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I observed stackoverflow and other stackexchange sites do not use AJAX for fetching the updates in the post. Instead they use WebSockets for getting the updates. Can somebody tell me how is the notification system built for StackExchange Android app.

Here are the options and my thoughts:

  1. Pull mechanism (Polling)
    • Will consume a lot of bandwidth.
  2. Better approach Long polling
    • Needs some help from server for implementation. Might be difficult to implement.
  3. Push Mechanism
    • I am not sure if this can be done with Android. I guess this can be done with iphone apps.

If Android app uses constant polling after certain intervals, it may not work out because stack exchange api also use throttling concept to limit the number of calls per day. Additionally, user experience may not be that good if polling is used.

Please clarify

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The android application uses Google Cloud Messaging as hinted in the comments. We have a push notification server that handles sending push notifications to registered (not Stack Exchange registered, Apple and Google push notification token registered) to devices.

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  • This is sort of related I guess, but given there is obviously a lot of C# experience at SE, are you using something like Xamarin for the apps, or have you guys gone native? – Joe Feb 17 '14 at 18:00
  • @Joe both apps are native (with minor incorporations of web views for Q&A contents) – Kasra Rahjerdi Feb 17 '14 at 18:13
  • @KasraRahjerdi Thanks a lot for the clarification. – sachinjain024 Feb 18 '14 at 4:17

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