AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog

Sending Push Notifications to iOS 13 and watchOS 6 Devices

Last week, we made some changes to the way that Amazon Pinpoint sends Apple Push Notification service (APNs) push notifications.

In June, Apple announced that push notifications sent to iOS 13 and watchOS devices would require the new apns-push-type header. APNs uses this header to determine whether a notification should be shown on the display of the recipient’s device, or if it should be sent to the background.

When you use Amazon Pinpoint to send an APNs message, you can choose whether you want to send the message as a standard message, or as a silent notification. Amazon Pinpoint uses your selection to determine which value to apply to the apns-push-type header: if you send the message as a standard message, Amazon Pinpoint automatically sets the value of the apns-push-type header to alert; if you send the message as a silent notification, it sets the apns-push-type header to background. Amazon Pinpoint applies these settings automatically—you don’t have to do any additional work in order to send messages to recipients with iOS 13 and watchOS 6 devices.

One last thing to keep in mind: if you specify the raw content of an APNs push notification, the message payload has to include the content-available key. The value of the content-available key has to be an integer, and can only be 0 or 1. If you’re sending an alert, set the value of content-available to 0. If you’re sending a background notification, set the value of content-available to 1. Additionally, background notification payloads can’t include the alert, badge, or sound keys. Finally, Apple has indicated that they may throttle “excessive” background notifications based on traffic volumes. To prevent the throttling of your notifications, Apple recommends that you send no more than 3 silent push notifications to each recipient per hour.

To learn more about sending APNs notifications, see Generating a Remote Notification and Pushing Background Updates to Your App on the Apple Developer website.