I have confirmed that this is reliably repeatable in all cases. Notifications will ring, put a toast alert in the shade/lockscreen every time, but only if the user does not have the PowerApp open/up on their iPhone. I can't tell if this is by design or if it is a problem. Because the phone screen can stay on while they are moving about, I really wanted the alerts to make noise and come through regardless of whether they are looking at the app or not.
Just to clarify, this is what I am experiencing with iPhone 7:
Screen on, my PowerApp maximized/in focus = NO alert
Screen on, PowerApps organization screen maximized/in focus = NO alert
Screen on, Safari maximized/in focus with PowerApps running in background = Alert
Screen on, Safari maximized/in focus without PowerApps running at all (but still logged in) = Alert
In both cases where the alerts do not come, turning the screen off using the button on the side of the phone causes them to come.
I have tried changing every setting in both the general alert settings and the PowerApps alert settings on the iPhones and none changed this behavior. Text messages and other alerts behave as expected without regard for the screen being on or off or what app is in focus.
Can anyone help me understand what is going on here?
I have made a test, and the issue is confirmed on my side.
I would post this issue to my product team, if the issue is solved, I would reply here.
Just an update -- The response from @Christoph Ponath (SOFTWARE ENG MGR) as below:
The idea of notifications is to make the user aware that there is an update in an app *when it is not in the foreground*. So this is currently by design.
However, since the PowerApps mobile client hosts multiple apps inside of it, we should consider supporting customer handling of notifications to make users aware of changes in another PowerApps app when they are running another PowerApps app.
However, what the customer seems to ask for is custom handling of notifications *inside the published app* so that the app can decide to handle or show an alert when the user is on a different screen than the one the notification is about, which is something would need to build support for and is not on our radar currently.
If you want to receive an Push Notification when you are using an app or in a screen of a different app, I afraid that there is no way to achieve your needs within PowerApps currently.
If you would like this feature to be added in PowerApps, please submit an idea to PowerApps Ideas Forum:
Thanks for the update.
"However, what the customer seems to ask for is custom handling of notifications *inside the published app* so that the app can decide to handle or show an alert when the user is on a different screen than the one the notification is about, which is something would need to build support for and is not on our radar currently."
Not sure I completely understand this statement. In my use case, the notifications are not specific to any particular screen on the recipient's app. Notifications are generated from a separate app, used only by dispatchers, to indicate to the recipient that a new task has been assigned to them. Typically the recipient has the open on their iPhone throughout their shift and they are trained that they will be alerted by the device when they get a new task. None of these users have access to any other PowerApps except the one they use to get the alerts. Currently, if while working on a task, they lay their phone down without explicitly turning off the screen they can be assigned new tasks without being alerted. Text messages, emails, reminders and every other alert I can think off does not behave in this way so it is assumed by all the users that this doesn't work which seems reasonable given that there is zero precedent for this type of behavior in other applications they use. Indeed in your initial response to my inquiry you confirmed the "issue" implying that it was not immediately apparent that this was a "feature".
If app users are sitting around texting and browsing the web, they would get an alert but if they only have the PowerApp open as instructed and also happen to be looking at any part of the app, they won't get an alert. This may make sense on some technical level but certainly is not acceptable in a hospital setting where the delayed communication of the task is one of the core issues we were hoping to address.
Making this more disappointing is the fact that I convinced management to pay tens of thousands of dollars for upgraded PowerApps Plan 2 licenses despite there being universal agreement that an app canvas platform should include this core ability without having to pay extra for it.
"If you want to receive an Push Notification when you are using an app or in a screen of a different app, I afraid that there is no way to achieve your needs within PowerApps currently."
Now I'm charged with explaining that while viewing the app, the "premium feature" we spent thousands of extra dollars to get, stops working (unfortunately, nobody here is buying that this makes sense as a "by design" feature) merely by using the app.
I do appreciate your timely response however this is frustrating news after the amount of time and money that has been invested in trying to use PowerApps.
I can understand the frustration - It's rough getting a business buy-in for these kinds of things (I am in process of this).
By chance have you tried using Flow's notifications push feature? (https://emea.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/connectors/shared_flowpush/notifications/) I know it's not an ideal workaround as obviously you would want it to come from within PowerApps, but if your users had both apps open in background (with PowerApps being currently in-focus), they could receive flow notifications of new items/etc, clear that notification from the phone's native swipe-down menu and then continue with their existing PowerApp session (thus not having to close the App and while still being notified of new jobs/etc).
Not sure if this would work for your particular situation but I it might be worth a shot,
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Thanks @iAm_ManCat. This option was considered early on but the PowerApps only alternative was chosen for a variety of reasons. Besides the assumption that some part of this would also likely not work, there is the specter of the added confusion when phones are passed to the next person who must log in and out of multiple apps - there is probably an equal chance of missing notifications because users were not properly logged into both PowerApps and Flow (none of these non technical users have ever used Office 365 in any way before). This would also have complicated porting the solution to other facilities (which may not even happen now). Moreover, there is a limit on the number of Flow runs which, while high, was felt to be something that could become an issue as more users create more Flow runs in the years to come.
This type of thing would be a bit easier to take if we weren't paying extra for this feature. I have a degree of willingness to play a part in what sometimes feels like a large, beta-testing program for Microsoft, but when we have to pay a significant cost over and above the licensing already purchased for a single feature that then doesn't work as any reasonable person would expect it to work, it will likely be remembered a long time by the folks that matter around here.
Im just coming across this thread now... almost 7 months later... and this is still a thing. Mind. Blown. How can this be by design? If someone is actually using the app they won't be made aware of something that happened IN THE APP?!! Speechless. I too had to navigate a ton of corporate red tape to get approval for the cost of this "Premium Feature" only to find out its basically useless. Microsoft needs to fix this. I'm going to request this on the above link. Request you all do the same please. Thanks
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