16 Feb Restcomm Is The Push Notifications Easy Button
Anyone using an enterprise unified communications (UC) app like Broadsoft UC One or an over the top (OTT) app like Skype or Primo on their smartphone recognizes that the value of the app or service is greatly diminished by the less-than-reliable inbound calling experience. Friends and family or work colleagues are constantly complaining that they cannot reach you on this app or that service so you wind up spending more and more money on mobile voice services, frustrating the best efforts of your company’s or family’s CFO to save money.
When UC and OTT apps first started appearing on IOS and Android devices, developers had to come up with strategies to keep these apps running in the background or restarting them when they crashed or users terminated them so that they would be available for inbound calls, messages, and file transfers. This led to developers creating aggressive background polling and restart mechanisms to essentially keep apps always running in the foreground, even if they were really not being used, or the smartphone was in a pocket or a bag. While the user experience improved because friends and colleagues could reach you, battery life of the smartphone was negatively impacted. Given the choice between longer use and better battery life, or staying reachable on the UC or OTT service, most users chose better battery life and not reachability. So UC and OTT apps and services had a hard time gaining traction on mobile devices.
In addition, as mobile devices and operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have evolved and improved over the last 10 years, device manufacturers continue to focus on longer battery life even as the devices get thinner and screens get larger and brighter. Now we have amazing, large screen devices that work all day (unfortunately, most only last a single day… ), but we have even more trouble keeping UC and OTT apps reachable. This is because the latest iterations of iOS and Android are even more aggressive about terminating any battery-sapping communications connections or CPU-intensive background applications. This is great for users in general, but not for UC or OTT apps and services.
Fortunately, there is a way to improve the reliability and user experience of the UC or OTT service, even with all the latest battery and network optimization techniques— Push Notifications. And both Apple and Google have enhanced the reliability and utility of push notifications in the latest versions of their OSs. Now, a UC or OTT app can be as reliable as a carrier voice or messaging service.
But, unfortunately, implementing push notification functionality into your apps is not a simple thing to do. First, UC and OTT developers need to create back end services to send the push notification requests for each activity desired (like incoming calls, chat messages or requests, file transfers, or service notifications). Second, they have to figure out how to implement these requests into the mobile UC or OTT apps. It’s actually a very specialized area of development and the level of expertise to implement push notifications is too high for most companies to contemplate. And getting the services in place can seem like building a Rube Goldberg Apparatus.
Also, because development of the mobile UC or OTT app is so hard or expensive, many efforts back off development and wind up selecting a white label vendor for the apps. Companies like Counterpath and Acrobits support various degrees of customization. On one hand, it can simplify the mobile development part of the program, but it’s more expensive per unit, and lacks the ability to truly differentiate the user experience from other apps and services. But it does improve time to market and provides built-in support for push notification services, if not the back end required to deliver them properly.
Telestax knows your pain and we want to be your UC and OTT push notifications “Easy Button”.
We have iOS and Android WebRTC SDKs with built-in support for push notifications. And we can support apps like Counterpath Bria or Acrobits Cloud Softphone for push notifications on Restcomm Cloud. We also have a well-documented REST API for push notifications and the back end services to send them to millions and millions of devices. This means that you can either use a commercial SIP app from Acrobits or others, enable your current app by integrating our SDK, or you can build a new app from scratch with our SDK and sample apps. In fact, our latest iOS and Android WebRTC SDK sample apps include a lot of great user-oriented features like Apple CallKit, enhanced backgrounding support for Android Oreo, address book synchronization to the app, and more. This means you can now build a first-rate, modern mobile UC or OTT app using our WebRTC SDKs for iOS and Android and Restcomm Cloud can provide the reliable back end REST APIs and push notification services for your next UC or OTT development.
If you are interested in learning more about Restcomm’s push notification service and how we can help enable your next UC or OTT app or service, sign up for a free Restcomm cPaaS account. You will be glad you did.
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