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Native Push Notifications: The Concept, Applications, and Considerations

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Push notifications allow you to remotely trigger small text messages, sounds, and more on your users’ devices. These notifications can occur on practically any device. Still, you may find them more commonly done on some devices than others. For example, push notifications for mobile devices are critical. That is how individuals are alerted when a new message comes in or when an application has completed a background task. The sample applies to laptops and computers, as seen by the Notification Center on both Windows and macOS. 

The notification itself can have different content levels: it can have the entire message, just a preview of the message, just the individual who sent you the news or nothing other than a new message has arrived. There is also device setting changes that notifications can reflect (for example, how the phone might change notifications to display them on a locked screen).

In this article, we will see a general overview and go into further details regarding Native Push Notifications.

History of Push Notifications

The first widely recognized push notification system was, in fact, by Blackberry. They called it Push Services, and it was primarily used to inform users of any new mail they had received in their emails. The notifications would come in, and it would just appear in a small tab on the screen until the user decided to open it. Before this, people would have to actively check their emails to see if they had any updates. Multiple applications would begin to interact with the devices Push Notification System. All device software would include access to their Push Notification System for developers to integrate it into their applications.

Devices with Push Notification Capabilities

The most obvious of these devices are smartphones. In fact, we can go as far as to say that smartphones and their users rely on notifications to process the amount of incoming data and handle them in an organized manner. Tablets are also just as capable of receiving and handling push notifications, just the way phones do.

Computers are also capable of receiving native push notifications directly on the device. All three of the most common operating systems for computers and laptops globally (Windows, macOS, and Linux) all support a Notification Center, where all desktop notifications go.

On these computers, web browsers often also have their own notification systems. These are often tagged with specific sites and can get displayed with desktop applications under the Browser itself. This source elaborates on which web browsers have which specific features relevant to Native Push Notifications.

Rather new in the field, wearables are also now capable of receiving notifications on their own as well, if they are connected to cellular signals. Even if they aren’t, they use your mobile device as a proxy to transmit notifications and data from the wearable to the mobile device, which will then handle transmitting that data to the respective application.  

Many of the more modern IoT (Internet of Things) devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, are also capable of receiving notifications, as they can not only receive native notifications, but they are all often connected to a wireless network, but they are also other devices that can receive notifications as well. 

However, it is important to realize that just because a device is capable of receiving native push notifications doesn’t mean that it is an effective means of communication. It is very likely that some devices might serve as a better platform than others for your specific application. What are some of the different purposes? Well, let’s take a look.

Purpose

Push notifications can be used in many different ways. For example, in Messaging applications, notifications are used to notify the user and make them aware of a new message that has come in for them. 

However, they can also be used to get the attention of someone who has an application installed to bring them to use your application more. This can be considered as a form of marketing as it is directly reaching out to the customer to remind them about your application. Many mobile games use this strategy to remind their players that they should log in to play, or collect a daily reward. It is also often used with games that have timers for either upgrades or energy recharges for more actions to let the players know when that timer has reset.

It can also be used as a marketing technique in the sense where advertising can be directly pushed to their devices at times of sales and discounts. Not only will it instantly grab their attention, but it is also very actionable. Just clicking on the notification can take them into your application, and onto a specific page too. This makes it extremely easy to direct them even to a specific product in an entire marketplace.

The Benefits vs. Drawbacks

One of the major benefits of Native Push Notifications is that it can draw attention to your application. Most people will see a notification, and they will most likely either interact immediately or leave it to remind them to interact with it later. Another benefit is that they are timely. You can send Push Notifications when something needs urgent action from the user; for example, an online shopping cart’s items when they are running out of stock. 

The notifications can not only be used to make general public announcements but can also be personalized to address individuals specifically. This is extremely important as it is often much more impactful to a user when they see a notification that directly addresses them. As a marketing strategy, it makes the user feel like they are responsible and that they should be taking action.

From a cost perspective, it is much cheaper to use Native Push Notifications. The alternatives, such as SMS Notifications, can end up charging users significant amounts of money depending on the Messaging Plan that they have for their phones. It can also be hosted completely locally, requiring no Internet or Cellular Data connections. 

However, there are a few drawbacks that should also be considered. Opting out or ignoring push notifications is getting easier and more accessible to all devices. Updates to notification settings – like provisional authorization, push notification groupings, and notification center features – mean users have options for de-prioritizing your notifications.

People also tend to eventually find push notifications annoying, especially when overused. There is a delicate balance between spamming those with your applications with random notifications and carefully marketing and promoting your applications using the same Push Notification technology. Sending too many notifications can also end up making the user feel stressed, and it may prompt them to unsubscribe from the notifications. Even worse, it may lead them to uninstall the application completely.  Therefore, it is critical to consider the balance between Push Notifications and down-time between them.

Applozic’s Implementation:

Applozic’s API allows you to seamlessly integrate all of your Chat and Audio applications with the amazing and powerful SDK created by our developers. Using an SDK like ours would allow you to not even break a sweat about how you plan on handling push notifications, as that entire process has been handled for you. Applozic’s well-written documentation will allow you to implement an in-app chat or in-app audio channel with ease and minimal hassle. If you want to try and implement it on your own, there is a free trial available for all of your testing purposes so you can sign up today.