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Local Push: Exploring Acrobits’ Approach to Push Notifications

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I can’t imagine a world without push notifications. Can you?

This simple app feature has become essential to virtually every app on the market. Think about it. How else would essential applications get your attention without them?

And yet, it wasn’t that long ago that they didn’t exist — in a time where critics called us crazy when we first pioneered the earliest version of push notifications on the App Store in 2009.

Back then, we took our big idea, combined it with Gizmo5’s technology (later acquired by Google as the foundation for Google Talk), and created the first iteration of what would later become the standard for VoIP push notifications.

You wouldn’t believe the criticism we received from other softphone providers. They told us our version of push notifications for incoming calls wasn’t safe. That it would lead to security breaches. That the cloud wasn’t safe enough.

The reality? They couldn’t replicate it themselves. And more importantly, they didn’t want to put in the necessary time and resources to make it work.

So, how did we do it? The answer is simple: SIPIS.

Since traditional SIP softphones need to periodically refresh registration on the registrar server to receive calls or text messages. This meant users needed an entity to discreetly maintain SIP registration for them.

Enter SIPIS — an entity that would maintain device registration by securely sending credentials and notifying a user when a call or text comes in. But that wasn’t enough — push notifications couldn’t patch calls through to the device.

A better solution was needed. One that could launch the softphone app when needed and create the unique SIP user agent required to communicate with SIPIS. Think of it like a virtual device the white label softphone uses to notify SIPIS when it’s “ready,” allowing SIPIS to initiate the SIP call to the user.

And then came local push, which we took advantage of to create VoIP local push notifications

Local push changed the game, giving users access to a more secure push notification solution in industries that demand reliability and confidentiality.

Now, you may be wondering: how does local VoIP push notifications work?

Local Push allows an app to send push notifications using private WiFi networks with SSID where the voice infrastructure doesn’t face the public internet — making local VoIP push notifications an ideal solution for:

  • Healthcare facilities with limited network availability and strict HIPAA compliance
  • Data security-centric organizations that don’t want sensitive data transmitted unnecessarily over an Internet connection
  • Organizations that must prove compliance with privacy-focused regulatory requirements

Clearly a move in the right direction.

Why? Because privacy matters today.

We’ve seen a drastic shift in how OS manufacturers and developers treat the customer experience — and more importantly — digital privacy. We’ve seen the rise of privacy-focused solutions that aim to give users more control over what information they share online.

And if you ask me? It’s amazing to see the large-scale rollout of something like local push. It only validates that our big, crazy idea in 2009 wasn’t that crazy after all.

If you’d like to read how this is unfolding in real-world deployments — I invite you to read this article where we discuss Local VoIP pushes with the CTO of a renowned healthcare provider.

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