At ZenRockers we recently released Lost Dogs in Denmark. A service for helping dog owners if their dog runs away.

The app uses push notifications for which we used Parse. Parse has a lot advantages compared to writing a push notification service from scratch. Fast to implement (signup, create certificates, add a few lines of code to the app delegate). But it also have some downside that are worth considering:

  • The dashboard usually slow. Sometimes very slow. Time-out while loading pages slow.
  • The price structure is steep. Free, $2,388 per year, and "Enterprise". Not that big a deal since free is a million requests / notifications so you have time på create revenue or migrate. But the site is cribbled for free users with certain features, like having both development and production certificated for the same app, disabled.
  • The Parse framework is pretty heavy. Even if you just need to send user tokens & settings to the service then it adds about 5MB to the app.

But all-in-all a decent option for getting push notifications implemented fast. Even if you have to jump through hoops or pay $199 per month just to continue development on a small app after launch.