Push Notification (for Android OS)

This is a discussion on Push Notification (for Android OS) within the Nexus One forums, part of the Google Phones category; Originally Posted by bozzy Android let's apps run services in the background to check for things on the server. The app itself doesn't have to ...

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Thread: Push Notification (for Android OS)

  1. #21
    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bozzy View Post
    Android let's apps run services in the background to check for things on the server. The app itself doesn't have to be running, only the service. There's no need for building up "push" servers. This is very expensive to developers and would kill off the possibility of independent developers using this technology on the Android Market.

    Even the new iPhone SDK allows local notifications because it is clear that it is way too expensive to build up push servers for each application. So the iPhone model is actually moving closer to the Android model.
    Additionally, the trend in the US at least, is towards unlimited data for these smartphones, so the background data comm'ing is of no consequence. Those on limited/capped data plans would prefer push, as we've seen here in the fora. WRT the battery, I get a full day even with heavy use, and charge overnight, which I think is a perfectly acceptable usage expectation, and have been doing that with all the G1/Dash/MDA/Sidekicks I've had over the years..nothing has changed there. Push seems redundant to me.

  2. #22
    Senior Member NexusDro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ardynine View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AndroidIsTheTruth View Post

    And IM apps can run in the background. Just like Push.....

    I'm just saying.
    There is a huge difference between IM apps running in the background and Push "listening" on the background. if you had push, most of the battery intensive stuff would be done by the Google servers. If there is no push, IM app will constantly refresh and pull data from its servers to see if there is a new message. With push, the dirty work of checking to see if there is anything new is done on a server somewhere else. If there is anything new, it's pushed to your phone. This way the app doesn't need to be running constantly at all.

    And no, apple in no way invented push.
    is this really how the IM apps work? I always thought IM apps, regardless of platforms, push data from its servers to its device instead of having the phone constantly refreshes to check for new messages. When I use ebuddy, the messages come to my phone instantly. If this is how IM apps work, does ebuddy use Apple's server to push data to the iphones?

  3. #23
    Junior Member AHutchinson's Avatar
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    Nexusdro,
    I think that while the ebuddy app is open and running in the foreground, the app collects data from the ebuddy server.

    However, when you close the app, the ebuddy server will then send the data to the apple push server, which then in turn passes the notification onto you.

  4. #24
    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NexusDro View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ardynine View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AndroidIsTheTruth View Post

    And IM apps can run in the background. Just like Push.....

    I'm just saying.
    There is a huge difference between IM apps running in the background and Push "listening" on the background. if you had push, most of the battery intensive stuff would be done by the Google servers. If there is no push, IM app will constantly refresh and pull data from its servers to see if there is a new message. With push, the dirty work of checking to see if there is anything new is done on a server somewhere else. If there is anything new, it's pushed to your phone. This way the app doesn't need to be running constantly at all.

    And no, apple in no way invented push.
    is this really how the IM apps work? I always thought IM apps, regardless of platforms, push data from its servers to its device instead of having the phone constantly refreshes to check for new messages. When I use ebuddy, the messages come to my phone instantly. If this is how IM apps work, does ebuddy use Apple's server to push data to the iphones?
    No. Apple uses a variant of XMPP-type (formerly jabber) 'Push' tech for their Mobile Me stuff, as well as many other IM services. Unless I misunderstand the tech, it is a bi-directional stream over the IP. Apple began 'pushing' (pun!) Push recently, under this notion of battery savings (probably due to their expense in battery replacements in iPods/iPhones!), when many disagree and feel pull technologies (like RSS) are the most favorable for both developers and network contraints (remember PointCast in the 90's was killed due to excessive bandwidth requirements?). Finally, it's misleading to suggest an app or service needs constant polling...there is a technique called long-polling which the service/app hits the server with a request, and if the server has no new information, it retains the requests as 'standing' and only sends a response when new information is available...very easy on these strained cellular networks. Long-polling has some preset timeout, so the app/service will need to refresh on occasion, but the effect to the user is the same as a Push experience.

  5. #25
    Senior Member NexusDro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AHutchinson View Post
    Nexusdro,
    I think that while the ebuddy app is open and running in the foreground, the app collects data from the ebuddy server.

    However, when you close the app, the ebuddy server will then send the data to the apple push server, which then in turn passes the notification onto you.
    If PUSH notification saves battery, why doesn't the iPhone use PUSH throughout even when the app is open and running in the foreground?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphawave7 View Post

    No. Apple uses a variant of XMPP-type (formerly jabber) 'Push' tech for their Mobile Me stuff, as well as many other IM services. Unless I misunderstand the tech, it is a bi-directional stream over the IP. Apple began 'pushing' (pun!) Push recently, under this notion of battery savings (probably due to their expense in battery replacements in iPods/iPhones!), when many disagree and feel pull technologies (like RSS) are the most favorable for both developers and network contraints (remember PointCast in the 90's was killed due to excessive bandwidth requirements?). Finally, it's misleading to suggest an app or service needs constant polling...there is a technique called long-polling which the service/app hits the server with a request, and if the server has no new information, it retains the requests as 'standing' and only sends a response when new information is available...very easy on these strained cellular networks. Long-polling has some preset timeout, so the app/service will need to refresh on occasion, but the effect to the user is the same as a Push experience.
    Thanks for the explanation. So do the Android IM apps use the long-polling technique or not? What does Google Talk use? G-Talk is what I use more often on my phone.

  6. #26
    Android Addict alphawave7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NexusDro View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. So do the Android IM apps use the long-polling technique or not? What does Google Talk use? G-Talk is what I use more often on my phone.
    GT uses XMPP, so not long-polling.

  7. #27
    Senior Member d1mitrov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndroidIsTheTruth View Post
    I don't use widgets to notify me. And regardless Push still requires to be ran in the background. Let me put it to you like this. My gmail just told me a reply was made on this thread. No different than what can be done with any social network in settings. And honestly I don't see getting emails of notification as a loophole when that's what it's designed for in the first place. I have push notification on my iPod and never cared for it. So yes IMHO push is overrated. It's all user's preference.

    And IM apps can run in the background. Just like Push.....

    I'm just saying.
    the point is push is more battery friendly. we currently have push on the n1 but its only for gmail. I have gmail and another yahoo email set up and sometimes when i go to battery settings to see whats used up my battery the yahoo email has shown to have used up to 5% at times, while the gmail has never appeared on that screen. And also with push you get notified instantly while with other services if you want them to refresh and fetch notifications every 1-2 minutes your battery wont last more than 10 hours...
    So you are right, it is user preference, but i would assume most users would prefer to have instant notifications and maximize their battery life at the same time.
    :nexusx: Nexus One Beta Tester

  8. #28
    Junior Member medicdave's Avatar
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    Push for Android is coming...

    Hi Everyone-

    Just happened across this post via a Google search and thought I'd throw some information out there.

    The Android platform does have push notification capability available for app developers. For one thing, commercial outfits like Xtify, Urban Airship and Ericcson have put together various types of push systems. These solutions all require that app devs use the providers' servers to deliver their push notifications. In some cases, there's a charge to send notifications via the service. Some apps have used text-message interception, which gets the job done - WaveSecure is one example.

    I founded an open source software project - The Deacon Project - to provide a free native push notification library for Android. We use the open-source Meteor web server - which is specifically designed for push - to deliver notifications to our customized client on the phone. The app developer can then use their own servers to deliver push notifications from any source imaginable.

    Deacon has almost no impact on phone battery life, and app developers can integrate it into their apps very easily. Using our push protocol also transmits much less data over-the-air than polling, resulting in lower usage.

    We are about to release our alpha version later this month, and a beta test in June! By the end of the year, we hope that push-based apps that use Deacon+Meteor will start appearing in the Android Market...

    Cheers,
    Dave

    *edited to remove inaccurate blanket statements!

  9. #29
    Junior Member joshschiffmanXtify's Avatar
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    Android Push Notifications Service (push and geo-triggered push)

    Dave, Thanks for getting some information out there! A couple of additional thoughts and some details about Xtify...


    Xtify's push notification service for Android is FREE. Developers incorporate the Xtify SDK into their app and can push directly to the device using our web service.

    The Xtify service runs in the background of the device so your app doesn't have to. The service creates a direct communication's channel between the server and the user - no polling, no interceptions, no SMS required.

    When the message arrives, the service will display the notification, display an optional notifications screen and can even pass data directly to your application!

    Xtify also provides tools to developers to send a message based on a rule. Rules include: time, day, user preference and LOCATION. You can even create rules that send messages based on a user's proximity to a particular location. (we offer two "geo-notifications" per user, per month for free).

    The Xtify approach ensures:

    1. Low cost for developers (you don't have to maintain your own servers)
    2. Helps you send the right message, to the right user, at the right place and at the right time.

    Check out Xtify at Xtify Developer: Push Notification Web Service to register and download our sample application and SDK!


    Thanks!
    Josh

    business@xtify.com

  10. #30
    Junior Member MeK4Nek's Avatar
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    I really like the Push-Idea!
    Bloo Too has some kind of thoughts about it:
    Status Update on Too. Bloo – The Android Facebook App

    There are a few other Apps that use the push-technology right now:
    SwissCodeMonkeys FastwebInstaller Fast Web Installer - Android app on AppBrain
    and very new: Googles Chrome to Phone (wich works direktly without mail through your gmail account)
    Google Chrome to Phone - Android app on AppBrain

    Are those maybe useful approaches?

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