As a Connect customer, you can now integrate server-side custom events with your business systems. We have added a new source attribute to the Custom Event object that specifies the origin of the event, either your app or your server.
All events sent via our server-side custom events API can now be streamed in real time via Connect. See custom events in our Connect API reference for details on the custom event object.
Announcing the general availability of our web notification solution, Web Notify, for enterprise customers. Web Notify is available as a standalone service or in combination with our Engage platform. Whether or not you have a mobile app, you can now use Urban Airship’s world-class messaging platform to target mobile and desktop browsers.
The feature set of this first release includes:
API & UI support. Web Notify is fully integrated into our existing Message Composer.
Today we shipped a powerful set of new enterprise security features to further protect your data. In response to a growing number of requests from our enterprise customers, we are enhancing our user management framework to include Security options:
Password Reset requires users to update their password after 90 days. Unique Password Requirement tracks previously-used passwords to prevent reuse. Block Multiple Sessions helps prevent login sharing to promote accountability.
We’re pleased to announce support for IoT devices running Android Things. And by ‘announcing support’ we mean ‘it just works.’ So you can think of this as more of a serendipitous discovery than a release note but still. We wanted you to know. Thanks, Google!
Push notifications, In-App Messaging, Message Center, and analytics are all supported. Send data to and and run Urban Airship Actions on your connected devices.
Simply install the Urban Airship Android SDK in your Things project as you would in and Android project, and take advantage of (nearly) all the notification and messaging features Urban Airship has to offer.
We have released two new endpoints in support of location triggers for Automation. The Region Listing and Region Lookup APIs let you easily query all of your defined regions and associated details such as creation date, lat/long, and region attributes.
If you’re not familiar with region attributes, take a look at Region Attributes from our August 2016 release notes for an overview and examples.
We are thrilled to announce the public beta for the first feature in our new Predictive Analytics toolset: Predictive Churn.
In our private beta release in late 2016, we introduced the concept of churn as the likelihood that an app user will become inactive. In this public beta release, we are providing full support for predictive churn tags for targeting and automation via Engage, analysis via Insight, and data export via Connect.
Now you can delete Message Center messages with a simple API call.
We encourage you to set an expiration time for rich messages, but for those times when you don’t, and that pesky old message is just sitting there in your users’ Message Centers, taunting you with its obsolescence, give this new method a try.
See Delete Rich Message From Inbox for details. Enjoy!
Apple News notifications are now supported via the Engage platform, as announced in our press release on November 2nd.
Select Apple News publishing partners may now have access to our Apple News Composer. This new composer enables support for yet another engagement channel through our popular Engage platform. Contact your Urban Airship Account Manager if you are interested in enabling this feature.
Connect seamlessly with your Apple News publishing workflow.
When using Custom Events for automated messages, you can now set specific properties and assign a range of values that must be met in order to trigger the message. Basically, your automation options are now infinitely more customizable. We’re very excited about this enhancement and we know you will be too.
Here’s an example from our Custom Event Selectors API documentation:
Example: - this selector will match if a device emits a custom event that matches any of these criteria:
Customers with CDN access now have the option to upload the media included in notifications, rather than entering a URL. This is the easiest way to include rich media in your notifications, especially if you don’t have another way to host media yourself.
A CDN supports optimized delivery of rich media to mobile devices across a global audience. It dynamically caches the media in critical locations across the globe to minimize download times, even across lower-bandwidth cellular connections.
We are excited to announce expanded support for custom events. Our new server-side custom events API accepts events from outside systems such as your corporate website, CRM/POS systems, or social media.
You can now instrument your servers and other backend systems to send events to Urban Airship in order to send automated messages using custom event triggers.
See our Automation Composer and API documentation on custom event triggers.
Use Cases Server-side custom events enable a number of new automated messaging options, tying in user lifecyle events from outside of your app.
We are pleased to bring more detailed count estimation to our segments builder tool.
View audience estimates while building your segments, including breakdowns by both platform and opt-in status. Estimates are updated automatically as you make changes to your segment, allowing you to quickly see how your audience changes.
To learn more about this updated feature, see Estimated Audience in the Segments section of our Audience documentation.
We are pleased to announce support for iOS 10 in our latest iOS SDK release: 8.0.0. With the launch of iOS 10, we are adding support for iOS Rich Notifications and content extensions. Get started creating iOS 10 apps today by:
Installing our iOS SDK 8.0.0.
Enabling a notification service extension in your project.
Sending rich notifications via our API by using the Media Attachment key.
In June we released two new Automation Triggers for the Engage API.
Today we are excited to announce dashboard support for both of these new features: Custom Event Triggers and Cancellation Events.
Custom Event Triggers Trigger a notification when a Custom Event fires:
With Urban Airship’s Custom Events feature you can set Automation rules that trigger notifications when we see an occurence of the custom event.
See Custom Events to learn how to set up custom events.
Defining a region just got infinitely more powerful and, dare we say, fun.
When describing a region for targeting, you are no longer restricted by the binary limitations of the region’s name. You can now specify attributes for regions and define desired values for those attributes, giving you the ability to target users with fine-grained accuracy, based on their interactions with your regions.
With Region Attributes you can now create Automation rules that trigger notifications not just on a user’s entry/exit with any of your locations.
Our new Automation workflow gives you several new tools to control the exact time your message is delivered. You can easily configure message delivery windows by specifying valid hours of the day and days of the week.
For example, you can define one window for weekday hours, and a second for weekend hours.
You can also schedule one or more consistent times of day you want all messages to be sent, e.
Can we say we simplified something while also saying we expanded it? Well, we’re saying it. We updated our composer workflows, separating messages from automation rules, while also adding multiple new features. Here are the highlights.
Improvements One button to rule them all: Instead of starting a message and later deciding its type, you now get started by clicking the Create New button, then choose between Message, Automation, and A/B Test.
If you’re an avid reader of these release notes, you’ll remember that in April we released Personalization Templates, supporting the concept of Little-p personalization via our API.
Today we are excited to announce dashboard UI support for creating personalization templates. This has been one of our most requested features recently, as marketing teams are increasingly looking for ways to deliver more relevant, timely, you might even say personalized content without needing to rely on their development teams.
A/B Test response data is now available through two new public endpoints designed for both overview and detailed reporting.
GET /api/reports/experiment/overview/(push_id) Provides an overview of the experiment (A/B Test) with overall response statistics per variant. See Experiment Overview Report for details.
GET /api/reports/experiments/detail/(push_id)/(variant_id) This endpoint returns a detailed response for a specific variant of the experiments, broken out by iOS, Android, and Amazon devices. See Variant Detail Report for details.
When a user interacts with an A/B Test message, their next destination action is up to you. With the initial release of A/B Tests you had the choice to direct users to one of four actions:
Today we are adding Landing Page to the Message Action options. A Landing Page is HTML content that appears as an overlay above your app.
Dayparting Now you can specify dayparts for targeting users in your peak audience windows.
Daypart is a term borrowed from the broadcasting industry, used to denote times of day within which you would like to reach your target audience. Some recognizable examples from television and radio include Morning Rush, Afternoon Drive, or Must-see TV. Since advertisers know that the eyeballs (or ears) they are targeting are in abundance during those days and times, they will pay a premium to advertise during those dayparts.
Our Automation team has been hard at work this spring, bringing you Automation Timing earlier this month, and now two new types of triggers to add to our Automation product suite:
Custom Event Triggers
Custom Event Triggers Trigger Automated Messages when custom events fire. If you’re using Custom Events, now you can trigger automated messages when we see these events. If you’re not using custom events, now is a great time to give them a look.
We are pleased to announce the release of the Engage Java Library 1.0.0. This release includes:
Support for the channel, named user, and static list APIs.
Major refactors of the push, scheduled push, reports, segments, and location APIs.
An overhauled client class with support for async requests and callbacks.
For details, please check out the Java library documentation, API examples page, or view the source on GitHub.
We’re excited to announce the release A/B Tests! Thanks to all of our customers who participated in the A/B Test beta. Your feedback was most welcome and helpful.
We now support A/B Tests for up to 26 variants, so you might even say that we support A/Z Tests, A/B/n Tests, Multivariate Tests, or whatever the cool kids are calling them these days. To keep things simple, we refer to them as A/B Tests in our composer, and experiments in our API, located at:
Personalization is here! If you follow our blog, you may have noticed that we have been tackling the issue of personalization for a while. See Big “P” and Little “p” in Message Personalization for more background.
Big-P Personalization means delivering timely and relevant messages to users. Messages are based on a user’s tastes and preferences, they show up at just the right time, and they do not disturb or annoy the user.
Making Room for New Features and Functionality We have rolled out some changes in the navigation for our web dashboard. Don’t fear: we haven’t actually moved anything! We’re just making navigation simpler across the product to accommodate some exciting new products and features related to messaging and A/B/n testing.
Engage Navigation Moves Up Engage navigation has moved from the left-hand side of the page to the top, just above your workspace.
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.
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.
Automation Automation Limits Knowing when not to send a message can be as critical to your messaging campaigns as knowing when to send one.
At Urban Airship, we understand the delicate balance between under- and over-engagement. And we are excited to announce the release of Automation Limits, a new app-level control option for Automated Messages. Automation Limits give you another tool to manage the engagement balance, beyond the message-level limits that exist today.
Automation Improved Message Response Reporting When viewing a Message Report for an Automated Message, you can now view sends, influenced opens, and direct opens for the timeframe you are viewing.
Previously, only Lifetime Range data were shown above the graph visualization, regardless of the timeframe you selected.
Data shown for last 30 days:
Data shown for the lifetime of the Automated Message:
For more information about Message Response Reporting, please see Message Reports.
Wallet Studio Dashboard We have redesigned the Wallet Studio Dashboard:
For details, please see the Wallet Dashboard documentation.
Automation UI We’ve added the ability to search through and filter your automated messages on the dashboard. To use this new feature, navigate to Messages » Messages Overview, and click on the Automated tab:
At the top of the page you should see a search bar and a collection of filters.
Lifecycle Lists Last month, we released Audience Lists, a method for targeting custom lists of device identifiers. We are pleased to announce an upgrade to the Audience List functionality with Lifecycle Lists. Lifecycle Lists are similar to the previously released Uploaded Lists, but rather than being based on uploaded CSV files, they are auto-generated by Urban Airship:
We currently provide three different list types:
First App Open: Users that have opened the app for the first time in the given time interval.
SDK We’re happy to announce the release of the Urban Airship SDK version 6.1.0, which provides additional support for our spring release features. Highlights include:
Tag Groups You can now easily add or remove tags to/from Tag Groups via the SDK. This functionality allows you to coordinate tag events that occur on the device with tag groups that may be primarily managed in a different database, e.g., a customer loyalty program.
In-App Messaging We are excited to announce the release of In-App Messaging:
In-app messages are banner notifications that appear inside of your app. Aside from empowering you to engage with users as they browse your app, you can also reach opted-out users, a previously unreachable audience segment.
In-app messages support all of the features supported by standard push messages, including Actions and Interactive Buttons. You can send in-app messages on their own, or you can include an associated push notification.
Mobile Data Bridge We are happy to announce the release of Mobile Data Bridge, a major update to the Urban Airship audience management toolset.
The two main features of Mobile Data Bridge are Named Users and Tag Groups. Named Users are a system for mapping customer-chosen IDs to channels. Named Users supersede aliases, our previous CRM-mapping standard.
Named Users Like aliases, Named Users represent users, i.e., devices. You may associate multiple Channel IDs with a single Named User ID, and when you push to a Named User ID we will send to each device associated with that ID.
Per Push Batch API The /api/reports/perpush/detail/ endpoint now supports batch requests. Now you can retrieve per-push reporting detail for up to 100 push IDs at a time.
` in our API Reference for details. --
Remove Tag Action You may now remove tags via the Message Composer:
The Remove Tag action will remove a certain tag from a user’s device after the user interacts with a push.
User Interface We made several small changes to the Dashboard UI. The Welcome Message section, under the Messages category, is now hidden by default. The feature will become visible once you enable the Message Center on the Settings » Configuration screen.
Reports A/B Testing Beta One of our most requested features is A/B Testing. We think it’s important to be able to find out what works for your users by trying different tone of voice, calls to action, or framing of a promotion. We have big plans for testing in the future, but we wanted to get some functionality in your hands right away, so we set up the A/B Testing beta program.
Reports Custom Events See the Custom Events Topic Guide for a complete overview of this new feature.
Custom Events let you track user activities and key conversions in your app, and tie them back to corresponding push messaging campaigns. An Event can be tracked anywhere in an app where specific user actions are critical to the success of your app. Some examples:
A retail app might record an event each time a user makes a purchase following a promotional message.
iOS 8 New Feature Roundup On September 17th, we made publicly available two major components of our iOS 8 feature support:
iOS SDK version 5.0
API support for Interactive Notifications
Coming in October, we will launch support for the use of these features in the Urban Airship web application as well as SDK and API support for the features on Android and Amazon with a new, combined Android/Amazon SDK.
Message Center Expiry This feature automatically removes time-sensitive offers and messages from a user’s Message Center, helping you keep your users’ content fresh and relevant. For example, you could set expiry for a Labor Day Weekend offer so that it is removed when the sale is over. The message would automatically disappear from the message listing, reducing clutter.
Another example would be setting a standard, e.g., 6-month, expiry on all articles you publish, so that a user’s inbox never becomes too stale.
WWDC Roundup: New Feature Support Notification Actions: “category” API Support In iOS 8, a number of new options are introduced that allow users to interact with custom functionality in the context of a user task. These customization options are known broadly as app extensions.
Today we are releasing partial API support for the Action app extension, which allows you to pass through the new category field in the APNS payload.
Tag on Open Events The Rich Page Editor now supports user tagging upon Rich Page open events, for both Rich App and Landing Pages. Previously, users could only be tagged upon interaction with the push notification, i.e., when tapping the notification alert.
The “Tag on Open” setting supports a number of use cases in which no alert accompanies the rich content, e.g., sending only badge (no notification) to indicate unread Message Center content.
Wallet Beacon Support in PassBook Wallet Studio now supports beacons for PassBook passes. Enter up to 10 iBeacons per template to be loaded onto a consumer’s pass. When the consumer enters within range of a defined beacon, a notification and a pass icon will show on the lock screen.
In order to manage iBeacons on passes, navigate to the appropriate project and click on the Triggers icon. This will bring up the Relevant Location information view.
Q1 Release Overview/FAQ March was a busy month at Urban Airship as we finished up the quarter by releasing a number of significant new features that will greatly enhance not only your user experience as an Urban Airship customer, but the experience of your app users. We’ll go into specific detail on each new of updated features below as they relate to the Urban Airship dashboard, API and Mobile SDKs.
User Dashboard Test Devices We’re happy to announce the release of one of our most requested UI features. Test Devices is a simple way to create and store a list of trusted devices, e.g., for your QA or Product teams, to test end-to-end message flow prior to pushing to a live audience.
Test Devices is available to Urban Airship Enterprise Edition customers effective February 26th, 2014.
For details on accessing and using this new feature, see Test Devices.
Display Messages in Local Browser Time
Edit Scheduled Messages
User Dashboard Audience Report The Audience Report provides a current view of your audience by the number of devices opted-in and out- of notifications for iOS and Android. It also includes your total opted-in uninstall count. The data is updated daily and you can view previous snapshots (back to Jan 1st, 2014).
User Dashboard New Composer Easier to Find We’ve made it easier to get to the new Composer. From the top of the Messages Overview page, click the “+ Message” button. You no longer have to click through to the old composers to get there.
Alternatively, you can click the “Message” option in the shortcut button in the lower left-hand corner.
Save Message as Draft In the New Composer, you can now save a draft of your work and come back to it later.