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Is there a mobile app ?


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Questions.

#1 All I have is an iOS mobile device and the beta has expired and doesn't work. Is there any indication in any of the threads here that the iOS beta app will be available again for testing?

#2 Is the Android mobile app still available and working on Android devices? 

#3 Why has the beta versions of these mobile apps take so long?  Is it difficult to integrate IC into a mobile app? What is the story behind all this?

Edited by bradybarrows
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On 4/20/2021 at 4:56 AM, bradybarrows said:

#3 Why has the beta versions of these mobile apps take so long?  Is it difficult to integrate IC into a mobile app? What is the story behind all this?

It seems to me that just working on a mobile application has a much lower priority than other tasks.

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On 4/20/2021 at 3:56 AM, bradybarrows said:

#2 Is the Android mobile app still available and working on Android devices? 

Yes. But it has many bugs.

On 4/20/2021 at 3:56 AM, bradybarrows said:

3 Why has the beta versions of these mobile apps take so long?  Is it difficult to integrate IC into a mobile app? What is the story behind all this?

An app with branding and all the customizations is technically not feasible, I guess or requires tons of programmers. Right now: no customizations, no monetization, no branding. All IPS communities sit in one app like TapaTalk. To have an own app for your community only, you would have to go through Google and Apple approval process to add it to their stores. You, not IPS. It costs. 

Another question: why do you need mobile app? If it is because of push notifications, they are integrated in 4.6 without mobile app. Any other reason, you would like to have mobile app?¬†ūüôā

 

Edited by Sonya*
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9 hours ago, Sonya* said:

Any other reason, you would like to have mobile app?

For me, the reason are that :

- 50% of the people who visit my community use a mobile.

- visiting my community using a mobile is a rather not easy experience.

I wonder if a mobile app would help making things simple and easy on a mobile.

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The problem is that it isn't as simple as making a mobile app. Each community is different, and hosted elsewhere. The best we can get is a generic app which all of our communities connect to. Which is what IPS done, a lot of tested it, but I kept finding myself personally preferring the browser experience. The biggest drawback was that it only supported IPS app and not 3rd party. So it makes my site redundant as 80% is run using plugins and apps for the experience.

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3 hours ago, SecondSight said:

- visiting my community using a mobile is a rather not easy experience.

Maybe your theme needs optimization ...

For APP - operation of this beta APP depends on your theme. Errors in the theme also affect the APP. Theme templates use code to restrict parts of your theme in APP. You can notice them as:

{{if !request.isApp()}}

code from your theme

 {{endif}}

Also, incorrectly used rules for CSS in a theme cause unpleasant experiences in the APP.

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On 4/25/2021 at 8:48 AM, Sonya* said:

Another question: why do you need mobile app? If it is because of push notifications, they are integrated in 4.6 without mobile app. Any other reason, you would like to have mobile app?¬†ūüôā

I've been trying to do this for a few years and I used TapaTalk own branded App in replace of this (which is a shambles btw) so I am absolutely looking forward to 4.6 and mainly because of this. This should mimic what an App does anyway so I'm expecting communities that have lots of people viewing them via mobile more so to be overjoyed at this update.

I would probably expect people to request some support in terms of how to push an option to the user to make their website a Homepage on their phone once we get 4.6. It's certainly what i'll be looking into so you won't need to spend huge amounts of money supporting your own app that would need dedicated experts to build and maintain.

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4 hours ago, GazzaGarratt said:

I've been trying to do this for a few years and I used TapaTalk own branded App in replace of this (which is a shambles btw) so I am absolutely looking forward to 4.6 and mainly because of this. This should mimic what an App does anyway so I'm expecting communities that have lots of people viewing them via mobile more so to be overjoyed at this update.

I would probably expect people to request some support in terms of how to push an option to the user to make their website a Homepage on their phone once we get 4.6. It's certainly what i'll be looking into so you won't need to spend huge amounts of money supporting your own app that would need dedicated experts to build and maintain.

Be careful as this will not support iOS/Apple. Which accounts for over 45% of the market.

On 2/24/2021 at 6:05 PM, Rikki said:

It will "just work" on self-hosted, but only for users who have supported browsers/devices. That's basically all of them except Safari/iOS. Apple has its own web push notification system for desktop Safari but we have decided not to support that right now, and of course iOS doesn't support web push at all.

 

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1 hour ago, Dean_ said:

Be careful as this will not support iOS/Apple. Which accounts for over 45% of the market.

 

Yes, totally appreciate that. I mean anyone with the iOS/Apple system is essentially a lost battle really then. Can't have your own branded mobile app, no push notifications, or homepage push it sounds like. I've done TapaTalk but even they can't offer an iOS solution and its only for the forum section, which misses out on all the other good applications you've enabled/bought. Btw, this isn't a slight at IC at all, more so at the fact there seems to be a lack of options when it comes to Apple and their products. It seems to be only the gold-plated solutions that are always in a significantly higher price range for most individuals and no tactical/MVP options out there.

What would you suggest as some good alternative strategies to the Apple stance Dean? Be really good to know how others combat this.

I think we're lucky that most of our existing members and their friends have shifted towards Android more and more over recent years.

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31 minutes ago, GazzaGarratt said:

What would you suggest as some good alternative strategies to the Apple stance Dean? Be really good to know how others combat this.

I think we're lucky that most of our existing members and their friends have shifted towards Android more and more over recent years.

A brilliant question, but I fear no one really has an answer to it. I've trialled the APP, but for my reasons above, it's of no use to me.

For mobile use, it's a lost cause in my eyes. I'll always prefer to sit at a desktop/laptop and browse that way. But, we can't forget the x amount of people who prefer to do everything on their phones. I usually try to tell users that for the best possible experience, use a desktop. But, even this has backfired. I know people personally who don't even have a computer/monitor. They simply use their phone or tablet for everything as that's all they require. A little search of Google here and there and FB for everything else.

Personally I don't think forums are for phones... You just don't have the space. So, I hope we do another transition in years to come and go back to PC's or bigger screen that make use of a desktop view.

For now, I plan to do nothing as there is nothing that can be done that would cater for my needs. I'll just have to take the hit and hope it passes, as I won't be sinking any money into a hobby. If I were a business I'd make my own forums/app and have it all in house.

IPS are certainly in a pickle. But if you only use IPS applications, then their app will bridge some of that worry. But then you've got to get people to download the app in the first place. I'm very interested to see what is done, and see if we can fight back on the social media aspects.

Edited by Dean_
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On 4/25/2021 at 2:48 AM, Sonya* said:

Yes. But it has many bugs.

An app with branding and all the customizations is technically not feasible, I guess or requires tons of programmers. Right now: no customizations, no monetization, no branding. All IPS communities sit in one app like TapaTalk. To have an own app for your community only, you would have to go through Google and Apple approval process to add it to their stores. You, not IPS. It costs. 

Another question: why do you need mobile app? If it is because of push notifications, they are integrated in 4.6 without mobile app. Any other reason, you would like to have mobile app?¬†ūüôā

 

The beta version for iOS seemed to work ok for me. Since most of my members as well as most IC members use mobile devices, particularly mobile phones, ti would be better to be able to read and respond to posts using a mobile app than using a browser on a mobile phone which is required to use the IC platform. The extra 'clicks' that are required for a member to post on a browser using the IC forum platform is why GUESTS don't like the forum style platform. I have been told that the forum style platform is not user friendly. The social media apps make it simple and easy with very few clicks to post while the IC platform requires users to think and click several buttons to navigate and post. Simplifying it with a mobile app may increase registrations and more importantly engagement. 

What bugs are you experiencing with the beta Android App?

Edited by bradybarrows
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On 4/25/2021 at 4:51 PM, Adlago said:

Maybe your theme needs optimization ...

For APP - operation of this beta APP depends on your theme. Errors in the theme also affect the APP. Theme templates use code to restrict parts of your theme in APP. You can notice them as:

{{if !request.isApp()}}

code from your theme

 {{endif}}

Also, incorrectly used rules for CSS in a theme cause unpleasant experiences in the APP.

Adiago, 

I have no idea what you are talking about. How do I check if the 'operation of this beta App depends on' my theme, especially when the iOS beta is no more?  I was using the beta iOS mobile app and it was working ok for me. What I don't understand is why IC simply let the beta expire?  It was working. 

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6 minutes ago, bradybarrows said:

I have no idea what you are talking about. How do I check if the 'operation of this beta App depends on' my theme, especially when the iOS beta is no more?  I was using the beta iOS mobile app and it was working ok for me. What I don't understand is why IC simply let the beta expire?  It was working. 

This beta has an issue after logging in. I have submitted a ticket, but there is still no decision.
After trying to log in, this happens - as if the APP is gone. But after removing the APP and installing it again, the APP appears and works ... At least for me, that's right. But I use Android 10 and have no idea about IOS.

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On 4/26/2021 at 1:26 PM, GazzaGarratt said:

Yes, totally appreciate that. I mean anyone with the iOS/Apple system is essentially a lost battle really then. Can't have your own branded mobile app, no push notifications, or homepage push it sounds like. I've done TapaTalk but even they can't offer an iOS solution and its only for the forum section, which misses out on all the other good applications you've enabled/bought. Btw, this isn't a slight at IC at all, more so at the fact there seems to be a lack of options when it comes to Apple and their products. It seems to be only the gold-plated solutions that are always in a significantly higher price range for most individuals and no tactical/MVP options out there.

What would you suggest as some good alternative strategies to the Apple stance Dean? Be really good to know how others combat this.

I think we're lucky that most of our existing members and their friends have shifted towards Android more and more over recent years.

The whole point of attracting "the gold-plated solutions that are always in a significantly higher price range' is the point. The cheaper Android solutions will follow this lead because Android mimics 'the gold-plated solutions' with plastic and inferior solutions. You need to aim high so that the others follow. If you make the iOS mobile app the Android app will come later without a doubt. Having a simple IC app that makes it easy to just post in the forum and follow a particular thread is all that is needed. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles, just a simple solution to read and post. 

As for Tapatalk, we tried that but Tapatalk stopped supporting IC version 4 and we had to remove it from our site. The solution is to host at Tapatalk which we tried and it wasn't popular with very few registrations and absolutely zilch engagement. 

Edited by bradybarrows
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14 minutes ago, Adlago said:

This beta has an issue after logging in. I have submitted a ticket, but there is still no decision.
After trying to log in, this happens - as if the APP is gone. But after removing the APP and installing it again, the APP appears and works ... At least for me, that's right. But I use Android 10 and have no idea about IOS.

Sonya said earlier in this thread that the Android beta app is still working but has many bugs. The iOS app was working fine and I didn't find any bugs. It is so sad that IC let it drop. I think that if the IC team had put all their eggs into the iOS version and made it work and got Apple to approve it for downloads that the Android team would then fix all those bugs and we would have had both mobile apps. One solution would be to resolve this with money. If IC charged for the iOS app a fee and generated some cash it may motivate the developers on this team to get the iOS beta approved for download. Apple users are used to paying premium for premium products. We know how the Android users feel about that. 

Edited by bradybarrows
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10 minutes ago, bradybarrows said:

Sonya said earlier in this thread that the Android beta app is still working but has many bugs. The iOS app was working fine and I didn't find any bugs. It is so sad that IC let it drop. I think that if the IC team had put all their eggs into the iOS version and made it work and got Apple to approve it for downloads that the Android team would then fix all those bugs and we would have had both mobile apps. One solution would be to resolve this with money. If IC charged for the iOS app a fee and generated some cash it may motivate the developers on this team to get the iOS beta approved for download. Apple users are used to paying premium for premium products. We know how the Android users feel about that. 

Yes, there were issues - but with me I found issues in my theme. After removing various incorrectly set css rules, my APP works without any remarks.

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9 minutes ago, Adlago said:

Yes, there were issues - but with me I found issues in my theme. After removing various incorrectly set css rules, my APP works without any remarks.

That's cool. So there is hope for the Android app. 

So how would I know if my theme has those issues when I don't have an Android device? I am using the default theme that comes with Invision Community v4.5.4.2. 

And I am correct is saying that the Android mobile app is still in beta version? 

Edited by bradybarrows
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16 hours ago, bradybarrows said:

The whole point of attracting "the gold-plated solutions that are always in a significantly higher price range' is the point. The cheaper Android solutions will follow this lead because Android mimics 'the gold-plated solutions' with plastic and inferior solutions. You need to aim high so that the others follow. If you make the iOS mobile app the Android app will come later without a doubt. Having a simple IC app that makes it easy to just post in the forum and follow a particular thread is all that is needed. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles, just a simple solution to read and post. 

As for Tapatalk, we tried that but Tapatalk stopped supporting IC version 4 and we had to remove it from our site. The solution is to host at Tapatalk which we tried and it wasn't popular with very few registrations and absolutely zilch engagement. 

 

I can understand that view. Makes logical sense that if you build in Apple, everything else follows if you looks at previous years Applications in the market. I think we all have subtle different goals and I probably should've phrased it like 'the app we all want to show off everything at our websites, at an affordable price'. We all also probably have different goals as some websites are businesses where others, like ours, is for the enjoyment of a community (non-profit). Apple's prices are a little steep compared to Android - £99 per year for Apple vs £25 one time fee for Android, that's the last time i checked into this anyway. Fees all add up, and i'm conscious when i find the next person to carry the torch can sustain the cost alongside the effort that comes with building communities.

I have started to understand a lot more about how people interact these days on their phones in our community and useful tips on here. Its not all solely about the forum application any longer, it is one core application of many that people want so I don't think you need a fully fledged App anymore that saves your website. TapaTalk's inability to show anything more than walls of text in their own way wasn't overly helpful and people miss tons of great things. I genuinely believe just an option to stick it as a homepage on their phones alongside push notifications so stuff is popping up at them whenever they're out and about is ideal, people are fundamentally lazy these days so rather than just accept it, you have to evolve and adapt to your surroundings and their behaviours as best as you can.

 

Many thanks for your input above @Dean_, I think putting money into some solutions if its your hobby is absolutely fine because you do it for love of what your hobby is to you. My above reply to Brady though is trying to say there clearly is a line where it shouldn't be ridiculous money.

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4 hours ago, GazzaGarratt said:

Many thanks for your input above @Dean_, I think putting money into some solutions if its your hobby is absolutely fine because you do it for love of what your hobby is to you. My above reply to Brady though is trying to say there clearly is a line where it shouldn't be ridiculous money.

Agreed, I've sunk some in to mine, but I refuse to any more. The most I'll do is update and hosting. I have visions of mine and what I'd like it to be but it would cost into the 1000's and it's just not worth it, when everyone gets a similar experience on Reddit/Facebook.

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:22 AM, GazzaGarratt said:

 

I can understand that view. Makes logical sense that if you build in Apple, everything else follows if you looks at previous years Applications in the market. I think we all have subtle different goals and I probably should've phrased it like 'the app we all want to show off everything at our websites, at an affordable price'. We all also probably have different goals as some websites are businesses where others, like ours, is for the enjoyment of a community (non-profit). Apple's prices are a little steep compared to Android - £99 per year for Apple vs £25 one time fee for Android, that's the last time i checked into this anyway. Fees all add up, and i'm conscious when i find the next person to carry the torch can sustain the cost alongside the effort that comes with building communities.

I have started to understand a lot more about how people interact these days on their phones in our community and useful tips on here. Its not all solely about the forum application any longer, it is one core application of many that people want so I don't think you need a fully fledged App anymore that saves your website. TapaTalk's inability to show anything more than walls of text in their own way wasn't overly helpful and people miss tons of great things. I genuinely believe just an option to stick it as a homepage on their phones alongside push notifications so stuff is popping up at them whenever they're out and about is ideal, people are fundamentally lazy these days so rather than just accept it, you have to evolve and adapt to your surroundings and their behaviours as best as you can.

 

Many thanks for your input above @Dean_, I think putting money into some solutions if its your hobby is absolutely fine because you do it for love of what your hobby is to you. My above reply to Brady though is trying to say there clearly is a line where it shouldn't be ridiculous money.

Thanks for your views. Our site is also a non profit so I can relate. We can't afford big bucks to pay a developer to make an iOS app that works with Invision Community platform. It seems logical that the IC team would provide this for us since we are paying bucks for the platform which we love. 

Edited by bradybarrows
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On 4/28/2021 at 12:29 PM, Dean_ said:

Agreed, I've sunk some in to mine, but I refuse to any more. The most I'll do is update and hosting. I have visions of mine and what I'd like it to be but it would cost into the 1000's and it's just not worth it, when everyone gets a similar experience on Reddit/Facebook.

I was hoping that the IC team would make the mobile app for iOS and Android and that it would simply be simple and work with any IC forum. Apparently a simple app that works for all IC communities is not easy to make? Obviously the IC developers who make the IC forum platform have done a lot so that it works on all mobile device browsers, but what feedback I am getting is that on mobile device browsers our website isn't easy to navigate and requires too many buttons to click.  I don't have any issues navigating our website on my iPhone but apparently some don't find it easy. Personally I don't understand the issue completely but you can't argue with someone who says our site isn't 'user friendly.' 

Wouldn't downloading an Invision Communities app for Android and iOS seem to be better than a browser view of the site on a mobile device?  What are your thoughts on this?  Isn't there any discussion on this?  Or is the browser version adequate for your site?  What feedback are you experiencing?

I agree that spending money on this for a custom app would be over the top and way too expensive. That is why we pay IC monthly payments for all their bells and whistles. Hopefully the IC team will get all the bugs out of the Android App.

Could any of you who are using the Android App explain a bit about the bugs you are experiencing that are reported in this thread about the Android beta version?  What are the issues?  

Maybe one day the IC Team will bring back the iOS beta version and finish it to completion. Can you imagine if the Invision Communities Mobile App was actually in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as a fully functioning app?  Here is hoping. 

 

Edited by bradybarrows
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