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Push Notification Plugin for iOS and Android
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README.md

Cordova Push Notifications Plugin for Android and iOS


DESCRIPTION

This plugin is for use with Cordova, and allows your application to receive push notifications on both Android and iOS devices. The Android implementation uses Google's GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) service, whereas the iOS version is based on Apple APNS Notifications

Important - Push notifications are intended for real devices. The registration process will fail on the iOS simulator. Notifications can be made to work on the Android Emulator. However, doing so requires installation of some helper libraries, as outlined here, under the section titled "Installing helper libraries and setting up the Emulator".

LICENSE

The MIT License

Copyright (c) 2012 Adobe Systems, inc.
portions Copyright (c) 2012 Olivier Louvignes

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

Manual Installation for Android

1) copy the contents of src/android/com/ to your project's src/com/ folder. copy the contents of libs/ to your libs/ folder. The final hirearchy will likely look something like this;

{project_folder}
    libs
        gcm.jar
        android-support-v13.jar
        cordova-2.7.0.jar
    src
        com
            plugin
                gcm
                    CordovaGCMBroadcastReceiver.java
                    GCMIntentService.java
                    PushHandlerActivity.java
                    PushPlugin.java                     
            {company_name}
                {intent_name}
                    {intent_name}.java                      

2) Modify your AndroidManifest.xml and add the following lines to your manifest tag:

        <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.GET_TASKS" />
        <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />
        <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS" />
        <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WAKE_LOCK" />
        <uses-permission android:name="com.google.android.c2dm.permission.RECEIVE" />
        <permission android:name="$PACKAGE_NAME.permission.C2D_MESSAGE" android:protectionLevel="signature" />
        <uses-permission android:name="$PACKAGE_NAME.permission.C2D_MESSAGE" />

3) Modify your AndroidManifest.xml and add the following activity, receiver and service tags to your application section. (See the Sample_AndroidManifest.xml file in the Example folder.)

        <activity android:name="com.plugin.gcm.PushHandlerActivity"/>
        <receiver android:name="com.plugin.gcm.CordovaGCMBroadcastReceiver" android:permission="com.google.android.c2dm.permission.SEND" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="com.google.android.c2dm.intent.RECEIVE" />
                <action android:name="com.google.android.c2dm.intent.REGISTRATION" />
                <category android:name="$PACKAGE_NAME" />
            </intent-filter>
        </receiver>
        <service android:name="com.plugin.gcm.GCMIntentService" />

4) Modify your res/xml/config.xml to include the following line in order to tell Cordova to include this plugin and where it can be found: (See the Sample_config.xml file in the Example folder)

<plugin name="PushPlugin" value="com.plugin.gcm.PushPlugin" />

5) Add the PushNotification.js script to your assets/www folder (or javascripts folder, wherever you want really) and reference it in your main index.html file. This file's usage is described in the Plugin API section below.

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="PushNotification.js"></script>

Manual Installation for iOS

Copy the following files to your project's Plugins folder:

AppDelegate+notification.h
AppDelegate+notification.m
PushPlugin.h
PushPlugin.m

Add a reference for this plugin to the plugins section in config.xml:

<plugin name="PushPlugin" value="PushPlugin" />

Add the PushNotification.js script to your assets/www folder (or javascripts folder, wherever you want really) and reference it in your main index.html file.

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="PushNotification.js"></script>

Automatic Installation

This plugin is based on plugman. to install it to your app, simply execute plugman as follows;

plugman --platform [PLATFORM] --project [TARGET-PATH] --plugin [PLUGIN-PATH]

where
    [PLATFORM] = ios or android
    [TARGET-PATH] = path to folder containing your phonegap project
    [PLUGIN-PATH] = path to folder containing this plugin

For additional info, take a look at the Plugman Documentation

Plugin API

In the Examples folder you will find a sample implementation showing how to interact with the PushPlugin. Modify it to suit your needs.

First create the plugin instance variable.

var pushNotification;

When deviceReady fires, get the plugin reference

pushNotification = window.plugins.pushNotification;

register

This should be called as soon as the device becomes ready. On success, you will get a call to tokenHandler (iOS), or onNotificationGCM (Android), allowing you to obtain the device token or registration ID, respectively. Those values will typically get posted to your intermediary push server so it knows who it can send notifications to.

For Android, If you have not already done so, you'll need to set up a Google API project, to generate your senderID. Follow these steps to do so. This is described more fully in the Test Environment section below.

In this example, be sure and substitute your own senderID. Get your senderID by signing into to your google dashboard. The senderID is found at Overview->Dashboard->Project Number.

if (device.platform == 'android' || device.platform == 'Android') {
    pushNotification.register(successHandler, errorHandler,{"senderID":"replace_with_sender_id","ecb":"onNotificationGCM"});
} else {
    pushNotification.register(tokenHandler, errorHandler {"badge":"true","sound":"true","alert":"true","ecb":"onNotificationAPN"});
}

successHandler - called when a plugin method returns without error

// result contains any message sent from the plugin call
function successHandler (result) {
    alert('result = '+result)
}

errorHandler - called when the plugin returns an error

// result contains any error description text returned from the plugin call
function errorHandler (error) {
    alert('error = '+error)
}

tokenHandler (iOS ony) - called when the device has registeredwith a unique device token.

function tokenHandler (result) {
    // Your iOS push server needs to know the token before it can push to this device
    // here is where you might want to send it the token for later use.
    alert('device token = '+result)
}

senderID (Android only) - This is the Google project ID you need to obtain by registering your application for GCM

ecb - event callback that gets called when your device receives a notification

// iOS
function onNotificationAPN(event) {
    if (event.alert) {
        navigator.notification.alert(event.alert);
    }

    if (event.sound) {
        var snd = new Media(event.sound);
        snd.play();
    }

    if (event.badge) {
        pushNotification.setApplicationIconBadgeNumber(successHandler, errorHandler, event.badge);
    }
}


// Android
        function onNotificationGCM(e) {
            $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>EVENT -> RECEIVED:' + e.event + '</li>');

            switch( e.event )
            {
                case 'registered':
                if ( e.regid.length > 0 )
                {
                    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>REGISTERED -> REGID:' + e.regid + "</li>");
                    // Your GCM push server needs to know the regID before it can push to this device
                    // here is where you might want to send it the regID for later use.
                    console.log("regID = " + e.regID);
                }
                break;

                case 'message':
                    // if this flag is set, this notification happened while we were in the foreground.
                    // you might want to play a sound to get the user's attention, throw up a dialog, etc.
                    if (e.foreground)
                    {
                        $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>--INLINE NOTIFICATION--' + '</li>');

                        // if the notification contains a soundname, play it.
                        var my_media = new Media("/android_asset/www/"+e.soundname);
                        my_media.play();
                    }
                    else
                    {   // otherwise we were launched because the user touched a notification in the notification tray.
                        if (e.coldstart)
                            $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>--COLDSTART NOTIFICATION--' + '</li>');
                        else
                        $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>--BACKGROUND NOTIFICATION--' + '</li>');
                    }

                    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>MESSAGE -> MSG: ' + e.payload.message + '</li>');
                    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>MESSAGE -> MSGCNT: ' + e.payload.msgcnt + '</li>');
                break;

                case 'error':
                    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>ERROR -> MSG:' + e.msg + '</li>');
                break;

                default:
                    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>EVENT -> Unknown, an event was received and we do not know what it is</li>');
                break;
            }
        }

Looking at the above message handling code for Android, a few things bear explaination. Your app may receive a notification while it is active (INLINE). If you background the app by hitting the Home button on your device, you may later receive a status bar notification. Selecting that notification from the status will bring your app to the front and allow you to process the notification (BACKGROUND). Finally, should you completely exit the app by hitting the back button from the home page, you may still receive a notification. Touching that notification in the notification tray will relaunch your app and allow you to process the notification (COLDSTART). In this case the coldstart flag will be set on the incoming event. You can look at the foreground flag on the event to determine whether you are processing a background or an in-line notification. You may choose, for example to play a sound or show a dialog only for inline or coldstart notifications since the user has already been alerted via the status bar.

Also make note of the payload object. Since the Android notification data model is much more flexible than that of iOS, there may be additional elements beyond message, soundname, and msgcnt. You can access those elements and any additional ones via the payload element. This means that if your data model should change in the future, there will be no need to change and recompile the plugin.

unregister

You will typically call this when your app is exiting, to cleanup any used resources. Its not strictly necessary to call it, and indeed it may be desireable to NOT call it if you are debugging your intermediarry push server. When you call unregister(), the current token for a particular device will get invalidated, and the next call to register() will return a new token. If you do NOT call unregister(), the last token will remain in effect until it is invalidated for some reason at the GCM side. Since such invalidations are beyond your control, its recommended that, in a production environment, that you have a matching unregister() call, for every call to register(), and that your server updates the devices' records each time.

pushNotification.unregister(successHandler, errorHandler);

You'll probably want to trap on the backbutton event and only call this when the home page is showing. Remember, the back button on android is not the same as the Home button. When you hit the back button from the home page, your activity gets dismissed. Here is an example of how to trap the backbutton event;

function onDeviceReady() {
    $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>deviceready event received</li>');

    document.addEventListener("backbutton", function(e)
    {
        $("#app-status-ul").append('<li>backbutton event received</li>');

        if( $("#home").length > 0)
        {
            e.preventDefault();
            pushNotification.unregister(successHandler, errorHandler);
            navigator.app.exitApp();
        }
        else
        {
            navigator.app.backHistory();
        }
    }, false);

    // aditional onDeviceReady work…
}

For the above to work, make sure the content for your home page is wrapped in an element with an id of home, like this;

<div id="home">
    <div id="app-status-div">
        <ul id="app-status-ul">
            <li>Cordova PushNotification Plugin Demo</li>
        </ul>
    </div>
</div>

setApplicationIconBadgeNumber (iOS only)

set the badge count visible when the app is not running

pushNotification.setApplicationIconBadgeNumber(successCallback, errorCallback, badgeCount);

badgeCount - an integer indicating what number should show up in the badge. Passing 0 will clear the badge.

Test Environment

The notification system consists of several interdependent components.

1) The client application which runs on a device and receives notifications.
2) The notification service provider (APNS for Apple, GCM for Google)
3) Intermediary servers that collect device IDs from clients and push notifications through APNS and/or GCM.

This plugin and its target Cordova application comprise the client application.The APNS and GCM infrastructure are maintained by Apple and Google, respectively. In order to send push notifications to your users, you would typically run an intermediary server or employ a 3rd party push service. This is true for both GCM (Android) and APNS (iOS) notifications. However, when testing the notification client applications, it may be desirable to be able to push notifications directly from your desktop, without having to design and build those server's first. There are a number of solutions out there to allow you to push from a desktop machine, sans server. The easiest I've found to work with is a ruby gem called pushmeup. I've only tried this on Mac, but it probably works fine on Windows as well. Here's a rough outline;

Prerequisites.

  • Ruby gems is installed and working.

  • You have successfully built a client with this plugin, on both iOS and Android and have installed them on a device.

1) Get the gem

$ sudo gem install pushmeup

2) (iOS) Follow this tutorial to create a file called ck.pem.

Start at the section entitled "Generating the Certificate Signing Request (CSR)", and substitute your own Bundle Identifier, and Description.

a) go the this plugin's Example/server folder and open pushAPNS.rb in the text editor of your choice.
b) set the APNS.pem variable to the path of the ck.pem file you just created
c) set APNS.pass to the password associated with the certificate you just created. (warning this is cleartext, so don't share this file)
d) set device_token to the token for the device you want to send a push to. (you can run the Cordova app / plugin in Xcode and extract the token from the log messages)
e) save your changes.

3) (Android) Follow these steps to generate a project ID and a server based API key.

a) go the this plugin's Example/server folder and open pushGCM.rb in the text editor of your choice.
b) set the GCM.key variable to the API key you just generated.
c) set the destination variable to the Registration ID of the device. (you can run the Cordova app / plugin in on a device via Eclipse and extract the regID from the log messages)

4) Push a notification

a) cd to the directory containing the two .rb files we just edited.
b) Run the Cordova app / plugin on both the Android and iOS devices you used to obtain the regID  / device token, respectively.
c) $ ruby pushGCM.rb
d) $ ruby pushAPNS.rb

If all went well, you should see a notification show up on each device. If not, make sure you are not being blocked by a firewall, and that you have internet access. Check and recheck the token id, the registration ID and the certificate generating process.

In a production environment, your app, upon registration, would send the device id (iOS) or the registration id (Android), to your intermediary push server. For iOS, the push certificate would also be stored there, and would be used to authenticate push requests to the APNS server. When a push request is processed, this information is then used to target specific apps running on individual devices.

If you're not up to building and maintaining your own intermediary push server, there are a number of commercial push services out there which support both APNS and GCM.

Urban Airship

Pushwoosh

openpush

kony and many others.

Notes

If you run this demo using the emulator you will not receive notifications from GCM. You need to run it on an actual device to receive messages or install the proper libraries on your emulator (You can follow this guide under the section titled "Installing helper libraries and setting up the Emulator")

If everything seems right and you are not receiving a registration id response back from Google, try uninstalling and reinstalling your app. That has worked for some devs out there.

While the data model for iOS is somewhat fixed, it should be noted that GCM is far more flexible. The Android implementation in this plugin, for example, assumes the incoming message will contain a 'message' and a 'msgcnt' node. This is reflected in both the plugin (see GCMIntentService.java) as well as in provided example ruby script (pushGCM.rb). Should you employ a commercial service, their data model may differ. As mentioned earlier, this is where you will want to take a look at the payload element of the message event. In addition to the cannonical message and msgcnt elements, any additional elements in the incoming JSON object will be accessible here, obviating the need to edit and recompile the plugin. Many thanks to Tobias Hößl for this functionality!

Additional Resources

Local and Push Notification Programming Guide (Apple)

Google Cloud Messaging for Android (Android)

Apple Push Notification Services Tutorial: Part 1/2

Apple Push Notification Services Tutorial: Part 2/2

How to Implement Push Notifications for Android

Acknowledgments

Huge thanks to Mark Nutter whose GCM-Cordova plugin forms the basis for the Android side implimentation.

Likewise, the iOS side was inspired by Olivier Louvignes' Cordova PushNotification Plugin (Copyright (c) 2012 Olivier Louvignes) for iOS.

Props to Tobias Hößl, who provided the code to surface the full JSON object up to the JS layer.

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