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The 15 Best iOS and Android Push Notification Platforms

DZone's Guide to

The 15 Best iOS and Android Push Notification Platforms

Choose which push notification platform is right for your mobile app, whether Android or iOS, with this comparison of features and pricing.

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iOS and Android push notifications are capable of improving an app’s retention and engagement rates. Plus, when done right, they can notably improve the overall user experience. But when done wrong, they can be interruptive, annoying, and hurtful to the UX, achieving the opposite effect: lower engagement and higher churn and abandonment rates.

With every app having its own unique user base, it is vital that these push notifications are tailored to their diverse/specific needs and wants. At the same time, they need to be affordable to the publisher, and offer just the right mix of back-end tools, like real-time data analytics or demographic segmentation.

It is no wonder that the number of iOS and Android push notifications platforms grows by the day, and one might get lost trying to find the right one. The (sad) truth is, there’s no *best* one – but there is the right one for you, your app, and its unique audience.

Below you will find a list of the best iOS and Android push notification platforms/tools to date, as well as some of their unique selling propositions. We are certain you will find something you like in the list below:

Carnival.io

Image Source: Carnival

This platform has been praised by mobile app devs for its Rich Messaging feature, as well as its simple SDK integration. Some of its standout features are Behavioral Triggering and Message Personalization. Costs run from $1,000 up to $4,000 a month.

Urban Airship

Image Source: Urban Airship

Urban Airship is to iOS and Android push notifications what Volkswagen is to car buyers – always a trusty, viable solution. Among other things, it prides itself on multi-channel messaging, unified customer profiles and predictive insights. The starter pack is free, with other packs being priced from $99 to $349 a month.

OneSignal

Image Source: OneSignal

You can expect all the standard features here, from custom templates to automated push notifications, to segmentation targeting and real-time tracking. It is also completely free of charge. The company does offer premium support options, but you’ll have to reach out to them for more info.

Kumulos

Image Source: Kumulos

Kumulos is interesting in that it provides two distinct options: mobile marketers can sell a push notification service using the Kumulos dashboard to quickly and easily manage push campaigns and report on the results. Alternatively, those mobile marketers can offer clients the ability to run their own notification programs, using their own-brand client portal to construct, run, and measure campaign results. Some of their noteworthy push features are:

  • Build Channels and Segments to focus push notification messages effectively
  • Geolocation & iBeacon support
  • Deep Linking, emojis, and badges to drive greater engagement

You can test their tool for free via a free trial.

PushWoosh

Image Source: Pushwoosh

PushWoosh allows iOS and Android push notifications with rich media, including images, embedded videos, CTAs, and other types of content. It works on twenty-one different mobile and desktop platforms. It is free to start. More expensive pricing packs start from $49.95 a month to $499.95 a month.

PushBots

Image Source: Pushbots

With this platform, you can engage your audience through the mobile app, on both Android and iOS, as well as through Google Chrome. It prides itself on quick installation (10 minutes) and offers extremely simple integration. The basic pack is free, with pricing going from $49 a month to $499 a month.

Leanplum

Image Source: Leanplum

Leanplum is all about personalization and automation. When it comes to personalization, it’s taking things to a whole new level. The UI can be programmatically tailored to specific users. So for example, the default sharing option changes to whatever the user usually goes for.

As for automation, it enables app pros to automatically send personalized messages based on different user attributes or app-related behaviors, such as not opening an app for a certain amount of time. It prides itself most on its Lifecycle Engine for automation, which follows the user throughout the entire customer journey.

Localytics

Image Source: Localytics

Localytics is one of those tried and tested companies whose name always pops up when there are discussions around iOS and Android push notifications platforms. It is especially regarded for “True Impact,” its product that measures the full impact of push and in-app messaging campaigns on app engagement and consequently, the bottom line. Pricing is available on request.

Kahuna

 Image Source: Kahuna

Among the advantages of Kahuna’s iOS and Android push notification platform is the option to create campaigns based on the user’s current state. So, for example, if the platform identifies a user no longer being active, it can trigger a push notification campaign to try and increase its activity. Also, if it spots a newbie, it will react accordingly. So, as user states change, so does the way Kahuna triggers different campaigns. It also supports "extreme personalization," which it says is achieved by customizing messages for content, not context, and working around demographic segmentation. Pricing is available on demand.

Catapush

Image Source: Catapush

One thing that sets Catapush apart from other players in the push notifications game is the fact that it allows replies to push messages through its 2-Way Service. It also lets app pros interact with their customers via chat. More details about the feature can be found at this link. It is free for 100 devices, with prices going from $21.14 a month for 1,000 devices, up to $338.18 a month for 20,000 devices.

Taplytics

Image Source: Taplytics

Taplytics allows easy integration with existing analytics platforms, as well as visual A/B testing. Campaigns can be tailored with specific goals in mind, such as retention, awareness, or engagement. The basic package is free, while pricing for the enterprise pack is available on demand.

Amazon SNS

Image Source : Amazon

Amazon Simple Notification Service, or SNS, is always a viable choice, if nothing else than due to the fact that it is compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This allows for easy scalability of any platform and is paired up with the ability to send push notifications directly from the cloud. Pricing is organized per million messages, with the first million being free, and all others costing $0.50 per million.

StreetHawk

Image Source: Streethawk

Streethawk’s slogan is “Automate Actions for Mobile Growth,” meaning growth automation is at its core. It easily integrates with Mixpanel, Flurry, Twilio, and Webhooks, to name a few. It also supports multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, PhoneGap, Xamarin, and the web.

Those that have up to 10,000 users will be happy to see the service is free. Those with more users will have to contact the platform directly and ask for prices.

Mixpanel

Image Source: Mixpanel

Established in 2009, Mixpanel has been a regular player in the push notifications field. With its retroactive funnel reporting features, precision segmentation, and real-time data analytics, it makes sure your push notifications are fully optimized. Core features also include targeted messaging and A/B testing, as well as notification scheduling. Its most basic features are free to use, with the "start-up" pack going for $999 a year. The "enterprise" pack, loaded with features, offers pricing on demand.

Swrve

Image Source: Swrve

Among the core features Swrve offers are its WYSIWYG mobile screen editor, configurable custom sounds or action categories and alerts. There are also banners, on locked screens, in the notification center, as well as setting and tracking of campaign goals. Pricing is hidden but is available on request.

Wrap-Up

No two apps are created equal. Even though push notifications can improve mobile app KPIs, such as retention rates or open rates, these KPIs can only be improved if the idea of push notifications is approached with the audience in mind.

And keeping the audience in mind means maintaining and enhancing the UX and the user flow both on the inside, and on the outside of an app. Qualitative analytics tools, like Appsee’s touch heatmaps and user session recordings, allow app pros to view their apps through the eyes and minds of their users, greatly improving in-app UX along the way. On the outside, that means approaching push notifications with care and empathy towards the userbase.

So it makes sense that the number of platforms offering various approaches to push notifications grows every day, and that all of them, with their unique offerings, can find an audience of their own. We are certain that on this comprehensive list, you will be able to find that perfect platform, striking the right balance between unique features and affordable pricing.

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Topics:
mobile ,mobile app development ,push notifications

Published at DZone with permission of Emily Goldring, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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