Somersoft Forum on mobile phone?

I access the forum on my iphone by accessing the net and initially typing in www.somersoft.com.au, just as I initially did on the computer.

I think I go through "safari" button but can check if it is helpful.

It is the same way I look up whitepages.com.au and my banking when I need it on the iphone, ie. no dedicated application, but using the web. (I realise there may be an app for white pages and there certainly is one for my bank.)
 
I had a request recently on http://simplesustainable.com for 'tapatalk' from a bunch of mobile phone using forum posters. Never heard of it before then. Its an app that the user pays for but is free for the forum owner, and apparently it is good - I don't use it, but it comes recommended. Turns out the version for our forum software wasn't done yet but there certainly is a vbulletin one, which is what SS runs on.
 
Ive accessed Somersoft on my mobile phone but it is somewhat difficult to use.

(I did not mean a iphone app - that is only usable on a iPhone and if every website does that a person would end up with a zillion apps on their iPhone)

A mobile version is more optimized for a small screen and removes a lot of the "eye candy"

THe vBulletin developers are talking about it here http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=174375 - seems its only in beta at the moment.
 
There is all software coming out for iPhone. I think latest update for sims new format will include this. My forum software comes out in 4 weeks. The new SS one should also have facebook streaming to from what i see out in the market place.
 

Sim

Administrator
It should be pretty straight forward to create a lightweight style optimised for "slim" devices using their built in web browser. I've seen this work very well with some online services I use and I intend to build something like this for the next version of Somersoft.

There's little justification for building a dedicated application for accessing a website in my opinion (as opposed to a complex "web application" where some platform-specific optimisation could be worthwhile). Most modern "smart phones" (iPhone, Android, etc) and "internet tablets" (iPad, N900, etc) have good quiality built-in browser capabilities, so it's just a matter of optimising the web user interface to suit the smaller form factor.
 
I have found that, like sim said, on the new smart phones the forum works great. I run Opera on my Samsung i8910 work phone and cruising the forum is a breeze.
 
I only started messing with email and the internet on a mobile this week.
Don't have a bigger screened smart phone, just a nokia navigator.

I can read somersoft emails ok but all the additional text is a pain.
Have given up on browsing the web or the forum. All too hard, and small.

Would be interesting to know how many access posts via a phone.
Has made me more aware of keeping posts shorter. and minimizing/excluding quoted text (though have been sensitive to this anyways).

A mate showed me his iphone last week. Was very impressive. I can see why they are gaining in popularity.
 
I access SS via my iPhone. I don't have any problems with it, and it works just the same as on the home computer or laptop. Once I open a thread, I make it the maximum size to fit the screen. I am in the strange world of probably needing to carry reading glasses, but manage well without them. Any screen smaller than the iPhone and I would have problems seeing the text.
 

Sim

Administrator
I only started messing with email and the internet on a mobile this week.
Don't have a bigger screened smart phone, just a nokia navigator.

I can read somersoft emails ok but all the additional text is a pain.
Have given up on browsing the web or the forum. All too hard, and small.

I think older style phones without large screens are a waste of time for accessing websites and such. There's a minimum amount of screen real estate required before you can use this medium effectively.

I hadn't thought about the emails when considering designing a light-weight version of the forums. It might be useful to have an option to trim down the size of them for people who prefer a more minimalistic approach.

Would be interesting to know how many access posts via a phone.

According to the analytics data, in the past month 2.9% of the visits to the site were via a mobile device.

The following chart shows the breakdown of the top 10 mobile device operating systems, ranked by the number of visits for each over the month. The Pie chart shows the relative number of page views each of these devices generated.



I was initially surprised to see the iPad up into second place already - but then, it does make sense if you consider that this format is specifically designed for web browsing and media consumption.
 

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I downloaded opera mobile and tweaked a few options - turned off images etc - makes it better. A even slimmer page , that removes some of the stuff that is on every page like ...posting rules ...etc would be better

I'm very surprised that vBulletin does not have already have the option for a user to switch between normal and light/PDA web pages just with a link. Other brands of board software have had this for years...

Forums must waste a lot of bandwidth ... ie have to get the whole page again when a new reply is added - i have always thought a Forum board with a NNTP (newsreader) option would solve this problem. It is being requested in VBullieton forum here ... http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?333896-NNTP-feature&highlight=nntp
 

Sim

Administrator
Forums must waste a lot of bandwidth ... ie have to get the whole page again when a new reply is added - i have always thought a Forum board with a NNTP (newsreader) option would solve this problem. It is being requested in VBullieton forum here ... http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?333896-NNTP-feature&highlight=nntp

Interestingly, the previous incarnation of the Somersoft forums (before we migrated to vBulletin) used a hosted forum solution which included NNTP support. That software choked once we hit 25,000 posts. It wasn't written very well. I didn't find the NNTP support particularly useful either - I just preferred the web-based interface.

NNTP was useful in the days of 14k/28k modem access to the internet, and if you are stuck on GSM access on your phone, it might be useful - but we're already well past that with modern smart phones and 3G internet access.

I don't know of any current smart phones which ship with an NNTP newsreader (as opposed to an add-on you can download) ... and I would suggest the majority of the users here have no idea what you are talking about anyway.
 
which android phones? I'd love a HTC desire if they'd let optus have them....though will probably wait til the next generation, or my new nokia dies (probably November this year).
 
Winston, I have the HTC Desire, its fantastic. I think Telstra have the rights to the phone for 3 months, from May/April AFAIK. So if you want to wait maybe it will come out on Optus later?
 
I have a lot of trouble browsing the forum from iPhone. Ordinary viewing is fine- xecept that the "go to first new post" icon is small, and I am consistently missing it.

But the real problem for me is the popups- searching for instance. I usually have to select the search button twice, enter one character of text before the popup disappears, select the search button twice again, and then perform the search. If the popup is further down the page, I have to scroll around on the page to find where the popup is.

There are apps which enable browsing of vBulletin and phpBB forums, (Tapatalk, Forum Runner, TouchBB- the last two have free versions) but they require the forum administrator to tweak the site. I don't know how good they are, but I'm happy to beta test.
 

Sim

Administrator
If you used a stylus, you'd find it a lot easier to use the current forum design on a small device ... the site needs to be optimised for "touch" devices.

I've used some very good touch optimised websites that work well, even with my large fingers.

There is an iPhone app coming for vBulletin, but I'm not convinced the version of the software which we would need to run to support it is ready for a large site like ours yet - still needs some work.
 
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