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The current tag wiki excerpt for (47 questions) states:

Apple Push Notification allows developers to push near real-time information to iOS devices

However, that doesn't seem to agree with the related tags:

screenshot showing tag:android as the most related tag

Apparently "APN" is sometimes used as an acronym for "Access Point Name", in which case it isn't specific to iOS development. So the tag, as it is currently used, doesn't seem to have a clear meaning.

It seems that is synonymous to (346 questions) when the former is used for iOS-related questions. The wiki excerpt for is also much more detailed:

The Apple Push Notification Service is a service created by Apple Inc. that was launched together with iOS 3.0.APNS is used together with Mac OS X Lion Server to push update notifications to clients that have registered to receive updates via a configuration profile and are also using the server's mail, calendar and contacts services. This means that devices such as the iPhone and applications like iCal on the Mac can receive a notification

There is also (300 questions) which has an excerpt of median length and a wiki of superior length. It is almost definitely synonymous to (or vice-versa). Its wiki excerpt:

Apple Push Notification Service (APNs for short) is the centerpiece of the push notifications feature. It is a robust and highly efficient service for propagating information to devices (such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices) and computers (such as Macintosh computers running MacOS 10.7).

Possible solution

To clean up this mess, I suggest we take (each of) the following steps:

Should we do this?

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closed as off-topic by CRABOLO, Shadow Wizard, gnat, Martijn Pieters, Al E. Nov 23 '14 at 14:25

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I would propose using and as the major tags. and shouldn't be split across the two, given that the latter is just the plural of the former. I would make them both synonyms for .

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I like this for the sake of clarity, but I think it could lead to an initial slew of iOS-related posts mistakenly tagged [apns] (and consequently synonymized to [access-point-name]). – Jason Plank Nov 14 '11 at 20:11
@JasonPlank I'm more of the mindset to fix the broken things instead of accomodate them, but your point is valid. – Matthew Read Nov 14 '11 at 20:30
I'm sorry to disagree with you but APNs is the good way to call the Apple Push Notification Service. (cf my answer). – Francescu Oct 11 '13 at 14:21

I think APN and Apple Push Notification are wrong names. For notifications the official name is Apple Push Notification Service and every "good" iOS developer call it APNs. It has nothing to do with any plural form.

For me apn for the first case should go access-point-name and for the notifications it should go under the apns tag.

So, answer is :

As apn tag has only 52 questions it seems that is an unusual tag. We really should rename it to access-point-name.

APNs tag has more than 1K questions and other tags rely on it : apns-php apns-csharp etc. we can keep it as a shortcut.

Sources : Apple Push Notification Service (Official Apple Documentation)

Apple Push Notification Service (Wikipedia)

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Looking at the questions tagged apns now I agree that this is how the tags seem to be used. Gotta love it when nothing had been done after 2 years :P – Matthew Read Oct 11 '13 at 17:31
I'm not an expert about meta or Stackoverflow so I'm not sure what to do. But I'll try to clean a little bit ;) – Francescu Oct 11 '13 at 17:52
Should you remove your answer ? – Francescu Oct 11 '13 at 18:04

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