For those who don't know, Android is an open source operating system for mobile devices. It is developed and maintained by Google and is extremely popular on smart phones and tablets. Android apps are what we call the software in Windows. Now a days each publishing house gives the user the ability to access their content through an Android app. The benefit of providing Android apps is that people can get notifications of new content via built in Android notification system. Normally it will be a sound notification in your Android device, no matter it is a tablet or mobile phone. This makes sure the user is notified of new content or new intimation which is useful to him or the publishing house editor wants to promote.
As for forums, there are only a handful names that are popular in forum world. They include both open source and proprietary licensed forum scripts. Popular names being Xenforo, Invision Power Board,vBulletin, Burning Board, MyBB, phpBB, ElkArte etc
Is your forum script responsive ?
Before deciding whether you need an android app for your publication ( forum) you need to check that whether it already serves the mobile users.Some forum scripts are mobile ready or responsive. Ie, they can adjust themselves when viewed on mobile devices. Your forum will reshape according to the tablet or smart phone screen size automatically if the script supports that feature. Among free scripts ElkArte is responsive. Among proprietary licensed scripts, most of them ( like vBulletin, Xenforo, Invision Power Board etc ) are responsive. In that case you may decide to serve a browser based web content for your users than providing an Android app which will consume the device resources. People with lower internal storage devices tend to uninstall apps frequently to get space for their personal data like multi media, selfies, media through WhatsApp etc.
Does your forum script give personal notifications ?
Taking inspiration from Facebook, forum scripts of these days provide personal notification for users who get quoted, gets likes or receives a personal message. These alert notifications can be easily imported into your Android applications to provide alerts through android notification system. But even if you decide to go with an Android app makes sure that you do not feed a lot of notifications.Because users could be annoyed by too much notification as they come with sound alerts for each notification through Android notification system.
Getting into Play Store
Even though having your app ready and making it available through Google Play Store is a matter of pride to any publisher, it is not always free of cost as in case of many categories in Android. To publish an app in Google Play Store, you would need an Android Developer License which costs $ 25. If you have the luxury to spend the amount a platform your android app developer expense, you can always enjoy the presence in Google Play Store.
Can I manage without an Android app ?
The main reason that would benefit from an Andriod app installed in a device is through notifications. The user if optimally done, may respond to alerts from app and come back to your publication from time to time. This can be done even if you use a web based mobile ready site hacking into browser notifications. Personally you can manage without an app if you have a responsive website. But if you can spend for and manage your presence on Android platform, it is always good to get yourselves an app with notifications.
The post was edited 2 times, last by meetdilip ().