The Apple Push Notification (APN) service, developed by Apple Inc., serves as a platform notification system allowing third-party app developers to transmit notification data to applications installed on Apple devices. This transmitted information may encompass badges, sounds, updates for newsstand apps, or personalized text alerts.
This blog will highlight the essentials of Apple Push Notifications and the role of a mobile device management solution in APNs.
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.
- It plays a buzz-like sound
- Displays a count badge on an app’s icon for unread updates
- Some even transmit a short text message
Apple notification service ensures that not only the important updates are delivered, but it 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 improves the app retention metrics as well.
Apple Push Notification Service (APNs): How does it work?
Apple Push Notification Service (APN) 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 the 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 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:
- iOS requests a device token from the Apple Push Notification service
- The app receives the token, this works like the address to send a push notification to
- The app sends the token of the device to the MDM server
- The MDM server will send a push notification with a device token to the Apple Push Notification Service
- Apple Push Notification Service will send a push notification to the user’s device
Take a visual walk-through to set up APNs in Scalefusion:
Do More with APN Using 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.
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1. What does APN stand for?
APN stands for Apple Push Notification service. It is a platform created by Apple Inc. that allows third-party app developers to send notifications to applications installed on Apple devices, including badges, sounds, updates, or custom alerts.
2. What is a push notification on an iPhone?
A push notification on an iPhone is a brief message or alert that pops up on the device screen, sent by apps to notify users of new messages, updates, or other relevant information even when the app is not actively in use.
3. What are the benefits of Apple push notifications?
Real-time Communication: Apple push notifications enable instant communication with users, ensuring timely delivery of important information.
User Engagement: They help enhance user engagement by delivering relevant updates, alerts, and personalized content directly to the user’s device.
App Retention: Push notifications contribute to app retention by re-engaging users and reminding them of the app’s value through timely messages.
Customization: Developers can customize notifications with badges, sounds, and personalized text, providing a tailored and interactive user experience.
Increased Visibility: Push notifications increase app visibility on users’ devices, prompting them to revisit the app and stay connected with the latest content or features.
4. How do I get started with the Apple notification service?
To begin with the Apple Push Notification service, register for an Apple Developer account, configure your app in the Apple Developer portal, obtain an APNs key, and implement the necessary code in your app for sending and handling notifications.