Viewed   108 times

I am sending push notifications via a PHP script to connect to APNS server. Everything is working fine when I use the below payload structure.

$body['aps'] = array(
    'alert' => $message,
    'badge' => $badge,
    'sound' => 'default'


$payload = json_encode($body);

However, I need to add more parameters to the 'alert' element as well as want to add some more custom parameters. The way I do is is as follows, but APNS is not accepting the JSON. Is it a problem with my JSON creation method in PHP?


"aps": {
    "title": "'.$message.'",    
"sound": "default"

"type": "notification",


So basically, I have two queries. IS the second method wrong? If so, please show me a valid method to create nested JSON Payload for APNS server. Second question, I need to add custom PHP variables to the Payload, I want to know whether the way I have added it in the second method is right or wrong.

basically, I need to create a JSON object as below in PHP

    "aps" : {
        "alert" : {
            "title" : "Game Request",
            "body" : "Bob wants to play poker",
            "action-loc-key" : "PLAY"
        "badge" : 5,
    "acme1" : "bar",
    "acme2" : [ "bang",  "whiz" ]



You're missing a double quote after the "date" property:


... should be...


I'd recommend putting the payload together as a PHP object/array first (like your original example) as it is much easier to see the structure in that format rather than a giant concatenated string. E.g.

$payload['aps'] = array(
    'alert' => array(
        'title' => $title,
        'body' => $body,
        'action-loc-key' => 'PLAY'
    'badge' => $badge,
    'sound' => 'default'
$payload['acme1'] = 'bar';
$payload['acme2'] = array(

$payload = json_encode($body);
Friday, November 25, 2022

You can't send an Apple Push Notification with CURL.

You are attempting to send a push notification to Apple with an HTTPS request. That can't work, since Apple Push Notifications don't work with HTTP. They only work with a specific binary format over TCP protocol.

As a provider you communicate with Apple Push Notification service over a binary interface. This interface is a high-speed, high-capacity interface for providers; it uses a streaming TCP socket design in conjunction with binary content. The binary interface is asynchronous

Instead of CURL, you can stream_context. You can find many code samples for that.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The solution in the answer you linked to has a problem. It attemps to read the error response after each message is sent, but the read returns immediately and doesn't wait for a response to become available. While this is more efficient than waiting for a potential error response for X mili-seconds after each message, you might miss the error response and the connection may be dropped by Apple without you knowing any error occured.

While I can't give you code to solve your problem, I get give you some advice.

Here's the logic you should use (according to Apple), but I haven't managed to make it work reliably (at least not in my Java implementation):

Push Notification Throughput and Error Checking

If you're seeing throughput lower than 9,000 notifications per second, your server might benefit from improved error handling logic.

Here's how to check for errors when using the enhanced binary interface. Keep writing until a write fails. If the stream is ready for writing again, resend the notification and keep going. If the stream isn't ready for writing, see if the stream is available for reading.

If it is, read everything available from the stream. If you get zero bytes back, the connection was closed because of an error such as an invalid command byte or other parsing error. If you get six bytes back, that's an error response that you can check for the response code and the ID of the notification that caused the error. You'll need to send every notification following that one again.

Once everything has been sent, do one last check for an error response.

It can take a while for the dropped connection to make its way from APNs back to your server just because of normal latency. It's possible to send over 500 notifications before a write fails because of the connection being dropped. Around 1,700 notifications writes can fail just because the pipe is full, so just retry in that case once the stream is ready for writing again.

Now, here's where the tradeoffs get interesting. You can check for an error response after every write, and you'll catch the error right away. But this causes a huge increase in the time it takes to send a batch of notifications.

Device tokens should almost all be valid if you've captured them correctly and you're sending them to the correct environment. So it makes sense to optimize assuming failures will be rare. You'll get way better performance if you wait for write to fail or the batch to complete before checking for an error response, even counting the time to send the dropped notifications again.

None of this is really specific to APNs, it applies to most socket-level programming.

If your development tool of choice supports multiple threads or interprocess communication, you could have a thread or process waiting for an error response all the time and let the main sending thread or process know when it should give up and retry.

This is taken from Apple's Tech Note: Troubleshooting Push Notifications.

I don't know how you detect in PHP that the write failed, but when it does, you should attempt to write the failed notification once again, and if it fails again, try to read the error response and close the connection.

If you manage to read the error response, you will know which notification failed and you'll know the error type (the most likely error is 8 - invalid device token). The code in the answer you referred to doesn't do anything after identifying that error. If after writing 100 messages you get an error response for the 80th message, you must resend messages 81 to 100, since Apple never received them. In my case (Java server), I don't always manage to read the error response (sometimes I get an error when trying to read the response from the socket). In that case I can only move on an send the next notifications (and have no way of knowing which notifications were actually received by Apple). That's why it's important to keep your database clean of invalid tokens.

If you keep your database clean (i.e. store in it only device tokens that were sent to your App by Apple, and all of them belong to the same push environment - either sandbox or production), you shouldn't encounter any invalid device tokens.

I encountered a similar problem to yours when implementing the push notification server side in Java. I couldn't reliably get all the error responses returned by Apple.

I found that in Java there's a way to disable the TCP Nagle's algorithm, which causes the buffering of multiple messages before sending them in a batch to Apple. Though Apple encourages us to use Nagle's algorithm (for performance reasons), I found that when I disable it and then try to read the response from Apple after each message I send to them, I manage to receive 100% of the error responses (I verified it by writing a process that simulated the APNS server).

By disabling Nagle's algorithm and sending the notifications one by one, slowly, and atempting to read the error response after each message, you can locate all the invalid tokens in your DB and remove them. Once you know your DB is clean you can enable Nagle's algorithm and resume sending notifications quickly without bothering to read the error responses from Apple. Then, whenever you get an error while writing a message to the socket, you can simply create a new socket and retry sending only the last message.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Finally i took vps instead of shared hosting. Lucabro's comments helped me to solve. Thanks Lucabro.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

you can use this to calculate $content's size(DEMO):

$size = strlen(json_encode($content, JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK));

This will provide you with the whole length of json_encode()d string of $content. If you want to calculate the size in bytes(if using multibyte characters), this might be more helpful(DEMO):

$size = mb_strlen(json_encode($content, JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK), '8bit');
Friday, August 12, 2022
Only authorized users can answer the search term. Please sign in first, or register a free account.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged :