Apple Deprecating Legacy Binaries for Push Notification Service on November 2020, Recommends Developers Update Soon

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Apple today sent out a notice to developers urging those that continue to send push notifications with the legacy binary protocol to update to the HTTP/2-based APNs (Apple Push Notification service) Provider API as soon as possible.

Apple says that developers will be able to take advantage of features like authentication with a JSON Web Token, improved error messaging, and per-notification feedback.

More information on the Apple Push Notification service Provider API can be found on Apple's website.

Apple's Push Notification service will no longer support the legacy binary protocol starting in November 2020, so developers that continue to use the older protocol will need to update before that date.

Top Rated Comments

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13 months ago


these deprecations give apps an eventual expiration date. Other platforms don't do this as much.

Funny you say that, because on the topic of push notifications, both Google and Microsoft have deprecated (and killed) their previous APIs, while Apple still supported the original one.

Apps won't stop working. Some might not get push notifications anymore, but most who don't migrate probably don't have them working anymore, anyway. This is only a server side change.


It means that eventually down the line everyone has to buy new hardware that can run a version of iOS that supports this if they want to revel in the glories (or shackles) of the walled garden.

No they won't. At least not because of this depreciation: this only means that backend developers have to update their code.

Most already migrated to the new API, or use providers that have. This has literally no incidence on whether your phone can run an app or not, and it's nothing buying new hardware will fix.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago
Heading should say “binary protocol” not “binaries”
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago
I wish Apple would stabilize their APIs so that these deprecations would end.

It's sad when old apps won't work anymore because newer versions of iOS break them. Some apps are no longer maintained but still have value; these deprecations give apps an eventual expiration date. Other platforms don't do this as much.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago
I wonder what this means for older apps that can’t be updated, or older devices that can’t run new apps...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago


I wish Apple would stabilize their APIs so that these deprecations would end.

It's sad when old apps won't work anymore because newer versions of iOS break them. Some apps are no longer maintained but still have value; these deprecations give apps an eventual expiration date. Other platforms don't do this as much.

Other platform do this all the time. If you think that any API's can be "stable", you are very much mistaken. Software is something that always need to be maintained and updated, and leaving a ten-year-old API behind is natural as better protocols are adopted. Not to mention this is a server-side change that doesn't have anything to do with iOS versions and doesn't affect any in-app functionalities.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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13 months ago
Apple literally can’t win. I’ve never seen a company get hate over updating APIs.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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