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I hope IPS will take a look to Progressive Web Apps and Credentials API. If this will be supported then all users be able to create their own apps (via webview) just in a few clicks if they need to (and even if they don't need to have separate app, Progressive Web App still will be available for all visitors).

It's easy enough to implemet but gives very huge advantages comparable to classic(native) apps.

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1 hour ago, Mr 13 said:

I hope IPS will take a look to Progressive Web Apps and Credentials API. If this will be supported then all users be able to create their own apps (via webview) just in a few clicks if they need to (and even if they don't need to have separate app, Progressive Web App still will be available for all visitors).

It's easy enough to implemet but gives very huge advantages comparable to classic(native) apps.

Absolutely! Progressive Web Apps are the best suggestion I read so far concerning app development for IPS. It appears that a common solution could be easy to deploy for everyone. IPS should consider an implementation. I would even pay for such an addon.

Edited by Cyboman
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I would also like to mention that IPS apps are already almost ready to work as PWA, only some final preparations should be done. Here's some additional info on this in case if it would be useful:

General: https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/
Basics: https://codelabs.developers.google.com/codelabs/your-first-pwapp/#0
PWA Testing tool (lighthouse): https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/lighthouse/blipmdconlkpinefehnmjammfjpmpbjk

Edited by Mr 13
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  • 2 weeks later...

Is anybody here in this community who has ever managed a PWA project? Just to checkup the effort for such a project. Maybe crowdfunding would help speedup an app creation? I'm losing thousands of members every year that settle over to competitors Facebook groups or to forums that offer dedicated forum apps. The app handling feels just simpler, more convenient and more professional. Desktop icons, push notifications, some options for offline contents definitions combined with a great mobile design (optimized for bigger fingers) and the possibility to use all native IPS modules and functionalities could be a turn in history!

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38 minutes ago, Fernando Pinheiro said:

Around 70% of my users access my website using mobile and this number only increases. A mobile app that could notify the user about new content is now needed IMHO. Forums simply can't compete with Telegram groups or Slack channels, or Discord app for instance.

IPS floated an idea of an official mobile app back in 2015

I've evolved my thinking on an IPS first-party mobile app, even if it's not white label.  I really think we need to a mobile-first solution to survive in the modern Internet, and things like push notifications and mobile UIX are not just 'nice to have' but critical in today's market.

I also think IPS 4, as a platform, is in a slightly better position to be supplemented with a mobile app now because of the new Our Picks / social promotion.  That would serve nicely as an initial stream, if coupled with status updates and activity streams.  

   

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11 hours ago, Joel R said:

I've evolved my thinking on an IPS first-party mobile app, even if it's not white label.  I really think we need to a mobile-first solution to survive in the modern Internet, and things like push notifications and mobile UIX are not just 'nice to have' but critical in today's market.

I think not only should it be white label, it should be freely customisable too. Similar to the product they currently sell. They give you the framework and you can mould it to your needs.

I see very little value in a "generic IPS App". You would have to tell your users to:

1. download an app from a brand they don't know

2. tell them to search for our community among the many thousands on there

3. and still only receive very limited features that are predefined

I suppose I have a different point of view on these things because the primary use of the IPS software for me is to provide a product/service and the forum/community aspect is a side thing that's nice to have. So a mobile app where they can't access all the services would be redundant. I don't just want them to get a notification because someone replied to a post. I want the ability to send a custom push notification that "this service needs your attention". I want them to be able to buy things, interact with custom pages, etc.

Essentially the same as when they are in mobile view in a web browser.

I would pay a lot of money for a mobile app framework that can be branded and edited like we can do with the current suite, and that would communicate with the desktop version seamlessly.  I guess you would have to submit it to places like the app store yourself for approval.

I realise that practically speaking this is probably not possible and has an uncountable number of complications, and would be best created independently. I thought I'd mention it anyway :lol:

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IPS have rejected the idea based on the fact it will take devolopers away from the community products, whilst believing they're not the right people to build such a service.

I've always felt IPS should hire programmers designed to handle this task, as it would generate them money eventually and make their product stronger.

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4 hours ago, Tom S. said:

I think not only should it be white label, it should be freely customisable too. Similar to the product they currently sell. They give you the framework and you can mould it to your needs.

I see very little value in a "generic IPS App". You would have to tell your users to:

1. download an app from a brand they don't know

2. tell them to search for our community among the many thousands on there

3. and still only receive very limited features that are predefined

I suppose I have a different point of view on these things because the primary use of the IPS software for me is to provide a product/service and the forum/community aspect is a side thing that's nice to have. So a mobile app where they can't access all the services would be redundant. I don't just want them to get a notification because someone replied to a post. I want the ability to send a custom push notification that "this service needs your attention". I want them to be able to buy things, interact with custom pages, etc.

Essentially the same as when they are in mobile view in a web browser.

I would pay a lot of money for a mobile app framework that can be branded and edited like we can do with the current suite, and that would communicate with the desktop version seamlessly.  I guess you would have to submit it to places like the app store yourself for approval.

I realise that practically speaking this is probably not possible and has an uncountable number of complications, and would be best created independently. I thought I'd mention it anyway :lol:

I mean, I love what you're saying. But that's sort of like wishing for everything.  Of course we want infinite customization and choices and options and little gizmos and gadgets that are all unique to our own site!  And I think large community owners with resources have the ability to pursue their own unique vision (like @BariatricPal who is building his own app).  

This is where I think the details get tricky.  How does IPS construct a mobile app when our communities are so different, while still keeping a base app that's usable by all of us? You care about services and support tickets. I care about gallery.  Support forums care about Q&A.  Those damn millennials want Facebook messenger. We all want white label. Oh, and all of this needs to be in a package that doesn't bust the bank.  

I don't envy IPS if they pursue this route even if this is something they ought to deeply explore on our behalf.

3 hours ago, Joey_M said:

IPS have rejected the idea based on the fact it will take devolopers away from the community products, whilst believing they're not the right people to build such a service.

I've always felt IPS should hire programmers designed to handle this task, as it would generate them money eventually and make their product stronger.

On page 2 of Charles's topic, they specifically addressed this concern.  They were never going to build it themselves.  

Edited by Joel R
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3 hours ago, Joel R said:

This is where I think the details get tricky.  How does IPS construct a mobile app when our communities are so different, while still keeping a base app that's usable by all of us? You care about services and support tickets. I care about gallery.  Support forums care about Q&A.  Those damn millennials want Facebook messenger. We all want white label. Oh, and all of this needs to be in a package that doesn't bust the bank.  

I don't envy IPS if they pursue this route even if this is something they ought to deeply explore on our behalf.

Totally agree. One idea is to go down some kind of SDK route, and just charge for access to the kit. However, it might only be useful for users with the technical know-how. So, maybe not financially viable.

On the other hand, if I was IPS, the thought of being able to market my product as mobile app compatible would give me butterflies. Pretty sure that would be a game changer for providers of this type of software. Or has someone else managed it that I'm not aware of?

IPS has always struck me an innovative bunch ;)

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On ‎17‎.‎11‎.‎2017 at 8:37 PM, Joel R said:

This is where I think the details get tricky.  How does IPS construct a mobile app when our communities are so different, while still keeping a base app that's usable by all of us? You care about services and support tickets. I care about gallery.  Support forums care about Q&A.  Those damn millennials want Facebook messenger. We all want white label. Oh, and all of this needs to be in a package that doesn't bust the bank.  

This is where PWA (progressive web apps) enter the game.

  • Minimum common requirement: Automatic "installation" of a Desktop icon + Push notifications tied to regular IPS notifications and a bonus feature like in the "custom notifications" marketplace plugin. That's what most of us pray for.
  • Shows communities in a browser, hence all IPS functionality is preserved during online access times. We can have everything without restrictions.
  • For offline access: Let us define areas like IP.Pages articles with more or less static contents. This way users can browse those contents offline and it feels like a real app
  • Unfortunately we can't conquer the app stores, but this is neglectable.

That's it and probably the easiest way. It accomplishes the basic requirements, the framework is economical and affordable, and an implementation in communities doesn't require a lot tech-know-how

20 hours ago, Tom S. said:

On the other hand, if I was IPS, the thought of being able to market my product as mobile app compatible would give me butterflies. Pretty sure that would be a game changer for providers of this type of software. Or has someone else managed it that I'm not aware of?

Totally agreed, that would be a game changer. I love this vision! 

Edited by Cyboman
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My users keep asking for a Telegram group to have a quick chat but I'm afraid that could reduce the forums participation plus not necessarily registered members would be there. Also, if users discuss in a Telegram group for instance, we lose the opportunity to have those specific questions posted in forums and have it available forever in a organized way. How do I fix this? Any ideas? I know I can setup a chat on forums, but that's not what they want. They want to use their phones instead. I'm inclined to create such group, but still afraid of the consequences. :(

Edited by Fernando Pinheiro
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  • 1 month later...

I was disappointed when IPS bailed out on developing a mobile app. I felt is was a missed opportunity.

On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:01 AM, Tom S. said:

I would pay a lot of money for a mobile app framework that can be branded and edited like we can do with the current suite, and that would communicate with the desktop version seamlessly.  I guess you would have to submit it to places like the app store yourself for approval.

+1

I came here to post an app for hire, when I stumbled on @BariatricPal's white label mobile apps thread. Then I stumbled on this thread. :D 

I'm also willing to pay good money for a complete IPS app solution.

 

Edited by GrooveOnBeat
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Now that Apple has relaxed its restrictions on "template" apps (see here), I wonder if IPS would reconsider since now it is a bit more practical for individual forum owners to publish their own "white label" forum app IF they had a solid template to work from.

This is where IPS would come in and provide a template app (which could be used as-is or customized by the license holder (understanding they do so at their own risk) which then could be self-published by the forum owner in the iOS App Store.

I still think the PWA route will be easier and better in the long run, and I would venture to bet that's what IPS is thinking too - that, or they're biding their time to see how PWA evolves and what benefits/drawbacks it offers to IPS as a product.

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I think if IPS can offer Mobile app option alway will be the first and best option for us, but unfortunally right now they dont want do this and maybe now below is the best option we are waiting for, but is a little slowly and required patience.

 

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  • 3 months later...
On 18/11/2017 at 4:57 PM, Cyboman said:

This is where PWA (progressive web apps) enter the game.

  • Minimum common requirement: Automatic "installation" of a Desktop icon + Push notifications tied to regular IPS notifications and a bonus feature like in the "custom notifications" marketplace plugin. That's what most of us pray for.
  • Shows communities in a browser, hence all IPS functionality is preserved during online access times. We can have everything without restrictions.
  • For offline access: Let us define areas like IP.Pages articles with more or less static contents. This way users can browse those contents offline and it feels like a real app
  • Unfortunately we can't conquer the app stores, but this is neglectable.

That's it and probably the easiest way. It accomplishes the basic requirements, the framework is economical and affordable, and an implementation in communities doesn't require a lot tech-know-how

Totally agreed, that would be a game changer. I love this vision! 

Has anyone tried PWA?

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