A Sign Of More Openness: Windows Azure Mobile Services Adds Push Notification For iOS

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Windows Azure Mobile Services has added push notification for developers so they can fire off updates that may include sounds, badges or SMS messages.

Scott Guthrie, a corporate vice president in the Microsoft Tools and Servers group, writes that the new push notification, using Apple Push Notification Services (APNS), is one of a series of updates Microsoft has made to accommodate developers who build apps for the iOS platform. APNS is one of the more popular features for developers on the iOS platform.

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Microsoft has recently shown a more open approach to third-party platforms. Guthrie notes that a few weeks ago he wrote about a number of updates to iOS and other services that I think highlight Microsoft’s more open philosophy:

  • OS support – enabling you to connect iPhone and iPad apps to Mobile Services
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Google authentication support with Mobile Services
  • Blob, Table, Queue, and Service Bus support from within your Mobile Service
  • Sending emails from your Mobile Service (in partnership with SendGrid)
  • Sending SMS messages from your Mobile Service (in partnership with Twilio)
  • Ability to deploy mobile services in the West US region

In tonight’s post, Guthrie specifically points to the recent addition of an “Objective-C client SDK that allows iOS developers to easily use Mobile Services for data and authentication.” Today’s news of the push notification is the next step in what we can expect will be a continuous development cycle to add more iOS features into Windows Mobile Services.

Note for developers: On his personal blog, Guthrie has a more detailed demonstration for how to configure applications for push notifications.

There is something more here. Earlier today, Microsoft announced a new set of features for Windows Azure Storage and a significant price drop. One developer commented on the blog post I wrote that the only Microsoft service he likes is Windows Azure. Making it easier to use Windows Azure Mobile Services for iOS push notifications will attract developers as well.

I wonder here about Apple in all of this. Apple makes beautiful mobile devices and the iOS development environment is a favorite. But Apple has not shown much in terms of providing a serious infrastructure that developers can as they do with other services. Microsoft has Azure. Google now has Google Compute Engine and Amazon has AWS. Where does that leave Apple? Any theories?