App Engine Channel API vs polling: which is better suiting in a mobile web chat scenario?
I'm trying to build a chat/messaging application, which may be consumed on the desktop, but also likely consumed on the mobile web (iOS Safari etc.). I started using the App Engine Channel API, but see that its making a very frequent request to the server (~1/sec). I'm worried this would have an adverse impact on battery life and data consumption. The application is a chat/inbox type application, so it's OK to be 2-5 secs late IMHO. In this situation, is it just better to stick with traditional polling and ping the server every 3 secs to see if any new messages have arrived? And what would I be gaining by using the Channel API? The actual experience (and so the tradeoffs) depend on my application, but I'm trying to understand if my worry about battery drain is warranted or unfounded?
All you are seeing is the emulation of the channel by the dev_appserver. Once you deploy it'll work properly, as you expect. Users will send messages to your server via the usual HTTP methods, and the server will only send messages down the channel when you actually send one. It's worth mentioning that the channel API removes the need for polling. That's it's purpose.
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