In this section, you will learn more about why we decided to develop a Xenforo mobile app, and the features already available as well as the features that will be available in future releases.
The slow decline of the forums (bulletin boards).
We are forum owners since the year 2000, and we have times of glory, as well as a slow decline since the year 2007/2008 when social networks like Facebook, Twitter and the like became predominant.
In our case, a lot of users moved to the big social networks and abandoned our forums. Although paradoxically the number of visits, page views and user registration has slowly increased since the year 2008, the number of new posts and threads were decreasing year after year.
We realized that 80% of the new posts and threads are posted on the desktop version of the forum, although in our case, 90% of the users are mobile users. We talked with a lot of users, and we find out that they follow the forums with their smartphones, but when posting, the 90% of the users do not post at all, because the mobile version of the web is not so good to post messages, and only a minority have the patience and discipline to turn on their desktop computer and write a post or new thread in the traditional way.
The big social network like Facebook and Reddit learned the lesson very soon, and provided their own mobile apps, with optimized navigation and tools to easily share images. Try to use the mobile version of Facebook and compare it to the android native app. You will know what we are talking about.
We missed a Xenforo mobile app very much!
Although the are a couple of attempts to provide mobile client apps for the traditional bulletin boards (like the app from VBulletin, of the aggregator app from Tapatalk), or others, we didn’t like them.
In some cases, we don’t like that our forum is only one forum more from a list (the tapatalk concept), and in other cases, well, we don’t like how the app was developed or the frameworks used (hybrid apps developer with hybrid frameworks like Xamarin, React Native, and the like).
We believe that apps have to respect the guidelines of each platform and have to take advantage of the native tools and frameworks that each platform offers.
Because of that, our Android app has been developed in pure Java/Kotlin, following the Android design guidelines, and the iPhone version is being developed in Swift/Objective C and follows the IO’s design guidelines. Both will have the same features, but they will not be identically. We don’t believe in such kind of “cloned” apps.
Then Xenforo provided us with a Rest api.
With the version 2.x of Xenforo, a Rest API was included, and we decided to develop a proof of concept app with the minimum required features to be usable. Because 75% of the mobile of our forums were Android users, we decided to develop the Android version first. The reception of the app was positive, and we decided to offer the app commercially and to begin with the development of the iPhone version.
Yes, not all Xenforo features are developed yet.
We see this project as an endurance race, and we will provide new features with each release. The plan is to develop two apps, the Android version (which is already available), and the IO’s version (which is being developed right now). And once both are ready, then we will add new features to both release after release (and of course, we will fix a lot of bugs too 😉 ).
Xenforo is an amazing bulletin board software with hundreds of features and customization possibilities through add-ons. As you may understand, we can not offer all the features that Xenforo offers since of the first release.
About the price model.
As a summary: we mimic the price model of the original Xenforo software.
We don’t like the subscription price model. We believe that if you paid for software, you have the right to use this software as long as you will.
Because of that, by buying a license from one of our apps, you receive one year of support and updates of the app. After that year, your client app and Xenforo addon will remain perfectly usable and will continue to work.
Of course, we need your support to continue developing and improving the apps, because of that if after the first year you want to access the new version with new features, then you will have to renew your license, of course with at a lower cost.
You don’t have to renew the license each year, of course. Only when you feel it is time to update your app and provide your users with new features.
If you have questions about this or other topics, feel free to contact us and ask!