already
thinking about my first program modifications.  I will immediately need to
provide a notification system in my app to let people know when new
properties hit the market.  I have never looked into notifications on AIR
yet.  Do most of you use some sort of service, an ANE, or do you program
notifications manually???

Thanks for any insights!



--
Sent from: http://apache-flex-users.2333346.n4.nabble.com/


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Re: Notifications

bilbosax
Erik, as always, I really appreciate your help.  That post will be an
excellent starting point for me when I am ready to go.

I have a question regarding notifications since I have never toyed with
them.  Do you only push the fact that you have something to show the user,
and then when a user opens the app, your app retrieves whatever information
you want to show them from your database? Or, can you actually push a lot of
information in a notification?

My app is a real estate app.  I want to send notifications to users when a
new property that meets their search criteria hits the market.  I don't know
if I can push all the property data through a notification, or if I can only
alert them that a property meets their criteria, but my app needs to pull
that data once the app is opened???

Thanks!



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Re: Notifications

Erik Thomas
This is where I suggest you start reading:

https://developer.apple.com/notifications/

Push notifications, as you've no doubt seen in other apps, are for summary information about an event, like a new property that meets their criteria as you said. I believe the rule of thumb is you have 37 characters in the content of the notification plus a title and on iOS you have a subtitle. Larger devices can display more, but 37 is the magic number for iPhone 5 and smaller android devices.

When the user's app is closed or in the background, a notification will play a sound, show a banner with a title and the short message, and you can update the banner on the app's icon to show there are unread notifications. You can send a listing id in the PN. When the user taps the banner, your app will launch and your app's PN listener will execute and you can do what you want with the listing id. Pull that data and navigate to the view.

Keep in mind people will turn off PNs for your app if you hit them too often. Best to throttle notifications if their search criteria will result in sending dozens of notifications a day. Limit to just a few per day to prevent them from turning them off for your app, or uninstalling your app and installing Trulia instead. ;-)

Erik

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Re: Notifications

bilbosax
Thanks Erik, much appreciated.  Got a lot of reading to do.



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