Inapp Inbox Notifications

Choosing Between Flutter In-App Notifications and Push Notifications: The Ultimate Guide for Developers

Sanjeev Kumar
November 25, 2023
Navigate the choice between Flutter in-app and push notifications with our comprehensive guide for developers. Explore advantages, limitations, and practical examples to tailor an effective user engagement strategy.

Flutter in-app notifications stand as a critical tool for user interaction in mobile applications. As businesses and developers navigate the complexities of user engagement, the decision between Flutter in-app notifications and push notifications becomes pivotal. This comprehensive guide will delve deeply into the technical intricacies of both notification types, providing actionable insights for crafting a nuanced and effective strategy tailored to your app's goals.

Flutter In-App Notifications vs. Push Notifications

Flutter In-App Notifications


1. Non-intrusive User Interaction in Flutter In-App Inbox:

Flutter In-app notifications operate seamlessly within the app environment, ensuring a non-intrusive user experience. Developers can implement in-app notifications using Flutter with the following code snippet:"New feature unlocked!");

Explanation: This code triggers an in-app notification showcasing a new feature. Users are alerted without disruption to their ongoing activities within the app.

2. Contextual Triggering in Flutter In-App Inbox:

In-app notifications can be triggered by specific user actions, creating a contextually relevant experience. Consider the following example:

Coding Block Example

onButtonPress() {"Button pressed");

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Explanation: This code triggers an in-app notification when a designated button is pressed, ensuring that notifications align with user interactions.

3. Ideal for Personalized Engagement in Flutter In-App Inbox:

The nature of in-app notifications allows for highly personalized and targeted messaging. Here's a sample code snippet:

Coding Block Example

if (userSegment == "premium") {"Exclusive offer for premium users");

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Explanation: This code triggers an in-app notification with an exclusive offer, specifically tailored for premium users, showcasing the potential for targeted engagement.

4. Immediate Call-to-Action in Flutter In-App Inbox:

Users can promptly respond to in-app notifications within the app, leading to immediate engagement. An example of encouraging user action:"Swipe right to explore");

Explanation: This code prompts users to take action within the app in response to the displayed in-app notification.


  1. Limited Reach in Flutter In-App Inbox: In-app notifications are effective only when users are actively engaged within the app. They do not extend to users who are not currently using the application.
  2. Potential Overlook in Flutter In-App Inbox: Users may not notice flutter in-app notifications if they are deeply immersed in the app's content, leading to potential oversight.
  3. Permission Requirements in Flutter In-App Inbox: Users need to grant specific permissions for the app to display in-app notifications. Failure to grant these permissions may limit the effectiveness of this notification type.
  4. Dependency on App State in Flutter In-App Inbox: Flutter In-app notifications may not be received if the app is completely closed or running in the background.

Push Notifications


1. High Visibility Beyond App Usage:

Push notifications reach users even when the app is closed, ensuring high visibility. The following code illustrates sending a push notification:

sendPushNotification("Special offer alert!");

Explanation: This code sends a push notification alerting users to a special offer, capturing their attention beyond their current app usage.

2. Re-engagement Capability:

Push notifications effectively re-engage dormant users, encouraging them to return to the app. An example of a re-engagement push notification:

sendPushNotification("Missed us? Come back and explore the latest features!");

Explanation: This code prompts users who haven't interacted with the app recently to revisit and explore new features.

3. Suitable for Time-Sensitive Announcements:

Push notifications are ideal for delivering time-sensitive information, such as limited-time offers. A code snippet for time-sensitive push notification:

sendPushNotification("Sale ends in 24 hours!");

Explanation: This code sends a push notification notifying users about a sale with a limited timeframe, leveraging the urgency factor.

4. Operational Even When the App is Closed:

Push notifications are delivered to users regardless of whether the app is open or closed, ensuring operational effectiveness.


  1. Potential Intrusiveness: Overusing push notifications can be perceived as intrusive, potentially leading to user annoyance and app uninstalls.
  2. Opt-in Requirement: Users must opt-in to receive push notifications, and failure to obtain this consent limits the app's ability to engage users through this channel.
  3. Limited Personalization: Compared to in-app notifications, push notifications offer limited personalization options, restricting the degree of tailored messaging.
  4. Platform-Specific Implementation: Implementing push notifications may involve platform-specific configurations, adding complexity to the development process.

Choosing the Right Notification Type

User Activity Dependency:

If your message requires immediate user action or is contextually tied to in-app interactions, flutter in-app inboxes can provide a more tailored experience. For instance:

Coding Block Example

onButtonClick() {"Action needed: Complete your profile for personalized recommendations.");

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Explanation: This code snippet demonstrates triggering an in-app notification, prompting immediate user action based on specific interactions.

Re-engagement and Outreach:

For reaching out to users who are currently inactive or have the app closed, push notifications are highly effective. A sample code snippet for sending a re-engagement push notification:

Coding Block Example

sendReEngagementPush() {
  sendPushNotification("Missed us? Come back and explore the latest features!");

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Explanation: This code encourages users who haven't interacted with the app recently to revisit and explore new features.

Personalization and Segmentation:

If personalization is a crucial aspect of your notification strategy, in-app notifications offer more flexibility. Here's an example of personalized in-app notification triggering:

Coding Block Example

if (userSegment == "premium") {"Exclusive offer for premium users");

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Explanation: This code snippet showcases the ability to trigger in-app notifications based on user segments, allowing for highly targeted and personalized engagement.

Combining Both:

Some apps find value in using a combination of both types of notifications to maximize user engagement. For example:

Coding Block Example

// Using Flutter in-app notification for user-specific updates
onUserUpdate() {"New content tailored just for you!");

// Using push notification for broad announcements
sendBroadAnnouncement() {
  sendPushNotification("Exciting news! Check out our latest updates.");

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Explanation: This code demonstrates a dual approach, leveraging in-app notifications for user-specific updates and push notifications for broad announcements, ensuring a comprehensive engagement strategy.

Simpler Way

A more straightforward way to implement a Flutter in-app inbox would be to use existing suprsend-flutter-inbox library.


In conclusion, the decision between Flutter in-app notifications and push notifications is nuanced and should be tailored to your app's specific goals and user engagement strategy. Armed with a deep understanding of the technical intricacies and practical examples provided, you can craft a powerful and well-rounded notification strategy for your Flutter app. Striking the right balance ensures user engagement while respecting individual preferences. By applying the technical insights offered in this guide, you are well-equipped to make informed decisions that contribute to the success of your Flutter app in the competitive digital landscape.

Written by:
Sanjeev Kumar
Engineering, SuprSend

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