Why Isn't There A Vex Forum App?


#1

I love the VEX Forum because it is a place where I can discuss and ask questions that are related with VEX. I love VEX and robotics in general, so having a central hub where other people with a similar interest in VEX is amazing. I can communicate with these people. My only problem with the VEX Forum is it’s not very mobile phone friendly. That makes me so sad because I have to use the browser on my phone to access the VEX Forum when I don’t have a computer at my disposal. The browser would always weirdly scale the website layout, making it almost unusable. It does not sound too difficult to program an app too, so I’m wondering, why isn’t there a VEX Forum app?! If there was such an app then that would make me so happy. I can access the VEX Forum anywhere if there was an app. So if anyone else has something to say about this, then please tell me. If you have any ideas about what should be changed/added/removed/etc. on this theoretical app, then please share. I sure would love to hear the voices of this great community chant for the coming of a VEX Forum app (okay, that was a little too much).


#2

I couldn’t agree more. I love the idea and always wanted a vex forums app.


#3

Its been brought up before, I think the problem was that the forums are powered by esotalk, which lacks an API or RSS feed.
It was also mentioned Vex Forums would migrate to Flarum, EsoTalk’s sucessor, once a stable version was released. Flarum does have an API so an app is probable once the forum transitions.

See these threads for previous discussions on a Vex Forums app:
Vex Forum Phone App
Vex Forum App
Tapatalk?


#4

They have a great mobile version of their site already. An app isn’t needed


#5

Agreed, though they could look into making it a Progressive Web App.

That being said, I probably wouldn’t use an app even if there was one. The website does everything I need it to- the only downside being the (IMO) ridiculously short session timer.


#6

If you want to at least access the forum directly from your home screen and have an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, you can create an app-like shortcut on the home screen via Share > Add to Home Screen. You can open the forum in Safari simply with one touch, like an actual app. That can be used as an interim measure until all this transition stuff happens and the app comes out.


#7

I understand the website can be accessed on the phone’s browser, but I feel like the app would make things better. One it would fix any strange scaling issues with the UI because the phone resolution is much more different than the computer resolution. Also, they can add notifications which can (can you guess it) notify you when something has happened. I’m just throwing possibilities here. I just think it’ll be better and easier to use if there was an app. (Also I didn’t know you could make ‘links’ on the home page. I thank you @AppleDavidJeans for that bit of info.)


#8

Given the general (and justified) trend toward web apps over classic, installed apps, I don’t see a point in creating an app for the VEX Forum.

Scaling issues can be fixed with minor changes to CSS media queries, much less hassle than creating platform-specific apps from scratch.

Major modern browsers support notifications from websites as it is. Again, much less hassle to implement it once in a cross-platform way than to create a whole app for it. (And you can make your own parser for the email notifications that exist already if you must have take-me-to-the-new-post-in-one-click notifications right now, though that would likely be substantially easier on Android than iOS as it seems you have.)


#9

This is why I think the idea of Progressive Web Apps is so attractive, which rely on registering a service worker to update content while connected, giving the dual benefits of offline access and speedy load times (as loading from a local cache is guaranteed to be faster than loading over a network).


#10

It should be a lot more efficient for a web server to send all the information a dedicated app needs to load a thread than for a generic browser.


#11

A Vex Forum app would probably be one of the best things Vex could do.


#12

I have Tapatalk installed on my Android phone but to tell the truth i like mobile version much better. This site is mobile-friendly


#13

Instead of making an app for Android and iOS, it would be more efficient (like @hotel suggested) to upgrade the website to be a PWA. It would be a much easier task than constructing an entirely new codebase. Heck, even I could do it!


#14

Haha, I think we’ve seen that vex’s capabilities of making things are far behind those of the community


#15

ehem PROS


#16

That would seem like an exception to me…

Edit: I read backward a couple posts above. I actually love PROS.


#17

An exception? Or a prime example of the community exceeding VEX’s capabilities of making things?


#18

Shoot, I read that totally backward! I love PROS.


#19

Not really possible for the community to do anything without backend server access to the forum. Or else we’ll just have to have some sort of inefficient crawler that needs to know your password to log in.


#20

I like mobile site much better. This site is mobile-friendly.