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With Amazon SNS, you now have the ability to send notification messages directly to apps on mobile devices. Notification messages sent to a mobile endpoint can appear in the mobile app as message alerts, badge updates, or even sound alerts. You send notification messages to mobile devices through one of the following supported push notification services:
Apple Push Notification Service (APNS)
Google Cloud Messaging for Android (GCM)
Amazon Device Messaging (ADM)
The following figure shows an overview of how Amazon SNS is used to send a direct notification message to a mobile endpoint.
Notification services, such as APNS and GCM, maintain a connection with each app and associated mobile device registered to use their service. When an app and mobile device register, the notification service returns a device token. Amazon SNS uses the device token to create a mobile endpoint, to which it can send direct notification messages. In order for Amazon SNS to communicate with the different notification services, you submit your notification service credentials to Amazon SNS to be used on your behalf.
In addition to sending direct notification messages, you can also use Amazon SNS to send messages to mobile endpoints subscribed to a topic. The concept is the same as subscribing other endpoint types, such as Amazon SQS, HTTP/S, email, and SMS, to a topic, as described in What is Amazon Simple Notification Service?. The difference is that Amazon SNS communicates through the notification services in order for the subscribed mobile endpoints to receive notifications sent to the topic. The following figure shows a mobile endpoint as a subscriber to an Amazon SNS topic. The mobile endpoint communicates through notification services where the other endpoints do not.
To begin using Amazon SNS mobile push notifications, you first need an app for the mobile endpoints that uses one of the supported push notification services: APNS, GCM, or ADM. After you've registered and configured the app to use one of these services, you configure Amazon SNS to send push notifications to the mobile endpoints. For information about what Amazon SNS needs to send push notifications to a mobile endpoint, see Prerequisites.