Deliver critical transactional push notifications with Pusher Beamsby@madalinagrigorie
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Deliver critical transactional push notifications with Pusher Beams

by Madalina GrigorieSeptember 4th, 2018
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We’re excited to announce that <a href="" target="_blank">Pusher Beams</a> is out of beta and generally available for your production apps!

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We’re excited to announce that Pusher Beams is out of beta and generally available for your production apps!

Beams is a hosted push notifications API designed for developers who need critical transactional information delivered every time.

We’re proud that over 10,000 developers all around the world are using it to send critical transactional notifications.

Here’s what’s included with Beams:

  • Unified API to deliver push notifications across iOS, Android, and MacOS devices
  • Hosted service to manage the device token lifecycle for iOS and Android apps
  • Android and iOS SDKs crafted by engineers to include the latest FCM and APNs updates
  • Interests to deliver notifications using a flexible pub/sub model
  • Insights to track acknowledgement and open events directly on the client
  • Debug Console featuring a realtime notification lifecycle events log

You can try out Beams today, read the docs, or get started with an iOS or Android tutorial.

Shining a light after notifications are sent

When we released a beta to let developers send push notifications to their iOS and Android apps with a single API, we learned that developers lack transparency after they send notifications to Apple and Google’s notifications gateways, APNs and FCM.

Notifications are the lifeline of applications — alerting users when deliveries are on their way, when news breaks, when a favourite player scores, or when a conference call begins — but developers had no way to confirm that notifications they sent were delivered or opened.

We built Beams from the ground up to provide realtime notification delivery and transparency to develop your iOS and Android apps.

Tracking delivery events on devices

Neither FCM or APNs provide delivery guarantees. With Beams, you’ll get visibility about what happens on the client device after you’ve sent a notification.

When a notification is sent to a device with Beams, the client SDKs will report back an acknowledgement event once the notification is received. If the user taps the notification to open the app, the client SDKs will report back an open event.

You can see the acknowledgement and open events as a graph aggregated over time with Insights or in a realtime notification lifecycle events log in Debug Console.

Half of all opened Beams notifications are opened within a minute and half, reflecting the power of a notification to alert a user wherever they are and lead them to take action on the spot.

Making notifications more developer-friendly

APNs and FCM are free to use, but we heard from a lot of developers that building a hosted service around these gateways is a headache. In fact, 80% of our users were integrating notifications directly through free Apple and Google services before they started using Beams.

Once developers sign up for Beams, 75% are able to get a test notification service set up in 30 minutes or less.

Beams client SDKs keep these tokens up to date throughout the device lifecycle so that developers don’t need to worry about managing them. During the Beams beta period, FCM and APNs refreshed 10% of device tokens behind the scenes.

The API is designed to scale, allowing developers to deliver notifications to 1 million iOS devices per minute and 1 million Android devices per 17 seconds.

What’s next for Beams?

We plan to give developers more flexibility to target notifications to users, increase transparency for the health of their service, and improve deliverability across all your devices.

Beams has an active community of developers — special shoutout to the community supported React Native SDK — and we’re excited to hear your ideas for what we should build next!

Join the Pusher community on Slack or reach out using our Intercom chat on docs or dashboard.

If you like what you see and you’re feeling generous, help spread the word with a tweet or star our Beams iOS and Android SDKs on Github.