Message Composer Redesign

Can we say we simplified something while also saying we expanded it? Well, we're saying it. We updated our composer workflows, separating messages from automation rules, while also adding multiple new features. Here are the highlights.


  • One button to rule them all: Instead of starting a message and later deciding its type, you now get started by clicking the Create New button, then choose between Message, Automation, and A/B Test.

  • Guided Assistance on every page: Hover over composer sections to expose a (?) icon, click the icon, and the Help tab will update with that topic.

New Features and Configurations

  • Audience Search & Explore: Creating a new Message starts with defining your Audience, and we provide vast improvements in discoverability of audience data. Search works across all audience types, choose ANY or ALL (AND vs OR) of all selections, get a full listing of everything but tags, and target by Platform.

  • Android push notifications: Include a Picture and Summary.

  • Live content previews: See what buttons, pictures, and titles will look like before you send.

  • Push notification text length guide: Since notification text varies depending on screen, platform, device, and OS version, we now provide a simple guide that updates as you compose:

  • Green: Full length of message will appear in most cases

  • Orange: Message may be shortened on some devices

  • Red: Message will be shortened on all devices

  • Broadcast push: Disable broadcast push if you want to require segmentation. It’s enabled by default.

  • Custom keys: Disable access to custom keys if you don’t want your team to worry about them.

Feature Name Changes

  • Primary Device Tags is now Tags. Tags are data you set on a device or user to track user attributes or behavior. You can set tags from within your app, or through server API calls.

  • Device Property Tags is now Device Properties. Airship automatically collects data from your user’s devices, storing them as Device Properties. This consists of:

  • Data we collect from your app’s knowledge of the device and OS

  • Push, Location, and Background Processing opt-in status of your app

  • Device Local Time is now Delivery by Time Zone. This feature schedules your message to go out at the same time in different time zones, for all of your audience around the world. This ensure you reach your entire audience at the most effective time of day, no matter where they are on the planet. For example, a push notification scheduled for 9 a.m. will arrive for people on the east coast at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, in the midwest an hour later at 9 a.m. Central Time, then on the west coast two hours after that, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

  • content-available is now Background Processing (iOS only). Background Processing wakes the app and gives it some running time to perform work, such as downloading content for future display. Data included in the push notification, e.g., via custom keys, is available to the app at that time, so app developers can use those features in combination to send URLs and then download that content or take other actions.

Walk through each composer: