So it’s been a seriously long time since we looked at APNS providing options, as it’s been the universal default for everyone we’ve worked with since to default to Urban Airship. And, generally, to be perfectly satisfied with their free level of service. Turns out they’ve had enough of us freeloaders:
We’ve discovered that we work best when we’re working closely with our customers to help them solve their problems and implement a mobile-first experience for their users with our complete solution. [Ed. – why, what a polite way to say “getting paid”!] Today, we’re taking some concrete steps toward crystallizing that focus by sunsetting our free Developer Edition product that offers a subset of the capabilities of our complete solution.
If you are using the Developer Edition offering, everything will remain the same for the next six-months until its retirement on December 31, 2014. Between now and then, Developer Edition users can either choose to establish a paid relationship with Urban Airship for access to our push-only product or our full solution suite, or migrate to an alternate solution…
Well, these days when less than half opt in to pushes at all, it’s pretty hard to make a case for that for most of our Airship usage. So let’s see what options there are in the “migrate to an alternate solution” space for the freeloading indie, shall we?
In the messaging-focused provider category:
Element Wave — unlimited to 5K users for free; trial-only for more
Moblico — trial accounts only
Push IO — trial accounts only
TheAppSales — “a good size number” for free
In the cloud service space that provide messaging on the side:
Asking Point — 3M pushes for free
mobDB — 600K pushes for free
Parse — 1M pushes for free
If there isn’t something there that suits your feature vs. price requirements adequately, there’s always rolling your own: By far the most popular on github, which we’ll take as sufficient proof of adequacy and not bother looking further, is
Redth/PushSharp: “A server-side library for sending Push Notifications to iOS (iPhone/iPad APNS), OSX (APNS 10.8+) Android (C2DM and GCM – Google Cloud Message), Chrome (GCM) Windows Phone, Windows 8, Blackberry (PAP), and Amazon (ADM) devices!”
but if you want more choice, hey there’s 412 following it thrown up for APNS on Github, go wild.
One last special mention of noodlewerk/NWPusher that lets you do your development with a local OS X application, which certainly would have expedited many of our past projects.
Think we managed to catch all the services currently worthy of short list consideration here; if we missed stumbling over your favourite, of If you have any positive or negative experiences with any of these to share, please do!
blommegard / APNS-Pusher is a nice simple app for sending individual pushes.