Background Push Notification

What is a background push notification?

A background push notification is a silent, remote alert sent to a user’s device while an app is closed or running in the background. It’s a way for apps to refresh and provide users with information like recent updates without interrupting the user.

Unlike regular push notifications, background push notifications do not show app icon badges, trigger a sound, or display a message when received by your app. The system wakes the app in the background for a short time to silently initiate downloads, update content, or perform other actions.

If your app’s server-based content changes at irregular intervals, background notifications can be used to alert your app and refresh content. Background notifications are treated as a low priority; their delivery isn’t guaranteed by the system. If the total number of background notifications becomes excessive, the system may defer their delivery in a process known as throttling. If your background push notifications are throttled, they might be delayed until the next time another notification is received.

When a background notification is received by a device, the system may hold and delay the delivery of the notification, which can have the following side effects:

  • If the system receives a new background notification, it only keeps the newest one and gets rid of older notifications.
  • If something force quits or kills the app, the system discards held notifications.
  • If the user launches the app, the system immediately delivers the held notification.