Parse.com Push Service Battery Impact

I cannot use GCM and I am looking for solutions to support Push service in my application.

I saw PPNS from Parse.com and I am now using it. I starts a consistent websocket connection and checks the connection every 15min. And it also checks it on every device wake-up.

What is the approximate battery impact of just this PushService system?

Is anyone using it and tested it?

Answers


TL;DR: That's how push notification works. Don't worry about the battery usage if it's a required feature in your app.

Long version: From what I understand (and indeed, have developed on my own App using my own MQ), that's what most/all other APIs that handle push notifications do, i.e. they maintain a persistent connection to an MQ of sorts (ActiveMQ, MSMQ, etc.) and subscribe to a specific topic which "pushes" messages to clients.

All of them require a WakeLock in order to keep this connection live in the event the phone is "sleeping" or network connection is recovered in order to make sure notifications are delivered. Some of them even maintain some level of persistence in case a message arrives when connection is lost so that they can playback the messages when they reconnect (although this would be an expensive feature in terms of server resources).

Your users most likely already have a WakeLock in one/many of their installed apps (WhatsApp, Skype, etc. -- You can check this by looking at the permissions WhatsApp requires for instance. One of them would be "preventing the phone from sleeping").

This in turn means that adding an extra WakeLock will have no material effect as the phone never REALLY goes to complete sleep anyway. If yours is the only app that has this WakeLock, then there would be a real cost to the battery but it's unavoidable unless you make sure you persist messages in the queue and only display notifications when the user unlocks the phone which is (1) expensive to maintain on your queue and (2) not very convenient as the user will miss notifications unless they're already actively using the phone so background notifications will go amiss.

I also don't imagine battery life would be hugely impacted if you're simply pinging the server every 15 minutes or so (the interval is usually the keep-alive time for the underlying message queue).

This link should help you understand how a local implementation for messaging works and should give you an idea why the ping is necessary and why you would want to maintain that WakeLock:

http://dalelane.co.uk/blog/?p=1599

edit: added TL;DR


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