Getting Started

This guide will take you through required steps to send your first push notification via the Urban Airship dashboard. At the end of this walkthrough you will have successfully:

  • Set up your Urban Airship account
  • Integrated the Urban Airship SDK
  • Provisioned your app for push notifications
  • Sent your first test notification

While anyone should be able to follow these instructions and send a push notification, this is a technical process and should be completed by an app developer with access to the proper mobile development tools and credentials for developer programs.

Register and Log In

If you already have a account, log in now and skip to Add Your App. If you don’t already have an account, you will first need to choose a pricing plan. You may get started with the free Starter plan, or sign up for a more feature-rich paid plan.

  1. Choose a pricing plan.
    • Click the Getting Started button for either Starter or Basic, and continue the steps below.
    • If you prefer Essential or Comprehensive, click the Schedule Demo button, and an Urban Airship Account Manager will be in touch with you shortly.
  2. For Starter or Basic packages, enter your information and click the Complete registration button.
  3. Check your inbox for an account activation email, and click the activation link.
  4. Enter a password to complete your account setup.
  5. Click the Add your app button.

Add Your App

When you create an app in the Urban Airship dashboard, you are creating an application record for your iOS or Android app. Your Urban Airship app record is what we use to generate the required keys you’ll need to talk to different push notification services and keep track of your mobile audience, messaging campaigns, analytics, and so forth.

If you just registered and clicked the Add your app button, you are ready to add your first app.

If you already had an account, click the New app button in the upper right corner of the dashboard, then continue with the steps below.

Add Your First App

Anyone can set up an Urban Airship app at this stage, but the next several steps (uploading the push certificate, installing the SDK) will need to be completed by a mobile developer.

  1. Enter your app’s name, set its icon and production status, and select its mobile platforms.

    • App Name Enter a descriptive name for your app. You have the option to change it later.
    • Icon Optionally upload your icon. This does not have to be the same icon you submit to app marketplaces, but that is the typical practice.
    • Production Status If this is your first time configuring an app for Urban Airship, you should likely choose Development - connecting to testing servers.
    • App Platforms Click to select all the development platforms for which you plan to integrate Urban Airship. In subsequent steps, you will be asked to provide credentials, e.g., APNs certificate, GCM API key, in order to authenticate with the relevant push providers.

  2. Click the Save button, or cancel to discard. After saving, the next screen will display the Quickstart Guide.

  • App Name Some of our customers have only one app, and some have hundreds. If you work in a large organization, keep in mind that other people in your company may need to search for this app, so give it as descriptive a name as possible and adopt a naming convention. Examples: Anytown News iOS - Development, McDowell’s Chicago Android - Production
  • Production Status Ultimately, you will want to have both a development build for testing and a production build for release to app marketplaces. For more information about development vs. production apps in Urban Airship, see:

Production vs. Development Apps for iOSProduction vs. Development Apps for Android

Set Up Your First App

You’re now ready to create your first application by following our Quickstart Guide. Follow the step-by-step instructions on each platform tab.

You’ll download the SDK, install it in your app, upload your certificate, and send a test push for the platform(s) of your choice.

Add Your Channel ID to Test Devices

Before you can send a test notification, you need to determine the Channel ID for your device and then add it to your Test Devices list. You have two options:

  1. Speak with one of your developers about getting your device added to the Test Devices list.
  2. Use Charles Proxy to expose your Channel ID. Once you have determined your Channel ID, add your device to the Test Devices list.

Even if you’re comfortable with option 2, you may want to speak with your developer before you attempt to retrieve your Channel ID yourself. Your app may have been designed with a hidden feature that allows you to quickly retrieve your ID, saving you the difficulty of working with Charles Proxy.

Once your Channel ID has been added to Test Devices, you are ready to proceed to the next section.

Send Your First Notification

This section will walk you through sending your first push notification via our Message composer. The notification will be a simple, text-based notification.

  1. Choose your app from the Urban Airship dashboard, then click the Create New button, and select the Message composer.

    Your steps are tracked in the progress header. Completed steps display a green checkmark icon, showing you are ready to proceed. A red (!) icon appears if you need to fix anything. Click a step name to move ahead or to go back and edit.

    Your message’s selected conditions are displayed in a Summary on the right side of the window. The Help tab displays information relevant to the current step. Hover over composer sections to expose a (?) icon. Click the icon, and the Help tab will update with that topic.

  2. Select the radio button for Test Devices, then click Content in the progress header.

  3. Click the pane for Push Notification, then click the Continue button that appears.

  4. Enter your message in the text field and you will see it in the previewer to the right. Then click Delivery in the progress header.

  5. Select the radio button for Send Now, then click Review & Send in the progress header.

  6. Review the information on the left side of the screen, and click through the images in the previewer. The platform and display type are dynamically updated above.

  7. Click the Send button at the bottom of the window.

If all has been configured correctly, you just sent your first push notification! Because the message was sent to Test Devices, you should see the push notification appear on your mobile device. If this is not the case, review adding your Channel ID to Test Devices and reattempt the tutorial.

Next Steps

  1. Send more notifications! Our Message Composer documentation walks you through all the features and options.
  2. Learn about all the Engage composers, including:
    • Automation — Trigger sending a message based on specific conditions or even inactivity.
    • A/B Tests — Send message variants and view the engagement reporting data.
    • Message Personalization — Create message templates.
  3. Read about specific composer features in detail.

All these and more are in the Engage User Guide.