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iOS & Android app IPB


SoloInter

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Hi guys,

I'd like to open this topic to see if the strength of numbers would allow us to get what many of us would like, an IPB app for our communities.

Some have been trying for some time but it is clear that so far no one has offered a tool as desired : 

 

To speak a little about myself, I live in China for 3 years, I am in continuous relationship with several web agencies.

The final idea would be to put together a kickstarter project. I contacted IPB to talk to them initially, here are their answers :

Quote

Hello,

A mobile application is something that is requested reasonably frequently and indeed Tapatalk already have a mobile application compatible with Invision community. We do not make future development plans public however so I'm not able to say if and when an official mobile application would become a reality. 

Please let us know if we can be any further assistance 

Kind Regards

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Hello,

Provided your project does not encroach on any IPS intellectual property rights you are able to develop addons. Our framework is designed with extension in mind and our license agreement can be found at https://invisioncommunity.com/legal/license

Please let us know if you have any other questions. 

Kind Regards


I asked for an audit from one of them with whom I have been working for over a year.

Here is their first return :

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Hello, 

 

Sorry for the late reply. I hope you had nice weekend. We had a deeper look at IPB and here are the first results / questions. 

  • IPB Forum is quite wide when it comes to the number of features (BBS + Website + CMS etc.). Which are the ones you want as a priority for a first version? 
  • Not sure there are API endpoints for all of them. Do you know anything about this? 
  • I can’t seem to find anything online telling that there are existing out of the box solution (which means it might be very complex)
  • We don’t have knowledge on this platform which means that we won’t touch the back end, therefore, all API endpoints must be available right out of the box for this to work. Did you get any feedback from IPB yet?

At this stage, we can only give a very rough range of 120 days to 200 of man.days. Which, considering our average daily rate of CN¥3300 would mean an investment of about CN¥400,000 to around CN¥700,000

 

Looking forward to hearing from you about the above questions. 

 

What do you think ? Do you have answers to their questions?

Edited by Archimed
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Although this dead horse is probably a fine mince at this stage, the biggest issues with IPS (or anyone) launching a dedicated mobile app are:

  • Addons - no iOS/Android app will be able to support addons. Same goes for themes
  • Updates - IPS would need to essentially have to develop three platforms (PC, iOS, Android) simultaneously and all the testing required to ensure an update doesn't break one platform (or the others, and vice-versa)
  • White-label branding - many forum owners would rather have their users download a "[insert forum/community name here] app" than a generic IPS mobile app that uses the default theme.

IPS 4.x is already designed responsively, which means it can adapt to smaller viewports (e.g., phones and tablets as well as PCs) which carries over your themes, addons, etc.

If you really want to give your community users an easy way to access your site on mobile devices, use something like Add To Homescreen (https://github.com/cubiq/add-to-homescreenhttp://cubiq.org/add-to-home-screen) where you can set a mobile bookmark that can be branded with your community's logo or icon.

Edited by Joy Rex
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I think IPS themselves creating it would be better idea and would likely be constantly supported. They can add it as an additional feature that people can purchase and add to their license and then pay monthly/6 months for it. I see most community owners are moving away from Tapatalk.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/2/2018 at 3:24 PM, Joy Rex said:

Although this dead horse is probably a fine mince at this stage, the biggest issues with IPS (or anyone) launching a dedicated mobile app are:

  • Addons - no iOS/Android app will be able to support addons. Same goes for themes
  • Updates - IPS would need to essentially have to develop three platforms (PC, iOS, Android) simultaneously and all the testing required to ensure an update doesn't break one platform (or the others, and vice-versa)
  • White-label branding - many forum owners would rather have their users download a "[insert forum/community name here] app" than a generic IPS mobile app that uses the default theme.

IPS 4.x is already designed responsively, which means it can adapt to smaller viewports (e.g., phones and tablets as well as PCs) which carries over your themes, addons, etc.

If you really want to give your community users an easy way to access your site on mobile devices, use something like Add To Homescreen (https://github.com/cubiq/add-to-homescreenhttp://cubiq.org/add-to-home-screen) where you can set a mobile bookmark that can be branded with your community's logo or icon.

Yeah, I wish there was a simple way around this but I can't see a short term solution to it. However, that Add to Homescreen is a great idea. Can I ask would it show up any notifications/updates at all on their phones?

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IPS has, at one point, had a 1st party mobile app solution. If I recall correctly it was only ever launched on iOS, I don't believe it ever made it to Android.  

After the bumpy launch, and pretty consistent bugs reported, it was clear that a native mobile solution wasn't within IPS' wheelhouse.  I'm sure you'll find posts from @Charles and/or @Lindy with pretty close to that exact verbiage posted about 3-4 years ago... IPS instead focused on developing a robust responsive design that leveraged as much of the mobile platform as possible, but from within a browser. It also didn't help that IPS appeared un-interested in creating white label applications.  Which further divided clients as they had very limited control over the 1st party solution. 

To that end, mobile browser technology is catching up with the main feature set that many communities are looking for in a mobile application, notifications.  Browser notifications are becoming more robust and will eventually show up on the mobile platform.  It's just a matter of time. So, while there is the lack of a mobile solution, there is hope in the future where IPS can stick to where they are experts and still leverage mobile technology within the browser.  Still deliver what most clients are really looking for in a mobile solution.  All without venturing into an expensive venture that is unsustainable as they rapidly advance their product suite.

 

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2 hours ago, GazzaGarratt said:

Yeah, I wish there was a simple way around this but I can't see a short term solution to it. However, that Add to Homescreen is a great idea. Can I ask would it show up any notifications/updates at all on their phones?

No, it literally just provides a way to create a "bookmark" on the mobile device homescreen. No push notifications (which is what you're probably referring to), etc.

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6 hours ago, Aiwa said:

IPS has, at one point, had a 1st party mobile app solution. If I recall correctly it was only ever launched on iOS, I don't believe it ever made it to Android.  

After the bumpy launch, and pretty consistent bugs reported, it was clear that a native mobile solution wasn't within IPS' wheelhouse.  I'm sure you'll find posts from @Charles and/or @Lindy with pretty close to that exact verbiage posted about 3-4 years ago... IPS instead focused on developing a robust responsive design that leveraged as much of the mobile platform as possible, but from within a browser. It also didn't help that IPS appeared un-interested in creating white label applications.  Which further divided clients as they had very limited control over the 1st party solution. 

To that end, mobile browser technology is catching up with the main feature set that many communities are looking for in a mobile application, notifications.  Browser notifications are becoming more robust and will eventually show up on the mobile platform.  It's just a matter of time. So, while there is the lack of a mobile solution, there is hope in the future where IPS can stick to where they are experts and still leverage mobile technology within the browser.  Still deliver what most clients are really looking for in a mobile solution.  All without venturing into an expensive venture that is unsustainable as they rapidly advance their product suite.

 

Did they?  As far as I'm aware there was only the mobile app by @BariatricPal that's been in perpetual beta.  IPS outlined their plans for a mobile app.  Every IPS  client pretty much bothered to NOT read what they posted and all demanded a white label.  

I agree that having a mobile app to deliver content is not a necessity anymore.   The responsive design is pretty good.  But it's missing push.  And if we don't have push, we're losing the war on mobile.  

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  • 3 months later...

It will make a lot of sense for IPB to develop an app and then sell the license to recover money and make recurring money for support + profit.

Doing it individually is really not practical when outside developer spends days and week to study the IPB core.

So it can be something like Tapatalk service from IPB but it should be charged to community owners and not members and have an integration to IPB other modules like Pages, Commerce, Gallery etc than just a forum and messenger like Tapatalk.

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3 minutes ago, Gauravk said:

It will make a lot of sense for IPB to develop an app and then sell the license to recover money and make recurring money for support + profit.

Customer visits site A, that pays separately for integration of the Mobile app, all is well. 

Customer visits site B, that doesn't pay for a mobile app.

So now you get the customer wondering why they can't use the Mobile app when both sites are the same software. 

I won't speak for IPS, but from my perspective they are more concerned about a consistent customer experience, on behalf of their clients / owners, than creating a division of user experience for the sake of profit. After all, isn't that why we use IPS in the first place? Consistent experience and 1st class software and support? 

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1 hour ago, Aiwa said:

Customer visits site A, that pays separately for integration of the Mobile app, all is well. 

Customer visits site B, that doesn't pay for a mobile app.

 

customer visits site A, it has a mobile app.

 

customer visits site B, it has no mobile app.

 

Customer B is a consumer, has no idea, nor really cares what software the forum uses, in fact they probably don't even know its a widely uses application.  Customer wonders nothing that has any bearing on IPS

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@Steve Bullman Sure, if it's a white label app for only your community.  Your logic stands.  There's a fork in the road at white label vs not. 

If it's a single, general, IPS Community application in the consumers mobile store, that could map to multiple communities, a divide is now created at the community level based on which have purchased access to a mobile application.  At which point the consumer MUST know what software the community they are wanting to connect to is using.  

I also disagree on it having no bearing on IPS.  IPS is creating a consistent UI / UX, why would that be any different when it comes to mobile? There are likely many cases of consumers becoming clients, why would IPS not put their best foot forward for consistency across their entire product line?

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