Configuring Safari Push Notifications

What are Safari Push Notifications?

Safari Push Notifications are a technology built in to Mac OS X where web sites can deliver immediate notifications to subscribers when new content is available on the site. Curated supports Safari Push Notifications as a distribution mechanism when issues are published.

For more information see Apple’s Safari Push Notification site.

Why Enable Safari Push Notifications?

Adding more subscription methods to your publication will help increase the number of people you can reach. Some people may not want to give an email address to get your content, other people might just prefer to receive their news via notification. It’s all about giving the subscriber the content however they would prefer to receive it.

Setup

There are several steps to configuring Safari Push Notifications.

Sign up with Apple as a Registered iOS Developer

To be able to send Safari Push Notifications you must be enrolled in Apple’s iOS Developer Program.

Note: Apple charge $99 per year to be a member of their registered developer program.

Configuration of Safari Push Notifications on the Apple Site

Once you have registered and paid for the Apple developer program and Apple has approved your application you’ll be able to continue with the configuration. This configuration process is split into two main tasks:

Creating a Web Site Push Identifier

  • Log into the Apple Developer Portal. Note that you will need to be logged in as the account owner (or “Agent” in the Apple terminology) to be able to create certificates and configure Safari Push Notifications.
  • Under the “Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles” title, click on “Manage your certificates, App IDs, devices, and provisioning profiles.”
  • Click the “Certificates” in the “iOS Apps” section. If you are logged in but having trouble finding the correct page, try this direct link.
  • At this point you should be looking at a list of any certificates that are currently connected to your account (this list may be empty if this is a new account). On the left under “Identifiers” click “Website Push IDs” and then click the plus button on the top right of that page to create a new Website Push ID.
  • Add a description and identifier. The identifier should be in reverse domain name format and be based on a domain name that you own. This identifier must also start with “web.” and will usually end in “push”. For example if your domain name was “example.com” then the identifier should be “web.com.example.push”.
  • Once you’re happy with the details, click “Continue” and complete the process.

Creating a Certificate

  • Navigate back to the “Certificates” page in the Apple Developer Portal.
  • Click the plus button in the top right and choose “Website Push ID Certificate” under the “Production” section. Scroll down and click “Continue”.
  • From the drop down choose the website push id that you created a few steps previous. Click the “Continue” button.
  • Follow the steps provided to create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and upload it. The Apple web site should walk you through this entire process.
  • At the end of the process Apple will provide you with a certificate to download. You should double click this certificate and it will be added to your local machine.
  • Open the “Keychain Access” application (this is the same application where you created the CSR above) and on the left hand side click the “Certificates” category. Scroll until you see your new certificate. It should be called “Website Push ID: web.com.example.push”.
  • Expand the certificate by clicking on the arrow to the left of it. You should see a key icon with the text “Safari Push Notifications: My description”.
  • Select both the key and the certificate using command-click.
  • Right click and select “Export 2 items…”
  • Choose a place to save the p12 file and Keychain will prompt you for a password. Ensure you note this password down as you will require it when submitting the p12 file on the Curated interface.

Congratulations! You now have a p12 file that contains the certificate and key that will enable Curated to send Safari Push Notifications on your behalf.

Configuration of Safari Push Notifications in Curated

  • Log into your Curated account. Note that you will have to have the ‘owner’ privilege in order to configure Safari Push.
  • Click the settings link for the publication you want to setup Safari Push for.
  • On the settings page under the Hosting, Subscriptions and Publishing section, click on the “Safari Push” link.
  • Enabling Safari Push requires three things. An image to use for the Safari Push Icon, the p12 file that you exported from Apple’s site above and the password you used when exporting that p12 file.
  • For the image, the image must be square and 1024x1024 pixels in size. This icon will appear on all the notifications sent to subscribers.
  • Enter the p12 password that you used when you exported the p12 file from Keychain (see steps above).
  • Click the “Choose” button and pick the p12 file to upload.
  • Click “Save” and Curated will automatically start to process the data you entered and configure Safari Push for the publication.

Sending Safari Push Notifications

Safari Push Notifications are automatically sent when you publish your issue. A scheduled issue will also trigger sending of Safari Push Notifications at the time that it is scheduled for.

Subscribing to Safari Push Notifications

Once you have setup notifications for your publication on the site you will see that Curated has automatically enabled another subscription method on your publication home page. Readers of your publication can now subscribe to push notifications by visiting the publication site using the Safari browser.