Push notifications are a powerful tool to re-engage progressive web app (PWA) users who do not have the app open and to alert them to important events and updates.
It depends on a user’s notification settings, but the typical operation is for a push notification to vibrate the user’s device and display a message on their lock screen.
TIP: It's best to use a subdomain URL configuration (vs. pathname) for your app if you plan to use notifications. It will work either way, but if you use a pathname, and a specific user blocks the browser from sending notifications from another pathname using the same domain, then that user will block all notifications from that domain. This cannot happen for subdomains.
Users must subscribe in order to receive push messages, and according to Apple's implementation, they can only do so from an installed PWA.
We simplify the task of getting users to install a PWA by adding an Install button to the app's naviation bar. When tapped, it will initiate an install on an Android device, and display directions on an iPhone.
We also simplify subscriptions by adding a notification icon (a bell) to the app’s navigation bar so a user can conveniently subscribe to notifications. They can see the most recent notification, pause notifications, and select the categories they want to monitor.
To further streamline installation, if an iPhone user taps the bell icon and they are on an old version of iOS, we will advise them to upgrade. If they have not yet installed the app, we will tell them to do so and provide directions.
Notifications are actionable, so a tap will take the user to launch your app, a specific Action in your app, or a selected URL.
An app administrator creates a notification by accessing the “Push” tab of an app. They also set up the category tags here by adding the category tags in the field provided and tapping [Update].
Below you can see scheduled and previous notifications, along with the number of subscribers, number of taps, and click-through-ratio (CTR) for each notification..
Creating New Notifications
From the “Notification Center”, tap “Add New Message" and create a notification by completing the following information:
2. Message Title
3. Message Body
4. Notification URL. When tapped a notification can (a) launch the app, (b) launch a specific action**, or (c) launch a selected URL.
[*Note that if you select a specific action, that Action must be in the host app. Give the action a unique name or tag so you can easilt find it with the action selector]
4. Image. You may use the app's icon, favicon, or add an image.
[**Note: Currently Apple OS (i.e. desktop) will not display message images, and Apple iOS will always use the PWA home screen icon for the image. Appel will also diaplay the App name, while other platforms will show the host domain.]
5. Send immediately with [Send Now] or schedule the action by selecting a time, date, and time zone, and then tapping [Save and Add].
6. One can also open a previous notification and [Clone] it as a starting point for a new notification.
Badging is an important engagement feature. When you send notifications, it incraments a high-visiblity badge on the user's home screen icon.
One of the great frustrations of notifications is that they are dismissed from your phone after being checked and cannot be retrieved when they are later wanted. To resolve this frustration, we have added an in-app notifications tray, so users can always find their recent notifications in your app.
Access the tray from "View more", in the user notifications console. An expanded notifications tray is shown below.
Metrics are tracked for every notifications sent. The notifications Title and Message are displays, followed by:
Subscribers - A count of the number of users who are subscribed to a notification. A user subscriberd to the app, but not subscribed to the message's specific category will not be counted.
Views - A count of users who have the notification appear in their browser's notification tray. Users who are subscribed but who have paused notifications will not be counted here.
Taps - A count of the number of taps on the message. Taps can exceed subscribers or views when users tap on the message from the app's message tray located under the bell icon in the nevigation bar.
View Rate - Views over subscribers
Click-through rate (CTR) - Taps over subscribers
Categories - The categories desiganted to receive the notification
Date, Time - Time stamp for when the message was sent
From the "Edit User" page, you can disable a user's ability to send notifications.