Hop to it…the hops a notification message takes

Easter Bunny

In our post “Who likes queues anyway?“, we introduced the first factor affecting the speed of app notifications from the time of sending to the time of receiving. This post talks about a second factor, the hope, or steps, the notification message takes along the way.

There are generally four (4) steps in the process of sending notifications to a mobile device.

Send notification hops

  1. Notification Content Source: the system or service that produces the notification message content. Notification content typically comes from internal corporate systems, external feeds (e.g. news, weather, social, etc) or other external services or systems.
  2. Push Service: the service that retrieves content from the source system and prepares to send it as a notification based upon the notification preferences set by the recipient in the app or on their device. Once prepared, the notifications are sent to Apple and Google push notification services.
  3. Apple-Google Notification Service: the services from Apple and Google that accept incoming notifications from apps and dispatch them to iOS and Android registered mobile devices. Notifications from all apps are processed by Apple and Google platform notification services. No one app has priority over another. If the Apple and Google notification services are unsuccessful in delivering the notification to the mobile device, they keep trying for the next 24 hours at regular intervals (more on that in a later post).
  4. Mobile Device: the iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Android tablets that receive incoming notifications. Depending on the settings on the device, the notification may appear on the lock screen, in the notification centre or drawer, as a banner on the phone and as a badge on the app icon. A tone may also sound depending on the volume settings.

As with any process, the more steps in it, the longer that process can take.

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