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Chris

A TGTAP app for your mobile - your thoughts?

   16 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these do you own? (tick all that you have)

    • iPhone / iPod touch
      5
    • iPad
      1
    • Phone running Windows Phone 7
      1
    • Phone running Android 2.0 or greater
      5
    • Tablet running Android 2.0 or greater
      1
    • I don't have one of these fancy phones/tablets :(
      4

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11 posts in this topic

Last year I asked members of the community here some questions regarding their ownership of mobiles device(s) and whether or not they'd be likely to want to visit TGTAP on said devices.

From the answers given, we found that nearly 3/4 of you have the ability to browse the internet on your mobile device, a number which is most likely increasing all the time. In addition, we found that over 85% of you would visit TGTAP if we had a mobile website, and of those, around 50% would do so regularly.

The features you would most like to see mobile versions of would be the homepage (news) and forums.

The initial intention was to create a version of the website tailored to mobile devices. While this did enter development, it never got very far due to me becoming busy with more important projects.

My current preference has now shifted to developing native apps, rather than a website, and the purpose of this topic and poll is to gather your thoughts on this idea.

As some of you may know I now develop iOS apps (that's iPhone and iPad apps) - I recently came across an app made by the owner of GTPlanet.net, a huge Gran Turismo community and forum. You can see their app (and screenshots of it) here.

Notice how users have full access to the forums (posting, reading) and can also read news on the homepage?

I am sure I could create something very similar for us here at TGTAP, at least for iOS. I do have some knowledge of Silverlight (VB.net or Visual C#) too, which means I could create an app for Windows Phone 7 (maybe one of you could help?). I don't know Java though, I don't like it. However if someone here is a proficient at it then you could perhaps help us with an Android app?

So... what are your thoughts on this? Would you like to use an app similar to what GTPlanet have? Maybe you don't own one of the smartphones/tablets mentioned and would still prefer a mobile website?

Let me know your thoughts and any ideas, and in the coming months we'll see if we can get something produced!

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I meant to add in the first post the benefits of a native app as opposed to a website:

  • Can be better/easier to use - will have same UI you are used to in other apps
  • Quicker - rather than loading the whole site it will only load the data it needs to show
  • Less memory usage - As with the above point, doesn't need a whole web browser to load the entire page

I dunno, personally I think the GTPlanet app is quite good as an initial starting point if we were to do the same thing. It's a pretty simple app and thus effective at allowing users to quickly create/read topics etc. We can of course make it look a little prettier while keeping the overall look of each phone's UI.

But yeah I hope to have quite a few more responses in the next few days to see how others feels. And like I said in the first post let me know if you know Java and/or have experience writing Android apps.

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I'm on my iPhone at the moment. A mobile site would be much better for me as a lot of the time I don't have access to the internet on my laptop and have to rely on using my phone. However, trying to use a website designed for monitors on a 4 inch screen just makes me not want to come on here most the time to be completely honest!

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I'm on my iPhone at the moment. A mobile site would be much better for me as a lot of the time I don't have access to the internet on my laptop and have to rely on using my phone. However, trying to use a website designed for monitors on a 4 inch screen just makes me not want to come on here most the time to be completely honest!

Well there is a mobile skin for the forums already, or is there a problem with that?

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Yeah but there's one problem which puts me off it. I know your all going to think of this as very anal but it's an annoyance to me. Everytime you click a section of the forum (e.g: General Discussion) it doesn't show what section has the most recent posts in it meaning you have to go through each section to check for the new post.

Other than that though I have no complaints with the mobile site already in place :P not sure if the mobile site I'm on is the same for everyone else though, it looks specifically tailored for iOS.

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If you're logged in, it does show which forums have new posts (dark blue icon) and also shows the date of the last post:

tgtap-mobilevnv.png

If all the icons are dark blue, you should click on "mark all as read" at the bottom of the forum homepage to reset everything.

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I've been thinking more about this, and I've come to the conclusion it's probably going to be more worthwhile to develop a web app, compatible on all devices, as opposed to writing two native apps. As long as it's optimised well enough we won't have any of the issues I previously mentioned.

@Matt, the mobile skin for IPB is heavily based on the iOS UI. I think it looks good though, regardless of what device you're viewing it on.

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