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Other FAQs

What is an Interaction?

An interaction is when the platform can tell for sure that someone has done something with whatever message they received, no matter what message type. It could be they clicked on the message, or in the case of a notification, dismissed it.

Does OpenBack work when the user has my app shut?

Yes, OpenBack works even when the app is closed.

How often does the app check the triggers for each message?

The OpenBack SDK within each app checks the triggers based on a frequency as setup in the Apps menu, which can be changed anytime. We call this the Message Monitor.

It can either be based on a schedule, or event driven based on something the user or device does, or both.

How frequently does the number of app installs update?

The frequency at which the dashboard pulls in data from your apps is based on the polling frequency set in your App Settings. This is defaulted to 12 hours. This is also how often the data from your message campaigns will be updated.

What is the difference between Global Messages and User Specific Messages?

A Global Message is one that is sent out to every app, and is then ready and waiting for the selected triggers to be met. A User Specific Message is one just sent out to a specific user's app only.

What is an In-App Message?

An in-app message is a proprietary message type created by OpenBack to enable you to display more flexible content options to your app users. An in-app message can be a URL, image, video, app install or any HTML5. For an image or video, the URL must be a direct link to the content which you are hosting by your own means. For video, only .mp4 and .avi are supported currently.

For Android an in-app message is completely independent of notifications and the user giving permission to accepted notifications, and can be displayed anytime irrespective of whether the app is running or not.

For iOS the in-app message is only displayed to the user after they have clicked on a notification, and as such require user permission for notifications.

What are messaging limits?

These limits are set on a level for each mobile app, separately for iOS and Android apps. The limits can be set for rolling daily, weekly, monthly and yearly periods.

Once the messages setup for those app installs reach the limits within that period, no more messages will be delivered, and they are discarded as they are triggered.

What is the difference between a push notification and a local notification?

There are two types of mobile app notifications:

  • Push notifications: These are messages sent from the cloud or a server somewhere to a particular app on a particular device using either Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) or Apple Push Notifications Service (APNs) or both. Often companies and their systems and apps will use intermediaries to send the push notifications out through GCM and APNs.

  • Local Notifications: OpenBack doesn't use push notifications to send notifications, we believe that each install of your app should decide when a notification is shown to the user and as such we send all notifications to the user locally. We call these Local Notifications.

Push Notifications and Local Notifications are identically from the users perspective. The underlying technology and platform to do local notifications, and make them flexible and easy to use for any mobile app is at the core of OpenBack's proprietary platform.

What is Data Polling?

Every time the Message Monitor checks if the triggers have been met, this data can be stored, and then polled, or sent back, to the OPE for future analysis and reporting.

The polling schedule can be changed in the dashboard, under Apps - or it can be turned off completely. Once data is polled back, it is no longer stored locally in the OpenBack SDK within your app.

What is Night Time mode?

Prevent Night Time Messages - Night time mode is an app level setting that ensures that the app gets no messages from any message between 11pm and 6am, local device time.

What is User Level Messaging?

User level messaging is where particular messages just go to some of users who have your app installed. This is used in situations including:

  1. Using Control Groups (where a group of users never get any messages, so you can tell the uplift from all your OpenBack messages before rolling it out to everyone).

  2. If you are using Custom Backend triggers, where specific data is passed into OpenBack for specific users.

How do Control Groups work?

A control group is a group of users who don't get any of the messages setup on OpenBack. The remaining group who do get messages are called the Variant. Control groups are specific to each mobile app and so apply to all messages for that mobile app. The users in these groups don't change for each message.

The size of the control group is defined as a % of the total number of apps installed and is setup in the App Settings menu, and are defined when the OpenBack SDK is first added to your mobile app. When you setup each message, you can decide whether the Control group is excluded from getting the notifications relating to this message or not.

Is there any chance a customer that has our app installed gets too many messages?

There are global limits for each app (iOS and Android are separate) which means you can limit the maximum number of messages any customer that has your app installed gets from all OpenBack messages over several time periods.

Setting up ProGuard rules?

There is no need to set up ProGuard rules regarding the OpenBack SDK. These rules are set in the SDK and are included in your app upon building.

How do I know the OpenBack SDK is secure, safe and doesn’t collect unauthorised data from my app?

The OpenBack SDK adheres to best security practices by using the most up to date protocols and standards. OpenBack’s SDK and platform have been reviewed many times by independent organisations, and the SDK specifically has also been independently reviewed and rated by – more information on that review can be found here.

Why should I use OpenBack?

Competitive Advantage

OpenBack's hybrid approach to delivering notifications enables apps to target users using real-time contextual data such as locations or user information, leverage enterprise ready Client APIs and maintain a keen eye on message metrics.

Marketer Friendly

Easily create, manage and track notifications from anywhere through our OpenBack dashboards. We give you the controls to personalize messages, add content, change message types, preset limits and add contextual triggers.

Advanced Features

OpenBack comes standard with features you won't find anywhere else including: 30+ contextual trigger groups, multiple message types, post delivery control, A/B testing, multi app management, intelligent routing, and message tracking metrics.

Enterprise Ready Support

OpenBack provides a single instance and available APIs for delivering messages to any Android or iOS device developed on any environment including: Windows, PhoneGap, Cordova, Titanium, Xamarin and Unity.

Platform Reliability

OpenBack guarantees the proper on-time delivery of every message. Send an instant notification or schedule a recurring one, the smart notification can still fire even if users are out of data connection or offline, as messages are pre-cached within the device.

Easy Integration

OpenBack offers a quick implementation and has the resources available to make sure you're supported from start to finish. The lightweight SDKs can be integrated within seconds.

Does OpenBack drain the battery?

No it doesn't! In fact, a study was carried out by Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland which tested the amount of power consumed by the OpenBack SDK and other 3rd party push providers. OpenBack came out on top, beating other 3rd party push providers by a marginal difference. The results of these tests can be requested, simply email or ask about it in our live chat below.

My app has hundreds of millions of users, can OpenBack handle that sort of scale and number of users?

OpenBack’s patent pending architecture handles data loads using proprietary data processing approaches that significantly reduce the complexity of scaling. OpenBack’s platforms have been live tested to support over 2.4 billion mobile apps over a 24 hour period.

What can I expect?

Improving Engagement & Retention Smart Notifications enable marketers to communicate to app users with messages that add value to the product or service offerings. They are used to keep users engaged with the app and remind them to come back again; leading to less user churn and great Lifetime values (LTV).

My Messages Aren't Delivering?

All apps come with default message frequency limits which can sometimes be hit without the user being aware. These limits are set in place to reduce the possibility of too many messages being sent out to users. The defaults for these limits are currently:

  • Daily - 4 messages
  • Weekly - 10 messages
  • Monthly - 20 messages
  • Yearly - 300 messages

Does OpenBack record iOS user's screen?

OpenBack does not record user's screens on iOS.

How do recurring messages work?

Details on the recurring message settings are found here. The Min Time Between Delivery and Min Time Between Interactions settings will respect whichever setting comes first.

For example, if you set up a message with 15 max deliveries and 3 max interactions, the message will stop sending when either of those metrics are reached. Likewise, if you set up a message with a minimum of 1 day between deliveries and 1 week between interactions, the message will respect the interaction minimum as it is more important than the delivery minimum.

Does the Location trigger work without permissions?

Yes the Location trigger works without location permissions but it will work more accuractely with location permissions enabled. The Location trigger has four different options:

  • Country
  • Exact location
  • Home
  • Work

Each of these options will work without Location permissions enabled. We can do this through geofencing, location based on IP and various other methods.