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Interest in a XenForo specific iphone/android app.

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by Slavik, Jan 2, 2015.

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  1. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    *edit* This post/addon/app is not affiliated with XenForo.

    Happy 2015 XenForo.

    Last year, with all the, questionable goings on with forum-apps out there, on P8ntballer we decided to ditch tapatalk from our forum.

    Despite having a responsive design, many of our users simply preferred browsing in an App format. As such we started working on our own app ran and controlled by ourselfs.

    A few of you may already know this and some have asked about getting a copy of the App for their own forums. So im putting this thread simply to estimate the interest on if we were to have this developed in a more open format - that is either in a white-labelable version purchasable by the forum owners, or a more generic current style app where after installing an addon to your forum, the users can then add the forum to the app and access all the forums they take part in from it.

    We have yet to work out pricing, or sustainability, but most likely a more generic-free type app would be supported via in-app adverts, most likely inserted after a first post, and a more white label version would be a subscription based service for the forum owner.

    Here are some WIP screens, we are aiming to simplify things down considerably, get rid of a lot of useless fluff and get the apps made to encourage posting and interactions via a variety of methods.

    One of the main things we want to do is ensure the app simply works between itself, and your forum, no 3rd party signups required, no copies of anything saved by us. We want to give people confidence to use the app knowing that their stuff, stays with them :)

    discover.jpg forumthread.jpg home2.jpg postview.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
    Gladius, woody, Neal and 37 others like this.
  2. Mike Edge

    Mike Edge Formerly Da Bookie Mon

    +1 for interest in subscription based idea
  3. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Looks very interesting!

    Personally I'd prefer a forum-based subscription but both models could work.

    Would the app support XFMG as well? What about if there is a forum home page such as CTA Featured Threads? And importantly, would it support push notifications?
  4. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    So to play my own devils advocate.

    Say someone is a member of 10 forums, with 10 apps, would not 1 app with everything in one place be better?

    Or would you suggest a subscription based-idea, with maybe in-app white labeling? So once opening up a forum it loads a skin or theme provided by the forum owner?
  5. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Yes, though I don't believe the Tapatalk BYO model works like this?

    I was thinking that the functionality in the ACP that makes it work counts as 1 licence. Therefore for 10 forums that's 10 ACPs with the functionality and hence 10 licences.
  6. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Correct it does not, but the tapatalk byo version runs into 4 figures if I recall. I would be aiming to make this much more accessible to all levels of forum owner.
    ideenwerk and JoeSchmoe like this.
  7. JoeSchmoe

    JoeSchmoe Member

    That would be much appreciated. Our site is happy to pay for things that offer real improvement, but we only have tens of thousands of posts, so the numbers won't work out if the subscription is too high. At the same time, the world is definitely going mobile, so having an app could help us retain members.
  8. Mike Edge

    Mike Edge Formerly Da Bookie Mon

    Yeah, it should be like TT but better :) Allowing a member to use it for every forum they use that supports it. Not 20 different apps for 20 different sites.
  9. RobinHood

    RobinHood Well-Known Member

    Ohh, would love to have a play with the P8ntballer one. Not seen anything about it.

    I think it would be nice to have it as a 'XenForo' app that can be searched for and downloaded by a user from an app store allowing the user to log into all of the XenForo forums that they frequent and switch between them from the single app.

    The standard 'XenForo' branded app could allow users to view any XenForoApp (XFA) enabled forum in a generic default XF skin using the app.

    This could be free to the admin and free to the user, with in app ads being served and the revenue being split between XF and the forum admin.

    This add supported free version would make an app option freely accessible to all admins and users. Making it free to install and utilise at a basic level removes barriers to install and encourages a high install rate among users, the key to getting those push notification from the website to their phone. Good for both admins and users.

    If the user wishes to remove the ads on a particular forum, they make an in app payment to remove the ads.
    This could be a single payment to remove them for a week, a month, a year or permanently.
    Or a recurring payment to remove them weekly, monthly, or yearly.

    The price of this could be set by the forum admin and the proceeds could be divided between the forum admin and XF. They could possibly also be tied to usergroup promotions to allow easier purchase of user upgrades.

    EDIT: Alternatively an admin could perhaps pay XF a fee to remove them if they don't want to past the cost onto their users.

    If an admin wants their forum to stand out in XFA and personalise it, they could pay XF reasonable 'skinning' fee to allow them to customise the look and feel of their forum when viewed in XFA. This could include logo, node icons, default avatar images, any standard image essentially, colour scheme etc.

    In addition to all this, if the big gun forum admins wish to white label the entire app so they have their own dedicated listing in the app store and therefore icon on a users device then this could be a premium option. It would essentially always be the most current version of XFA with all the skinning options of the original XFA app, but not share access to other forums from within the custom app.

    This would be great for sites that want to maintain a strong individual brand or say private companies that want their own professional looking app (and app listing) and have the money to do so.

    Even if an admin purchases this premium white label option, it would be good if the users could still log into that site using the main XFA. This may be desirable for forum power users who frequent many sites, but don't want 10 different apps installed on their device.

    Just a few ideas... :)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  10. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    To clarify, this is not affiliated with XenForo Ltd.

    This is a private venture by slavik.
  11. RobinHood

    RobinHood Well-Known Member

    Ahh my bad...will have to rethink a bit. I'm sure most of the principles could still apply to whoever the app developer is (Slavik & Co)
  12. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Would it allow browsing of addons like XFRM, XFMG and allow the devs of some of the more popular addons to add support for it?
  13. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    That would be determined by the app, not the add-ons.
  14. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I want to interject, this isn't anything run by XenForo, this is something I started privately at P8nt and am looking to the potential to expand it.
  15. RobinHood

    RobinHood Well-Known Member

    Okey dokey, I think you could probably just replace XF in my post with Slavik's App 'R Us and it it would still work.
    JoeSchmoe likes this.
  16. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Many of the points youve posted were along my lines of thought, you've summarized them very well.

    Official XenForo addon support would most likely be added, once the initial posting and replying side was in a very good shape. 3rd party addon support however would be tricky, but I have some ideas. The downside is the 3rd party dev would need to pay to have their addons requested functionality added to the app. It most likely would also not be "core" app functionality, rather an option a user can then add when browsing that particular forums site in the app.
    RobinHood likes this.
  17. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    To explain that last point, lets say @Brogan site Clip the Apex had the addon, Paul paid to have the following added and added some code extending the apps API to xenforo, so when opening up his forum it gives the user to option to see the featured threads as the first screen, rather than the forum list for example....

    3 downsides immediately spring to mind.

    1) Cost to Brogan
    2) Maintaining compatibility with the App, new functionality in the addon would not work in the app until or even if they ever were added.
    3) Exposing this to the app user. Would they want it as an option? Chosen by the forum admin? Mix of both?

  18. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Keeping the app up to date with support for multiple add-ons which are being constantly developed could be an issue.

    The more add-ons which are supported, the more work would be required.
  19. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Thus the issue. A core set of features wouldn't be so bad, but adding or altering them would be the problem area.
  20. RobinHood

    RobinHood Well-Known Member

    I think the important thing will be ensuring that XFA can walk before it can run and it gets the basics perfected and polished.

    Primary focus on secure, reliable, fast and fluid interaction with a XF forum that utilises all user, moderator and admin functionality included with the core product.

    Secondary focus on exactly the same as above, but with XMG.

    Edit: Tertiary focus on the same, but with Resource Manager, sorry, forgot about that one :p

    That's a quite a tall order in itself. Tapatalk have at least 6 people working on their product full time, and we've seen some of the difficulties they've encountered.

    Perfect the basics before considering trying to integrate with 3rd party developers. Leave that functionality to when the user interacts with a site through a desktop browser. If they really want to browse a portal and just read articles, they can do that on the browser on their phone.

    Most 3rd party add-ons aren't 'necessary' for every forum and if it becomes detrimental to the overall quality of the XFA and the experience for the user, it's not worth it.
    thumped and FredC like this.
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