Invision Community Apps for iOS & Android

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Invision Community Apps for iOS & Android

3iphones-2.jpg.271d278a50adf8e2559fafbb5c546daf.jpg


I'm excited to reveal that we are making Invision Community native apps for iOS and Android!

For the past few months, our staff has been using an internal test build right here on our community. Now we are ready to widen testing to a larger pool of customers. Information on how to become a tester is at the end of this post. But first, let's take a look at the app itself.

Technology Preview
We have a lot of exciting plans for the Invision Community app.

We wanted to take full advantage of a clean slate and build a brand new experience that embraces a native app's interfaces. While the app is unmistakably Invision Community, it features new ways of interacting with your content.

We want the app to help shape the future of Invision Community, and we're asking for you to help.

What we are opening up for testing today is a technology preview. This slim app covers the essentials with a view to much more expansion later.

The technology preview is locked to our community. The app we will release will be a 'multi-community' app; a directory of communities users can browse and save.

We’ve taken this approach because the app stores have clamped down on ‘template’ apps, and the cost involved in building and maintaining a separate app per-community won’t be an option for many of our customers. A multi-community app is a great approach for most: simple setup, minimal cost, still fully-featured, and a great way for new users to find your community too.

What The App Does
For the initial phase of this technology preview, discussions are the main focus which is the foundation of every Invision Community. Also available are profiles, streams, search and notifications - including (at last!) push notifications.

Any areas that the app does not currently support will open seamlessly in a web view within the app. As we build new functionality into the app over time, users will encounter fewer of these hybrid views.

Your feedback will allow us to target the highest priority areas during the technology preview phase.

RPReplay_Final1568062287_1.mp4

Pricing
Note: The information below outlines our current intentions, but may change as we finalize the app's release to app stores.

The...

Read more about this article here...
 

User37935

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Very interesting!

The app we will release will be a 'multi-community' app; a directory of communities users can browse and save.

We’ve taken this approach because the app stores have clamped down on ‘template’ apps, and the cost involved in building and maintaining a separate app per-community won’t be an option for many of our customers.

Maybe not an option for many of their customers, but still an option some would like to explore. Not sure personally I would like being part of a "multi community" but really looking forward to seeing how this pans out, definitely a step forwards in terms of getting apps for our communities. I think current IPS owners will be excited by this.
 

R0binHood

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Very interesting indeed, and sounds like fantastic news for IPS users. This may help really give them a strong cross platform edge.

XF has announced no interest publicly in a native apps when mobile has becoming more and more important each year and you get companies like Automattic and Wordpress stressing the importance of native mobile.

Apple appears to have no intention on implementing web push any time soon, and native push will always be more powerful in terms of OS level integration in the long run anyway.

I believe I read that some of the XF devs did have an interest in React a while back though, which is what this is built in, so unless there's something hidden in the pipeline this could be a really strong play by IPS to allow forum admins to rid themselves of reliance on poor 3rd party solutions such as Tapatalk and be one of the only companies to offer a true 1st party cross platform community experience.

Hopefully it's well executed. Can't wait to see more about it.
 

zappaDPJ

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Very interesting indeed, and sounds like fantastic news for IPS users.

I agree, to quote myself :eek: ...

A dedicated app with push notification. One app to rule them all rather than an app per forum which requires the owner to become a developer. I would like that app to have a function to search ALL Xenforo forums that opt in - I assume forums have in general a limit to their potential membership so why not share those members?

This level of functionality puts Invision firmly where a modern forum should be and leaves the rest behind. To be fair vBulletin took a stab at it but failed due in part to the reasons outlined in the announcement...

'We’ve taken this approach because the app stores have clamped down on ‘template’ apps, and the cost involved in building and maintaining a separate app per-community won’t be an option for many of our customers.'

R0binHood it is indeed fantastic news for 'IPS users' because in my experience it is users who are desperate for app driven technology while forum developers and to some extent owners and admins are generally still stuck with a PC mentality.

Congratulations to Invision for having their finger on the pulse and for delivering in a format easily manageable by owners and admins :tup:
 
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haqzore

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Wools. Goofy article system.

I'll repost my comment here....


Wooooo hoo!

Once again, IPS pushing boundaries and forging ahead new territory.

Great news for admins as a whole
 

doubt

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This level of functionality puts Invision firmly where a modern forum should be and leaves the rest behind.
Seems they listen what their customers want.
Some other companies cannot even dream about to develop such functionality without sufficient manpower.
Congrats Invision.
 

R0binHood

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Is this out yet? Nearly 2 years after this announcement and I can't see the app in the app store and the original announcement link is dead.
 

Russ

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The header image is there, but the article is gone. Wonder if it has been abandoned or just pushed back.
 

R0binHood

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As a non customer trying to find out about the Invision product, their forum does my head in. So much stuff is locked away behind permissions for licence holders only.

What's the point in promoting top pics and showcasing product info if potential customers can't even read it when they click the links.
 

Dubbed Navigator

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The header image is there, but the article is gone. Wonder if it has been abandoned or just pushed back.

I'm sure Jordan recently said this has been put on the back-burner.
 

Matt M

Director Development at Invision Community
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As a non customer trying to find out about the Invision product, their forum does my head in. So much stuff is locked away behind permissions for licence holders only.

What's the point in promoting top pics and showcasing product info if potential customers can't even read it when they click the links.
The article has been hidden, it's not behind a permission wall.

We have put the project on the back-burner for now. The main reasons was a relatively low demand for the mobile app, the complexity in a "one size fits all" app for various types of community, some gallery heavy, some with critical modifications, etc and not being quite geared up as a mobile app development company. It's something we will revisit eventually.

We have, in the mean time, put more effort into the Web App by supporting push notifications, service workers, etc.

This article from Richard wasn't a deciding factor (it was only published a week or so ago) but it echos my personal thoughts: https://www.feverbee.com/community-app/

A mobile app sounds neat, but almost no one will use it.
 
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zappaDPJ

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A mobile app sounds neat, but almost no one will use it.

Says who? :unsure: Or to put it more politely, is it forum owners or forum users who hold that opinion?

While I can't deny my use case is niche, the majority of my users would benefit greatly from a "one size fits all" app and I can't help feeling as Agent Smith said to Neo...

 

mysiteguy

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The feature forum owners here have talking about wanting for a decade.... but no one will use it?
 

Arcade King

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The article has been hidden, it's not behind a permission wall.

We have put the project on the back-burner for now. The main reasons was a relatively low demand for the mobile app, the complexity in a "one size fits all" app for various types of community, some gallery heavy, some with critical modifications, etc and not being quite geared up as a mobile app development company. It's something we will revisit eventually.

We have, in the mean time, put more effort into the Web App by supporting push notifications, service workers, etc.

This article from Richard wasn't a deciding factor (it was only published a week or so ago) but it echos my personal thoughts: https://www.feverbee.com/community-app/

A mobile app sounds neat, but almost no one will use it.
The hardest part I have found is "unlearning" the misconception that an app is even needed. Most people have the "if it isn't a app its all too hard" mind set.
I do like how when opening Invision in Chrome a pop up appears making it easier for users to get a link on their home screen but getting people to that point is a nightmare. I don't own a Apple device so can't confirm if it works however no push notifications on IOS is something that is complained about regularly.
 

Dubbed Navigator

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Thing is, I think an actual app would be nice . But is it really needed nowadays?

For one, it's a great marketing tool. Here's a play and app store link to my app so I can have the opportunity to harvest your data and sell it.
Not saying that's what everyone would do, but it is a major benefactor to a lot.

I tend to associate apps with generic, often buggy interfaces that are expensive and time consuming to develop properly. Apart from the being the exact opposite to what any forum admin would want, that cost can only roll down.

Then there's the other side of the coin. A decent theme will cater for mobile use well and at a fraction of the price. The PWA can put an icon on your users phones and send push notifications.

Don't get me wrong, I've been calling for a app for a long time too. But i do see (imo) credible arguments to stick with PWA.

Personally I didn't really see the invision app as all that amazing. The idea was great, but it didn't wow me.
 

Pete

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The feature forum owners here have talking about wanting for a decade.... but no one will use it?

Forum _owners_ have been talking about it for a decade. Forum _users_? Not so much, especially lately.

Another tale from the RP trenches: the majority of my niche is not mobile friendly. Like *really* not mobile friendly with the designs they make, and the mobile skin they tend to use is... functional at best. There are also many design tropes that would be awful to post on mobile with. To the point where 'writing posts in Google Docs then transferring them to the forum' is a regular behaviour for many.

And my site is somewhere that has attracted a few 'refugees' of this culture because I'm broadly mobile-friendly by default, actual time has been spent on being mobile friendly, plus drafts etc. that save to the server so it's possible to switch from mobile to desktop.

And because of the nature of our site (and the niche in general) I discreetly enquired about whether people would use an app if they had one, bearing in mind that it is mostly possible to build a one-size-fits-all for my niche (putting aside the technical implementation) and the result was a surprisingly resounding no.

The reaction was that a mobile app doesn't actually help them, they might like notifications but for them, presence or absence of an app is not a deal breaker.

Now, for these people the reason is clear: there is a very real time lag between posts in a thread, and this is somewhat intentional/by design/feature of the format. But I think it's possible to extrapolate some amount of that to more conventional forums.

Forums in general are not a format that is time sensitive, nor do they generally function on a FOMO basis in terms of content consumption; an app at best would raise it up a little, but predominantly the format does not rely on consumption-as-a-trend, people consume the content and reply at their leisure when it is convenient, rather than feeling a compulsion to do so.
 
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