Tapatalk - yes or no

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Don't know what's so hard about it. Just copy the files over, run the .XML and add your site to their forum directory. :whistle:
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Alfa1

Well-known member
Reasons why I will remove tapatalk after the migration to xenforo:
  1. search will soon show changes from other sites, leading our members away from other sites.
  2. TT tries to store attachments on their servers, so that we can never leave them. I blocked this.
  3. TT shows ads to users even though I have repeatedly opted out.
  4. TT forces our members to login through tapatalk instead of using our login. (by hiding the normal login) This means that TT stores our member data.
  5. The Tapatalk home screen has a feed tab showing new content from all sites the member is member of. This means that its less attractive to browse one particular site and more attractive to browse all at once.
  6. With each update (every few weeks) usergroup permissions are removed.
  7. Xenforo is already responsive.
  8. PUSHover provides PUSH notifications for xenforo.
  9. TT does not show content from our addons like gallery, blog, wiki, groups, reviews, etc.
  10. TT does not show any custom functionality which makes that my highly customized site does not stand out from others, but looks like just another forum.
  11. TT policy updates steadily move towards less control for webmasters and more control and benefits for tapatalk.
 

DRE

Well-known member
Pushover ain't free for your members tho. I'd still use Tapatalk cause it's free if it weren't so dang buggy.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
Nothing is free. Remember the old saying: if you are not paying then you are the product. In this case: your users and your site are.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Reasons why I will remove tapatalk after the migration to xenforo:
  1. search will soon show changes from other sites, leading our members away from other sites.
  2. TT tries to store attachments on their servers, so that we can never leave them. I blocked this.
  3. TT shows ads to users even though I have repeatedly opted out.
  4. TT forces our members to login through tapatalk instead of using our login. (by hiding the normal login) This means that TT stores our member data.
  5. The Tapatalk home screen has a feed tab showing new content from all sites the member is member of. This means that its less attractive to browse one particular site and more attractive to browse all at once.
  6. With each update (every few weeks) usergroup permissions are removed.
  7. Xenforo is already responsive.
  8. PUSHover provides PUSH notifications for xenforo.
  9. TT does not show content from our addons like gallery, blog, wiki, groups, reviews, etc.
  10. TT does not show any custom functionality which makes that my highly customized site does not stand out from others, but looks like just another forum.
  11. TT policy updates steadily move towards less control for webmasters and more control and benefits for tapatalk.
Many of the same reasons why we will not use TT once we move over to XF.
 

Optic

Well-known member
A lot of people have already touched on the shortcomings of Tapatalk so I'll try not to repeat the same points... below is my personal experience:

I tried their BYO offering for about two months and though it was cool having your own personalised splash image pop-up, release updates for the BYO version were a lot slower than their free app!!

For the steep price of $99 + an ongoing $69 USD a month I found this frustrating as I would've assumed (like many others) that their paid Tapatalk offering would've been prioritised over the free app, not the other way around!

I can however appreciate how costly it can be maintaining a web interface to customise the app (the web tabs, colours, etc.) and back-end to compile the app binaries for individual users to upload to their respective App Stores.

Specific points that killed it for me:
  • The Smart Banner that pushes users to download Tapatalk: I feel everytime there's an update I constantly have to monitor this option and disable it again, over and over because the developers keep changing its behaviour
  • Inconsistent user registration: Tapatalk ID or redirect to your native registration form? Custom question & answer challenge is not respected on Tapatalk's registration method
  • No direct support for XenGallery or Xen Media Gallery
  • Even if you try to embed XenGallery into a web tab, it does not display correctly at all
Slow support is the biggest one, even if you're a paid BYO customer. I posted an issue relating to Tapatalk users appearing as "unknown page" in Xenforo's Online List and it took two months to address because the issue of course relates to the core Tapatalk Xenforo add-on that both the BYO and free app share together.

I don't blame the Tapatalk developers directly, they seem to know what they're doing when they release updates for the Tapatalk Xenforo add-on. The problem is they're stretched way too thin trying to support 11 different forum platforms and 3 different end-user app versions. So therefore overall updates suffer.

Long term I will be removing Tapatalk, just need to convince a few remaining members.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
So just a quick update on my end... I did finally migrate to Xenforo from vB 3 back in mid May. At that point I dropped Tapatalk and used a responsive XF theme. I received quite a few complaints about it. I am a little worried that I've lost some of our regular members because of this, regardless of how hard I've worked to explain the new functionality and layout to users. What I've noticed is that we aren't necessarily losing members to other competing sites in our niche, but more to Facebook. I'm finding a lot of members sharing content about their cars, the meets they've gone to, and events they attend on Facebook more than they do on the site these days.

What I'm gathering is that a responsive theme is fine for browsing, but it doesn't turn sharing a photo you just took from your phone's camera into a 2 click process like an app could do. I think that's the biggest disadvantage we're all going to run into. More and more people will be using mobile devices, and we need to make it very quick and easy to share content they create on those devices right after they create it, as opposed to having them open their phone's browser, navigating to our site, then dig down to a forum/sub-forum, then click a button to create their post, then attach the photos and write a message, then submit. It's not the browsing part of the experience where we need an app, it's the reduction of clicks in the content sharing and posting part where the app will be the most useful.

I wish someone would build a Tapatalk-like app that is specific to Xenforo and easily extendable to be compatible with the popular plugins (like Showcase). I would pay a license fee for that in a heartbeat. And I would pay for extensions for plugins on top of that. I can't afford to give Tapatalk control of my user data, my content, my revenue, etc. I need an app that isn't going to try and share content from other sites in its network on my site. That makes it seem like my site is just a sub-forum of one big forum in their app. Though it might be useful tool to bring in new members for smaller sites, I don't want to be promoting sites in their network.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
And let me also state that sure, maybe allowing quick snippets of content to be posted in forums isn't the type of quality we all want as forum admins. We want good quality, long winded contributions. Stuff that is going to be valuable long term. But quick snippets are very big now, and with high volume it's sticky. It's almost like that off-topic forum we all have on our sites that we have a love/hate relationship with. We know it's important because it helps keep the community tight, even though it isn't related to the good content we want to keep generating. This is something we need to address on forums - how to allow members to post quick snippets more easily, make it very visible, and find a way to archive it so that it doesn't mess up the other valuable technical discussions.
 

Ridemonkey

Well-known member
Yep, I would be happy to install a site-specific plugin that's built to work well with XenForo and associated plugins and lets us deploy a quality mobile app. That's a big ask, for sure - it would be no simple task to build and would probably require developers to update their plugins in order to interface with the apps. My site is large enough that I don't really have a problem paying a decent license fee for it.

What I don't want, is to add a perpetual security vulnerability developed by people who are spread thin across a million sites and platforms, and who have a vested interest in collecting and maintaining control over my users' data, while at the same time taking ad dollars away from us.

I have always thought that good mobile designs or responsive skins would mitigate the need for any kind of mobile apps, but the requests still don't go away. It's very clear that people love their mobile apps.
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
Agreed @Ridemonkey - on all points. If someone were to build a mobile app that was focused only on XF (or maybe the top 3 forum scripts at most) and could be extended to integrate with a few of the popular XF plugins (like Showcase, XC Trader, and XMG), I would bet there would be many other big board owners who would be happy to pay a decent licensing fee.

What Ridemonkey pointed out as what he doesn't want are the exact same things I don't want. It's obvious an app is still necessary even with a responsive theme. Some users simply don't want to be forced to use a browser for their community interaction. And I wish a developer would create one with the traditional intention of selling it to me, the forum owner, not using my site visitors as their revenue model and marketing other sites into the user experience of the app, and certainly not having a hand in the user data and content hosting after the app is activated. There's an inherent conflict with that model that I just can't get past. Empower the forum owner and give us complete control and stay out of the user experience after that. It changes everything when our users are the target customer, not us. Take Xenforo for example, they want the user experience to be top notch, but they still target the forum owner for revenue. They are in the business of selling software licenses because the user experience is solid. A mobile app can be sold that way too.

Wonder if we can get a bunch of forum owners who want something that fits our sites better to build one using Appcelerator Titanium. Something that will be more secure because it's built for one main forum script. And we can all specify a few plugins it needs to work with. I think we have enough forum admins in here that can come up with a good road map for an app that would really kick ass.
 
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Ludachris

Well-known member
Just thinking out load here in terms of possible functionality for a new app... again, I think one of the biggest shortcomings of forums and any available forum app at the moment is the lack of a feature that allows a user to snap a photo from their phone and click the Share option and choose our forum as the destination to share that photo. I think that's critical and must be included in any forum app offering.

The tricky part is, where do we allow them to share that photo on the forum? I can think of a few possibilities to start with that make a lot of sense. The admin might be given the option to specify one or more locations. Maybe once the user selects your forum as the place to share that photo they just took they're given one more set of destination possibilities on your forum site, which could include: a generic Status Update, an option to start a new thread with the photo as an attachment (in an admin-specified forum), a Xen Media Gallery upload, or the option to add it to a Showcase item they have associated with their account. The Showcase item attachment would be the most important for my needs but I can see the other options being more important for other admins.

This is obviously just one aspect of the overall functionality, but I think it's been the most neglected and the most glaring need for a forum app. If nothing else Tapatalk has shown us all the other basics that are necessary. But I'm sure those can be improved upon too.
 
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Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
It's not just an addon that is needed. I was talking about an app (iPhone, android, WP) to replace Tapatalk's app

As well as providing xenforo specific functionality as discussed here
 

Ludachris

Well-known member
It's not just an addon that is needed. I was talking about an app (iPhone, android, WP) to replace Tapatalk's app

As well as providing xenforo specific functionality as discussed here
I agree. I will post it in the development request forum, not the plugin request forum.
 
hmmm crunch time.
We are only thinking of using tapatalk to push out the information to members and non members. Reading content on our site is free so non members will be able to consume general articles from the app. This will be used in conjunction with responsive.
  1. We will be using BYO - mainly for branding and also to keep control of revenues as we sell adverts directly
  2. We will disable registration from tapatalk and get everyone to register through our site
  3. 90% of content is published with threads. We do have media plugin but not essential for it to be on tapatalk
Concern for me is mainly on security and compatibility of BYO as development lags behind. I do not expect most of our users to download it but it seems to impress agencies and advertisers when you talk about apps. Will plan to do this by the end of the year and report back on issues.

In addition we also push our content on FB and notice that because people have an app.. it is pretty easy for them to consume the content there as well.
 

Jim Boy

Well-known member
We've had a bit of love/hate relationship with Tapa. It's more stable than it was, previously we'd had issues with some stability aspects, so we cut access right back or I've edited components of mobiquo to suit. But we've recently gotten back into the fold. We haven't gone down the BYO route partly because doing so may give the impression that we are in anyway responsible for any bugs that may appear. If a bug does appear, well that s Tapatalk's problem.

As for security, yeah they in theory they could do anything right up to dropping your database. But this is true of any add-on you install, at least there developers are full-time rather than enthusiastic amateurs.
 

motowebmaster

Active member
For me, the typical Tapatalk user as someone like a Facebook user - one who listens less than what they post.

I get a few complaints but they aren't interested in my community, they just want to post their blurbs wherever everyone else is among the many sites they are tracking in a single mobile app.

Optimize your mobile experience, use a good CDN, and post helpful info using modern devices. Today my most popular browsers are Safari and Chrome, and nearly 50% are using from a phone or tablet.

I'm not going to say that desktops are dead, but you don't need TT to please the majority of your users.
 
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