Ably’s Smart Notifications offers a less intrusive and more effective way to notify your users with native iOS, Android and browser notifications. Instead of delivering “dumb” push notifications to your users when you wish to get their attention, Ably allows you to deliver messages based on a user’s connection state, their active device and their current context within your application. This means you can send less but more effective notifications to your users. Find out more.
How do Smart Notifications work?
When a message is published on a pub/sub channel, a smart notification payload and rules can optionally be included with the message. When the Ably service receives a message with a smart notification payload, it will do one of two things:
- If the notification is configured as a “dumb” push notification, it will deliver the push notification to the relevant devices associated with the pub/sub channel. This is a common pattern with other vendors and it assumes that if the registered device app is not active, a visual push notification will be displayed, and if the app is open and active, the visual push notification will be suppressed. In the case of a data push notification, it will be always be delivered and no visual indicator is shown to the user.
- If the notification is configured as a “smart” push notification, then Ably will process the rules for each smart notification in a user-centric way, such that the user is notified in the most effective way on the most relevant device based on their current context. For example, if a user has your mobile app installed but also uses your web app during office hours, and a notification is sent whilst the user is currently using the web app, then a visual notification can be shown only on the open web app, and the unnecessary duplicate push notification to their device can be suppressed. If however, after some configured time, the user has not responded to the message in the web app, a follow up native mobile push notification could be triggered automatically by Ably.
- Support for Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox and Opera notifications at launch. Microsoft Azure and Safari Notifications planned.
- Custom notification formats and badges for iOS and Android. Browsers simply receive the notification in a Web Worker which is in turn responsible for presenting a visual notification to the user.
- Both visual notifications and data payloads can be sent to mobile devices.
- Any number of mobile and browser devices can be registered on pub/sub channels. Each time a message is published with a push notification payload, Ably will ensure that all registered devices receive the push notification in near realtime.
- Scale to millions of devices simultaneously by leveraging Ably’s global platform.
- Use-centric device registration allowing devices to be grouped by user.
- Smart notification rules allow push notifications to be delivered to users on the right device at the right time. Simple workflow steps can be processed for each smart notification.
- Filters can be applied to notifications such as client ID, connection ID or device type, or alternatively you can push message directly to devices or users via our API.
- Realtime metrics for your delivered and undelivered push notifications.
The smart notification service is being released in two phases:
Phase 1 – “Simple” notifications (live now in beta)
“Simple” notifications allow developers to publish push notifications to any number of devices registered to channels, or directly to devices or users via our API.
Phase 2 – Smart Notifications (coming soon)
Smart Notifications extends the “dumb” notification service, our global platform, and our unique stateful design, so that notifications are delivered to the right device at the right time. Phase 2 is expected to launch in Q2-Q3 2017. Get in touch if you’d like to be notified when Phase 2 is in beta