Earlier this year Google has deprecated the old service used for Android push notifications (GCM) in favour of Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM). GCM server and client APIs will be removed on April 11, 2019 and current users are required to migrate to Firebase completely by that time if they want to continue using push notifications.
Because of that, since Pega Mobile Client version 188.8.131.52 we switched the push notifications to Firebase with legacy GCM support that will stop working after the date mentioned above.
How does it affect you?
If you want to build a new mobile application using Pega Mobile Client or rebuild your current one after October 2018, you will have to import the GCM project to Firebase by following the instructions available in the first step of this guide.
After downloading the `google-services.json` you need to provide it to the application as part of the `assets.zip` alongside your custom branding. Just place it in the root of the archive and reupload it to Pega Platform.
The last step before triggering a new build is to update the certificate set used to sign the application. Change the Sender ID to the new one provided by Firebase and Server API Key to Legacy server key which can be found in Firebase Console under Project Settings | Cloud Messaging. You can refer to this help document for details on modifying certificate sets in Pega Platform.
What happens if you build the app without the google-services.json?
If your certificate set is configured for push notifications (i.e. senderId is set) the application will fail to build.
What else do you need to remember?
You will also have to update Pega Platform to at least 8.2 version to continue using push notifications after the legacy GCM support ends on April 11, 2019.
Not sure why this article states 'You will also have to update Pega Platform to at least 8.2 version' - although it always better to use as newest Pega version as possible, in some cases customers doesn't want to update from 7.x to 8.x due to costs. In this case we may safely provide them hot fixes. May author of this article update it? I don't see 'suggest edit' link here...