Improving Discourse Native App Push Notifications

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #1

I’ve been using the Discourse Native app (on Android) to get push notifications since the app was in beta. There have been two small things that have bugged me, and I finally remembered to make a feature request.

Request #1: Push Notifications do not mention which site the notification is from. I have multiple sites in the app. There are times when I cannot immediately open the app to check on a notification. Being able to know which site the notification is from (as I can’t always associate the username) would be helpful.

Request #2: Optional vibrate (and sound) for notifications. I’d love to see the option for (default off) vibrate and sound when a notification is received. At the moment, I have to check my phone to see if I received a notification, which defeats a big part of getting a notification. In many cases, I see the notification because my phone vibrated 10 minutes later with the email. This could be implemented globally for the app (either you get vibrate or you don’t), and if there comes a time where there are site level settings, then this could be expanded to allow for vibrate on one site but not another.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Maybe some of this can be improved in the upcoming Android release of the app once 1.8 is out the door @sam?

(Sam Saffron) #3

I hate sound and vibrate so much which is why I avoided making it even an option, but I guess if people love pain, so be it.

Including the site in the android notification is something we absolutely want to do. We should site on iOS.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #4

Totally understand where you’re coming from - I have quite a few apps I’ve made Android “silence” because they vibrate too much, but push notifications without some kind of “human perceptible” alert defeat their purpose for many of us. I fully understand that it isn’t for everyone - which is why I suggested it be optional and default off.

(Sam Saffron) #5

@joffreyjaffeux can you add to your list for the next release you do?

(Willemb2) #6

Count in my vote for both Android and iOS. I hate it too myself, but it is one of the reason why part of our members are currently using Facebook and WhatsApp groups instead of our forum. Part of them is from the generation that gets uneasy when their phone didn’t vibrate for 5 minutes.

(Joffrey Jaffeux) #7

Somehow I lost track of this one, I have multiple fixes in the pipe for native apps, enough to do another release, will include this.

(Christoph) #8

If I may add one thing (chances are it’s already on your list): currently, when I click on an android notification, all it does is open the app. I then have to

  1. tap on the forum
  2. tap on my avatar
  3. tap on the new notification

That’s four taps instead of one (or maybe two)…

(Gerhard Schlager) #9

One more feature request: Sync read status of notifications between devices.

I’m using the app on my Android phone and on my iPad. It would be awesome if notifications could disappear from my devices if the notification is marked as read in Discourse.

(Jeff Atwood) #10

This seems like a very large scope creep as we can’t even do that reliably for “read email”.


I think both android and iOS supports decreasing the badge number on an app through special push messages, so that if you clear your notifications on another system you can send updates to the mobile app so it decreases or hides the badge number. It’s probably a good idea to limit the update rate though.

I don’t think anyone expects just reading the native notification to update anything without opening the Discourse app first. Personally I would find that annoying, because sometimes you mistakenly clear all your mobile notifications or the phone does weird things, I wouldn’t want that to be reflected to websites automatically.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #12

I agree with Gerhard it’d be nice to have notifications dismissed. I get notifications while I sit at my computer working. By the end of the day I’m apt to have 50+ notifications on my phone. All those notifications have been dealt with already, however, via my desktop.

Email seems to me like a totally different beast. We don’t have complete control over the email process. Everyone’s email provider does things differently, there’s no standard for knowing if someone read an email (read-receipts don’t count).

Unlike email with the app we’re dealing with 2 standards: Google’s and Apple’s. As long as we follow the standard that’s in place clearing notifications should work.