Under the Bridge

Roundup: Push And Purchase

(Alright, this isn’t a “roundup” as we post this, since it’s pretty much just the links from this fine, fine post at NSCoriolisBlog — but hey, we’ll be editing as developments occur!)

So as you’ve noticed no doubt if you’ve even cursorily looked at how to go about implementing push notifications or in-app purchasing in your sparkly new cutting-edge iPhone apps … there’s a lot to do there. More importantly, you can’t just toss your binary up to Apple and forget about it any more, there’s ongoing service and scalability issues. That’s a pretty big leap in project complexity. However, there are services that are springing up to take care of the hassles for you! The two that are actively deployed and providing push and purchase both are

Urban Airship — got all the big name clients so far

iLime — make a big production about being cheaper for messages

Both charge 5 cents a download for content, it seems.

As well, there’s several upcoming competitors in beta:

Bigcurl HTTPush




[EDIT: AppNotify -- thanks, Josh!]

Seems like a few too many gearing up there for what the size of the market is likely to be. So although in line with the programmer’s natural desire to avoid work we thoroughly recommend getting started with one of these services, we suspect that if we actually ended up depending for our livelihood on a particular product we’d want to go through the trouble of getting our own host set up to remove this possible point of failure, at least unless/until one of them is clearly profitable enough to stick around for the long term. And so, here’s some links to help you out with that:

Tutorial on how to setup your own server in PHP

Source code (in PHP), requires PHP with memcache

Python wrapper for Apple Push Notification Service

Apple Push Notification Library for Haskell

Apple Push Notification Library for Ruby

Apple Push Notifications on Rails

Apple Push Notification & Feedback Services Client C# Library

And again, our grateful acknowledgement to NSCoriolisBlog for providing all the links for the first edition of this “roundup”!

  • josh

    In addition to urbanairship, there’s also appnotify (http://www.appnotify.com/) which I just found out about.

  • Duccio

    There is an open source PHP classes collection for APNS: ApnsPHP

    With this comprehensive collection of open source PHP classes you can also easily create a Push Server with one or more (forked) processes reading from a common message queue to speed-up sending activities.

    Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/apns-php/

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  • http://fatihyasar.com Fatih Yasar

    Thanks for this entry, but how about the MonoPush project ?
    Take a look http://monopush.com

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  • http://www.facebook.com/henrik.erlandsson1 Henrik Erlandsson

    You should take a look at XendApp which has support for iOS, Android and soon Windows Phone. http://xendapp.com