Does my forum need an Android app ?

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    • Does my forum need an Android app ?



      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 ().

    • As a matter of an opinion from my own experience, yes. Responsive designs do help a lot, but the mentality of the upcoming generation is simply if it doesn't have an app, it doesn't exist. You can tell them all about mobile browsers & some will adapt, but others want a direct button to simple click & go to you.

      This mentality makes it very hard for people trying to start a forum & I suspect it will continue to do so (make it harder). Apps usually are not cheap to develop, so if you can do it yourself, go for it. If not, this is where it gets harder to start a forum, because, for those unable to develop, the average person isn't going to put down the funds until they're community is well established & they can justify the continued upkeep.
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • GTB wrote:

      Adam wrote:

      but the mentality of the upcoming generation is simply if it doesn't have an app, it doesn't exist
      how true is that
      8 years ago when apps were still "new" (sort of, kind of), I told people this is how it would be. Everyone said I was crazy. Not so crazy now, eh? lol
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • meetdilip wrote:

      @Adam what do you think about offering apps through Admin Hub.
      Sorry for my delayed reply...

      For this site to have its own app? I think it would be a worthwhile investment, but only if you can justify the cost. It's really up to the site owner if they're willing to keep the upkeep of that app too. Both for mobile OS compatibility and app compatibility to any and all software within the site (depending on how incorporated your app will match the site). For each change brings a new update to your app.
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • BB8 wrote:

      Would those people prefer to have one separate launcher icon for every forum they visit?

      With CSS3 and responsive designs, it has become pointless to actually provide separate forum apps, except for forum-wide notifications (like Tapatalk provides).
      Tapatalk has such a poor reputation that for a time it was listed as an adware app. I personally think it was misclassified and I would have listed it as spamware. The idea of this 1 app redirecting people away from your community in favor of those who paid to be placed higher, while making it look as though you're within that same community isn't idea.

      YES, I would prefer an app for each community. Until there is an alternative that doesn't try to direct people away, doesn't change ranking based upon purchases, and doesn't display ads outside of my community.
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • Tapatalk is not spamware. It doesn't send you messages unless you want it to.

      I use it to keep the ~ 4632347 communities I am registered with together. There is no better way to see what's going on in all of them in a centralized place. I am neither willing nor able to check ~ 4632347 apps separately because I wouldn't need an app for that. My smartphone has a web browser.
      Send in the clowns.
    • BB8 wrote:

      Tapatalk is not spamware. It doesn't send you messages unless you want it to.

      I use it to keep the ~ 4632347 communities I am registered with together. There is no better way to see what's going on in all of them in a centralized place. I am neither willing nor able to check ~ 4632347 apps separately because I wouldn't need an app for that. My smartphone has a web browser.
      You're the exception, not the rule. By that I mean, you're the minority. The average person doesn't belong to 4,632,347 communities. You have my friend have a lot more free time than I do. 4 million communities is a lot. :1f602:

      Still the average administrator or webmaster seeks to promote their own community and perhaps partnering communities that complement each other, but not everyone else they're competing with on the internet. This is why TapaTalk isn't idea for most people who understand exactly what it does and how it works.
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • BB8 wrote:

      I still think that the majority of community people have more than one community.
      I do too. That's not the argument or point I was making.
      Disclaimer - Automatically assume that any link I copy & paste has a referral in it. Not because I'm the spamming type, but because I'm to lazy to edit them out or double check a really long url for that 1 snip of code.
    • "Tapatalk is not spamware. It doesn't send you messages unless you want it to"

      Yes it is. It may not spam the users, but it does spam it's shitty signature all over the forum, unless the owner pays to have it removed.

      It's akin to Tapatalk saying. "Give us Money or we'll spam the crap out of your site.

      Tapatalk may be great for the end user, but it is not great for an admin.