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Why not offer push notifications solution

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, DSystem said:

Creed!!!! There are people who like this IOS trash here.

I suspect most of us like having users who keep our communities viable. >50% of mine use iOS to access via mobile browser. I don’t give a sh*t about android vs iOS or people’s inane fanboyism, I just want to service my users. 

Edited by Morgin

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Well, on my community only ~1% of users are using apple. Should they be the reason to keep other users without good and useful feature? Definitely no.

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9 minutes ago, Mr 13 said:

Well, on my community only ~1% of users are using apple. Should they be the reason to keep other users without good and useful feature? Definitely no.

See above discussion. I’m not basing anything I’m saying on my own personal anecdotes about user numbers (aside from pushing back against this turning into an iOS vs android debate, and providing rationale for why I care). The only entity that matters is IPS. Until they come to say otherwise, I’m going to make a pretty confident assumption that their stats say that ~1% of users of an IPS community being on iOS is below average, and they make development priority decisions based on averages. If their data matched yours and showed iOS was only used by ~1% of community users globally, I’d reckon this topic wouldn’t need to exist. 

Anyway, we’re going in circles. I honestly don’t care if you like or don’t like iOS or think it should be relevant to this discussion or not. The reality is that it is relevant, IPS has said they don’t plan on developing a feature solely for android, and if you want to add meaningful input to help speed this along, there is a mechanism to do so outlined above. Beyond that, anyone adding “+1 I want push” is just adding noise, because it’s ignoring everything that’s already been said in this topic. 

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14 hours ago, Morgin said:

Did you provide feedback to the WebKit team as per the above note? Getting push on iOS is key to getting push in invision. 

No I did not went through all the posts.
My stand of knowledge is that Invision needs to offer a free iOS App.
I would pay the extra feature for my members with pleasure.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, eskaiter said:

No I did not went through all the posts.
My stand of knowledge is that Invision needs to offer a free iOS App.
I would pay the extra feature for my members with pleasure.

What would the app do? Offer a wrapper for the mobile site? If so, likely to be rejected by app store. Can’t have apps that are essentially adding no functionality to the mobile site (and simply adding push has been grounds to reject apps, so that’s likely not a strategy)  

Should it be a single app for all IPS communities (essentially IPS tapatalk), or should each admin get a white label app? Some people are strongly against the idea of a one size fits all app and want a custom white label to market their own community. Guess what though, white label apps that duplicate other apps in function and only change the branding are also banned from the store. Would your community members download an app that’s not branded with your site logo and info? 

Should it work with individual plugins, or not support any third party plugins? People will have opinions on both sides of this, but generally speaking it’s likely it wouldn’t be possible to support plugins or marketplace add-ons without significantly reworking how they all interface to ensure it won’t break the app.

Should they increase the licensing costs by 10x to support having dedicated android and iOS software development teams to keep feature parity and deal with customer support and bugs and all the stuff that comes along with being app developers?

Unless you are a large enterprise site that can justify custom development of an app for your community that plugs into the IPS api, it’s unlikely you will see any sort of app for iOS for IPS. The technical and practical challenges that have caused this idea to fail for the last decade continue to exist. 

Progressive web applications are the answer to all of the above problems. There are the existing technical challenges (i.e features an IPS admin would use are only currently supported in android) and the perceived challenges (some including the IPS dev team believe Apple is purposely not including PWA support in WebKit to prevent cannabalizing App Store sales). 

I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face, but the current landscape that actually exists and can be verified through reading the actual WebKit developer’s statements on the topic of PWAs is that if you want to see further support for PWA features in WebKit (and by extension, iOS), they want people to provide detailed use case examples directly through the bug reports listed above which will aid in prioritizing development resources.  

The parallel benefit for this community is that if iOS implements additional PWA support, IPS will be able to finalize a strategy for support across all devices, and everyone who wants push notifications will likely get their wish.

Sorry if I’m coming across as a bit grumpy on this topic, but for the dozens of threads we get on this topic and that every other community software package has had on this topic, there’s currently to date “ONE” person who has taken the time to follow the process outlined by WebKit to provide feedback on why they should devote development resources to the various PWA features we all want. I’m as guilty as anyone of sitting on this, but at the very least I am hopefully going to redirect people’s efforts from this forum where it’s shouting into an abyss to the webkit bug report tracker where it very well may also be an abyss but there’s a more than 0% chance it may have an impact. 

Also, @Matt, I’ll reiterate my request that IPS should still make a formal submission through the webkit tracker, even if you think it’s in vain and Apple is blocking PWAs. There’s at least a chance it helps move the needle if it comes from the developers vs the end users. 

Edited by Morgin

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Morgin said:

What would the app do? Offer a wrapper for the mobile site? If so, likely to be rejected by app store. Can’t have apps that are essentially adding no functionality to the mobile site (and simply adding push has been grounds to reject apps, so that’s likely not a strategy)  

Prowl?

Please don't start discussion with me, I just want to have push notifications for my members.
How this will happen I don't care 😄

It is overdue for long time!

... TL;DR

Edited by eskaiter

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5 minutes ago, eskaiter said:

Prowl?

Please don't start discussion with me, I just want to have push notifications for my members.
How this will happen I don't care 😄

It is overdue for long time!

... TL;DR

If you could get your members to use Prowl, you’re miles ahead of where I’m at!

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Mr 13 said:

That's pretty annoying because most of IPS customers don't care about iOS(in context of this topic) and want to have push without waiting while iOS dinosaur will support it.

I think this is a factless assessment considering an average of ~47% of my traffic comes from Mac computers and iPhones respectively across 3 websites.  That's thrice the data against yours.  There are thousands of websites that use Invision that probably hold similar statistics against the handful of people who are posting in this topic that you claim don't care about waiting for both platforms to have fair access to these notifications.

We all want them, including the "dinosaur" iOS users.  Why should Invision only cater to your website by rushing out a grand scale feature that excludes hundreds of thousands, if not potentially millions, of community members in the process?  How would you argue that to be a good move business wise to add it as a core feature and force an unknown, but probably large number of their clients to pay for a feature they can't yet use?  Because one guy with only 1% of Apple-based users threw a fit in the forums about how his community is too entitled to wait for better options to come that benefit everyone?  

I absolutely hate it when people argue the necessity of something using subjective information.  Your disdain for Apple doesn't magically disregard all of the Apple users that do exist outside of your community, and nobody deserves access to features any more or less regardless.

Edited by Alismora

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I've said it elsewhere, but I do not think it makes sense for Apple's business model to allow PWA push notifications. There's a lot of reasons why. Some are financial; they could see a drop in App Store submissions which loses a potential revenue stream. There's the issue of allowing the "Wild West" to push notifications to an iPhone without the app being first vetted to ensure that it follows good design and doesn't overwhelm the end-user. Probable data concerns, and so on.

I don't think it's lack of technical ability or developer desire that iOS still does not have push notifications. The company is very silent when asked, and allow bug reports and feedback to stack up.

I could file a bug report and make our voice heard, but it won't matter a jot. Developer pressure won't get this overturned as I suspect it's a business decision made outside of the developer's cubicles.

The recent "improvements" for PWA skirt the issue of what makes a web app useful on an iPhone.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matt said:

I could file a bug report and make our voice heard, but it won't matter a jot. Developer pressure won't get this overturned as I suspect it's a business decision made outside of the developer's cubicles.

100% understand where you are coming from. It’s time out of your presumably jammed packed work day for you to write something up and I appreciate it’s likely of no consequence. 

All I can ask is that you pretty please with icing on top try to make time for it, even despite all of that, because at least then someone of some developer stature has done what webkit/Apple claims they need done right now. If you look at the feedback that has stacked up, it’s actually of fairly poor quality. I’ve seen how the IPS team can lobby for and justify decisions even right here in heated feature debates. If there is any group I trust to put something on that bug tracker that is well written and justified, it’s your team.

You never know until you try is the old adage. It may be increasing the odds someone revisits this at Apple with the business team from 0.0001% to 0.0002%, but as someone who desperately wants the feature and thinks the long term health of forum software as a whole requires the feature, I sincerely believe we need to try. All of us. 

Edited by Morgin

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8 hours ago, Morgin said:

100% understand where you are coming from. It’s time out of your presumably jammed packed work day for you to write something up and I appreciate it’s likely of no consequence. 

All I can ask is that you pretty please with icing on top try to make time for it, even despite all of that, because at least then someone of some developer stature has done what webkit/Apple claims they need done right now. If you look at the feedback that has stacked up, it’s actually of fairly poor quality. I’ve seen how the IPS team can lobby for and justify decisions even right here in heated feature debates. If there is any group I trust to put something on that bug tracker that is well written and justified, it’s your team.

You never know until you try is the old adage. It may be increasing the odds someone revisits this at Apple with the business team from 0.0001% to 0.0002%, but as someone who desperately wants the feature and thinks the long term health of forum software as a whole requires the feature, I sincerely believe we need to try. All of us. 

Fair points. I'll take another look.

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Sorry all, I still don't get it. IPS has notifications coming out of its ears. How many notification choices and options does Invision Community need? What am I missing, why are more notifications a positive thing in a world where every app and program wants to notify you 24/7 about something? 

Have to say I'm increasing switching to digests for things, you can quickly scan for the highlights that interest for everyday content.

That said, it surprised me yesterday that I can follow a file like Chatbox for years and receive immediate notifications of new releases which are more important than replies to a topic, then when my IPS upgrade fails, it transpires I've somehow been unsubscribed from that file so wasn't aware of a necessary compatibility update. Are iOS notifications a way of preventing this situation from happening?

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1 minute ago, The Old Man said:

 What am I missing, why are more notifications a positive thing in a world where every app and program wants to notify you 24/7 about something? 

I think you answered your question right there. People are drawn back into their apps for Facebook/Twitter/their messenger apps and so on all day every day, but the same is not possible for any IPS community, since there are no push notifications. So it’s no wonder when forums are on decline while social media wins. 

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7 minutes ago, The Old Man said:

Don't the existing notification options deliver the same objective, to keep members aware and ultimately engaged?

Kind of. Having an instant alert on your phone (“[X] quoted you“) works differently than having to check your mail to even get a notification. All these Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups on so on thrive because everything happens so fast. A typical forum use, where you post something and come back one or two days later to manually check if there is a reply feels pretty old-school in comparison. 

(Not that I am a fan of all this. I usually turn off push notifications. But I can still say that it is extremely effective in regards to user engagement.)

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The fallback for users that don't use a platform that support Push API should be SMS text message (and the fallback to SMS should be email). This would require users to optionally provide their SMS text number and for Invision Community Suite to support sending SMS text notifications to the user's SMS text number using a third-party service like Twilio (which already provides the AUTHY service). I haven't checked, but AUTHY service should allow sending SMS text messages from a web app and since Invision Community Suite already can be configured to use AUTHY for 2-factor logins, maybe not much work needs to be done in Invision Community Suite to support notifications to all users (via email, sms, or push/notifications browser api).

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, KT Walrus said:

The fallback for users that don't use a platform that support Push API should be SMS text message (and the fallback to SMS should be email). This would require users to optionally provide their SMS text number and for Invision Community Suite to support sending SMS text notifications to the user's SMS text number using a third-party service like Twilio (which already provides the AUTHY service). I haven't checked, but AUTHY service should allow sending SMS text messages from a web app and since Invision Community Suite already can be configured to use AUTHY for 2-factor logins, maybe not much work needs to be done in Invision Community Suite to support notifications to all users (via email, sms, or push/notifications browser api).

 

I understand why you think that’s a good option, but I really strongly believe it’s not. At least, it’s not something I believe would have a positive vs negative impact on engagement and wouldn’t be worth spending development effort on.

The iOS and android ecosystems have evolved around the idea of native notifications. They have notification settings, drawers, home screen views, silencing options, etc. By comparison, iOS hasn’t significantly changed how it handles SMS messages in approximately a decade.

Facebook primarily used SMS notifications in 2008ish, prior to smartphones, and it suuuuucked. You could get hammered with a few notifications in a row and they might come from different phone numbers and they were intrusive and annoying. They also ended up having to make it so people could text back vs replying on site because that sort of two way communication is what people expect from SMS. 

Everything about SMS screams last decade. It’s a dying protocol that shouldn’t even be used for 2FA due to its inherent insecurity.

Anything but native notifications is just lipstick on the metaphorical pig, and IMO not worth the time to even think about in 2019. 

Edited by Morgin

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5 hours ago, Morgin said:

Everything about SMS screams last decade. It’s a dying protocol that shouldn’t even be used for 2FA due to its inherent insecurity.

Anything but native notifications is just lipstick on the metaphorical pig, and IMO not worth the time to even think about in 2019. 

Please read https://love2dev.com/pwa/push-notifications/ for a great explanation of why web apps need push notifications and SMS is the way to go for iOS devices, at least for now.

 

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Posted (edited)

How I hate sms. It's ancient technology. My messaging is all over data, where "Läheme käime sõõmas" doesn't look stupid like "Laheme kaime soomas." Furthermore, I don't see why there is all this crying for push notifications. Maybe it's because I've always had all seven of my email accounts pushed instantly to my smartphone's unified inbox over Exchange ActiveSync / IMAP technology. I know everything that happens on my forum (and this one & others, too) instantly. So easy to see what's going on when I have...push email! I would hate being forced to live in separate individual apps when I can see it all (and go instantly to a topic to reply if I choose) from my unified inbox thanks to push email. 

Edited by tonyv

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13 hours ago, tonyv said:

Furthermore, I don't see why there is all this crying for push notifications. Maybe it's because I've always had all seven of my email accounts pushed instantly to my smartphone's unified inbox over Exchange ActiveSync / IMAP technology. I know everything that happens on my forum (and this one & others, too) instantly. So easy to see what's going on when I have...push email! I would hate being forced to live in separate individual apps when I can see it all (and go instantly to a topic to reply if I choose) from my unified inbox thanks to push email. 

You are focused on what you do and what works for you. Broader user trends are different. As @opentype noted above, it is true that anecdotally there’s lots of people who actually prefer to not have push notifications enabled, or who maybe prefer email. However, it’s obtuse to not recognize that the broader market has moved to a place where engagement is massively increased with native push notifications. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, snapchat, etc etc have all essentially built their broader advertisement based business model around keeping eyeballs in the app and on the screen to increase advertising metrics. There is no better method to increase eyeball time than native notifications. They’ve already figured this out, shockingly around the same time that traditional forums started their engagement and retention decline. 🧐

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Morgin said:

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, snapchat, etc etc have all essentially built their broader advertisement based business model around keeping eyeballs in the app and on the screen to increase advertising metrics. There is no better method to increase eyeball time than native notifications. They’ve already figured this out, shockingly around the same time that traditional forums started their engagement and retention decline.

The broader market and that kind of engagement is ass. I avoid it to the max. I won't activate any feature(s) like that on my forum. 

Edited by tonyv

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38 minutes ago, tonyv said:

The broader market and that kind of engagement is ass. I avoid it to the max. I won't activate any feature(s) like that on my forum. 

Weird flex, but ok. Lots of people also like and enjoy the instant notifications. You do you, but as a forum admin, I’m not sure why you’d not want features that people can selectively enable to increase their engagement with your community. 

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2 minutes ago, Morgin said:

Weird flex, but ok. Lots of people also like and enjoy the instant notifications. You do you, but as a forum admin, I’m not sure why you’d not want features that people can selectively enable to increase their engagement with your community. 

Engagement without substance is at best overrated, more accurately useless. I want substance, not clicks. I don't need their noses in an app if they're only gonna click LIKE and not write anything. 

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:58 PM, Mr 13 said:

Well, on my community only ~1% of users are using apple. Should they be the reason to keep other users without good and useful feature? Definitely no.

In my community IOS accesses do not reach 1% either. But that varies depending on the target country.

map-world-os-q1-2019-lrg.png

On average Android has more users 😉

https://deviceatlas.com/blog/android-v-ios-market-share

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