Never be too late for a tournament again

Tournaments are one of the most fun and popular features on Whisthub. They bring a nice element of competition to playing cards. However, if you've ever participated in one, then you know you have to be alert around the start time because you only have 90 seconds to be on the tournament page after the start. If you somehow lost track of the time and arrive too late, then your place will be taken by a reserve player or an AI player.

To prevent missing the start of a tournament, my advice was always to just put a reminder in the calendar of your phone. In case you didn't know, there's even an option to do this automatically: if you click on the calendar icon next to the date of the tournament, the tournament will be added as an event in your phone's calendar automatically. As such you get a notification 5 minutes before the tournament starts and you will never be too late if you keep your phone around.

There are a few issues with this approach though. You will only get a reminder before the tournament starts, but if you qualify for the next round, there won't be another reminder for that round. If the tournament is held over two days, then the event in your calendar will consist out of two parts, so you will get a notification when it starts again the next day, but your calendar cannot know if you're still in the tournament by then!

Today we're launching a solution for this: you can now enable push notifications from Whisthub in your settings. If you enable them, you will receive a push notification 5 minutes before the start of a tournament, or before the start of the next round, even if you don't have the website open at that moment. Of course you will only get a notification for the next rounds if you are still in the tournament. If you are eliminated, we won't bother you with notifications anymore.

An example of a push message that will be sent for tournaments

The push notifications are built on top of the Web Push API, and they should work both on your PC, mobile phone or tablet, but there are still a few caveats and limitations. For example, on iPhone or iPad, they are only available on iOS 16.4 or higher, and you must have Whisthub installed to your home screen. You can find more information on how to do this here.

If you have read the history of Whisthub, then you know I like to use Whisthub to experiment with new technologies. The push notifications are an example of this. For now they will only be used for tournaments, but I am working behind the scenes on a system where you will be able to invite your friends to your room, and push notifications will be a core part of that. As such, push notifications for tournaments can be considered a way to get some experience with them to later use their full potential in the invite system.

As you probably understand, push notifications open up a whole new world of possibilities for Whisthub. However, there's no need to fear that you will get spammed with push notifications that you never asked for, as some other apps sometimes do. You will only ever receive push notifications for topics you have explicitly chosen to receive messages about, and of course you can always revoke permission to send you notifications. That's a promise.