Note: Originally posted on the AirBop blog.

I’ve seen “AirBop Vs. GCM” show up a few times as search terms that are driving people to AirBop so I wanted to write a quick post to clear the air: there is no AirBop versus Google Cloud Messaging. Instead it’s AirBop AND GCM.

If you look at the GCM documentation you will see that there are three main components to GCM, where they’ve defined components as:

The physical entities that play a role in GCM.

The three components are:

  • Mobile Device
  • 3rd-party Application Server
  • GCM Servers

AirBop is the 3rd-party Application Server in that list. Google defines 3rd-party Application Servers as:

An application server that developers set up as part of implementing GCM in their applications. The 3rd-party application server sends data to an Android application on the device via the GCM server.

You need a 3rd-pary application server in order to use GCM, without it nothing happens. So, as I said, it’s not AirBop vs. GCM, it’s AirBop and GCM. You can see exactly how AirBop works as a 3rd-party application server in a blog post I wrote back at the beginning of December.

So there you have it, no more AirBop vs. GCM please…we’re in this together.