Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) Technology (Push notifications android)

Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) Technology, A FREE Push notification service from Google for Android applications
Google Cloud Messaging or GCM is a special lightweight service meant for servers to tell applications to directly contact the servers for information about updates, syncing and user data transfer.

Functional Diagram of Google Cloud Messaging Technology
[Image: Google_cloud_messaging_technology_gcm_Android_push.jpg]

GCM Features:
#1. Send data from your server to users' Android-powered devices
#2. Send send-to-sync messages
#3. Send messages with payload
#4. Return Receipts

An introductory Seminar Report on Google cloud messaging Technology
The server and client structure is a very reliable one, but they cannot be applied for mobile applications which need very fewer data to be transmitted, something around 4KB of payload, for establishing a connection. Using GCM, the app need not be running n the client always, the a broadcast message from a GCM server can wake up the application, receive updates, communicate and provide push notification to the user.

GCM servers are deployed at strategic locations and you get more information about them from their official site Android Developer, you can avail information on how to develop it to meet your requirements and contribute to the community. It has all information starting from creating and launching your own GCM supported android app and do stuff that is possible with it.

At this point, you might want to know the proper mechanism to ask for permission before making any changes to the device. You might also be interested to know if it is free to use the service.

This is a highly recommended topic for your engineering seminar since this is a trending topic and technology is very new.

More GCM Related articles found on the web
We are receiving requests for more information on this topic, so I am updating a list of informative links found on the web:
Google Cloud Messaging for Android (Official page)
[PDF] Google Cloud Messaging (GCM): An Evaluation
[PDF]Google Cloud Messaging
[PDF] How To Develop Smart Android Notifications using Google Cloud Messaging Service
GCM on Wikipedia

Related: Azure Service Bus (Cloud-Based Messaging System)

We prepared and published this seminar abstract for final year engineering students seminar research. You should do your own research additional to this information before presenting your seminar.
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Updating functional diagram of GCM
Based on a few questions we received about GCM, I am preparing an FAQ on GCM/Android push technology
#1. Whether the app needs to be running on end user phone to receive messages?
And: No, gcm can wakeup the application and handover the message.
#2. Can I send files or images like email attachments through this push?
And: No, the payload is very limited and it currently supports only text messages.

Have more questions? Please ask.
One question,
Is it possible to create whatsapp like application system using Google GCM?
If it is only for text messaging, yes. Otherwise no.
Whatsapp is not as simple as we use it anyway!
It requires to handle millions of users and their messages and contents every moment.

Using GCM for an academic project to work like whatsapp is a good idea though.
As far as I understand, gcm can be used for commercial android messaging services, at a time GCM can send messages to 1000 users, the back end application server has to manage the queue if the number of users are exceeding this limit.