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Posted January 26, 2021

How to Test Push Notifications on Android and iOS in our Real Device Cloud

In this article and accompanying video, you'll learn how to test push notifications for Android and iOS in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud.


With apps becoming a central part of our digital experience, it is imperative for global organizations to deliver a flawless user experience with every interaction. 

Push notifications (pop-up messages initiated by the application and delivered to the user's device) have become a go-to medium for businesses to connect, interact, and engage with their users. These notifications afford app publishers many benefits, including the ability to:

  • Deliver relevant and timely messages to help users receive the right information and alerts, enabling them to accomplish things faster

  • Offer personalized content to improve engagement (e.g., sending messages based on user behavior)

  • Retarget and re-engage users (e.g., reminding users of items left in the cart)

  • Geo-target users based on their location access and previous check-in history

Testing Push Notifications for an Improved Mobile Experience

To deliver a satisfactory mobile experience for your users, it is critical to thoroughly test various push notification scenarios in your apps. This could include:

  • Verifying notification receipts when an app is closed/open or the device is in use

  • Checking if the notification is clickable

  • Verifying the redirection of the notifications, and so on

Sauce Labs understands this need and that’s why our Real Device Cloud—ideal for customers looking to expedite automated and live testing for their mobile apps—allows you to test push notifications for both Android and iOS on mobile devices. In this article, we will discuss the key factors to consider and demonstrate the process of testing push notifications on the Sauce Labs real device cloud.

Push notifications essentially work with a push notification service. When an app is installed and launched on a device, unique identifiers for both the app and the device are registered in the push notification service platform. This allows the app to accept push notifications that are sent from the notification service platform. 

While push notifications are part of the holistic mobile experience, it is also important to understand the differences in how these work on the two operating systems—Android and iO—as you begin your testing initiatives. 

The Difference in Testing Push Notifications on iOS and Android

Android works out of the box and does not require a specific build or the need to execute specific steps in the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud to make push notifications work. Once you’ve built an Android app, you can install it on an emulator or a real device in Sauce Labs.

But when it comes to testing on iOS, you need to first instruct your app that it is allowed to be installed on a specific device. This is done through the process of signing. There are multiple ways in which you can sign your app and install it on an iOS device in our real device cloud. To help you understand how Sauce Labs handles the signing process for you and how you can handle your own signing (using a developer certificate) with Sauce Labs, we have an interactive demo video.

Video: Watch the Push Notification Testing Process in Action

In this video, Wim Selles, our Sr. Solutions Architect, walks you through each step and provides detailed instructions on how to test push notifications for Android and iOS on the Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud. You will learn:

  • How to upload and install your application in Sauce Labs Real Device Cloud

  • Understand the specific capabilities that Apple uses to make push notifications work

  • See the differences in the process for installing Android and iOS apps and discover tested workarounds to complete the process

This is someone using a phone
How to Test Push Notifications on Android and iOS in Real Device Cloud

We hope this provides you a good overview of testing push notifications using our real device cloud. To learn more on how to get started with mobile application testing using Sauce Labs, please reference our documentation

Ashwini Sathe
Sr. Group Product Marketing Manager
Jan 26, 2021
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