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

  • November 29, 2018

What are Push Notification Services?

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:

Apple Push Notification Service (APNs)
Apple Push Notification Service (APNs)
  • 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 help 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 improves the app retention metrics as well.

Apple Push Notification Service (APNs): How does it work?

Apple Push Notifications service (APNs) is a cloud-based service that enables third-party apps to establish a connection with a device and send push notifications 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 Apple Push Notification Service.

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 Apple Push Notification Service?

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

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

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

  1. iOS requests a device token from the Apple Push Notification service
  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 Apple Push Notification Service
  5. Apple Push Notification Service will send a push notification to the user’s device
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Take a visual walk-through to set up APNs in Scalefusion:

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

For more details, Visit our help doc page

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

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