Add support for Critical Alerts on APNS
Starting with iOS 12, iphone apps and APNS can send critical alerts 1. Critical alerts play a sound regardless of whether or not Do Not Disturb is enabled or the ringer switch is off.
As documented on the APNS remote payload documentation 2 the sound key in the notification payload can be used as a dictionary and can contain the keys "critical", "name" and "volume" to send a critical alert remote notification. An example payload would look like:
"body":"Test Critical Notification",
"title": "Test Critical Notification"
Currently, only a plain string is supported for the sound key, which unfortunatelly means, that the push hub cannot be used to trigger critical alerts on iPhones.
Because critical alerts are potentially disruptive to the iPhone user, an the iPhpne app developer has to apply 3 for a special critical alerts entitlement with apple.
Michael Zurzolo commented
Hi Azure Product Dev Team,
Following on from @Raj - I'm Michael the Co-Founder and Director of Safe Watch Global Pty Ltd. We build Help/Emergency Responder Apps for our customers. We have built our range of products utilising the Microsoft stack of technologies. Azure, DevOps, Git and Xamarin.
Our Help/Emergency Responder apps utilise Notification Hubs to send push notifications in the event of someone needing HELP. For us it is critical that we alert first responders in the event of someone needing help. That is why it is critical that Azure Notification Hubs supports "Critical" notifications for iOS as soon as possible.
I sincerely hope this can happen soon.
Co-Founder and Director
Safe Watch Global
Hi! I am Raj, a Xamarin app developer associated with Safe Watch Global Pty Ltd company since last 3 years. The product we develop here is emergency responder system kind of SOS, which contacts people in case of emergency and need for help. We use iOS app to notify users in such emergency situation by sending remote push notifications and we are using azure notification hub to do so.
We have special sounds attached to help and emergency based notification. Now, the app plays sound when phone is in ringer mode but it doesn’t when in silent mode off course because of user choice and iOS.
After release of critical alerts/pushes from iOS 12, we found this feature is very important to have in our app as it perfectly suits our business need of contacting people in case emergency situations even when their phone is in silent mode. So that it grabs their attention and they can take appropriate action.
It seems that azure notification hub currently doesn’t provide support for critical push payload format as it still accepts a string value for sound key and not json object for critical push.
We are desperately waiting for this feature to be available as it suits our business requirement and need to have it quickly released for our iOS apps. So waiting for azure team to avail this feature out for developers. It would be really helpful for us if we get to know some ETA for this feature on azure notification hub.