Native app for communities

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
Hey all,

Been working on a native app for some specific communities I've been partnering with. But thought I'd share some progress here and get some thoughts. The API isn't hooked up yet but just shows some of the basic UI so far.


This builds for iOS and Android, authenticates against XenForo login creds, push, and offers about 40-50 features (so far) and likely to stay around that ballpark. The goal is just a simple navigational experience, and not at all meant to replace the forum web experience. Webview is incorporated for thread view and creating content, among other experiences. But can be used as a way to have more control over experience, ads, custom native functionality (camera, GPS, Pay, etc.) and will be used for keeping users engaged a bit more directly with a native, less cluttered by design, experience. The UI will be quick swipe/gesture controlled and offer just a few routes. Though it is built to be customized.

Ill try to post updates here as we work on em.
 

RobinHood

Well-known member
Saw this pop up on my YouTube notifications this morning. Bit of a weird stand alone video that doesn't explain much so far, actually thought it might have been an accidental upload. Incredibly keen to see what you've been working on in a bit more depth whenever you guys have more to share though!
 

JulianD

Well-known member
Very nice indeed! What cross platform framework are you using? Or is it native development?
 

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
Saw this pop up on my YouTube notifications this morning. Bit of a weird stand alone video that doesn't explain much so far, actually thought it might have been an accidental upload. Incredibly keen to see what you've been working on in a bit more depth whenever you guys have more to share though!
Ha yeah just something quick to give an overall. We've spent a lot more time than it looks in just planning it, making sure we're not going to interfere with XF or add-ons, and just solve direct issues.

After all, Apple at WDWC might even announce web push notifications for iOS (should know here in a few weeks). So the goal of the app isn't just that, though if they don't offer it this will certainly do that. But rather to offer specific native tools and a more native browsing environment. Its not something everyone needs or anything, PWA or web is perfectly fine for 100% of communities (imo). For those who have reasons, which a few people I've talked to do, this will serve as a great foundation for that.

Very nice indeed! What cross platform framework are you using? Or is it native development?
We are using Expo.
The mix of web-views and native seems a good way to go. Avoid the pain of re-implementing and maintaining everything. :)
Definitely. The idea is that the entire app is webview (seems odd perhaps as a foundation I know). But then the community owner can opt in to which routes they want native and which routes they want as tabs. So technically, the app might support no native views at all (but then Apple might not approve it :p). This can be great for showing upcoming events, threads, featured resources, profile comments, (maybe) create thread, etc. but then when the user figures out the action they want to accomplish itll just take you to webview. Add-ons will work, ads will run, etc. shouldn't get in anyone's way.

We might even attempt to preload in the webview, its on the list to look into.
 

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
Also one more thing. I love the new node types that come with XF2.2. Tabs here are a great utility for that, in addition to nodes. Will post what we have in mind for filtering/nodes later but XF 2.2 is going to come in clutch with some of these new organization methods.

ex: suggestion tab or feature request tab
 

Mike Creuzer

Well-known member
We read through the notes and watched the keynote today from Apple, looking like perhaps no web push notifications. Naturally, we'll invest some extra effort on that on this project for those who need it.
 
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