Push Notification Issues

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018 01:26PM PST

We know push notifications are a crucial feature for your apps, and sometimes things go wrong. If you receive an error message when sending your push notification, refer to the Common Error Messages section below. If you don't receive an error message, but the push notification fails to deliver to your device, see the Troubleshooting Delivery Failure section below.

If none of the circumstances below apply to your situation, or you're still encountering issues after troubleshooting, don't hesitate to email us directly. Our support team has a great deal of experience diagnosing push notifications problems, and is more than happy to help you get your notifications back up and running!



Rebuilding Push Notification Certificates

iOS push notification troubles can often be resolved with a certificate rebuild. See here for instructions on rebuilding your push notification certificate. Keep in mind, this doesn't resolve all issues, so if you continue to encounter issues, it's important to review the possible causes below.

Android apps don't have the same type of certificate, and thus Android push notification issues won't be remedied with a cert rebuild. However, Android push notification problems are often resolved by updating your Android app. Again, be sure to check out the potential causes & fixes below before taking any serious action.



Common Error Messages


Your message will be added to the list but not sent as a push notification to iPhone App Users. Please publish your app for iPhone/iPad to start the set up process.
  • Translation: Your app isn't live on iOS. Push notifications can't be sent out to users until the app is live and available for download in the App Store, because until that point, it hasn't actually been installed on devices, which is crucial to push notification delivery.
  • Fix: Publish your app! Once it's been uploaded to the App Store and is Ready for Sale, you can begin utilizing the push notification feature.

Note: If you receive this error but your app is already live for iOS, please let us know. We may simply need to activate a setting in the back-end.


Whoops! Connection to APNS server has failed. Please try again.
  • Translation: The push notification certificate for this app, which was created in Apple Developer during the upload process, is either faulty or has expired, as it does after one year. This certificate is the primary connection between our platform and Apple, so when it fails, so do the push notifications.
  • Fix: We'll need to rebuild your push notifications. Follow this tutorial to submit a rebuild request. If you have trouble rebuilding your cert, just email us for help!

We could not send push notifications to your Android users because you do not have the correct Android Market URL input. Please email support so we can help fix the issue!
  • Translation: The Android Market URL in the Info section of this app is incorrect. This URL is key to Android push notification delivery, so it's crucial you verify it when your Android app goes live.
  • Fix: Reference this article on how to find your Android Market URL through Google Play. Once located, copy & paste this URL into the Info section of your app and save your changes. Test out the push notifications once more, and they should successfully deliver to Android devices.



Troubleshooting Delivery Failure


If: You sent a push notification to all iOS devices, but didn't receive it on your iPhone/iPad.

Then: Verify that both push notifications and location services are enabled for this app under your device's settings.
  1. Go to Settings > Notifications and scroll through the list to locate the app.
  2. Once located, you'll see the types of notifications that are currently enabled listed below the name.
  3. Click on the app to view its notification settings.
  4. Make sure Allow Notifications and Show on Lock Screen are enabled, as well as any other notification types you'd like. (Badge App Icon is the red notifier that appears on the app icon when a push notification is received. Banners appear briefly at the top of your screen when your device is in use. Alerts pop up on the home screen and require you to click View or Dismiss.)
  5. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and scroll through the list to locate the app.
  6. Make sure it says Always next to the app. If it says Never, click on the app and change it to Always.
  7. Return to your home screen.
  8. Lock your home screen, and attempt to send your push notification once more.
AND

Then: Refresh the app with a force-close, so the server can re-register your device's location.
  1. Launch the app on your device.
  2. Leave it open until the location arrow at the top right of the screen disappears.
  3. Double-click your home button and swipe upward over the app so it disappears from the screen.
  4. Lock your home screen, and attempt to send your push notification once more.
  5. If it still fails to come through, see the next step below.



OR

Then: If the above processes are complete and you're still not receiving the push notification, try testing on another iOS device. Sometimes specific devices will present temporary issues. We're happy to test out push notifications on our end as well, so if you've hit a wall, always feel free to email us so we can do some troubleshooting.



If: You sent a push notification to Android devices, but didn't receive it on your Android.

Then: Go to the Info section of your app and make sure the Android Market URL is properly filled out. If your URL's prefix is "https://" then try removing the 's' and saving. This 's' can sometimes interfere with push notification delivery. (Note: We recommend making this change for the App Store URL as well.) See here for more details.

OR

Then: If there is no clear reason the push notifications are failing, try republishing for Android and updating your app. More often than not, a simple update will resolve your issues.



If: You sent a location-based (radius or geofenced) push notification to iOS or Android devices, but didn't receive it.

Then: Verify that location services are enabled for this app under your device's settings. Also confirm that your device's connection (cell data or WiFi) is working properly.
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and scroll through the list to locate the app.
  2. Make sure it says Always next to the app. If it says Never, click on the app and change it to Always.
  3. Return to your home screen.
  4. Lock your home screen, and attempt to send your push notification once more.

OR

Then: Verify that your app's source code supports location-based push notifications. If your app has not been republished in the last year, we recommend updating it as soon as possible. Geofencing in particular was released in April 2014. If your app hasn't been updated since then, you won't be able to send geofenced push notifications.
  • iOS source codes from mid-2013 and earlier do not support location services. An easy way to confirm this is by checking out the Location Services section of your device settings, as detailed in step 1 of the previous section. If you do not see your app in the list, it most likely does not support location-based messaging, and it will be need to be updated.
  • If your Android app is not receiving location-based push notifications, it's always best to try updating it first. The app's source code may be outdated, or it may have presented a location services issue that has since been fixed on a new code. Either way, updating your Android app never hurts, and often resolves push notification issues.

OR

Then: Make sure you sent the push notification correctly. Geofencing in particular can be tricky, so it's important to follow the instructions to a tee in order to guarantee success.
  • Verify that you've set a valid Active Until time (for geofenced messages).
  • Verify that the geographical location you've selected is large enough. If your radius or fenced area is smaller than a few blocks, the location-targeting probably won't work. Devices' GPS capabilities simply aren't accurate enough to receive such targeted messages, so it helps to increase the range and try again.
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