Developers

Are you a mobile app developer? These blog posts cover technical subject matter for developing mobile apps on iOS and Android, as well as some tips and tricks we uncovered as we built out our mobile messaging infrastructure. If you’re considering using, or are using, Urban Airship, so much the better. Read on for technical details about our latest mobile analytics and mobile messaging features, and for help on how to use our services most efficiently.

Summer Hack Week 2016: Airshippers Tackle Big Problems in Mobile Engagement
Adam Lowry, 20 Jul 2016

Twice a year at Urban Airship we participate in one of my favorite traditions: Hack Week. During the week-long event, participants — mostly from our Dev and Engineering teams — identify a need, create a project, pick their own teams and work together to build something amazing. It’s a great way to take a step back from our normal priorities and focus on optimizing and dreaming up what’s next. We’ve had some incredible projects come out of Hack Weeks over the years, many of which have…

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WWDC 2016 Focuses On Making Experiences More Ubiquitous, Accessible and Human
Mike Herrick, 14 Jun 2016

The 27th WWDC Keynote was held yesterday in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and Apple put emphasis on welcoming new faces. Among attendees, 72% were first timers (including 100+ under the age of 18), hailing from more than 74 countries. Other numbers putting WWDC 2016 into context: 500 apps eight years ago has grown to 2 million apps today, which have been downloaded 130 billion times, with nearly $50 billion (USD) paid to developers. The app economy and the mobile…

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Urban Airship Connect Bot: Get a Little Closer to Your Mobile Data
Bryan Schlief, 3 Jun 2016

Our SVP of Product & Engineering, Mike Herrick, recently had a blog post about creating a Connect Bot to see Connect events in Slack. Towards the end of his post, he asked for feature ideas, including advice on which chat systems to integrate with next. At a previous job, I had used the excellent Hubot framework to connect some LED lights I had to an IRC system so that my coworkers could change how the office looked without getting up or asking me to change them. One of the first things…

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The Evolution Of A New Mobile Wallet Feature: Batch Importer
Henry Lyne, 13 May 2016

Let’s face it. For developers, APIs are great. Especially well-documented APIs that make it easy for developers to integrate with a service and create or extend applications. We designed Urban Airship Reach with a feature-rich API. So naturally, we love it when people use our API — and we're almost also a little disappointed when they would rather not.

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Devices and Timestamps: Seriously Though, WTF?
Todd Johnson, 14 Apr 2016

The data team at Urban Airship has a simple objective: to empower our customers to understand the behavior of users within their app, especially as it relates to the success of their messaging campaigns. An issue arose with timestamps though — we see a lot of events that claim to have happened before Urban Airship was founded, and a non-trivial number that claim to come from the future. Sorting this out has been (and continues to be) an adventure, to say the least. Let us explain!

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When Speed Equals Relevance
Andy Pikul, 23 Mar 2016

In news media, where speed is tightly tied to relevance, brands can’t afford to be last with the news. Learn how push notifications help media outlets deliver the news at the right time.

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Supporting Your Technical Success: How We Help​
Customer Success Team, 4 Mar 2016

The Technical Support Engineers on our Customer Success Team have a passion for mobile technology and a desire to help our customers generate value for their businesses. For us, success means that our customers can easily and quickly implement our solutions and receive timely, relevant help for any issues that pop up. We want to make sure you can focus on engaging with your customers via our technology and products.

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Making Room for New Features and Functionality
Greg Weinger, 2 Mar 2016

Many of you use Engage message composer — our flagship product — to message your mobile app audience. But, in the past year, we've released several new products (Wallet, Connect and Insight) to help you take advantage of the rapidly expanding opportunity mobile is presenting to many businesses. To make it easier to learn more about and use these tools, we're making some updates to the user interface over the next several weeks.

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Announcing Urban Airship’s Parse Importer Tool
Mike Herrick, 5 Feb 2016

window.location.href = 'https://www.urbanairship.com/blog/alternatives-to-parse-push-notifications-faqs'; Today we are pleased  to announce the release of Urban Airship's Parse Importer Tool. As we noted last week, Parse is in the process of winding down. The Parse team has been very helpful in answering our questions and validating our assumptions, enabling a team of Airshippers to build this tool this week. Now that it’s live, we have a more streamlined process to help you…

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Links we love
Customer Success Team, 26 Jan 2016

Our support team, technical account managers and implementation engineers joined together to share the resources we repeatedly point clients to, as well as documentation we wish our clients knew about. Here’s what we typically share

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Hack Week at Urban Airship
Adam Lowry, 18 Dec 2015

My favorite tradition at Urban Airship is Hack Week. Twice a year we take a week away from normal priorities and give the team a week to build something new. Hack Week itself was an evolution from our original Free Friday, a 24 hour scramble based on Atlassian's excellent model. Since expanding to a week in 2014, we’ve had some incredible projects, including two that turned into full on major products. A couple of weeks ago we had our final Hack Week of 2015, and it’s been an impressive view into what our team can accomplish.

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New Developer Framework Support
Greg Weinger, 11 Dec 2015

Frameworks can accelerate app development by reducing the amount of code necessary to build a mobile app. We're excited to announce our official support for two new mobile app development frameworks: Unity and Xamarin. Combined with official support for PhoneGap/Cordova, we now support three of the top frameworks in market.

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Android Notification Improvements
Ryan Lepinski, 11 Dec 2014

A few weeks ago, we released the 5.1.0 version of the Urban Airship Android SDK. Several new features were added to improve displaying more engaging notifications: Full support for the new Android Lollipop notification enhancements, including the ability to send heads-up notifications Notification styles support for the big text, big picture, and inbox styles Extended Android Wear support All these features are available out of the box, and are driven through the Urban Airship…

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Watch List: iOS 8 Opt-in Changes
Greg Weinger, 10 Dec 2014

You may have heard about some of the well-publicized features in iOS 8, like Interactive Notifications and widgets, but there are lesser-known behavioral changes in the new OS that could have profound impacts on the end user’s experience.

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Push Notification Best Practices: Measure Effectiveness by Tracking Active Device Tokens
Pete Davis, 8 Dec 2010

We cannot emphasize it enough: If your app users are turning off push notifications, you have lost a huge opportunity to engage with them. Engagement is a key element of success in mobile, and you don’t want to miss out. As we discussed in our last post on implementation 101, getting users to opt-in to push notifications in the first place can take some persuasion. Once they do, you need to stick to your end of the bargain and send only messages that contain the compelling content your…

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Centralized Logging Using Rsyslog
Urban Airship, 5 Oct 2010

As we’ve been expanding, we’ve found that tracking performance or errors across dozens of different services isn’t trivial. There are lots of solutions to this, including scribe and flume. For now, we’ve decided to go a more traditional route for aggregating logs. This keeps things simple, and doesn’t require that we have to alter how our services talk with logging infrastructure (even if they just log to a file). So far, we’ve had great success with this method. Here’s how we set it…

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