January 2016 Release

Migrate Parse Apps to Urban Airship

Update: Parse no longer supports the access of your data. See their archived Migration Guide

If you’re looking for Parse alternatives for push notifications, please visit our docs home page.

SDK

SDK 7.0.0

We’re excited to announce the release of the 7.0.0 SDK versions for iOS and Android, featuring Out-of-the-Box Message Center.

For details on upgrading to the new SDKs, see: SDK Migration Guides.

Engage

Out-of-the-Box Message Center

Out-of-the-Box Message Center makes Urban Airship’s flagship rich messaging feature, Message Center, available to all customers using iOS or Android SDK 7.0.0 or later, without requiring a separate integration. Read on for context, a description of the benefits, and for links to additional resources.

What Is Message Center?

Urban Airship Message Center is a place in your app where you can display persistent rich messages, including HTML, video, etc. The messages are hosted by Urban Airship, and are typically displayed in standard inbox-style within your app. You can choose to display the messages and the message listings any way you wish, according to the look and feel of your app. We do our part by hosting the rich content, alerting users of new content with push notifications, and managing the state of each user’s message listing (read, unread, deleted, etc.).

Message Center on iOS

Message Center on Android

Reach Opted-out Users

Message Center messages are not push notifications, but you can use push notifications to alert users that new rich content is available. Because Message Center messages do not require a user to opt in to push notfications, you can reach opted-out audience with Message Center.

More Opportunities to Engage

When users interact with Message Center, e.g., read, delete, tap a button, Urban Airship tracks the interactions and makes them available via our analytics offerings, Connect and Insight.

By providing engaging content and facilitating interactions via Message Center, you can also trigger other Actions such as adding a tag, or triggering a follow-up notification.

OK, so why is it better out of the box?

With the release of the 7.0 SDK, Message Center, the actual container for the rich content you provide to customers, ships with the SDK. Previously, you needed to do extra development work to design the UI elements that displayed the rich messages. Although we provide sample code to get you started, integration could often add weeks or months to your development cycle, depending on the number of stakeholders involved.

Now, every app using the latest SDK is equipped with a supported version of Message Center, giving every Urban Airship customer another highly effective tool for their mobile engagement toolkit.

Simple Theming

Theming your Message Center to match the look and feel of your app is easy, requiring changes configuration file in your iOS or Android/Amazon project. Change the colors, fonts, backgrounds and icons to match your branding.

See Styling the iOS Message Center reference and Styling the Android Message Center to get started theming.

Wallet

New Android Wallet SDK

We’re excited to announce the launch of our first Wallet SDK for Android. This new library makes pass distribution a native app experience, eliminating the need to send users to an external URL.

The lightweight Android Wallet SDK bridges Android Pay and Urban Airship Wallet services, allowing you to perform all pass-creation actions, e.g., setting personalized fields or saving a pass within your app.

Save to Android

The Save to Android Pay button is created once all of the pass information is sent, allowing users to authenticate with Google and add the pass directly to Android Pay.

To get started, have a look at our Android Wallet Library Class Reference and download the Maven repository here:

# Automation

Evaluating Tag Conditions at Send Time

This update improves the usefulness and accuracy of Automated Messages using tag conditions. In the past, our system would check for the presence or absence of a tag at the time a rule was triggered. This worked well if the desire was to send the message immediately, but for pushes that were scheduled for future delivery, no final check was made prior to delivery of the message.

This made certain uses of the feature impossible (or led to unexpected results). For example, if you wanted to send a message if someone added a product to a shopping cart but had not purchased the item within 24 hrs, our automation rule, once triggered, would have no way to determine if the user had made the purchase after 24 hours because it was being checked at trigger time. Now, because we will check the tag condition at send time, we can suppress the message if e.g. the “bought_product_x” tag was present.

We now check for tag conditions at send time, improving accuracy for automated messages using both:

Tag Conditions and Delayed push outcomes

First Open Triggers With Tag Conditions

With the new send-time evaluation for Tag Conditions, you can now use First Open event triggers with Tag Conditions.

Since a user is unlikely to have any tags associated with their device when they first open your app, that’s a pretty bad time to check for the existence of tags to trigger a message, which is why these features did not work together previously.

Enjoy!