Android Lollipop & Push Notifications

Screenshot 2014-12-02 17.18.26Android’s new OS update ‘Lollipop’ or Android L has made significant changes to how developers can deliver app notifications to their users. The display of notifications has changed greatly also with notifications now being able to awaken the lock screen of a device much like notification appear on Apple devices. Android have always been ahead of Apple is giving great control to how notifications can be displayed and how users can interact with them. Remember ‘interactive notifications‘ is iOS8? Android had that long before Apple. Once again in this latest update Android jumped ahead of Apple and given apps the ability to set the priority level of a notification based on the importance of the push notification. Apps can set “Push notification priorities” that dictate where their notifications are displayed relative to other apps’ push notifications. Priority can be set to “high” or “max” and can include an action button, along with “heads-up notifications” for interstitial calls to actions inside of any application.

If you have a push message for your users that is of significance and that all of your users needs to see right away then there is no better way to ensure they see it through this mechanism. These notifications can simply skip to the top of the notification drawer above lower priority messages. Google offers guidelines on how these should be used but presently there isn’t a clear incentive to “play nice” when sending out high priority messages – something that worries us. To keep your users on side it is important not to constantly jump the line as a user many notice, get annoyed and disable or even delete your app. Similarly or on the other end of the spectrum with the Lollipop release, Google has also included the ability to send push notifications to your users without interrupting their day.

On the priority scale push notifications can be selected to “minimum”. The user will receive the push notification but will be unaware of this as the message will be stashed in the user’s message drawer without an alert or icon on the notification bar, it simply waits for the user to stumble upon it at his or her convenience. These type of messages are ideal for re engagement campaigns and offers that aren’t time sensitive. Ultimately with Android’s introduction of minimum priority notifications mobile marketers do not have to broadcast lower urgency messages and risk causing unnecessary disruption to the user’s day and being classified as a spammer and worse written off altogether.

Ultimately Lollipop opens up a whole new world of functionality for push notifications. Lollipop should help extend the flexibility of push notifications and offer app marketers and developers additional ways to provide valuable content to their users.

Ourselves here at XtremePush are extremely excited to see Lollipop unfold into the Android mobile marketplace. If you too are excited about the new push notification and engagement possibilities open to Android users with this new update we would be happy to hear from you.

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