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Push Notifications Console: Apple’s Recreation-Altering New Instrument

At WWDC ’23, Apple introduced the Push Notifications Console, a much-needed new device to simplify creating and testing your push notifications.

For years, builders have struggled with push notifications. Every developer needed to write customized scripts to not solely generate the suitable payload, but in addition deal with the authentication to APNs. In later years, Apple simplified the method by permitting the simulator to set off a notification by dropping in a JSON payload.

Due to the Push Notifications Console, now you can say goodbye to these clunky, outdated strategies. However first, you’ll check out how push notifications have labored up to now.

Notice: If it’s good to brush up in your push notification expertise, try our ebook: Push Notifications by Tutorials. It covers the whole lot it’s good to find out about wealthy media notifications, notification actions, grouped notifications and extra.

Sending Push Notifications — the Previous Manner

Till now, if you wanted push notifications, you’ve most likely written a script with code like this:

perform generateAuthenticationHeader()
{
  $header = base64_encode(json_encode(['alg' => 'ES256', 'kid' => AUTH_KEY_ID]));
  $claims = base64_encode(json_encode(['iss' => TEAM_ID, 'iat' => time()]));

  $pkey = openssl_pkey_get_private('file://' . AUTH_KEY_PATH);
  openssl_sign("$header.$claims", $signature, $pkey, 'sha256');

  $signed = base64_encode($signature);

  return "$header.$claims.$signed";
}

perform sendNotifications($token, $debug) {
  $ch = curl_init();
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTP_VERSION, CURL_HTTP_VERSION_2_0);
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, json_encode($GLOBALS['payload']));
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, [
      'apns-topic: ' . BUNDLE_ID,
      'authorization: bearer ' . generateAuthenticationHeader(),
      'apns-push-type: alert'
  ]);

  $server = $debug ? 'api.growth' : 'api';
  $url = "https://$server.push.apple.com/3/system/$token";
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, "{$url}");

  $response = curl_exec($ch);
  if ($response === false) {
    echo("curl_exec failed: " . curl_error($ch));
    proceed;
  }

  $code = curl_getinfo($ch, CURLINFO_HTTP_CODE);
  if ($code === 400 || $code === 410) {
    $json = @json_decode($response);
    if ($json->cause === 'BadDeviceToken') {
        // Do one thing right here.
    }
  }

  curl_close($ch);
}

Whereas that works, it isn’t fairly.

Numerous apps from the Mac App Retailer additionally promise to make push notifications simpler, however they often don’t sustain with adjustments to the APN’s packet format and headers you might want to use.

Now, you’ll check out the Push Notifications Console and the way it improves push notification testing.

The New Push Notifications Console

To attempt Apple’s new device, level Safari to the CloudKit Console and click on the brand new Push Notifications merchandise:

In case your app isn’t configured to obtain push notifications, you’ll have the choice to allow them:

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When you’ve got multiple app configured within the developer portal, choose the suitable one from the drop-down on the top-left of the web page.

Clicking Create New Notification will current you with a display permitting you to simply configure the notification you want to ship:

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The brand new console makes it easy to offer all of the required configuration settings. It additionally clearly exhibits the 4 gadgets that should be despatched as HTTP headers, versus a part of the payload.

Configuring the Payload

Apple supplies a pleasant set of defaults for the payload configuration, enabling you to enter easy messages quickly. When you’ve got already ready a customized JSON payload, you possibly can simply toggle the JSON View swap, then paste in your payload straight:

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Not solely does the console validate that you simply’ve supplied correct JSON, but it surely additionally notifies you if the payload doesn’t appear to adapt to the apns-push-type you chose.

You’ll be able to toggle the JSON View on and off to change between codecs. A superb technique is to make use of the default view to enter many of the information, then swap to the JSON view when coming into an array of things to cut back the quantity of mouse-clicking it’s good to do.

Debugging With the Supply Log

One other nice characteristic now obtainable to builders is the supply log. After sending your notification, this characteristic will instantly current you with a web page displaying the small print of the despatched notification in addition to the log:

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The logs will make it easier to establish not solely whether or not or not the push notification was profitable, but in addition why it wasn’t delivered on failure.

By no means earlier than have builders had such a easy technique of debugging push notification points!

The place to Go From Right here?

This was only a temporary overview of recent push notification options. To be taught extra:

We hope you loved this fast have a look at what’s new in push notifications. When you’ve got any questions or feedback, please click on the Feedback hyperlink to hitch the discussion board dialogue beneath!

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