Push helps you reach out to your users in a timely fashion with important messages. You can use it to inform users about updates to some piece of data, about new services available nearby or that they are winners in a game. Using Custom server code you can set up triggers which send push notifications to a targeted set of people based on changes in the data you specify.

Kinvey brings Android Push Notifications to you through an integration with Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and iOS Push Notifications through an integration with AWS SNS. While push notifications can only be configured to be used by either iOS or Android devices, our APIs provide support for registering/unregistering devices and associating them with Kinvey users.


Console Setup


  1. Navigate to the Firebase Console and follow the guide to create a new project or select an existing project.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top left of the side menu and select Project Settings.
  3. Click on the Cloud Messaging tab and write down the Sender ID and Server Key (formerly known as Project Number).
  4. On Kinvey's console select your App.
  5. Navigate to Engagement and select Push.
  6. Click Configure Push.
  7. In the Android section, fill in the Sender ID and Server Key fields with the respective Sender ID and Server Key values obtained in step 3.
  8. Click Save


When using Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) you will get two push certificates; one for development and one for production/ad-hoc. These certificates require push notifications to be sent to different servers depending on if your app is in development or production.

The production certificate is only usable if your app is in the App Store.

  1. Generate an Apple Push Certificate .p12 file for your app (instructions).
  2. After you export the .p12 file, on Kinvey's console navigate to Engagement and select Push.
  3. Click Configure Push.
  4. In the iOS section drag your .p12 file generated in step 1 where it says Drag here or click to upload a .p12 file.
  5. Click Save
  6. When you are ready to deploy your app, use your production/ad-hoc certificate. Export the .p12 file, and upload that to our service. Then select production as the certificate type and click Save. Deploying your application is a one-time action and cannot be undone.

Install Push Plugin

Support for push requires installing the PhoneGap Push Plugin. Follow the instructions in the linked article to install it.

Push Notifications are intended for real devices. Push will fail on the iOS simulator. For Android, notifications can be made to work on the emulator as follows:

  1. Open the Android SDK Manager, and install the Google Cloud Messaging for Android Library under the Extras section.
  2. Open the AVD Manager and create a new Google API Emulator.
  3. After launching the emulator, go to Menu → Settings → Accounts & Sync. Add a Google account.
  4. Deploy your PhoneGap project to the emulator to test Push Notifications.

Registering the Device

The device needs to be registered to receive push notifications through Kinvey. There must be a logged-in user when registering. This user will be linked to the device, allowing you to send targeted push notifications.

To register the device, initialize the Push module:

var promise = Kinvey.Push.register({
  android: {
    senderID: '<Google Project ID>'
  ios: {
    alert: true,
    badge: true,
    sound: true
}).then(function(response) {
  // ...
}).catch(function(error) {
  // ...

Triggering Push Notifications

In addition to using the Console, you can trigger a push notification from Business Logic or a Flex service. This approach allows for greater flexibility as it makes it possible to schedule push notifications, to tie them down to various data events, and to set advanced options supported by Android and iOS.

You can send push notification from either collection hooks, effectively tying the notification to a data event, or custom endpoints which you can call manually or programmatically when needed.

The methods for sending push notifications are provided by the push module available in both Business Logic and the Flex SDK. They include send(), sendMessage(), sendPayload(), broadcastPayload(), and broadcastMessage(). Check the module's reference for detailed information.

The following code uses the onPreSave() before-processing collection hook to send a simple push notification to all users who fancy the winning team. Instead of saving any data to the data store, this request just causes the push notification to be sent.

function onPreSave(request,response,modules){
   var userCollection = modules.collectionAccess.collection('user')
   , utils = modules.utils
   , push = modules.push
   , template = '{{name}}, the {{team}} just won!'
   , pushedMessageCount = 0
   , userCount;

   // Find all users whose favoriteTeam matches
   // the incoming request's winning team.
   userCollection.findAsync({"favoriteTeam": request.body.winningTeam})
     // Total number of messages to send
     userCount = userDocs.length;

     // Each message is customized
       var values = {
          name: doc.givenName,
          team: doc.favoriteTeam

       // Render the message to send
       var message = utils.renderTemplate(template, values);

       // Send the push
       push.send(doc, message);

       // Keep track of how many pushes are sent

       // Reduce the number of users left to push to
       if (userCount <= 0){
         // All pushes sent out, complete the request
         response.body = {
             "message": "Attempted to push "
             + pushedMessageCount
             + " messages."
      response.body = error;

The body of the request must have a winningTeam property. For example:

  "winningTeam": "Boston Red Sox"

Users are expected to have a givenName property and a favoriteTeam property.

The Push notification will be similar to:

Joe, the Kansas City Royals just won!

Handling Push Notifications

You need to register a listener with the Push module to receive push notifications.

Kinvey.Push.onNotification(function(data) {

App Badge Management (iOS only)

You can have your app icon display a red badge with the number of unread push notifications. This is done by interacting with the PushPlugin directly:

// Set badge count to 100.
window.plugins.pushNotification.setApplicationIconBadgeNumber(function() {
    // Success.
}, function() {
    // Failure.
}, 100);

Disabling Push Notifications

The unregister operation allows you to remove the current device from the user account's list of registrations, effectively stopping the user from receiving push notifications on the device. The operation is useful when the user has opted out of receiving this kind of notifications or for another reason. Unregister requires an active user. It will return an error if you call it after logging out the user.

var promise = Kinvey.Push.unregister().then(function(response) {
  // ...
}).catch(function(error) {
  // ...