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Ugggg. Should I just put tapatalk back in?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by kontrabass, Oct 5, 2015.


Tapatalk back in or not?

  1. Yes!

  2. No way

  1. kontrabass

    kontrabass Well-Known Member

    We have been "app-less" since November last year when we pulled tapatalk (dedicated BYO app). Since then it's been a whine fest at every turn. Even the bass players I play with say they don't visit nearly as often since the app is gone. They don't like having our site in a mess of other safari mobile tabs. They want a button. And they don't want a bookmark on their home screen either.

    Traffic has been down ever so slightly this year over last year. I can't help but think that having a dedicated app in the app stores would be beneficial....

    Should we put tapatalk back in? This is assuming they fixed the behavior that gave us 2,000 deadlock server errors every day...
  2. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    No, stay away from that garbage. If you've explained why it's an issue and members still complain, that's their problem. Not wanting to use 1 extra Safari tab for your forum is a ridiculous excuse.
    Bram, D.O.A., Liam W and 1 other person like this.
  3. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    A lot of phones have the ability to add an icon to the main screen which will link them directly to the site. Maybe post a simple tutorial up, link it via a notice and go from there (I missed the part about a button on the home screen :D )
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    StarArmy and empire like this.
  4. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    You could also try a theme that is heavily mobil-optimized. Off canvas navigations, sticky functionality, features people expect from an app. Even using CSS3 instead of jQuery, which won't use the GPU, makes themes feel more app-like. A lot of people I've worked with ditched tapatalk in exchange for a mobile theme we did for them, and I've yet to hear anyone tell me they miss it.
    cdub and Freelancer like this.
  5. adwolf1

    adwolf1 Active Member

    Mike is a version of that mobile theme available on your site ?
    Or do you only reimplement it on a custom basis?

  6. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Also explore what specifically the functionality is they're missing from an app. If it's something like push notifications then I have an add-on that integrates with Pushover and xfrocks has an add-on that integrates with Pushover and Pushbullet.
    Glockie and Mike Creuzer like this.
  7. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Any one of our themes can be tweaked. http://forums.rivals.com uses UI.X and they come from a strong iOS base. So we added things like a back button and such. Here are some screens. Simplified, no need for Tapatalk.

    Attached Files:

    Glockie, Coop1979 and Dakis like this.
  8. adwolf1

    adwolf1 Active Member

    is that just stock UI.X on mobile, or is it tweaked slightly? (I'm already a UI.X license holder :) )
  9. n00bsaibot

    n00bsaibot Well-Known Member

    Truth be told, from the user perspective Tapatalk is awesome. The only complaint I have is no polls. Expecting responsive design to cut it in 2015 and onward is wishful thinking. I'll typically wait to get to a desktop or not bother posting at all.

    That said, I don't have a commercial forum with money at stake. I get the TT hate from that side. Consider pooling donation money for a custom mobile app? I don't think anybody cares about specifically using Tapatalk itself, they just want to go mobile w/o a cumbersome browser.
    Brent W likes this.
  10. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    No it's not, it won't even let you use basic functionality like bold/italic or font colours, let alone any BB Code Media sites that are added or other add-on functionality such as XenForo Media Gallery.

    Mobile design is the way to go for the future as it allows full functionality, not a crappy cut-down experience. Besides, users don't want lots of different apps just to access the various forums they participate in. And don't kid yourself that there can be 'one app to rule them all', Tapatalk has shown that's not the case, all you get is limited functionality as it's the lowest common denominator.
    Rudy, SEOmers and Amaury like this.
  11. n00bsaibot

    n00bsaibot Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry but the basic functionality for a forum is to view and post... and posting is significantly easier through an apps instead of a browser.

    How many people go to their gmail/facebook/banking mobile sites instead of the app? They all have a full featured mobile versions.... people will choose convenience over functionality.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  12. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    If any of that was even remotely true The vast majority here wouldn't be asking for a Tapatalk alternative. Sorry to say but for a great many users that alternative is not responsive design. You seem like a smart guy is surprises me that you so easily dismiss the very evident wants and needs of a great deal of various forum members. Limited functionality is the appeal for many if not most Tapatalk users. For what it's worth I personally Detest tapatalk myself but The same can't be said for my Tapatalk users.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  13. Martok

    Martok Well-Known Member

    Well all I can say is that after the initial complaints after the removal of Tapatalk, my users have embraced responsive design (and appreciated the addition of UI.X as the style for the forum). They now like the fact that they aren't limited in what they can access on the forums. I even added push notifications with an add-on but most said they didn't need it. I haven't lost any forum users and none have asked for Tapatalk to be returned or another app installed. So to say that most Tapatalk users want a cut down experience is untrue as is that most forum users want an app rather than good responsive design.
    Glockie and Amaury like this.
  14. sbj

    sbj Well-Known Member

    I don't own a smartphone, but from my observations the responsive design is not the thing users ask for. I don't say Xenforo's responsive design isn't great or something, and in todays world every website must be responsive for the browsers. But the users want it quick and the way they are used to. Nobody wants to be bothered with a browser when using a smartphone. They want an app. As I said, I don't own a smartphone, but I assume people are not using facebook, twitter, etc. via the browser, they use the apps. That is the standard behaviour. Anything else makes the user feel like wasting time because it isn't the standard procedure they do daily.

    There is this one big site I am visiting for several years now. They decided to go with the responsive design and turn off tapatalk and what did happen? The users went crazy. All admitting not visiting the site anymore because they can't use tapatalk. After 2 weeks the site admins gave up and turned it on again.

    So either you use Tapatalk or have an app for your site. If you don't have both, then you are screwed I think honestly. The responsive design is not what users want. It is good to have it but not what they want.
    I think my dad doesn't even know how to use a browser on his phone (our family is not that modern), but he knows how to use apps...
    Glockie, Luke F, RDR and 2 others like this.
  15. n00bsaibot

    n00bsaibot Well-Known Member

    @sbj you said it better than my gibberish above.

    Mobile apps are the native delivery method on phones/tablets. Responsive design is a me-too afterthought.
    sbj likes this.
  16. kontrabass

    kontrabass Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input everyone. I agree with both sides: Personally, I think responsive design is awesome on my iphone 6s plus. It was a bit less awesome on my iphone 5, and I think a big issue is that it's even less awesome on older smartphones. Plus it seems a lot of users data speeds are so slow, having some "data" loaded in the app already helps them. The most common complaint I get is how slow the site is in a mobile browser (even though as I said it's super fast on my phone). Generic android tablets are the WORST it seems.

    Bottom line I guess is, to please both camps, an app is necessary. But I'm glad I'm not the only one that's weary of Tapatalk.
  17. kontrabass

    kontrabass Well-Known Member

    I think there was an add-on that directed people to do just that. I'll have to look for it again...
  18. kontrabass

    kontrabass Well-Known Member

    Pixelexit's XenBase has the off-canvas menu, which I'm really just getting around to polishing for our site. That combined with Nodes as Tabs adding some extra nav links in the menu is looking quite good. Still won't please the app crowd though ;)
    Russ likes this.
  19. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    It looks like your running the defer-js and the bd-cache plugin which is good. Have you tried browsing your site logged out with the ads via mobile with no ad block? I've noticed with a a few ads and depending on where they're being served from it can cause performance issues especially on mobile.
  20. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I access mine on a bargain basement Moto and it's fine. Very little issues since I dropped TT and went to responsive. I helped smooth the transition by offering push notifications with Chris's add-on (which is proving worth the money just for getting moderator related alerts pushed to me!) and also spent a while on my less than state-of-the-art mobile looking for things that were annoying and fixing them, like making fonts bigger and significantly optimising images to speed it up.

    Maybe get hold of a more rubbish phone than your iPhone 6 and spend a week or so living with your own forum, seeking what needs tweaked?

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