Connect Primer

Urban Airship Connect is a mobile engagement data streaming service that delivers engagement events in real time via our Data Streaming API or through our many partner integrations.


As the leading provider in the mobile engagement services industry, we have been focused on providing our customers with the tools they need to interact with mobile users since 2009.

With Urban Airship Connect we are taking mobile engagement services up a notch with the first real-time, mobile engagement data streaming service.

Given the rise of smartphones as the predominant brand interaction point for users, data about how users interact with your apps is critical for your business.

With Connect, Urban Airship is not only your mobile engagement service provider, but your most valuable source of mobile engagement data.

What is Mobile Engagement Data?

At Urban Airship, we think of mobile engagement as the sum total of your users’ interactions with your brand on their mobile devices. Though we are primarily concerned with mobile apps, mobile engagement encompasses other mobile channels, e.g., mobile web.

The mobile engagement data that Urban Airship Connect provides is specific to mobile apps that have installed our SDK, and fall into three main categories of event types:

  • User-initiated action, e.g., opening/closing your app, tapping a push notification

  • Device responding to an environment change, e.g., encountering a beacon

  • Experience-changing actions initiated by app publisher, e.g., push send

In order to quantify mobile engagement, the Urban Airship SDK looks for engagement events and sends them to the Connect data stream as soon as they are observed, along with the relevant identifiers that associate the events with a particular app user and notification or group of notifications.

What types of events are available?

Below is an inexhaustive list of event types that are currently supported via the Connect service. These events are emitted as soon as they are available.

For a complete reference of supported event types, see Connect Filters in our API reference.

Push Body

Occurs when you initiate a notification or message through the Urban Airship dashboard or API. The relevant identifiers and payload (content) are included in the event.


Occurs when a user opens your application. This event also includes information about the last delivered push, and, if available, the triggering push if a causal relationship is determined.


Occurs when a user closes your application

Close events are often latent as they may not be delivered over the network until the next time the app is activated. Use offsets to adjust stream location for close events.


Customer-defined events. See: Custom Events


If location services are enabled for your app, location events provide latitude and longitude for a user.


Similar to location events, region events are emitted when a device enters a predefined geographic or beacon region. See Location Triggers for information about geofence and beacon triggers.


A push send identifier is created for each individual device that you target for receipt of the push. The send event maps devices to the pushes or push campaigns that are associated with the device.

Tag Change

Tag change events occur any time a tag is added or removed from a device, e.g., when a user changes a stated preference or is tagged “active” or “gold_member” by the device.

First Open

First open events appear when a user opens your Urban Airship SDK-enabled app for the first time. Useful for new user onboarding message campaigns.


Emitted when we learn from a push provider, e.g., Apple, that the app has been uninstalled in response to a push notification. Consider using uninstall data to inform your omnichannel communications.

Message Center Events

Delivery, read, and delete events are provided along with device-specific identifiers for Message Center messages.

Screen Viewed Events

Indicates that a user has finished viewing a screen. Duration, session ID, and developer-assigned screen names may be returned.

In App Message Events

Engagement events emitted for In App Messaging customers include:

  • Display: was the message displayed?

  • Resolution what action did the user take with the message?

  • Expiration message is expired or supplanted or otherwise unnecessary

See: In-App Messaging for more information.

Connect Resources