BoxcarBlog

  1. iOS 8 is released today: What can users expect from Boxcar ?

    New Boxcar 1.3.1 is compliant with iOS 8, so you can safely update your phone and expect Boxcar to be fully functional. We also increased the notifications size as allowed by Apple, so you benefit from day one of larger and not truncated notifications (also works on iOS 7).

    A new version (1.3.2) has been submitted to Apple and is going to add iOS 8 specific features and iPhone 6 / 6 Plus support. It also mean that the interface will scale to iPad size.

    Note that we do not yet support split view on iPhone 6+ and iPad, but this will come in a near future.

    With Boxcar 1.3.2 release, you can expect to have notification center quick actions for notifications available very soon as well (to mark as read or delete).

    As you can see we are putting a lot of effort to stay up to date faster than ever before, so that you can enjoy the full experience of Boxcar on iOS 8 and iPhone 6 / 6 Plus from the early days.

    Happy iOS 8 upgrade and iPhone 6 unboxing to you all !

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  3. iOS devices can enjoy larger push notifications now

    At World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2014, Apple promised to please mobile developers by bringing an improvement to their push notification service. They were planning to increase the size allowed for each push notification from 256 bytes to 2Kb.

    The change may be easily overlooked, however this is a huge improvement and a game changer for iOS developers. It will enable developers to build apps that do a better job at interacting in realtime with server side back-ends. This is a unique way to plug your application to a more powerful realtime cloud.
    For end-users, it means that developers can build applications that are:
    • Have more up to date content.
    • Are battery and bandwidth efficient.
    • Provide a more interactive experience, as more data are readily available when you open the application.
    • No more very short truncated message will be displayed on notifications.
    For developers, it means a wealth of opportunity to improve the user-experience, connection speed, application latency, and propagate better and more efficient background updates. The larger push size is not only about displaying larger chunk of text in the iOS alert, but also passing metadata to trigger processing (even background processing) in your mobile iOS application.
    This is a brand new opportunity to rethink your mobile vs server-side interaction to prepare to amaze your user with a new more realtime experience.
    … And there is more good news. The change is not iOS 8 only. It will work equally fine on iOS 7 and OSX through Safari pushes.
    For End-Users: Larger notifications in Boxcar iOS
    We are pleased to announce that Apple already silently rolled out the feature during the past days. We made it immediately available in our new Boxcar for iOS application. If you are using this app, the benefit is obvious, going from possibly truncated notifications to a fuller / larger content.
    You can expect to go from there:
    … to there: 


    For Developers: New opportunity on Boxcar Push platform.


    For companies using our developer platform, the changes are being tested and checked by our Quality Assurance team and will be rollout very soon.
    Have questions about how to get the best of push notifications in your app ?
    Do not hesitate to get in touch !

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  6. New Boxcar 1.3.0 has been released

    This is a new major release with a focus on user interface improvements. We tried to simplify it and make some options more obvious.

    User Interface improvements

    Clearer User Interface and streamlined workflow

    • Some features where too hidden and relied on tapping edit button to make the action appear.
    • The “do not disturb” feature has been moved to settings as it was not easily discoverable on top of root screen and was not a well understood feature.
    • The setting screen has been reworked to be clearer and with more logical grouping.
    • On filter settings, we kept the wizard to help creating a new filter, but editing a filter brings a clear single screen setting pane.

    Feed catalog

    Easier subscription to feed using a catalog of source with RSS feed suggestions in categories. We are starting with four categories: News, Technologies, Apple and Android, but more are on the way.

    Privacy

    • Option to hide the content of mail in alerts in the global settings.

    Bugfixes

    • Article view: Fix text size rendering too many times
    • Article view: Fix text size after opening browser
    • Article list: Small fix (day/days properly displaying)
    • Settings: Third party app selection fix
    • Many other smaller fixes

    Send us your feedback and if you like the app, please rate it on the App Store to show your support !

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  8. Boxcar Web Client and Safari Push Support

    We have released a very simple version of Boxcar web client. it is available on Boxcar Push Inbox.

    The primary goal of the web client is:

    • To allow user having a look at their Boxcar inbox directly from their desktop.
    • To enable push to Desktop through Safari Push notifications.


    It means you know receive all your notifications directly on your desktop when you are using it (Mail, Twitter, IFTTT, RSS and more). All is centrally managed from your mobile device with Boxcar iOS application. It means that for example, Boxcar Do not Disturb schedule will be applied. As the setting is centralized, this is also more handy that to accept push notification for all news sites you visit.

    To enable Safari Push, log in Boxcar Push Inbox on the web and simply click the “Subscribe to Safari Push”. You will be asked if you agree to receive push Notification from Boxcar. Accept them, and you are set.

    Feedback is welcome, as always.

    Enjoy !

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  10. Support for new Twitter clients in new Boxcar iOS application

    We just added support for new Twitter clients in the third-party application settings.

    In addition to official Twitter client, Tweetbot and several others, you can now choose to open one of the following client when you tap a notification from the notification center:

    • Tweetcaster / Tweetcaster Pro
    • Hootsuite
    • UberSocial / UberSocial Pro

    Enjoy !

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  13. New Boxcar 1.2.4 released

    We just released a new version of Boxcar iOS client. This is a bugfix release that solve issue that some users had with empty notifications (and when this happens, possibly overlapping text in inbox.

    Thank you all for your feedback :)

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  15. Boxcar 2 now offers 29 email aliases with different notification sounds

    Sounds are an important feature in Boxcar 2, especially for mail, as it allows to know which type of mail you just received without even looking at your phone screen.

    Boxcar 2 now provides you with an email alias per available sound in the application. It means that you can forward your professional email to an alias and your personal email to another alias and both will sound different when you receive the mail.

    Add the value “+soundname” between your email alias and the mail domain name is enough to receive a mail with a special sound.

    For example, suppose your forward email is “az123@bxc.io”.

    • sending an email to az123+cash@bxc.io will play cash register sound when mail is received.
    • sending an email to az123+echo@bxc.io will play echo sound when email is received.
    • sending an email to az123+no-sound@bxc.io will ensure mail is received without playing a sound.
    • etc…

    It means that all users have 29 forward email addresses available in Boxcar 2.

    Full documentation with the list of all the available sounds is here: Boxcar 2: How to have multiple email aliases with different sounds.

    Enjoy !

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  18. GigaOM releases report on brand engagement through in-app communication

    Mobile apps now allow businesses to be more responsive to users than ever before, but this interaction has created new customer expectations. While a mobile app must fulfill its core function, it must also continue a dialog with its users to remain relevant. Doing so requires ongoing, intelligent, targeted outreach to customers and an extension of customer-service strategy into the app itself.

    Brands and businesses that develop mobile applications must be aware of the demands and limits of an increasingly sophisticated mobile audience, build a communications strategy that spans the appropriate communications channels, and play to the strength of each channel.

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    In-App communication gathers as a whole three mobile oriented channels:

    • Native Push Notification services.
    • In-app notifications.
    • In-app chat.

    Together, they form the three main components of brand realtime user relationship management on mobile. Today, those three approaches are your best bet to establish a strong communication channel that provides a real value to your users.

    The field is quite new and we are glad to be able to share with GigaOM the first research on brand engagement through in-app communication.

    The document gives examples, insights and best practices to tighten the links with your mobile application user base and provide them the best value at the right time.

    We are pleased to make this report available for free to people interested in Boxcar Push Notifications Service. Join our mailing list focused on leveraging in-app communication for brands to receive report download link » 

    (Do not worry, it’s low traffic, no spam, we only care about the value we give you).

    Report is also available to GigaOM subscribers.

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  22. Boxcar Developer Push Console supports Github Sign-up

    Everyone hates managing and creating user accounts. As a developer, I handle tens of accounts just for the various tools and services that I rely on to do my job.

    So, having tools to “sign up” with a very popular service is something that can make my daily routine simpler. For developers, that popular service is Github.

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    So, we are very pleased to introduce a feature to Sign-up / Sign in our push console for developer using Github. There is no form to fill and no login and password to enter. Just click the “Sign In with Github” button. You are redirected to Github site to approve granting a token for authentication using Github and access to a few profile infos to create the account.

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    We understand that we need to be unintrusive, so we only ask for access to user profile information, no repository or organization access for example. That allows us to create your account without any form to fill. We only access once the fields we need to create your account: email address, first name and last name, avatar and company name if any in your profile.

    Despite avoiding filling our account creation form, “Github Sign-in” also allows us also to authenticate you later without asking your login and password. This is Github based single sign-on.

    The extra benefit is that if you have enabled two-factor authentication on Github (you should, really), you benefit from two-factor authentication on Boxcar Push Console as well.

    Bottom line is that it is a very convenient feature but:

    • We never access your repositories (public or private).
    • You can always opt-in for traditional login and password authentication on Boxcar Push Console.
    • You can always revert this grant. If you ever want to remove the link to Boxcar Push Console, you can go to Github “Account Settings -> Applications” and then Revoke “Boxcar Push Console” access in the “Authorized applications” section. But remember, that we only use user information to create the account and we never query Github again.

    We hope you will enjoy this new feature. The feature has been deployed today on our Push Console for Developer and is ready for you to try.

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  24. New Boxcar 1.2.2 has been released

    This version is a bugfix release fixing:
    • A crash when deleting all notifications at once in inbox.
    • crash sometime happening on Twitter account registration.

    We also improved the server-side component with the following changes:

    • Faster delivery of RSS feeds, lower latency.
    • Fixed issue with encoding in some feeds.

    Enjoy !

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