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The History Kid

Taptalk App Support

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One of the most convenient things that I wish was installed by default in IP.CORE is Taptalk.  It makes things easier for those of us who are browsing on mobile periodically.  During the week, I almost exclusively use my phone to access the forum.  By Invision's very nature - it's not the friendliest in mobile mode, regardless of theme.  (It's better than many, but it could be better.)  That's why I want to suggest the implementation of Taptalk.

https://tapatalk.com/download_IPBoard.php

It is a very stable platform that integrates well with IPS.  Likewise, if a user uses the Taptalk app on their mobile device, they can receive notifications from the forum a bit more seamlessly.  Since the whole mode of communication is moving towards a mobile design, it would be beneficial to add this as an option.

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Hey there, HK. Sorry I’m just now seeing this.

Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion. We will look into this and let you know if it’s something we would be interested in doing for the forum. It does sound like a good idea. I know that a mobile app has been looked into in the past and was passed over, due to the functionality of forum doing pretty well on its own for mobile, and half of our users do tune in VIA PC, so depending on how it’s implemented we will just have to see about it. Is it a plug in via invision? That would be awesome. Anyway, I’ll have to look into it more, and let ya know. I do like the sound of notifications buzzing on my phone 😉

Also, if this doesn’t work out I’ll keep my ear to the ground for something like this that’s a part of the community software. 

So... after that very brief departure. It appears that this application would detract from the forum quite a bit, and not really add the best experience that we would hope for for our members.

A couple of issues:

One, the tapatalk app would have to be installed before joining the forum. This would be a deterrent to all mobile users not wishing to clutter their phone with yet another app. Or just those opposed to adding apps in general. Or those who would not wish to take the extra step to register with talkatap.

Two, the app is buggy. I believe it would be in better interest to continue with our current, functional mobile software. 

Lets continue to look into the betterment of the forum experience, plug ins through invision are coming out all the time, so we will get there one day, I’m sure.

I would also like to add that for the first 5 months of using this forum, I had no access to a PC, I was an exclusively mobile user, and I was able to host contests and be fully active as a member here. I think the software is great. It just lacks some convenience. 

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I'll get back to this when I get home, but 2 quick things:

1. IPS has no intention of creating a mobile platform nor app support. Ever. That is something that reaches back before my time with them. So trying to find native support is not going to lead anyone anywhere.

2. The app doesn't have to be installed before registration. I picked it up well after my registration on several other sites with no issues. Most bugs in the software come from the ProBoards side of things and not TapTalks native environment.

There are other app options that would be less, how you've said "detremental", but only if you are willing to put money on the line.

2 hours ago, Seshi said:

One, the tapatalk app would have to be installed before joining the forum. This would be a deterrent to all mobile users not wishing to clutter their phone with yet another app. Or just those opposed to adding apps in general. Or those who would not wish to take the extra step to register with talkatap.

Two, the app is buggy. I believe it would be in better interest to continue with our current, functional mobile software. 

Lets continue to look into the betterment of the forum experience, plug ins through invision are coming out all the time, so we will get there one day, I’m sure.

I would also like to add that for the first 5 months of using this forum, I had no access to a PC, I was an exclusively mobile user, and I was able to host contests and be fully active as a member here. I think the software is great. It just lacks some convenience. 

Okay, hopefully the forum will merge these posts, I'll better elaborate here.

First, the TapTalk app, as mentioned does not have to be installed before joining the forum.  TapTalk is a modular plugin that allows users to discover forums while integrating ones they're already apart of.  Likewise, TapTalk does not override the functionality of using the forum on a mobile browser, rather it is an alternative to the browser that runs in a lighter capacity than the browser does without all of the glitches that mobile themes provide.  As for registering with TapTalk (no one really calls it tapatalk lol), those have one-click registration functions like virtually every other software has these days: Google SSO, Facebook SSO, and (I think) Twitter SSO.  There's also the option of not doing any of those and just making an account, either way. 

The app is absolutely not buggy.  I have used this app across multiple websites for over three years.  I have run into more Facebook errors than Taptalk errors in that same timeframe.  The only glitch I have seen on it was located in it's "seeker" feature which enables discovery of new forums and groups.  I don't use that anyway, and I know few people who do - so it's not so much of an issue.

Spoiler

Screenshot_20190903-192653.thumb.png.44e23c92bf0dd2ff679ae2c802bb9da5.pngScreenshot_20190903-192712.thumb.png.73816a21d15abeaec6f47c1f80916e82.pngScreenshot_20190903-192737.thumb.png.4786147e9ec7c311ba8264de6ac8de1d.png

As for Invision's stance: they have and will continue to work on the preface that "mobile themes are good 'nuff."  We actually had an entire developer crew that wanted to put together mobile functionality in version 3, but it was refused.  Furthermore, when we offered to do so as a modular addon, the response we got was that it would "detract from IP.S's core mission and vanilla functionality."  Short version is: If you're waiting for a mod to come out on Invision to support this, the sun is going to explode before that happens.  Any software to expand upon the foundational structure of Invision's mobile application will be external and third party.

Edited by The History Kid
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I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with “TapTalk” am I saying it right now 😁

The other concerns I’d have then, if you stand by the fact that mobile image uploads aren’t buggy like I’ve heard, and the system doesn’t crash at least once a day... Then does the app allow all of the same features within the forum to be visible and useable? We are in the middle of an update that will allow members to have gamification features in the forum itself, such as achievements as well as a forum shop update. All of which would be important for member inclusion in the coming days of AF.

My last concern is simply a rephrasing from the first mentioned in my original post - since you clearly have knowledge on this, let me just go ahead and ask, would there be a push for installing taptalk on mobile, say when members are new and joining the forum? Also Is it going to be popping up periodically spamming users to download taptalk? Cuz no one wants to see that. Answer if you can, if not no worries. 

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35 minutes ago, Seshi said:

I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with “TapTalk” am I saying it right now 😁

The other concerns I’d have then, if you stand by the fact that mobile image uploads aren’t buggy like I’ve heard, and the system doesn’t crash at least once a day... Then does the app allow all of the same features within the forum to be visible and useable? We are in the middle of an update that will allow members to have gamification features in the forum itself, such as achievements as well as a forum shop update. All of which would be important for member inclusion in the coming days of AF.

My last concern is simply a rephrasing from the first mentioned in my original post - since you clearly have knowledge on this, let me just go ahead and ask, would there be a push for installing taptalk on mobile, say when members are new and joining the forum? Also Is it going to be popping up periodically spamming users to download taptalk? Cuz no one wants to see that. Answer if you can, if not no worries. 

I love dialogues, so thanks for asking.

I have never had issues with uploading photos on the mobile feature.  I have heard of this issue, and if memory serves me correctly, that stemmed mostly from the device that the person was using.  I've tested TapTalk on iOS and a few Android phones to include: Samsung's GS7, Moto's Droid 2, The GS10, and the Pixel 2 (what I use now).  

As for the other features, what I want to emphasize is that this is for the core forum features.  Messaging, notifications, and forum posting.  It's by no means intended to replace the core, only emulate it.  As such, those are the only features available on it.  Now, that being said - there's a good reason for that, and it's why such a mobile app will never be available to do everything a forum natively does: modifications are modular and dependent on the core's own coding structure.  What TapTalk actually does is pull RSS data from the site and use it in a tangible format, while enabling the user to utilize the forum's own permissions to make posts and messages.  That's easy, it's a POST/FORM cross exchange between the platforms, and the process is simple.  Where things get crazy is when you start including modules that no all software has: blogs, download sections, video sections, galleries, games, etc.

Case in point:

The blog system on Invision here is not as in depth as the blog system in LiveJournal.  Which is not as in depth as the WordPress system.  XMB has no blogs.  phpBB has a blog system but it's very limited.  Then there's several blog systems that use ASP coding, and several others that don't cooperate with MySQL.  As a result: this isn't added in.  To do that, you'd have to build an AF app, and I will tell you right now, if you think the some $500 or so it cost to get the licensing for the software AF uses was a lot, to build the app that will integrate with the software AF uses will be adding at least one 0 onto that.  Then you have to think about supporting that app for each update to the structure that AF takes, bugfixes issued by the mod developers, bugfixes and feature changes that IPS issues, and bugfixes and updates to the native software on the user's mobile device - thus, why most forums do not have a dedicated app for mobiles, they depend on third parties.

(Off topic, but I would be interested to know about the user impact the addon modules have on the membership here.  Weighing bloat against application.)

As for your last concern; not particularly.  When I was using the browser (which I hate mobile browsers) for my time on Klipsch and Emotiva, the only time I got pinged about Taptalk was a slide in banner that appeared once and was dismissed when I hit the "no thanks" or "x" button.  It acts much in the same way as the cookie banners you see act.  But it's not going to bully you into using it, nor is the plug for it invasive.  It is very minimal.  It also enables you to immediately link a site to your Taptalk account if you do click on it and have it installed if you opt to.  I am not sure if the banner is on a toggle or not, might have to play with that, but IPS should allow you to sandbox the community in a password protected domain.  I'd encourage it to be tested in a sandbox first.

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Thanks for your time in hashing out some of these important concerns.

With this, we will take some time to look into this as a team and go from there on deciding if it’s right for us. 

Feel free to post anything else you feel may be worth noting about the app. Sounds like pretty much everything has been covered to me though.

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