Apple Push Notification Service (APNs): Everything You Need to Know

  • November 29, 2018

Apple Push Notification Service (APNs)

What are Push Notifications?

Push Notifications send a message that pops up on a mobile device. App publishers send them at any time to the users, which helps them stay informed about the updates in real time. Users do not necessarily need to access the apps or use the device to receive them. Likewise, Apple devices have their own mechanism called the Apple Push Notification service (APNs) and this is how it notifies the users about any updates:

  • It plays a buzz like sound
  • Displays a count badge on an app’s icon for the unread updates
  • Some even transmit a short text message

APNs ensures that not only the important updates are delivered but it also attracts the device users’ attention immediately and also helps the users and admins to stay connected in real-time, in the enterprise setting, by ensuring that the important updates and information are delivered on a timely basis.


This also reminds the users of the app’s existence and improve the app retention metrics as well.

Apple Push Notification service: How does it work?

Apple Push Notifications service (APNs) is a cloud-based service that enables the third-party apps to establish a connection with a device and send push notification from a remote server to users within a secure connection. For e.g. an organization’s internal news app uses APIs to send a text alert to an iPhone user about an important news story. Whenever your app is initially launched on a user’s device, the system automatically establishes an IP connection between your app and APNs.

If the device is powered on but the user is not accessing an app at a moment, the system will still display the notification. And, when the device is off, notifications are kept on hold and are sent when the device is switched on.


What are the benefits of APNs?

We already spoke about the basic advantages of APNs talked above, but from the enterprise point of view, its main benefits are as follows:

  • Enhanced security for managing corporate-owned Apple devices. APNs enables you to remotely lock/wipe a lost/stolen/compromised device over the air
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) relies on APNs for sending critical notifications such as software installations or inventory updates

How can you add push notifications to an iOS app? Follow these steps:

  1. iOS requests a device token from the Apple Push Notification service (APNs)
  2. The app receives the token, this works like the address to send a push notification to
  3. The app sends the token of the device to the MDM server
  4. The MDM server will send a push notification with a device token to the APNS
  5. APNs will send a push notification to the user’s device
Take a visual walk-through to set up APNs in Scalefusion:

To sum it up, APNs is part of Scalefusion iOS MDM solution. It gives real-time updates of the apps deployed on the corporate-owned devices. APNs makes the job of IT admin easier and streamlines the communication between the registered devices and MDM server.

For more details, Visit our help doc page

Scalefusion also provides Mobile Device Management Solution for Android and Windows 10 Devices.

About the Author

Nema Buch is a Research & Marketing professional, also writes for Scalefusion on Enterprise Mobility trends, SaaS, and different Industry Verticals.

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