A push notification is a way for an app to send information to your phone (via a badge, alert, or pop up message) even when the app isn't in use.
Interestingly, I read an article last week that said that for the first time ever there has been a reduction in the number of text messages sent in the US over previous years. This is largely because of the greater of use of Push Notifications. The advantages of push notifications over text messages are many:
- Text messages cost money where push notifications are free to send
- Another major advantage is that they can be viewed even when the user is not actively using the SchoolMate application, exactly like a whatsapp notification.
- Push notifications can be more easily customised. For example, in SchoolMate when a parent gets a notification it can be sent without the alert sound that you get with an SMS. This means that people are less interrupted but will still see the notification when they next look at their phone. For really urgent messages, there is still the capability to send a sound as well as the message.
- Better control by users. Parents can change they way they receiving push notifications to suit their needs. They can change them to be more visible or completely turn them off (something I wish I could do with text messages sometimes!).
- Push notifications only require a data network, so wi-fi or cellular. This means that it works with Wi-Fi iPads or iPods which don’t have 3G enabled.
Thus, there is more chance that a parent will browse the content of a push notification rather than the content of a text message. With the SchoolMate App, parents receive circulars & notices, attendance of the child & even location of the child via push notifications.