FaceTime for Mac uses push notifications

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple has brought another iOS feature 'back to the Mac' in the form of push notification services for the beta version of FaceTime for Mac, which can notify you of an incoming video call even when the application is not running.



When the long-awaited release of Apple's FaceTime for Mac came in the form of a beta Wednesday, users were pleasantly surprised to find that they could receive calls without leaving FaceTime open.



According to apple.com/mac/facetime/, "whenever someone tries to reach you, the call rings through on every Mac you own even if FaceTime isn?t running?If you don't want to receive calls, just turn FaceTime off in Preferences."



Shortly after the application became available, German blogger Florian Schimanke noticed (Google Translation) a related background process "apsd-ft" and surmised that the process stood for "Apple Push Service Daemon - FaceTime."







Also, users attempting to uninstall FaceTime for Mac sought help on the Apple Support forums when Mac OS X refused to allow the deletion of the application because it was "in use." Signing out of FaceTime from the FaceTime menu or disabling FaceTime in the application's preferences pane halts the "apsd-ft" process and allows the FaceTime application package to be deleted.



A look inside the contents of the FaceTime.app package reveals an ApplePushService.framework folder with the apsd-ft process and relevant property list files.







Early users of the FaceTime for Mac beta reported a security issue with the program. The application initially allowed users to change their iTunes password without inputting the existing password, but the feature was quickly disabled.



Push services for Mac



This isn't the first time that Apple has brought push services to the Mac, however. In 2008, Apple replaced its .Mac service with MobileMe push internet service, allowing users to push email, calendars, contacts and more to the iPhone, iPod touch, Macs and PCs. In preparation for push services on the iPhone and Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, Apple built its own Push Notification Server from the ground up using open standards.



With the release of iOS 3.0 in 2009, Apple made good on its 2008 promise to bring third-party push notification services to the iPhone and iPod touch. FaceTime for Mac might be an early indicator that Apple will expand the push notification options on Mac OS X next year as it brings numerous iOS features to the Mac with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Are you sure MobileMe uses pns on the Mac? I have a MobileMe account and I think Mail is using some form of IMAP notification.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Are you sure MobileMe uses pns on the Mac? I have a MobileMe account and I think Mail is using some form of IMAP notification.



    thanks for the heads up. i made some changes, should be more accurate now.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    I am glad that I don't have to keep the FaceTime app running to get FaceTime calls on my Mac.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I am glad that I don't have to keep the FaceTime app running to get FaceTime calls on my Mac.



    Ditto.



    I can see using this like an intercom in the house. Or office...
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Are you sure MobileMe uses pns on the Mac? I have a MobileMe account and I think Mail is using some form of IMAP notification.



    They use IMAP IDLE which is similar to push that you might as well call it push.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Brilliant...nobody sweats the details like Apple...



    Just used FaceTime for the first time...My daughter is in St. Maarten with her 13" MBP and I'm here in Arizona with my iMac and my iPhone 4.



    Tried both and they worked great. Better than Skype and a lot simpler.



    The iPhone 4 actually was better mainly because of a better camera and the smaller screen but probably a lot is due to the Retina display....she was really wowed when I hit the button to switch to the front facing camera...



    Always cool when you can impress your 26 year old daughter...



    Last time I did that I think she was seven and I'm tennis player and I can hit the ball straight up about 4-5 stories and when it comes down catch it on my racquet without it bouncing. She said, "OMG, Dad!" Yep, that was the last time, I think!



    Best
  • Reply 7 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Too bad Apple can't get push e-mail working between Mac OS X Server systems and the iPhone!
  • Reply 8 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Too bad Apple can't get push e-mail working between Mac OS X Server systems and the iPhone!



    MobileMe email push has been flawless for me. So great that I forward all my gmail (my normal email account) to my MM account so I can my email instantly.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    MobileMe email push has been flawless for me. So great that I forward all my gmail (my normal email account) to my MM account so I can my email instantly.



    Sorry, MobileMe and gmail are stoppers when privacy is concerned. No corporation in their right mind would use these systems.



    Mac OS X Server even has what's called Push Notification Service, and it's a complete waste of time.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Sorry, MobileMe and gmail are stoppers when privacy is concerned. No corporation in their right mind would use these systems.



    Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and other consumer mail services are great? I trust Apple more than Google or Yahoo when it comes to protecting my personal information.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and other consumer mail services are great? I trust Apple more than Google or Yahoo when it comes to protecting my personal information.



    Apple may seem more trustworthy than the others, but I will not trust my business communications to any of them.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Apple may seem more trustworthy than the others, but I will not trust my business communications to any of them.



    Ah, when you wrote Mac OS X Server in regards to email I thought you were referring to MobileMe, not corporate email on OS X Server. They lose the ?Mac? when not talking about their consumer products. I don?t know who uses any Apple servers so I have no comment on that.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    icarbonicarbon Posts: 196member
    Will this push notification wake a computer from sleep?



    I'm not sure if I would consider this a plus or minus if it did -- on the one hand, I like the idea of being able to call a computer regardless of whether its in use (I have all my computers sleep after 5 min of unuse; I'm kind of a greenie)



    But on the other hand, I don't like the idea of any processes running while the computer is in sleep mode.



    thoughts?
  • Reply 14 of 30
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Apple may seem more trustworthy than the others, but I will not trust my business communications to any of them.



    MobileMe is not intended for business/corporations use. It is intended for consumers. I agree with you that I wouldn't use Gmail, hotmail, nor Yahoo for business communications. Others might do it but I won't.



    What I understand about Push Notification on Mac OS X Server is that the communication is encrypted between your servers and clients devices directly and nothing goes through Apple servers. If you can point me to something that says otherwise I will appreciate it since I am interested in knowing more about it.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post


    Will this push notification wake a computer from sleep?



    I'm not sure if I would consider this a plus or minus if it did -- on the one hand, I like the idea of being able to call a computer regardless of whether its in use (I have all my computers sleep after 5 min of unuse; I'm kind of a greenie)



    But on the other hand, I don't like the idea of any processes running while the computer is in sleep mode.



    thoughts?



    Probably will not wake the computer unless you enable "Wake on network access" from the energy save setting.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    Interesting to hear all this paranoia about not using gmail etc... There must be millions of small businesses using gmail and MobileMe services these days. I am one, have done for years and never had a problem.



    If your business is illegal, spying or so sensitive everything has to be encrypted 50 times, fine, then don't use anything but a private bespoke service. For the rest of it, there is no need for all the paranoia about privacy...
  • Reply 17 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    What I understand about Push Notification [Service] on Mac OS X [Snow Leopard] Server is that the communication is encrypted between your servers and clients devices directly and nothing goes through Apple servers. If you can point me to something that says otherwise I will appreciate it since I am interested in knowing more about it.



    You've described how e-mail operates, when hosted on a Mac OS X e-mail server using SSL. The Push Notification Service is supposed to push notification of messages to the client, so the iPhone doesn't have to poll the server. Without push, a new message might not be known about on the iPhone for up to 15 minutes, because 15 minutes is the minimum poll period. (Apple originally provided a minimum 5 minute poll time but later opted for conserving battery life over letting the user decide. Apple's decision also coincided with the release of Snow Leopard Server with PNS.)



    The problem is PNS doesn't work. Google it.

    Daniel Eran Dilger has written for AI as an apparent means of publicizing his book on Snow Leopard Server. In one chapter, he goes into detail about how to configure PNS for e-mail. This really cool video also shows how to configure it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiYAWRGMDtk



    No one has actually gotten PNS to work.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jon T View Post


    there is no need for all the paranoia about privacy...



    Play much Farmville?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Play much Farmville?



    Real men don't.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    You've described how e-mail operates, when hosted on a Mac OS X e-mail server using SSL. The Push Notification Service is supposed to push notification of messages to the client, so the iPhone doesn't have to poll the server. Without push, a new message might not be known about on the iPhone for up to 15 minutes, because 15 minutes is the minimum poll period. (Apple originally provided a minimum 5 minute poll time but later opted for conserving battery life over letting the user decide. Apple's decision also coincided with the release of Snow Leopard Server with PNS.)



    The problem is PNS doesn't work. Google it.

    Daniel Eran Dilger has written for AI as an apparent means of publicizing his book on Snow Leopard Server. In one chapter, he goes into detail about how to configure PNS for e-mail. This really cool video also shows how to configure it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiYAWRGMDtk



    No one has actually gotten PNS to work.



    Since Apple introduced this great feature I?ve used it constantly. I get push notifications all the time and never wondered if an app or their PNS wasn?t working correctly. And, like I stated earlier, I forward my Gmail to my MobileMe account because I can use the IMAP IDLE to get my mail pushed to my iDevices almost instantly. I can?t say how fast it is, but on my Mac Mail polls the Gmail server every 1 minute and my phone will almost always vibrate before it hits my Mac.
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