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VictorOps iOS Application

This article will help iOS users understand the features and capabilities that are specific to the iOS version of the VictorOps mobile application.

Add VictorOps Contact

VictorOps uses a total of five source phone numbers for delivery of phone call and SMS notifications. (Full list here)  This is part of a load balancing strategy that helps us ensure timely delivery of notifications. Luckily, you do not need to manually create a contact and add these numbers.  There is a feature within the app that will do this for you.

Click on the Settings icon (the gear) in the top right corner of the application, and choose Add VictorOps to Your Contacts.

This will automatically create a new contact with all 5 numbers already included.

This will also give you the option to save VictorOps to your Favorites, in order to ensure that calls from VictorOps are able to override Do Not Disturb mode.  It also allows you to give the VictorOps contact “Emergency Bypass” capabilities, ensuring that you will always get your phone and SMS notifications regardless of the state of your phone (provided it is turned on).


iOS App Permission Settings

Navigate to your iOS Settings. Scroll down to the application settings area to locate and tap on VictorOps.

In the VictorOps settings, make sure Cellular Data is on and then tap Notifications (Badges, Sounds, Banners).

 

In the Notification settings section, make sure that all settings are turned on.


Do Not Disturb Mode

To Override Do Not Disturb, you will need to ensure that you have added a VictorOps contact (see steps above). First, you will want to add VictorOps as a favorite in your contacts list.

To add VictorOps as a favorite, you will want to go to your Contacts -> VictorOps Contact -> Add to Favorites

 

Please note, you will need to select SMS messages and Calls if you want these options to override Do Not Disturb.

Then, you will want to ensure you have the proper Do Not Disturb settings enabled. To do so, select Settings -> Do Not Disturb. Within Do Not Disturb, you will want to Allow Calls from Favorites, see below.

This will allow you to receive calls and SMS messages when you are in Do Not Disturb.


Emergency Bypass

You also have an option to set the VictorOps as an Emergency Bypass contact. This will allow the VictorOps contact to contact you even when you’re in Do Not Disturb, and without adding the contact as a favorite. To add VictorOps as an Emergency Bypass contact, go to Contacts -> your VictorOps contact -> Edit.

 

Once in the Edit screen, select the arrow next to Ringtone. Please note you will need to do this for Text Tone and Ringtone separately.

 

Within your Ringtone settings, turn on Emergency Bypass, then click Done.

 

When you have turned on Emergency Bypass for both Ringtone and Text Tone settings, you will see the settings configured below, in Edit settings of your VictorOps contact.

 

When you see these settings modified, as desired, click done. Then you will see the following within your VictorOps contact.


Ack From Lock-screen

One of the notification options for VictorOps is a push notification to the user’s iOS device.  When a user is notified in this fashion while their phone is idle (in lock-screen), they will have the option to acknowledge the alert directly from the lock-screen notification without the requirement that they unlock the phone and access the application first.  However, due to the architecture of the iOS platform, there are certain restrictions on this function which may cause the acknowledgment action to fail under certain conditions.  This section explains those conditions and offers suggestions for avoiding problems.

Note: We highly recommend that users configure their personal paging policy to include a diverse set of contact methods.  Relying on a single method of notification, like push notifications, for example, creates a single point of failure that may cause you to miss a critical incident notification.

Examples of push notifications in iOS:

When the user receives the push notification on the lock-screen they are presented with the option to acknowledge the alert as in the below examples.

iPhone 6 and Earlier:

Example push notification on lock-screen.

Swipe LEFT to see options.  Choose View.

Choose to acknowledge.

 

iPhone 6s and Later:

Example push notification on lock-screen.

Press hard to activate 3D touch feature and reveal the ACK option.

Important Background Information

It is important to note that push notifications do not rely on their related application.  VictorOps sends a request to the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS), which then sends the push notification directly to your device.  When this notification arrives on your device, it observes the current state of notifications and volume settings configured in iOS and presents the notification (or doesn’t, depending on your settings).  This process happens independent of the actual VictorOps application, and the push notification will occur regardless of the state of the application at the time (open, closed, backgrounded, suspended).

Acknowledging the incident does not update the state of that incident in the application.  It sends an HTTP request to VictorOps, which updates the status of the incident on our servers and the iOS application simply displays what exists on our server.

The Problem

Performing the acknowledgment action requires that your phone is able to contact our servers via HTTP.  While our iOS application is capable of doing this, an individual iOS push notification is not. (Apple’s decision, not ours)  The act of acknowledging the alert from the push notification sends a request to the application to perform the action of sending the HTTP request.  This means that the success or failure of your attempt to acknowledge an incident from the iOS lock-screen depends on the state of the VictorOps application at the time.

State of VictorOps AppResult of Ack from Lock-screen
OPENSuccess. Because the app is open, it can communicate the acknowledgement to VictorOps
CLOSEDFailure. The application cannot send an HTTP request when the it is closed, therefore the ack from lock-screen will fail.
BACKGROUNDED (Open but running in the background)Success. If the app is running in the background, it is capable of sending an HTTP request.
*SUSPENDED (Backgrounded for an extended period of time)Failure. Although the app is not technically closed, it is not capable of sending an HTTP request while in this state.

* Whether or not an app is placed into a “suspended” state depends on a number of factors including available memory, current resource consumption, and length of time since the app was viewed.

What You Can Do:

Here are the actions you can take as an iOS user to ensure that your attempts to ACK from lock-screen are successful.

  • When you receive a notification that you are now on call, make sure the VictorOps application is open.  If it is already open, access the app to make sure it has not been suspended.  (When you double-click the home button to see all open apps, any apps that may be suspended are likely found at the back, underneath the more recently used apps)
  • Close down unused apps while on call to reduce the likelihood that the VictorOps app will be suspended.
  • Don’t close the app while you are on call!

 Apple Watch

VictorOps does not currently offer an app specifically tailored to the iWatch.  The iWatch simply mirrors notifications from your phone, so the same options should be available when viewing push notifications.

Updated on May 24, 2017

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