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PUSH notifications for XenForo

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by Alfa1, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    The responsive design already makes XenForo great on mobile devices. We almost do not need an app. But one thing is missing: Instant PUSH notifications.

    If XenForo would have PUSH notifications then users could be notified of new alerts , events on their mobile device, in their browser, etc. This keeps users up to date and pulls off site users back onto the website.

    Possibly with the addition of mini-apps.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
    Kevin, thomas1, DroidOne and 143 others like this.
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    As far as I can tell, this isn't possible in iOS. Mac OS X Mavericks seems to allow it though:

    Edit: Yeah, their developer documents state its Mac OS X Mavericks only:
    Softlineck likes this.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    To make it independent of any platform issues, this is how I see it would work:

    1. A separate notification host needs to be setup. It could even be an installable script on the same server as the forum, or perhaps XF could be modified to include a private RSS feed for the member that contains these alerts.

    2. A tiny app for each device (smartphone, tablet, across the major carriers) whose sole purpose is to retrieve those notifications and display them on the phone. The app would then list each alert, with each taking the user to the appropriate post, thread, private conversation, etc. in the responsive view of the forum. (A bonus would be to include staff alerts--moderated and reported posts, members awaiting approval, etc.)

    The drawback is that a third party would have to develop the mobile app. It need not be difficult though, as we don't want another trainwreck like Tapatalk or Forum Runner--the app only needs to relay notifications to us, and list their titles, same as we see alerts in the menu bar now. No post content or excerpt, no ability to post from the app, etc.

    This could be a unique feature for XF that the others don't have, IMHO.
    adwade, CountRock, Rob and 1 other person like this.
  4. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

  5. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    Here is an idea. It just occurred to me that we could use an existing type of app for a phone/tablet to deliver notifications to us. All we need is one little thing from XenForo: an RSS feed for our alerts.

    An RSS reader app could poll the server every so often to get our alerts, as long as we had an RSS feed for our own alerts. The RSS reader app would throw a notification when new alerts are found. And having this data as an RSS feed also opens up the door for someone to use this to create a proper notification app.

    The only issue is security--we don't want someone else following our alerts. But I'll leave that for the more intelligent minds here (meaning, not yours truly :D ).
  6. rellect

    rellect Well-Known Member

    For the same results you have email notifications.
    Your idea here is just for 'notifications', not 'PUSH notifications'.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    Email only notifies on watched thread replies, watched forums and private conversations. An RSS user alert feed could include (at the member's option preferably) any notification that activates the alert balloon (likes, trophies, being tagged in posts), and staff should be able to get alerts via the same feed for moderated post, reported post and new member alerts.

    I won't argue semantics over "push"--most apps just poll the server frequently and regularly, and they call it "push". (I see it as the difference between automatic retrieval vs. user-initiated retrieval of data.) RSS readers can poll the server frequently enough to pop a notification to a user. Same end result, and all we'd need here is the RSS feed containing user alerts. (Provided it is even possible.)
    imthebest and HWS like this.
  8. Autonamus

    Autonamus Active Member

    Would be nice to see it, but I don't think it should be core.

    It would be nice to see a resource as it's only really open to a limited market, being those who use OS X and Safari.
  9. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, you can only do push notifications with native apps. This is one of the downfalls to browser based mobile web apps (i.e. with html, js and css) and one of the limitations to responsive design.

  10. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Can't you use the available responsive design and implement that into a native app?
    If thats possible then that will only leave the need for PUSH and other mobile services to be added to such app.

    BTW: this is suggestion is not only for mobile. Its for PUSH for all devices. Including browsers and desktops.
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    WebView based Native apps are a pain to support; I've written them, they all suck tremendously.
    Alfa1 likes this.
  12. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

  13. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

  14. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Hehe... I suspect that will change before too long (at least for iOS) since Apple just rolled out the system to do push notifications from websites... just a matter of enabling it on iOS (the framework and everything is already there).
  15. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

    And what about Android? As I recall, there are more Android devices than any other.;) Maybe Google will follow suit with the push functionality? Btw, how does the push system work in OSX?

    I have also yet to see an HTML5/JS app work as fast and efficiently as a native app. It seems like mobile browsers are terrible at supporting such "fat client" type of applications. But yet again, I'd really be all for them, if they could.:)

  16. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Works just like it does on iOS... You can get notices about stuff when the app isn't open.


    From a developer standpoint, you do nothing different than if you were sending a push notice to a mobile device.

    The problem with HTML5/JS in this case is that it wouldn't be a push notification, it would be a "pull" (the device checks periodically for new notices). A push notice for iOS or OS X is a true push. The device/computer isn't checking for new items, rather the device keeps an underlying connection open to Apple's notification servers so it sees it instantly rather than checking.

    Would be interesting to see how many Mac/iOS devices are connected to the push servers at any given time. Probably over 100,000,000 since they are just always connected.
    RobinHood likes this.
  17. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

    Gotcha on the OSX push notifications. And actually, I was mistaken on the workflow. I was actually thinking push notifications were tied to the applications themselves, which isn't the case. Silly me. I guess you do learn something new every day.:p:LOL:

  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    iOS still requires an application to register push notifications; which are then sent via a server and received by the device. The Safari Notifications are a step to removing the need for an application to register the push notifications for each individual 'site'. Hopefully this functionality makes it into iOS as well. :)
  19. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

    Ah, ok. So I wasn't too off as I thought. Hehehe... thanks.

  20. imthebest

    imthebest Formerly Super120

    I support this suggestion with passion! Please @Kier or @Mike make it happen!
    caliman and DRE like this.

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