Simon MacDonald

What is PhoneGap?

It's a way of developing cross platform mobile applications using HTML/CSS/JavaScript

It's a distribution of Apache Cordova

PhoneGap == Apache Cordova + stuff to make your life easier.

What is a Push?

Push notifications let your application notify a user of new messages or events even when the user is not actively using your application.

Prevalence of Push

Analysis of the Android app store shows that 17% of all apps include push. 

However, 47.24% of installed apps include push.

Opt in Rates

Industry wide opt in rates were at 49.8% in 2015. 

This is down from 52% in 2014.

Opt in rates tend to be higher on Android than iOS. 

How to increase opt in Rates?

Provide your own UI to explain how push notifications will be used in your app. Then have the system prompt for permission

This can boost opt in rates up to 60-70%

Don't rely on the operating system to prompt your users.

Push can backfire

Guess what is the top reason why people uninstall apps?

Yup, annoying push notifications!

How not to annoy people?

Don't send too many push notifications. Social apps can get away with sending more push notifications than a promotional app can.

Make it useful

  • Don't assume one push makes sense for all of your users.
  • Broadcast pushes are opened about 3% of the time.
  • Targeted pushes are opened about 7% of the time.
  • Use geofencing to push targeted info.

Make it configurable

Make it as easy as possible for your users to configure which types of push notifications they want to receive.



Quiet Hours

Because push messages are generally paired with sound or phone vibrations, timing should never be overlooked. You don’t want to send a push notification to your app's users at 3am and unleash the wrath of customers whose sleep has been disturbed or worse yet, the wrath of their significant other.

Don't make the assumption your users will schedule Do not disturb on iOS or setup Android's Priority Mode.

How do I add push to my PhoneGap app?


Why did we create a new plugin?

  • Configuration dependent upon device platform.
  • Different methods for receiving notifications.
  • Different methods for receiving registration ID's.
  • Data received by notification was not uniform across platforms.

So we set upon unifying this interface



Push Service

App Server


registration ID

save registration ID


Registration ID


var push = PushNotification.init({
   "android": {
     "senderId": "sender_id"
   "ios": {
   "windows": {}


push.on('registration', function(data) {
  console.log('regID = ' 
    + data.registrationId);




  • No more need to check what device type you are on. Just pass your config data to init and the plugin will figure it out for you.
  • Only one method is required to receive the registration ID for all platforms.
  • The object that contains your device's registration ID is consistent across all platforms.
  • But where did the notification handler go?



Push Service

App Server

send push

send push


push.on('notification', function(data) {



Consistent Notification Object

Same data structure across all platforms.


interface Notification {
    String title;
    String message;
    String sound;
    Integer count;
    JsonObject additionalData;

Different Notification Styles

Customized icons (Android)

Inbox style (Android)

Cat Pictures (Android)

Action Buttons

Execute custom JavaScript callbacks from your notification.

(Android and iOS)

Background Notifications

Typically, when push notifications are received when your app is in the background your notification handler is not called.

By setting content-available: 1 in your push payload the plugin will wake up your app and run your notification handler.

If you omit and message and title from your push payload then the data will be delivered silently to your application.

Up to Date

Android N

iOS 10


Browser Push

PG Dev App Support

Next Steps

  • 1.9.0: Switch to using CocoaPod dependencies for GCM
  • 2.0.0: Move to Firebase Cloud Messaging


Setting Up Android Emulator for Push Testing

PhoneGap Push

By Simon MacDonald

PhoneGap Push

NCDevCon 2106

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