Android GCM delivery monitoring

I am developing mobile client for emailing service. One of the key features is notifications about new messages in the mailbox. As recommended by GCM architecture guidelines we are using a "Pusher" that is responsible for sending messages to the Google servers once we received a new message. The issue is that testing process has reported about serious problems with push notification delivery to devices.

So the question: is there an approaches for monitoring average statistics about push notification delivery percentage, time etc? Or maybe somebody have experience in how to set up test environment for efficient monitoring of how much notifications are getting lost during the application work?

All the "tips&tricks" related to the improving Android GCM experience are welcome.


Google claims that the processing at their GCM server takes less than a millisecond. Link below for a great video on GCM from Google's developer. And it's believable coz I could get push notifications almost instantaneously using my company's server to my device now.

They don't guarantee delivery, but they try for a max of 4 weeks to deliver the message depending on the duration you set in the message you send to Google's GCM servers and if you wish to let Google keep the data for eventual delivery of message to the device in case the device was offline when the message was to be delivered.

However, there are certain conditions under which the GCM messages are not delivered.

  1. Background data is unchecked under Account and Sync settings.
  2. Prior to 4.0.4.(ICS), a Google account on the device is a pre-requisite for GCM. Maybe, Users are not logged into their Google account.

The only way to do so is to report back to your server with the timestamp of the received push.

You can either

  1. Report back to the server once you receive the notification in your GCM service. To implement, you will have to add a push id for your push notifications and send the id along with the push data. The client will have to get the timestamp once it receive the message and send it back along with the notification id. A simple php script can be done (when you send a push notification, you set the time of the send-notification and once it receives the device's timestamp it sets the receive-notification. This boils down to two fields in your database (marked in bold). In this approach you will probably not so much care about errors since it is very probable that the device will have a connection when it receives the notification and as such its request to your server will go through.

  2. Keep a list of notifications received in your app and their timestamps. And when the sync is done, send the this data in your sync operation. This is ultimately the same approach but your server's data won't be as realtime as the first approach. However, the extra request is not required from the client's side but saving the received notifications and their timestamps is.

All in all, you will have to keep track of the notifications sent using a notification-id and their sending time (send-notification) and their receive time (receive-notification). A simple query will help you analyze this data.

Google has added support so that you can receive delivery receipts from Cloud Connection Server (CCS):

You can use upstream messaging to get delivery receipts (sent from CCS to your 3rd party app server) when a device confirms that it received a message sent by CCS. To enable this feature, the message your 3rd-party app server sends to CCS must include a field called "delivery_receipt_requested". When this field is set to true, CCS sends a delivery receipt when a device confirms that it received a particular message.

Google does not make these statistics available to you. There are some statistics available on the android developer console. This only shows the number of messages and registrations.

You would have to implement your own data collection, which could be done fairly easily. You could record the time & id of each message sent and have your android client report back to your server with the time of message receipt. You could then store the data on your server and query as needed.

Since that time Google has provided developers with advanced monitoring tool.

The Gcm Diagnostic Tool is available in Google Play developer console. Additional information is here

So you can easily track the particular message status via registration token.

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