It’s any notification not generated locally. Your phone maintains a persistent, continuous connection to the notification service, which is provided by Google or Apple. When there’s a notification, they push it down the pipe to your device.

This is opposed to regular “pull”, where the device opens a new connection every so often to poll the server and ask “hey you got any new messages for me?”

There’s really no easy way to tell whether a notification is pushed or pulled. Even if you turn off notifications entirely, the connection is probably still present so that your app still receives data about new email, your turn to play, etc.

(And on the other hand, promotional notifications, like ones that remind you to play a game, or order something on Doordash, are probably on a recurring local timer, not pushed down ad-hoc each time.)

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