Push Notifications – iOS and Android:
Push notifications will occur on iOS and Android regardless of the app being open or closed. We use the push notification mechanisms native to the device. They put zero battery load on the devices. Push notifications will happen instantly provided the device has a data connection. Often however devices have problems with their data connections, which is why we have an Alerting Policy as a backup.
Push Vs. Pull:
Our push notification is really an indicator to the device to ‘pull’ a new message. We don’t send any message details over the Apple or Google push networks, because this would Violate HIPAA. So, you need to think of the push notification as a ‘You have a New Message’.
Push/Pull on iOS is different than Push on Android:
On android, the application is always running in the background and is able to ‘Pull’ a message as soon as it gets a push notification. When this happens, the message is marked as ‘Delivered’. However, on iOS, the user has to either touch the alert message on their screen OR open the app. This brings the App to the foreground and allows the app to download the message, marking it as ‘Delivered’. Therefore if we send the push notification to an Apple device, and the user ignores or does not hear the alert, it will still show as ‘Pending’ until they interact with the message. You will see this limitation on any paging/messaging system on iOS, with exception of those that are VOIP enabled, Location Enabled or music players, as there is a special allocation in Apple for those 3 types of apps.