Rich notifications setup

Rich notification example

iOS 10 introduced support for rich notifications: they can now contain custom content, such as images, videos, sounds or even a fully custom view controller.
Batch comes with built-in support for these, but due to the way they're implemented, integration of a supplementary SDK is required.
Don't worry, we've made it really easy.

Note: This tutorial assumes that you haven't already added a Notification Content extension. If you do, jump straight to Integrating the Batch Extension SDK.

Adding a Notification Service Extension

In order to set up the Batch Extension SDK, you'll need a notification service extension. It's a standard iOS component that will take care of downloading rich content and add it to the notification.

Open your Xcode project, click on the File menu and then pick New -> Target. Then, pick Notification Service Extension and fill in what's left of the wizard. You can name the extension as you wish: we will name it RichNotificationsExtension for the rest of this tutorial, and write it in Swift.

Xcode target wizard screenshot

Xcode will then ask you if you want to activate the scheme. Press Activate.

Before going any further, you might want to check the extension's Deployment Traget. It usually is the latest iOS minor, meaning that your extension will not run on older iOS versions.
We recommend that you set it to the lowest version of iOS that your app supports, but not lower than iOS 10.0 as this is the version that introduced this extension kind.

Xcode deployment target

Integrating Batch Extension SDK

React Native and Cordova users: Please follow "Pure Objective-C version" and skip this section until you reach "Automatic integration".

Framework integration

Requires Xcode 11 or higher

BatchExtension is distributed as an open-source Swift package.

You can integrate it like any other SPM package in Xcode:

First, open Xcode and select the File > Swift Packages > Add Package Dependency... menu item.
In the input field, enter https://github.com/BatchLabs/Batch-iOS-SDK-Extension.git and press Next.
Pick the version criterias you want (the default settings are usually the best choice) , then click on Next.
Once Xcode is finished, you will be asked which Target the package should be added to. Select your extension target, and finish the wizard.
Xcode SPM target wizard

Note: If you're getting the error: "Cannot subclass a class that was declared with the 'objc_subclassing_restricted' attribute", this is because Swift classes cannot be subclassed in Objective-C, and the extension code is pure Swift and SPM doesn't support mixed language packages. To fix this please see 'Pure Objective-C version' if you wish to use SPM, use CocoaPods/Carthage or rewrite your extension code in Swift.

CocoaPods

Make sure you're setting the dependency on the extension target. If your Podfile existed before you created your extension, you might need to add it.

target 'RichNotifications' do
  use_frameworks!
  pod 'BatchExtension'
end

target 'App' do
  use_frameworks!
  pod 'Batch'
end

Carthage

github "BatchLabs/Batch-iOS-SDK-Extension"

Then, link the framework to the extension just like you would with any Carthage dependency.

Automatic integration

If you don't have your own code, you've probably noticed that Xcode added some sample code for you:

Default extension code

In order to have Batch automatically adding rich content to your notifications, simply remplace this code with:

  • Objective-C
  • Swift
// NotificationService.h -- 
@import BatchExtension;

@interface NotificationService : BAENotificationServiceExtension
@end

// NotificationService.m
#import "NotificationService.h"
@implementation NotificationService
@end

That's it, no code to write! Start your app, and try sending a rich push from the dashboard.

Manual integration

If you've already added your own extension code, you might want to manually integrate Batch and perform your own modifications to the notification content.

First, import the extension SDK:

  • Objective-C
  • Swift
@import BatchExtension;

or

#import <BatchExtension/BatchExtension.h>

Then, instanciate a BAERichNotificationHelper instance, and keep it as an instance variable of your UNNotificationServiceExtension instance.

Note: You must NOT instanciate a new BAERichNotificationHelper/RichNotificationHelper object every time. The class needs to keep an internal state, and might not behave properly if it cannot.

You can then use the following methods of BAERichNotificationHelper:

  • didReceive, which has the same signature as the one you're already in, but allows you to tweak the UNNotificationRequest beforehand
  • appendRichData, which will download and add attachments to the content, and call you back once done.

Here's an example of a class that uses appendRichData:

  • Objective-C
  • Swift
// NotificationService.h

#import <UserNotifications/UserNotifications.h>

@interface NotificationService : UNNotificationServiceExtension

@end

// NotificationService.m
#import "NotificationService.h"
@import BatchExtension;

@interface NotificationService () {
    BAERichNotificationHelper *batchHelper;
}
@end

@implementation NotificationService

- (instancetype)init {
    self = [super init];
    if (self) {
        batchHelper = [BAERichNotificationHelper new];
    }
    return self;
}

- (void)didReceiveNotificationRequest:(UNNotificationRequest *)request withContentHandler:(void (^)(UNNotificationContent * _Nonnull))contentHandler {
    UNMutableNotificationContent *bestAttemptContent = [request.content mutableCopy];
    
    if (bestAttemptContent) {
        // Modify the notification content here...
        bestAttemptContent.title = [bestAttemptContent.title stringByAppendingString:@" [modified]"];
        
        // Ask Batch to download and add any rich content
        [batchHelper appendRichDataToContent:bestAttemptContent completionHandler:^(UNNotificationContent * _Nullable result, NSError * _Nullable error) {
            if (error) {
                NSLog(@"Error while appending rich notification attachments %@", error);
            }
            
            if (result) {
                contentHandler(result);
            } else {
                contentHandler(bestAttemptContent);
            }
        }];
    } else {
        contentHandler(bestAttemptContent);
    }
}

@end

Configuring low data mode

Starting with version 3.0.0, BatchExtension doesn't download rich notification content in low data mode anymore.

To change this, use BAERichNotificationHelper/RichNotificationHelper:

  • Objective-C
  • Swift
// NotificationService.m
#import "NotificationService.h"

@implementation NotificationService

- (instancetype)init
{
    self = [super init];
    if (self) {
        BAERichNotificationHelper.allowInLowDataMode = true;
    }
    return self;
}

@end

Configuring an App Group

Some features, like Display Receipts, might require you to setup an App Group so that the extension can communicate with the host application.

Please see the App Group documentation for more info.

Pure Objective-C version

The extension requires the Swift runtime in your application. If your app doesn't use Swift at all (main target and extension), BatchExtension will make your app require it, meaning that users on iOS 12.3 and lower will see the app size increase due to the inclusion of Swift libraries.

This can be an issue, so we provide an Objective-C implementation of the extension.

If you need an Objective-C implementation of the extension, you can use the following dependencies:

Swift Package Manager

https://github.com/BatchLabs/Batch-iOS-SDK-Extension-ObjC.git

CocoaPods

pod 'BatchExtension-ObjC'

Note: CocoaPods overrides the product name with the Pod's name. If you're using the BatchExtension-ObjC pod, you will have to import BatchExtension_Objc instead of BatchExtension. The sample code will not work as is until you fix the imports.

Carthage

github "BatchLabs/Batch-iOS-SDK-Extension-ObjC"