Add UnifiedPush to /e/OS to make it possible for developers to avoid FCM and better support F-Droid applications

I was just reading this blog post titled “UnifiedPush: a decentralized, open-source push notification protocol”. Being an Android developer myself, I am aware of the challenge to support push notifications and that there is no real alternative to Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM). Currently all of this works thanks to MicroG but we are still depended on Google for this key feature on /e/OS.

I have never worked with UnifiedPush nor am I related to the project in any form, but wouldn’t it be a great to include an open source push notification service additionally to MicroG in /e/OS? Currently I would not use UnifiedPush in one of my Android applications as it would be to hard to explain to a user why they have to install an additional application + setup just to receive push notifications. This would change if /e/OS out of the box supports a decentralized, open-source push notification protocol and in addition F-Droid applications would also get much better support. What do you guys think and what could be the next steps?

14 Likes

I think this would be a great idea. I’m looking into setting up unified push on my personal Nextcloud instance and, as you mention, at the moment this will require the installation of an additional app on all devices that use my cloud server. Luckily that’s only a couple of phones, so it should be alright. But having this integrated in the OS would certainly be helpful. Especially if other apps would start offering UP.

2 Likes

It would only make sense if /e/ also served unified push on their murena cloud platform. Otherwise people could find that they’ve install apps that would want to use the service, but without a default push server.

2 Likes

I agree, this would make a lot of sense. Would be great to keep up /e/'s openness spirit like with their cloud solution. Offer a default push service solution built into their OS and cloud, but make it very easy to use other push services as well. Just like with their Nextcloud, you can use the Murena cloud but you don’t have to and it also works great with other Nexcloud instances. Honestly, that’s one of the main reasons I use and recommend Murena devices :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Hello to all,

I found this topic on push notifications very interesting. One day the problems with push notifications related to google (Firebase Cloud Messaging) will be a distant memory.

The unified push website here:
https://unifiedpush.org/

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

3 Likes
3 Likes

The search function feels very sad and neglected :cry: .

1 Like

maybe @manoj can merge the threads?

unifiedpush is a welcome development. In the last 2 weeks xmpp client Conversations added support to act as unifiedpush Distributor (for other apps) and if you selfhost xmpp with Prosody you can DIY all the way - Conversations (XMPP) - Android | UnifiedPush

3 Likes

If I get it right, nextcloud (murena cloud) supports unified push basically.
‘’

UnifiedPush Provider

Once the mobile phone is connected with NextPush, push notifications can be forwarded to applications implementing UnifiedPush.

More information about UnifiedPush at https://unifiedpush.org’’

As an alternative I recommend ntfy (https://ntfy.sh/) which is available via F-Droid.

4 Likes

Very interesting, thanks for sharing this Nextcloud app! If they would install it, then I guess every Murena Cloud user has their own push backend? Which would be a nice toy to play around as a developer but would probably not be a scalable solution. Hosting your own service such as ntfy would probably be a better approach?

It would work for murena users I guess. Not sure who you mean by scaling. Murena is targeting person with an interest in decentralized infrastructure.

An own server is an option but means work that the majority cannot/won’t do.

Yes I realised my mistake too late :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

I am also very much in favour of decentralised systems, question is if this can be done with push notifications – I hope so. Without knowing the detailed implementations of the UnifiedPush Protocol (and maybe this is already the case), it would need to work as follows if scalable and decentralised:

  1. OS has a UnifiedPush App/Service included
  2. Android app/developer uses an SDK to include a FOSS implementation of UnifiedPush which includes as a setup the endpoint of the UnifiedPush service server of choice. This could be a Murena service or any other such as a private Nextcloud instance.
  3. When installed the app talks with the OS to register with the push service and receive the push token.

Downsides are:

  1. The more custom push services there are, the more battery drain this will create as the OS push service would need to stay in contact with all the different endpoints.
  2. Developers would need to find or host their own push servers (but I guess that’s what it’s all about :smile:)

Update: I just read up a bit on Unified Push and it seems like they do all of the above already :sweat_smile: :partying_face:

2 Likes