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Managing successful online communities


iOS & Android Apps: Open Beta

Since we announced native Invision Community apps for iOS and Android, the response has been incredible.

Hundreds of customers registered interest in joining the testing process, and for the initial round we selected around thirty users, roughly split between iOS and Android. Thank you to those testers for their work in reporting issues and providing feedback over the past couple of months.

Open Beta

I'm pleased to report that we are now ready to begin an open beta of the app, allowing everyone to install it and test it. See below for information on installing the apps.

As this is still a testing process, we'd welcome any bug reports or feedback you have. Instructions on doing that can also be found below.

The app going into open beta today is essentially a 'white label' version for our own community here. This enables us to test the basic community functionality more widely before we release the free 'multi-community' app that customers will be able to use with their own communities.

Already signed up for beta testing via our survey? Thank you! Once we begin testing the multi-community app we will select a new group of testers from those that signed up, and invite them to offer the app to their own users on their own communities. This stage will come once Invision Community 4.5 is released later this year.

Installing the app

iOS

iOS users will need to install TestFlight from the App Store. This is an app provided by Apple that allows developers (such as ourselves) to issue test versions of applications.

Once installed, sign up for the beta test by going HERE  on your iPhone.

Android

Android users should go HERE on their device to sign up for the beta.

Reporting issues/providing feedback

If you would like to report an issue with the app, we are managing issues via a special GitHub repository. You will need a free GitHub account to report new issues, if you don't already have one. Click the Issues tab, then the New Issue button and follow the steps. Please provide as much information as you can.

If you'd like to provide feedback via a private channel, or if you have a sensitive bug to report, please email us at a dedicated email address: mobilesupport@invisionpower.com

Disclaimers

The app you will be installing is a beta version and we offer no guarantees with it. If you are not comfortable using beta software and the inherent risks in doing so, please don't install the app yet. We reserve the right to suspend testing or exclude individual testers at any time if necessary.

 

 


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41 minutes ago, Sonya* said:

Andy, what is the advantage/disavantage of native and seamlessly integrated responsive view. I do not really understand why some parts should be "native". Is it not better and quicker to have all parst seamlessly integrated? :rolleyes: In this case we could keep all customizing, advertising and so on. Or do I miss a point somewhere?

First and foremost, you aren't allow to have App Store apps that are just thin wrappers around responsive webpages, so that's a motivation to do a proper native experience. We also want to keep a consistent UI between communities once the multi-community app launches (customization will be possible, but the overall structure will be consistent).

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I have Xperia Z3, old phone but still works quite fast but IPS App, omg, takes ages to start up. Or for example when I see a notification and tap on it to show the entry. Ages. This can't be that slow, you have to improve the speed. Tapatalk does this so fast. Sometimes the arrow to submit a post is either lagging or not registering taps.

Improve speed and you are looking for the bright future 🙂

Edited by Maxxius

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1 hour ago, Sonya* said:

Andy, what is the advantage/disavantage of native and seamlessly integrated responsive view. I do not really understand why some parts should be "native". Is it not better and quicker to have all parst seamlessly integrated? :rolleyes: In this case we could keep all customizing, advertising and so on. Or do I miss a point somewhere?

I think IPS has plan to integrate all apps release by IPS team, or including 3party apps too? 

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2 hours ago, Rikki said:

First and foremost, you aren't allow to have App Store apps that are just thin wrappers around responsive webpages, so that's a motivation to do a proper native experience. We also want to keep a consistent UI between communities once the multi-community app launches (customization will be possible, but the overall structure will be consistent).

Just one question: is it theoretically possible to create an app that is just thin wrapper and DO NOT add to to App Store, but offer it for download somewhere else? On the own project for example. In this case it would not require to be confirm with any rules of App Store and have anything we have now in the app. It would be a "white label" thing with push notifications. As far as I can see the push notifications is the only thing is really missing. Not the app itself...

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3 minutes ago, Sonya* said:

Just one question: is it theoretically possible to create an app that is just thin wrapper and DO NOT add to to App Store, but offer it for download somewhere else? On the own project for example. In this case it would not require to be confirm with any rules of App Store and have anything we have now in the app. It would be a "white label" thing with push notifications. As far as I can see the push notifications is the only thing is really missing. Not the app itself...

Not in the iOS App Store, no - Apple's policies have become much stricter around thin wrapper apps and white-label apps. Android is more open, though.

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19 hours ago, kmk said:

As part of mobile core IPS still don't add others apps into the app. Maybe work too if in this first stage let white label plan add embedded navigator(at least members can use the mobile app to navigate all website apps functionality) , then step by step IPS will have more time to convert more apps as core mobile(100% mobile) . 

Everything but commerce, Google won't allow purchases without it going through the application, I have created a few apps for IPS websites and each one got rejected when they used commerce, We had to remove the ability for commerce from the application as it would all need to go through google billing

15 hours ago, Sonya* said:

 In this case we could keep all customizing, advertising and so on. Or do I miss a point somewhere?

If you use advertisement on the application itself properly you can not use site adverts, Google will not allow you to add adverts to a application if there is already some on the site, if you want to enable admob etc properly on the application you would need to disable all adverts from your actual site

Edited by TheJackal84

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51 minutes ago, TheJackal84 said:

Everything but commerce, Google won't allow purchases without it going through the application, I have created a few apps for IPS websites and each one got rejected when they used commerce, We had to remove the ability for commerce from the application as it would all need to go through google billing

If you use advertisement on the application itself properly you can not use site adverts, Google will not allow you to add adverts to a application if there is already some on the site, if you want to enable admob etc properly on the application you would need to disable all adverts from your actual site

  1. So no Commerce even if there is an integration for Google Pay? Or what do you mean by Google Billing?
  2. Concerning adverts, you mean AdSense, right? We still can use alternate ads providers?

All in one, it looks like one cannot ever really monetize the project when enabling app. Neither through ads nor through paying users. So what is the benefit of the app? What are the possibilities to make money from it? 

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5 minutes ago, Sonya* said:
  • So no Commerce even if there is an integration for Google Pay? Or what do you mean by Google Billing?

Google pay is what customers use, You would need to use google billing to sell stuff, When you go to buy an IAP it loads up and the $$$ go to google, they take their commission and then you request your withdrawal, Like here, you sell on IPS, they get the $$$ take their commission etc etc, If commerce was to be used there would need to be integration directing the sale to google billing and not paypal / stripe and so on, This includes member subscriptions and everything else

7 minutes ago, Sonya* said:
  1. Concerning adverts, you mean AdSense, right? We still can use alternate ads providers?

Depending what you use, If you use google ads you can have one or the other, but you would not really want to double your adverts on site anyway, If someone is using the app and you have your global footer enabled then you use admob and have a floating banner then that will sit on top of the footer banner paying you for the view when it is hidden behind the floating one.

10 minutes ago, Sonya* said:

All in one, it looks like one cannot ever really monetize the project when enabling app. Neither through ads nor through paying users. So what is the benefit of the app? What are the possibilities to make money from it? 

You can still, Mobile ads will pay more than desktop ads for some reason ( probably cos they are annoying and pop up anywhere and everywhere sometimes filling up the whole screen ), You don't need to upload it to google play store anyway so if you wanted just get the .apk file and upload it to your server and allow people to download it there, Most who would download these apps won't be from someone browsing the play store, it will be your members you have already and cos you let them know hey we got a application, If you done that, you could sell anything like normal

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2 hours ago, TheJackal84 said:

You can still, Mobile ads will pay more than desktop ads for some reason ( probably cos they are annoying and pop up anywhere and everywhere sometimes filling up the whole screen ), You don't need to upload it to google play store anyway so if you wanted just get the .apk file and upload it to your server and allow people to download it there, Most who would download these apps won't be from someone browsing the play store, it will be your members you have already and cos you let them know hey we got a application, If you done that, you could sell anything like normal

This is what I've meant in this comment https://invisioncommunity.com/news/product-updates/ios-android-apps-open-beta-r1183/?do=findComment&comment=212312 There is no need to have a "native" app to have an app and to get notifications. I can "just" have a thin wrap of everything in the app and offer the download of the app on my site.

 

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32 minutes ago, Sonya* said:

This is what I've meant in this comment https://invisioncommunity.com/news/product-updates/ios-android-apps-open-beta-r1183/?do=findComment&comment=212312 There is no need to have a "native" app to have an app and to get notifications. I can "just" have a thin wrap of everything in the app and offer the download of the app on my site.

If it's your it's yours, No one can tell you, you have to upload it to the play store, Any one who wants to upload it is looking at paying google a developer license ( when I got mine it was $30 dunno how much now ), I doubt IPS will be uploading them all on their developer account on google so the choice would be yours where you hold it for downloading, There is a couple apps I have what I won't upload to the play store due to the fact I know it will get rejected but hosting it myself is good enough, people visit the site click download and its there on their device, Android is good anyone can install anything as it is owned by the person holding the device, iOS won't allow you that as they say they are protecting your security ( Unless you use the cloud then the FBI has all access to your iOS data phone and backups ), but there is a way to install a .ipa app without using the app store but 99% of people won't do that to their precious iPhone

Edited by TheJackal84

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5 hours ago, AndresP said:

Does this mean that everyone will receive their own application and will need to be registered in the play market? Do I understand correctly?

No
All we share the same app
 

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The blog post didn't contain any photos, so here are some that I took live from the community today, so you can see it in action:

Pictures 1 & 2

Notifications on my phone + Loading

thumbnail0A.jpg.fccb9de7f416df0c2ad0113381ac491c.jpg

thumbnail0.jpg.e3326e0ed36f0d0ee6b348bd75886082.jpg

 

Home Screen

Regular Model + Dark Mode

thumbnail6.jpg.d3f9c8c0071d9befd87992699a254a09.jpg

thumbnail7.jpg.2e2ec4c6740b1592e4e9a54e9d30624d.jpg

Forums

Forum index and topic

thumbnail4.jpg.f3cff35b1820062adbaa2c4dce2371f9.jpg

thumbnail3.jpg.b93b23b005ef17e70797823e2b96de85.jpg

Miscellaneous

Activity Stream + Profile Settings

thumbnail5.jpg.f8888e8e2b88dcd758471e32283b7958.jpg

thumbnail2.jpg.1bece1ec3c1537acf2e4a6ad429406c6.jpg

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I'll comment again // without monetization I'll stick with the web view.  That way I can use header bidding and advanced advertising methods with custom placements.

Maybe if I could white label this and charge an access fee to offset lost advertising.

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Where can we send mobile/UI suggestions/improvements? For example, adding swipe in from left or right for extended functionality/features or minor things such as when you click on your icon, it opens from left despite icon being on the right (should probably open from right side like it does on IPS main page as well)

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3 hours ago, Dylan Riggs said:

Where can we send mobile/UI suggestions/improvements? For example, adding swipe in from left or right for extended functionality/features or minor things such as when you click on your icon, it opens from left despite icon being on the right (should probably open from right side like it does on IPS main page as well)

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If you would like to report an issue with the app, we are managing issues via a special GitHub repository. You will need a free GitHub account to report new issues, if you don't already have one. Click the Issues tab, then the New Issue button and follow the steps. Please provide as much information as you can.

 

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