Blog Archives

Generating push notifications with Pushbullet and Silex

Sometimes I need to send push notifications to mobile apps (Android or IOS). It’s not difficult. Maybe it’s a bit nightmare the first times, but when you understand the process, it’s straightforward. Last days I discover a cool service called PushBullet. It allows us to install one client in our Android/IOS or even desktop computer, and send push notifications between them.

Pushbullet also has a good API, and it allows us to automate our push notifications. I’ve play a little bit with the API and my Raspberry Pi – home server. It’s really simple to integrate the API with our Silex backend and send push notifications to our registered devices.

I’ve created one small service provider to enclose the API. The idea is to use one Silex application like this

use Silex\Application;
use PushSilex\Silex\Provider\PushbulletServiceProvider;

$app = new Application(['debug' => true]);

$myToken = include(__DIR__ . '/../conf/token.php');

$app->register(new PushbulletServiceProvider($myToken));

$app->get("/", function () {
    return "Usage: GET /note/{title}/{body}";
});

$app->get("/note/{title}/{body}", function (Application $app, $title, $body) {
    return $app->json($app['pushbullet.note']($title, $body));
});

$app->run();

As we can see we’re using one service providers called PushbulletServiceProvider. This service provides us ‘pushbullet.note’ and allows to send push notifications. We only need to configure our Service Provider with our Pushbulled’s token and that’s all.

<?php
namespace PushSilex\Silex\Provider;
use Silex\ServiceProviderInterface;
use Silex\Application;
class PushbulletServiceProvider implements ServiceProviderInterface
{
    private $accessToken;
    const URI = 'https://api.pushbullet.com/v2/pushes';
    const NOTE = 'note';
    public function __construct($accessToken)
    {
        $this->accessToken = $accessToken;
    }
    public function register(Application $app)
    {
        $app['pushbullet.note'] = $app->protect(function ($title, $body) {
            return $this->push(self::NOTE, $title, $body);
        });
    }
    private function push($type, $title, $body)
    {
        $data = [
            'type'  => $type,
            'title' => $title,
            'body'  => $body,
        ];
        $ch = curl_init();
        curl_setopt_array($ch, [
            CURLOPT_URL            => self::URI,
            CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER     => ['Content-Type' => 'application/json'],
            CURLOPT_CUSTOMREQUEST  => 'POST',
            CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS     => $data,
            CURLOPT_HTTPAUTH       => CURLAUTH_BASIC,
            CURLOPT_USERPWD        => $this->accessToken . ':',
            CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true
        ]);
        $out = curl_exec($ch);
        curl_close($ch);

        return json_decode($out);
    }
    public function boot(Application $app)
    {
    }
}

Normally I use Guzzle to handle HTTP clients, but in this example I’ve created a raw curl connection.

You can see the project in my github account

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Multiple Phonegap Push Notifications in the Android’s status bar

Last month I worked within an Android project using Phonegap, jQuery Mobile and Push Notifications. I also wrote one post explaining how to use PHP to send the server side’s part of the push notifications. Today I want to show one small hack, that I’ve done to change the default behaviour of push notifications. Let me explain it a little bit:

When you use the Push Plugin “out of the box” you will see one message in your Android’s status bar everytime we send one push notification (and you application isn’t running at this moment). If you click on the notification you application will start and you can handle this notification. But if you send more than one notifications to the device, only the last one will be shown on the status bar. This behaviour can be suitable for most situations, but within my application I wanted to see all the notifications in the status bar until I click on one (then all must disappear). If we want to do that we need to hack a little bit our Phonegap application. Let me show you what I’ve done.

Basically we need to change com.plugin.gcm.GCMIntentService file. If we open this Java file we can see that there’s one constant called: NOTIFICATION_ID and a public function called createNotification with something like that:

public static final int NOTIFICATION_ID = 237;
...

public void createNotification(Context context, Bundle extras)
{
    ...
    mNotificationManager.notify((String) appName, NOTIFICATION_ID, mBuilder.build());

}

I’m not a Java expert, but I notice that if I change this function to:

public static final int NOTIFICATION_ID = 237;
public static int MY_NOTIFICATION_ID = 237;
...

public void createNotification(Context context, Bundle extras)
{
    ...
    MY_NOTIFICATION_ID++;
    mNotificationManager.notify((String) appName, MY_NOTIFICATION_ID, mBuilder.build());

}

Now my android device will show multiple notifications, exactly as I need.

If we need to handle properly the way that our notifications are cancelled we also need to modify the public function cancelNotification

public static void cancelNotification(Context context)
{
    NotificationManager mNotificationManager = (NotificationManager) context.getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
    //mNotificationManager.cancel((String)getAppName(context), MY_NOTIFICATION_ID);
    mNotificationManager.cancelAll();
    MY_NOTIFICATION_ID = NOTIFICATION_ID;
}

And that’s all. Multiple notifications as I needed.