All about push notifications

Many of us may take push notifications for granted but many don’t really know how they work, nor do they really know how they work.

On Android and iOS there are two types of notification.

Local notifications

These are generated by the installed app by itself and displayed by that app. On Android you might have a background service checking Twitter periodically to show you your latest mentions, etc

In the case of a Twitter client these may keep a connection open to Twitter or use your network every 5 mins or so to check for new Tweets. This can be a real battery drainer

Push notifications

These are handled by app developers remotely.

Apps will have a remote server performing the hard work for you instead of your device.

When the server has a notification for you, it generates a specially formatted message with a unique identifier to target your device and only your device.

The server connects to Apple or Google’s cloud infrastructure and sends it to them. They then take over the delivery of the message to your device. The best part is Apple and Google already deal with this in the least battery draining way possible as all push notification run through the same services.

For the most part both Apple and Google’s service work the same way.

How does Tweetings work

On both Android and iOS we use push notifications. Twitter tells our servers that you have notifications, we work out what the notification is, who it is for and we send it to Apple or Google to send to you.

On Android, Tweetings has a background service but that isn’t used by our push at all.

I’ve bought the app and I’m not getting push

On iOS you are asked if you want push on first load. This registers with our server and adds you to a registration queue. We process all waiting registrations hourly. Once your registration has been processed all your notifications will come though hourly.

On Android you must first turn on push from the settings AND tell us the types of notifications you wish to receive. Once you have done you’ll be added to the registration queue, the same way as iOS users.

So when you first enable notifications it can take up to 1 hour to get your first notification, usually it is much quicker though.

If you’ve previously used Tweetings but not done so for a few weeks you’ll have been deregistered automatically. Just by loading the app again will add you to the registration queue again. Be patient and the push will flow again!

Under iOS there is a diagnostic screen in the app telling you the last time our servers sent you a push notification and an option to send a test one right then.