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Mobile Platform Comparison

Spok Mobile is available on the Apple iOS and Android mobile platforms. The core messaging functionality of Spok Mobile is very similar across these operating systems. However, the technology platforms provided by Apple and Android each have their own features and limitations. Spok Mobile takes advantage of these features and attempts to bridge the limitations wherever possible.

Spok Mobile for Android uses Google Cloud Messaging. It can also be used on non-GCM devices, such as the Zebra MC40, by deploying the Spok Notification Framework in the Spok Mobile 4.6 Server environment.

Spok Mobile uses Wi-Fi for push notifications only if it cannot establish a cellular data connection. Some devices can only receive notifications via Wi-Fi if the device display is on, the device is not sleeping, or if the device is plugged in. However, the iPad remains associated with the Wi-Fi access point while asleep, so it is able to receive Wi-Fi push notifications while asleep.

Message Delivery

Feature Android Apple
Platform Push Notification Service / https download

Google Cloud Messaging (GCM)

Spok Notification Framework

Apple Push Notification Service (APNS)
Wi-Fi Support Yes (Push Only) Yes
Message Delivery while on a phone call Push: Yes on 3G GSM network and when in dual mode
Wi-Fi: No on CDMA only
Push: Yes on 3G GSM network and when in dual mode
Wi-Fi: No on CDMA only
Automated Sync Yes


No background support

Manual Get Message Yes


Pull Message List

Application Installation

Feature Android Apple
Ability to install via URL Yes Yes
Ability to install via Centralized Server Yes No
Ability to install via platform application store Yes Yes

Application Registration

Feature Android Apple
Prompt user to register device phone number Yes Yes
Detect device phone number and populate registration screen Yes No
Registration Password Yes Yes

 Message Detail

Feature Android Apple
Message Text Size 4000 characters 4000 characters
Accept Button Yes Yes
Reply Button Yes Yes
Decline Button Yes Yes
Place phone call from message Yes Yes

Message Response

Feature Android Apple
Reply Message Size 70 characters 1000 characters
Reply Templates

Yes, up to 30

Yes, up to 30

Directory Access

Feature Android Apple
Host System Login Yes Yes
Directory Search Yes Yes
Directory Favorites Yes Yes

Client Initiated Messaging

Feature Android Apple
Send Message Yes Yes


Feature Android Apple
Ability to override system alarms Yes No

High / Medium / Low Message Alarm Configurations

*Depends on application configuration

Yes  Yes
Message Alarm Configurations saved on Spok Mobile Server Yes Yes
Ability to turn off Message Listener in Spok Mobile application No No
Ability to disable Message Listen on Mobile platform No


Disabling in platform settings will not notify application.

Alarm repeats Yes, until response is sent Notifications are resent every 30 seconds, up to 10 times or until the message is delivered
Alarm Volume Yes Yes
Alarm Vibrate Yes No
Alarm Vibrate Only Yes Yes
Alarm Interval Yes Yes
Alarm Sounds


Can use system sounds

Auto Delete Messages (days) 1-7, 30 1-7, 30
Auto Delete Messages  Can be set to 50/100/200/300/400/500 messages Can be set to 50/100/200/300/400/500 messages
Automated Sync Interval


Default 60

Access Code (Screen lock) Yes Yes

 Application Status

Feature Android Apple
Registration Status Yes Yes
Multi-Site Registration Status List Yes Yes
Network Status No Yes
Push Yes Yes


Feature Android Apple
Version Yes Yes
Copyright Yes Yes

Other (Technical)

Feature Android Apple
Language Support English English
App runs in background Yes No
Retry messages send in background Yes Up to 10 minutes
Push Address Push: Android ID Push: Apple Device ID
Push Retry GCM: Indefinitely

Apple: Indefinitely

Resent every 30 seconds, up to 10 times or until the message is delivered.

Message Delivery Status Logic The application runs in the background and downloads a message when it receives the notification.

The message is delivered after it has been downloaded.

A notification is sent to the device to prompt the user to download the message.

The message is downloaded after the user opens the application. The message delivered after it is has been downloaded.