Out-of-the-box Inbox Message Center FAQ

What is the Message Center?

Urban Airship Message Center is a persistent place in your app where you can display rich content,  including text, images, and video. The messages are hosted by Urban Airship, and are typically displayed in standard inbox-style within your app. You can choose to display the messages and the message listings any way you wish, according to the look and feel of your app. We do our part by hosting the rich content, alerting users of new content with push notifications, and managing the state of each user's message listing (read, unread, deleted, etc.).

What is the Out-of-the-Box Message Center?

Out-of-the-Box Message Center makes Urban Airship's flagship rich messaging feature, namely the Message Center, available with the Urban Airship iOS SDK or Android SDK 7.0.0 or later.  Implementing the Out-of-the-Box Message Center is very easy, even trivial compared to writing your own methods and functions to implement the same. 


ootb-mc-ios.png                       ootb-mc-android.png

           Message Center on iOS                                              Message Center on Android


How is the new Out-of-the-Box Message Center different from how we used to support the Message Center?

With the release of the 7.0 SDK, Message Center, the actual container for the rich content you provide to customers, ships with the SDK. Previously, you needed to do extra custom development work to design the UI elements that displayed the rich messages. Although we provide sample code to get you started, integration could often add weeks or months to the development cycle, depending on the number of stakeholders involved.  The new Out-of-the-Box Message Center reduces the complexity and implementation time from weeks or months, to just a few hours and a few lines of code.

Now, every app using our 7.0 or newer SDK is equipped with a supported version of Message Center.

What version of the SDK do I need?

Why would I want to use the Out-of-the-Box Message Center?

Reach Opted-out Users. 

Message Center messages are not push notifications, but you can use push notifications to alert users that new rich content is available. Because Message Center messages do not require a user to opt in to push notifications, you can reach opted-out audience with Message Center.

More Opportunities to Engage

When users interact with Message Center, e.g., read, delete, tap a button, Urban Airship tracks the interactions and makes them available via our analytics offerings, Urban Airship Connect and Urban Airship Insight. By providing engaging content and facilitating interactions via Message Center, you can also trigger other Actions such as adding a tag, or triggering a follow-up notification. 

Can I customize the Out-of-the-Box Message Center? 

Yes. Customizing your Message Center to match the look and feel of your app is easy. Change the colors, fonts, backgrounds and icons to match your branding. Here is a list of the things you can customize:

  • Enable/disable Image Icons
  • Divider color
  • Default icon
  • Date font/color
  • Header color, text color, font
  • List item background, text color, font
  • Empty message text
  • Tint color 

 Here is our documentation for details on how to customize:

Will the new Out-of-the-Box Inbox conflict with existing Message Center code?

No. The Urban Airship SDK uses the existing Message Center implementation if the application implements the inbox intent filters on Android or the inbox delegate on iOS.

What platforms can I use with the Urban Airship Out-of-the-Box Inbox? 

The Out-of-the-Box Inbox is supported on:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Phonegap / Cordova 

How can I get the Out-of-the-Box Inbox?

This feature is available with our Comprehensive Plan. If you are interested in upgrading your account, please contact us.

Where can I learn more?

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