What are App Push Notifications?
App push notifications are messages sent from a mobile app to a user’s device, in order to notify them of an app-related event or update. These notifications are designed to attract the user's attention and encourage them to interact with the app in some way, such as by opening an app, completing a purchase, or reading a new message on.
Push notifications can be customized to appear in a variety of formats, such as banners, pop-ups, or badges on a user's device, and can include text, images, or other multimedia elements Users as well can choose to customize their notifications.
How do App Push Notifications work?
Push notifications are sent to mobile apps through third-party push notification services such as PushAlert. These services act as an intermediary between the app, and the mobile device's operating system. The mobile OS handles delivery of notifications to the user's device.
When an app wants to send a push notification it first sends the notification content to a push notification service. The service then sends the information to the mobile device. Next, the mobile operating system retrieves the notification and displays it on the user's device, usually in the form of a banner, alert or badge.
The delivery of push notifications is dependent on several factors, including the mobile device's network connectivity, the user's notification settings, and the app's targeting and scheduling parameters. To ensure successful delivery and user engagement, app developers must optimize their push notification strategy by personalizing their content, using clear and concise messaging, and respecting users' preferences for frequency and timing of notifications.
What does the subscription process look like for App Push Notifications?
Prior to Android 13, Google used to consider an app download as consent to receiving notifications for an app. So a user did not need to opt-in to receive notifications on Android 12 and below.
That has changed with Android 13, and users now need to explicitly allow notification permission within the app.
The subscriber journey for app push notifications on Android typically involves the following steps:
- User installs the app: The first step is for the user to install the app on their Android device from the Google Play Store.
- App requests permission: When the app is launched for the first time, it may request permission to send push notifications. The user must grant this permission for the app to send push notifications to the device. (Not mandatory for Android 12 or lower.)
- App sends notification: When the app needs to send a push notification, it sends the notification to a push notification service, which then sends it to the user's device.
- Device displays notification: The user's device receives the notification and displays it on the screen, typically in the form of a banner or alert. The user can then interact with the notification, such as by tapping on it to open the app or dismissing it.
- User manages notification settings: The user can manage their notification settings at any time by going to the app's notification preferences menu or through the device's system settings. They can turn notifications on or off, adjust the type of notifications they receive, or set a schedule for when notifications are received.
Can a device receive a notification even if the app is closed?
In order to receive notifications the user must install the app on their mobile device and allow notification permission. Once permission is granted the app can start receiving notifications as long as the app is installed, and the device is connected to internet. However, the app must listen to incoming notifications and handle them appropriately.
An app can receive notifications even when it is running in the:
- Foreground: Currently being used and interacted with.
- Background: The user opened the app, used it and then moved to other apps. The app is still running in the background and can be opened using the Recent Apps.
- Killed: The app is closed and cannot be accessed from recent apps. It typically does not have any background service running.
Benefits of using Push Notifications in your native app.
App push notifications provide a number of benefits for both app users and app developers. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using app push notifications:
- Stay informed: App push notifications can keep you up-to-date on important information, such as breaking news, weather updates, or traffic alerts.
- Increase engagement: Notifications can prompt users to return to your app and engage with content, such as by promoting new features, exclusive deals, or personalized recommendations.
- Enhance user experience: Push notifications can provide valuable context and updates to users, such as notifying them of important events, providing reminders, or sending personalized messages.
- Drive conversions: Notifications can encourage users to take action, such as by promoting limited-time offers, abandoned cart reminders, or upsell opportunities.
- Boost retention: App push notifications can help retain users by reminding them to use the app, highlighting new features or content, or providing personalized recommendations based on their interests or behavior.