Presenting the Future of Push Services - OwnPush

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fastbootmobile

Official Development Partner
Jul 24, 2015
14
35
fastbootmobile.com
OwnPush
We know that push messaging is a key tool for developers to keep users engaged with their apps/services and to deliver timely content. Right now there's little or no choice in the way of push services outside of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), which is a problem if you value control and security or want to reach the billion-or-so users without access to Google Mobile Services on their devices. As a result of working on XDA Labs and a few other internal projects, we at Fastboot and XDA have built an alternative to GCM that we want to make generally available.

OwnPush is:
- End-to-end encrypted: With GCM, all messages go through Google, which acts as the gatekeeper between developer and user. We know that Android users value their privacy, and OwnPush messages are encrypted (seamlessly and by default) from the developer's server, all the way through to the end device. This means that we (and anyone else in the path) can't get into your push messages. Like it should be.
- Simple to use: Push messages can be delivered to any device running Android, whether tablet or phone. It works over Wifi or mobile data, and it's very simple to use. To aid in implementing OwnPush in your applications, we will be providing libraries for major backend platforms to help with handling the encryption and signing process.
- Battery-light: GMS is fairly heavy on the battery, as it's got a huge number of features tied together, including location logging and Google accounts. OwnPush is as lightweight as possible.

We are still finishing things off, but we're looking to start working with developers on helping them integrate OwnPush in their apps. In the spirit of XDA, we'll be making it open source, although we need to finalize the details. You'll be able to include our (tiny, open source, easy-to-read) library in your app, and the rest will come automatically. We'll be working on some simple integration guides for the server side, so it's easy to send push messages using almost anything.

Below is a high-level overview of how ownPush works.


ownpush_structural.png


What can this be used for?
OwnPush has the capability to be the driving force behind some really cool ideas, from a fully open-source PC-to-phone push system, to building real-time secure messaging platforms. OwnPush can do everything that other options can do, and it's more secure to boot! OwnPush enables you to keep your users informed while not impacting battery life. We hope that the uses for OwnPush are limited only to your imagination.

Open source tools are easier to work with, tweak and play with, and learn from. There's no reason to use the proprietary Google Services library just to get push messages working! Coupled with XDA Labs, you can start to build an ecosystem without relying on Google at all, and without them being able to shut your developer account down!


About Fastboot Mobile
We're a small, venture-capital free business. No external influences or pressures on how we work. We're developers like you, and we believe in giving people a real choice.

If you're interested in this, and want to get involved and have a play, please let us know via the thread or our contact form. At the moment, we're also looking to raise awareness of the technology behind OwnPush to the wider community. Together, we can make the default for push messaging secure, and perhaps even bring about an end to sending "secure login tokens" via SMS messages! We're looking to bring OwnPush to as many people as possible, so if you (or your business) have a need for properly secure push messaging, please get in touch.
 
Last edited:

fastbootmobile

Official Development Partner
Jul 24, 2015
14
35
fastbootmobile.com
OwnPush Usage Examples

OwnPush Performance Examples
For an example of what OwnPush can offer regarding battery savings, we setup a test with a Nexus 9 over a 20hr period. The test application used OwnPush to keep alive a server connection (typical ping <-> pong) once every 4-5 minutes and a push notification randomly sent every 2-10 minutes

Nexus 9 CPU usage over 20hrs running OwnPush
uSfvhxll.png


Application Resource usage
AxPNJfzl.png


Google Services Resource usage over same time period
sKxib3pl.png
 
Last edited:

Gary13579

Retired Moderator
Nov 14, 2008
526
68
This looks great, thank you :). The one thing I don't see mentioned anywhere is the possibility of self hosted servers. Is this something which you currently have plans for? I think it would be a bit odd to offer such a great decoupling from Google, only to replace that coupling with Fastboot Mobile. The option of self hosted push servers is even more critical when you think of the possible issues Fastboot Mobile may face down the line. With no obvious business model, what guarantee do we as developers have that the ownPush servers will still be around 2yrs from now? GCM on the other hand is backed by Android developers themselves, and has become such a critical infrastructure that we're essentially guaranteed its existence for years/decades.

Edit: The developer talked about this on reddit. You can find the discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/440euy/ownpush_open_source_endtoend_encrypted_push/czmfgnl
 
Last edited:
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Bumble-Bee

Senior Recognized Developer & Original Autobot
Feb 21, 2009
917
566
twitter.com
OwnPush Demo Applications

Hello All,

We are happy to provide some more information about OwnPush today

Everyone involved with OwnPush has been hard at work getting the service to a level that we can demonstrate to the world, this has ended in the creation of two demo applications that we have published over the weekend.

These demo apps are as follows :-

RSS Demo

An RSS web service and corresponding android application, the webservice checks the RSS feed (BBC World News) rapidly and when a new item becomes available it is pushed with a link to the android application over OwnPush. The android application then shows the notification to the user. This demo shows the power savings that can be gained by using OwnPush.

OTP Demo

This demo is constructed from a simple web service and its android application counterpart. This makes use of the secure nature of OwnPush to send fast, safe, and secure passwords to an Android device. After the apk is installed & registered on the android device the user is shown a short, unique device ID that they can enter on a simple web form. On submission of this form the OTP is randomly generated and sent to the device securely.


For both of these demo applications we have published APKs for you to install and the code for the web services and android app (allowing any developers an insight into how they can implement OwnPush when it is fully available)

To find out more about these demo applications please visit our website demo.ownpush.com
 

fastbootmobile

Official Development Partner
Jul 24, 2015
14
35
fastbootmobile.com
I have been searching for a replacement to GCM and I would like to say thank you and that this is amazing, i cannot wait to start using it! :D

We're excited to be able to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Please reach out via our website so we can stay in contact. In addition, check out our GitHub for more information about the demos, implementation, etc.
 

Bumble-Bee

Senior Recognized Developer & Original Autobot
Feb 21, 2009
917
566
twitter.com
I guess since there hasn't been any code changes on Github in 3 months I guess this project is dead?

Nope the project is far from dead, we have been working internally to get a full demo system up and running. We have also supplied test accounts and app registration information to a handful of developers to get some feedback on how we can improve the current system (outside of normal bugfixes ect.)

We have also worked on testing with the new doze implementation on N and general stability fixes within the android service

If anyone is looking for more information on OwnPush please don't hesitate to drop me a line via PM on her
 

CM_boneZ

Member
May 2, 2016
19
0
I am currently using CM 12.1 GApps-free and microG as alternative to GApps. microG seems to have GCM functionality. Is this app works well with microG?
 

jlkk

New member
Jun 8, 2018
1
0
Any more developers/users want to see a new push service

after come across own-push, I'd like to make a push service or continue with something working

  • as a contractor, some of my Europe clients ( startups ) really want to find a clean google free app.
  • at the quality of commercial pushy. Yet, free and well-known will be better.
  • as a developer, I want to add iOS + web push support so that no need to manage too many platforms.
  • single server to server API + end-to-end encrypted by a good algorithm to ensure no MITM issue.
  • :D use UDP will be even more battery friendly
  • :D make a tiny open source service possibly acceptable by major open ROMs , so all apps share same socket and same service.
    or as a short term goal, the first app start the service; other apps connect to it. ( concept borrowed from github.com/vieux/OpenUDID )
 
Last edited:

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  • 25
    OwnPush
    We know that push messaging is a key tool for developers to keep users engaged with their apps/services and to deliver timely content. Right now there's little or no choice in the way of push services outside of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), which is a problem if you value control and security or want to reach the billion-or-so users without access to Google Mobile Services on their devices. As a result of working on XDA Labs and a few other internal projects, we at Fastboot and XDA have built an alternative to GCM that we want to make generally available.

    OwnPush is:
    - End-to-end encrypted: With GCM, all messages go through Google, which acts as the gatekeeper between developer and user. We know that Android users value their privacy, and OwnPush messages are encrypted (seamlessly and by default) from the developer's server, all the way through to the end device. This means that we (and anyone else in the path) can't get into your push messages. Like it should be.
    - Simple to use: Push messages can be delivered to any device running Android, whether tablet or phone. It works over Wifi or mobile data, and it's very simple to use. To aid in implementing OwnPush in your applications, we will be providing libraries for major backend platforms to help with handling the encryption and signing process.
    - Battery-light: GMS is fairly heavy on the battery, as it's got a huge number of features tied together, including location logging and Google accounts. OwnPush is as lightweight as possible.

    We are still finishing things off, but we're looking to start working with developers on helping them integrate OwnPush in their apps. In the spirit of XDA, we'll be making it open source, although we need to finalize the details. You'll be able to include our (tiny, open source, easy-to-read) library in your app, and the rest will come automatically. We'll be working on some simple integration guides for the server side, so it's easy to send push messages using almost anything.

    Below is a high-level overview of how ownPush works.


    ownpush_structural.png


    What can this be used for?
    OwnPush has the capability to be the driving force behind some really cool ideas, from a fully open-source PC-to-phone push system, to building real-time secure messaging platforms. OwnPush can do everything that other options can do, and it's more secure to boot! OwnPush enables you to keep your users informed while not impacting battery life. We hope that the uses for OwnPush are limited only to your imagination.

    Open source tools are easier to work with, tweak and play with, and learn from. There's no reason to use the proprietary Google Services library just to get push messages working! Coupled with XDA Labs, you can start to build an ecosystem without relying on Google at all, and without them being able to shut your developer account down!


    About Fastboot Mobile
    We're a small, venture-capital free business. No external influences or pressures on how we work. We're developers like you, and we believe in giving people a real choice.

    If you're interested in this, and want to get involved and have a play, please let us know via the thread or our contact form. At the moment, we're also looking to raise awareness of the technology behind OwnPush to the wider community. Together, we can make the default for push messaging secure, and perhaps even bring about an end to sending "secure login tokens" via SMS messages! We're looking to bring OwnPush to as many people as possible, so if you (or your business) have a need for properly secure push messaging, please get in touch.
    9
    OwnPush Usage Examples

    OwnPush Performance Examples
    For an example of what OwnPush can offer regarding battery savings, we setup a test with a Nexus 9 over a 20hr period. The test application used OwnPush to keep alive a server connection (typical ping <-> pong) once every 4-5 minutes and a push notification randomly sent every 2-10 minutes

    Nexus 9 CPU usage over 20hrs running OwnPush
    uSfvhxll.png


    Application Resource usage
    AxPNJfzl.png


    Google Services Resource usage over same time period
    sKxib3pl.png
    5
    OwnPush Demo Applications

    Hello All,

    We are happy to provide some more information about OwnPush today

    Everyone involved with OwnPush has been hard at work getting the service to a level that we can demonstrate to the world, this has ended in the creation of two demo applications that we have published over the weekend.

    These demo apps are as follows :-

    RSS Demo

    An RSS web service and corresponding android application, the webservice checks the RSS feed (BBC World News) rapidly and when a new item becomes available it is pushed with a link to the android application over OwnPush. The android application then shows the notification to the user. This demo shows the power savings that can be gained by using OwnPush.

    OTP Demo

    This demo is constructed from a simple web service and its android application counterpart. This makes use of the secure nature of OwnPush to send fast, safe, and secure passwords to an Android device. After the apk is installed & registered on the android device the user is shown a short, unique device ID that they can enter on a simple web form. On submission of this form the OTP is randomly generated and sent to the device securely.


    For both of these demo applications we have published APKs for you to install and the code for the web services and android app (allowing any developers an insight into how they can implement OwnPush when it is fully available)

    To find out more about these demo applications please visit our website demo.ownpush.com
    4
    I guess since there hasn't been any code changes on Github in 3 months I guess this project is dead?

    Nope the project is far from dead, we have been working internally to get a full demo system up and running. We have also supplied test accounts and app registration information to a handful of developers to get some feedback on how we can improve the current system (outside of normal bugfixes ect.)

    We have also worked on testing with the new doze implementation on N and general stability fixes within the android service

    If anyone is looking for more information on OwnPush please don't hesitate to drop me a line via PM on her
    1
    This looks great, thank you :). The one thing I don't see mentioned anywhere is the possibility of self hosted servers. Is this something which you currently have plans for? I think it would be a bit odd to offer such a great decoupling from Google, only to replace that coupling with Fastboot Mobile. The option of self hosted push servers is even more critical when you think of the possible issues Fastboot Mobile may face down the line. With no obvious business model, what guarantee do we as developers have that the ownPush servers will still be around 2yrs from now? GCM on the other hand is backed by Android developers themselves, and has become such a critical infrastructure that we're essentially guaranteed its existence for years/decades.

    Edit: The developer talked about this on reddit. You can find the discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/440euy/ownpush_open_source_endtoend_encrypted_push/czmfgnl
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