Xamarin.FormsPush Notifications

Remarks

There is no uniform way to handle push notifications in Xamarin Forms since the implementation relies heavily on platform specific features and events. Therefor platform specific code will always be necessary.

However, by using the DependencyService you can share as much code as possible. Also there is a plugin designed for this by rdelrosario, which can be found on his GitHub.

Code and screenshots are taken from a blog series by Gerald Versluis which explains the process in more detail.

Push notifications for iOS with Azure

To start the registration for push notifications you need to execute the below code.

// registers for push
var settings = UIUserNotificationSettings.GetSettingsForTypes(
    UIUserNotificationType.Alert
    | UIUserNotificationType.Badge
    | UIUserNotificationType.Sound,
    new NSSet());

UIApplication.SharedApplication.RegisterUserNotificationSettings(settings);
UIApplication.SharedApplication.RegisterForRemoteNotifications();

This code can either be ran directly when the app starts up in the FinishedLaunching in the AppDelegate.cs file. Or you can do it whenever a user decides that they want to enable push notifications.

Running this code will trigger an alert to prompt the user if they will accept that the app can send them notifications. So also implement a scenario where the user denies that!

Push notifications dialog

These are the events that need implementation for implementing push notifications on iOS. You can find them in the AppDelegate.cs file.

// We've successfully registered with the Apple notification service, or in our case Azure
public override void RegisteredForRemoteNotifications(UIApplication application, NSData deviceToken)
{
   // Modify device token for compatibility Azure
    var token = deviceToken.Description;
    token = token.Trim('<', '>').Replace(" ", "");
    
    // You need the Settings plugin for this!
    Settings.DeviceToken = token;
    
    var hub = new SBNotificationHub("Endpoint=sb://xamarinnotifications-ns.servicebus.windows.net/;SharedAccessKeyName=DefaultListenSharedAccessSignature;SharedAccessKey=<your own key>", "xamarinnotifications");
    
    NSSet tags = null; // create tags if you want, not covered for now
    hub.RegisterNativeAsync(deviceToken, tags, (errorCallback) =>
    {
        if (errorCallback != null)
        {
            var alert = new UIAlertView("ERROR!", errorCallback.ToString(), null, "OK", null);
            alert.Show();
        }
    });
}

// We've received a notification, yay!
public override void ReceivedRemoteNotification(UIApplication application, NSDictionary userInfo)
{
    NSObject inAppMessage;

    var success = userInfo.TryGetValue(new NSString("inAppMessage"), out inAppMessage);

    if (success)
    {
        var alert = new UIAlertView("Notification!", inAppMessage.ToString(), null, "OK", null);
        alert.Show();
    }
}

// Something went wrong while registering!
public override void FailedToRegisterForRemoteNotifications(UIApplication application, NSError error)
{
   var alert = new UIAlertView("Computer says no", "Notification registration failed! Try again!", null, "OK", null);
                    
   alert.Show();
}

When a notification is received this is what it looks like.

Push notification on iOS

Push notifications for Android with Azure

Implementation on Android is a bit more work and requires a specific Service to be implemented.

First lets check if our device is capable of receiving push notifications, and if so, register it with Google. This can be done with this code in our MainActivity.cs file.

protected override void OnCreate(Bundle bundle)
{
    base.OnCreate(bundle);

    global::Xamarin.Forms.Forms.Init(this, bundle);

    // Check to ensure everything's setup right for push
    GcmClient.CheckDevice(this);
    GcmClient.CheckManifest(this);
    GcmClient.Register(this, NotificationsBroadcastReceiver.SenderIDs);

    LoadApplication(new App());
}

The SenderIDs can be found in the code underneath and is the project number that you get from the Google developer dashboard in order to be able to send push messages.

using Android.App;
using Android.Content;
using Gcm.Client;
using Java.Lang;
using System;
using WindowsAzure.Messaging;
using XamarinNotifications.Helpers;

// These attributes are to register the right permissions for our app concerning push messages
[assembly: Permission(Name = "com.versluisit.xamarinnotifications.permission.C2D_MESSAGE")]
[assembly: UsesPermission(Name = "com.versluisit.xamarinnotifications.permission.C2D_MESSAGE")]
[assembly: UsesPermission(Name = "com.google.android.c2dm.permission.RECEIVE")]

//GET_ACCOUNTS is only needed for android versions 4.0.3 and below
[assembly: UsesPermission(Name = "android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS")]
[assembly: UsesPermission(Name = "android.permission.INTERNET")]
[assembly: UsesPermission(Name = "android.permission.WAKE_LOCK")]

namespace XamarinNotifications.Droid.PlatformSpecifics
{
    // These attributes belong to the BroadcastReceiver, they register for the right intents
    [BroadcastReceiver(Permission = Constants.PERMISSION_GCM_INTENTS)]
    [IntentFilter(new[] { Constants.INTENT_FROM_GCM_MESSAGE },
    Categories = new[] { "com.versluisit.xamarinnotifications" })]
    [IntentFilter(new[] { Constants.INTENT_FROM_GCM_REGISTRATION_CALLBACK },
    Categories = new[] { "com.versluisit.xamarinnotifications" })]
    [IntentFilter(new[] { Constants.INTENT_FROM_GCM_LIBRARY_RETRY },
    Categories = new[] { "com.versluisit.xamarinnotifications" })]

    // This is the bradcast reciever
    public class NotificationsBroadcastReceiver : GcmBroadcastReceiverBase<PushHandlerService>
    {
        // TODO add your project number here
        public static string[] SenderIDs = { "96688------" };
    }

    [Service] // Don't forget this one! This tells Xamarin that this class is a Android Service
    public class PushHandlerService : GcmServiceBase
    {
        // TODO add your own access key
        private string _connectionString = ConnectionString.CreateUsingSharedAccessKeyWithListenAccess(
            new Java.Net.URI("sb://xamarinnotifications-ns.servicebus.windows.net/"), "<your key here>");

        // TODO add your own hub name
        private string _hubName = "xamarinnotifications";

        public static string RegistrationID { get; private set; }

        public PushHandlerService() : base(NotificationsBroadcastReceiver.SenderIDs)
        {
        }

        // This is the entry point for when a notification is received
        protected override void OnMessage(Context context, Intent intent)
        {
            var title = "XamarinNotifications";

            if (intent.Extras.ContainsKey("title"))
                title = intent.Extras.GetString("title");

            var messageText = intent.Extras.GetString("message");

            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(messageText))
                CreateNotification(title, messageText);
        }

        // The method we use to compose our notification
        private void CreateNotification(string title, string desc)
        {
            // First we make sure our app will start when the notification is pressed
            const int pendingIntentId = 0;
            const int notificationId = 0;

            var startupIntent = new Intent(this, typeof(MainActivity));
            var stackBuilder = TaskStackBuilder.Create(this);

            stackBuilder.AddParentStack(Class.FromType(typeof(MainActivity)));
            stackBuilder.AddNextIntent(startupIntent);

            var pendingIntent =
                stackBuilder.GetPendingIntent(pendingIntentId, PendingIntentFlags.OneShot);

            // Here we start building our actual notification, this has some more
            // interesting customization options!
            var builder = new Notification.Builder(this)
                .SetContentIntent(pendingIntent)
                .SetContentTitle(title)
                .SetContentText(desc)
                .SetSmallIcon(Resource.Drawable.icon);

            // Build the notification
            var notification = builder.Build();
            notification.Flags = NotificationFlags.AutoCancel;

            // Get the notification manager
            var notificationManager =
                GetSystemService(NotificationService) as NotificationManager;

            // Publish the notification to the notification manager
            notificationManager.Notify(notificationId, notification);
        }

        // Whenever an error occurs in regard to push registering, this fires
        protected override void OnError(Context context, string errorId)
        {
            Console.Out.WriteLine(errorId);
        }

        // This handles the successful registration of our device to Google
        // We need to register with Azure here ourselves
        protected override void OnRegistered(Context context, string registrationId)
        {
            var hub = new NotificationHub(_hubName, _connectionString, context);

            Settings.DeviceToken = registrationId;

            // TODO set some tags here if you want and supply them to the Register method
            var tags = new string[] { };

            hub.Register(registrationId, tags);
        }

        // This handles when our device unregisters at Google
        // We need to unregister with Azure
        protected override void OnUnRegistered(Context context, string registrationId)
        {
            var hub = new NotificationHub(_hubName, _connectionString, context);

            hub.UnregisterAll(registrationId);
        }
    }
}

A sample notification on Android looks like this.

Notification on Android

Push notifications for Windows Phone with Azure

On Windows Phone something like the code underneath needs to be implemented to start working with push notifications. This can be found in the App.xaml.cs file.

protected async override void OnLaunched(LaunchActivatedEventArgs e)
{
    var channel = await PushNotificationChannelManager.CreatePushNotificationChannelForApplicationAsync();
 
    // TODO add connection string here
    var hub = new NotificationHub("XamarinNotifications", "<connection string with listen access>");
    var result = await hub.RegisterNativeAsync(channel.Uri);
 
    // Displays the registration ID so you know it was successful
    if (result.RegistrationId != null)
    {
        Settings.DeviceToken = result.RegistrationId;
    }
 
    // The rest of the default code is here
}

Also don't forget to enable the capabilities in the Package.appxmanifest file.

Package.appxmanifest

A sample push notification may look like this:

Toast on Windows Phone