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Google Doubles Down on Messaging

Today at the I/O conference Google unveiled the next iteration of its Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) service, now called Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). There are some key differences as well as enhancements that we are sure will please both developers and app users:

  • Multicast messages: in the same request you can now broadcast messages up to 1000 registration IDs at the same time
  • Multiple senders: now multiple parties can send messages to the same app with one common registration ID
  • Time-to-live messages: you can set values for your messages between 0 to 4 weeks helping to ensure messages about events that expire don’t reach your users after the fact

C2DM will be maintained for the short term but will accept no new users nor grant new quotas. We’re evaluating all the new changes to GCM and intend to add full support for it soon. In addition, we expect our Helium message delivery platform for Android devices will continue to offer advantages to developers including very high throughput and enterprise-class SLAs.

Also, initial details are coming out today about major enhancements Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) brings to the Android notification framework. Apps can now display larger, richer notifications to users that can be expanded and collapsed with a pinch. Users can take actions directly within notifications, such as clicking buttons to send messages like “busy” or “call soon” to a missed call notification. And notifications are listed to show the most urgent things first, not just the most recent. In addition, users can long-press notifications for more options including getting information about the sender and having the option to disable further notifications from the app.

A slide shown at Google I/O summarized these major enhancements with a title of “The user’s attention is precious”—we couldn’t agree more. Following Good Push best practices can ensure that your push messages deliver a tremendous engagement and retention uplift, and both serve and delight your users.

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