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Author Topic: SMF iPhone app  (Read 29308 times)

Offline jimdoc

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SMF iPhone app
« on: December 10, 2009, 09:18:16 PM »
Does anyone here think there is a need for an iPhone/iPod Touch app (not browser based)?

My name is Jim and my wife (kriskd on this forum) has set up several SMF sites.

I'm currently enrolled in an iPhone programming class and will be starting the 2nd semester in January.  For the 2nd semester I need to come up with a project of my own to work on.

A couple of days ago the idea of a forum app came to me. My last/current project in the 1semester class is a simple "chat" style app that integrates with a simple server using JSON. This probably what inspired me.

I did a search in the app store and did not find anything for SMF. I did find one for phpBB. My idea for the app consisted of almost exactly the same layout as the phpBB app (I'm not allowed to post a link yet, but search for "TouchBB").

So is this something worth mine and your time? I'm not a web developer (but my wife is) so I'd need some assistance if I need to integrate some web communication services. I spend most of my time in C, C++, C#, and now a little Objective C.

Thanks,
Jim

Offline Arantor

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 01:49:19 AM »
I haven't checked out TouchBB but to be honest I'm not sure I fully get the point of a dedicated app that talks to a forum; surely that's just a very, very specialised web browser?
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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 11:55:19 PM »
Given the power of the browser in most modern smartphones, a specialized web-based interface could look and feel native, and even work across platforms (iPhone + Android + Symbian + Palm Pre OS + whatever else).
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Offline Arantor

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 03:03:21 AM »
So, a native app that talks only to SMF forums... which would also undo many of the mods in place and also remove the customisations in a theme... unless I'm greatly misunderstanding the point?
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Offline Windy

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 04:39:35 AM »
To me this is like searching for a solution where a problem doesn't exist.
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Offline Arantor

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 04:40:43 AM »
Windy: That's kind of my interpretation, too.
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Offline Dragooon

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2009, 05:21:57 AM »
Given the power of the browser in most modern smartphones, a specialized web-based interface could look and feel native, and even work across platforms (iPhone + Android + Symbian + Palm Pre OS + whatever else).
This. I even created an adaptation of Curve just for this purpose, IMO you really don't need more than a specialised theme for a phone.

Offline Trekkie101

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 08:10:23 AM »
Given the power of the browser in most modern smartphones, a specialized web-based interface could look and feel native, and even work across platforms (iPhone + Android + Symbian + Palm Pre OS + whatever else).
This. I even created an adaptation of Curve just for this purpose, IMO you really don't need more than a specialised theme for a phone.
Definitely the best way to go.

Also see: http://www.farfromperfection.com/smf4iphone.html

Offline darrenbeige

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 08:34:18 AM »
SMF4iPhone is really good.

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 10:54:50 AM »
To me this is like searching for a solution where a problem doesn't exist.
Same here, you hit it right on the dot of what I was thinking. For me, I dont have a iPhone, to expensive. But lets not start that argument. If SMF4iPhone is what you were talking about jimdoc, then its already been made, lol, but if not, please elaborate more.
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Offline jimdoc

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2009, 12:55:52 PM »
SMF4iPhone is a "theme" meant to mimic an application using the browser. It's nice, but not what I had imagined.

The PHPBB app that I found can be found at ...
www dot messageforums dot net slash iphoneforumreader.php

The app that I had in mind would potentially allow for offline viewing (storing messages on the device). An iPhone is always connected, but I've got an iPod Touch that is not always connected (only if wifi is available).

Since what I had in mind isn't browser based, most (if not all) of the customized themes would be rendered useless. This app would be designed for on-the-go reading and posting and easy navigation using some of the UI design stuff that Apple provides in it's sdk.

My wife is going to install SMF4iPhone on one of her forums to check it out.

Also, I think it would be nice to have one app that works with ALL SMF forums right out of the box. If I use one forum that has SMF4iPhone and go to another that does not use this theme, I'm going to be severely disappointed. And would that admin install it just because I asked?

If a theme for mobile devices was standard, I don't think this would be needed. This forum looks nice on a computer, but does not have a nice UI for my iPod.  I have to scroll and zoom to do anything. Standard hyperlinks have to be zoomed quite a bit to be accessible via a touch screen.

Thanks for the input. Keep it coming!

Offline darrenbeige

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2009, 01:15:04 PM »
Also, I think it would be nice to have one app that works with ALL SMF forums right out of the box. If I use one forum that has SMF4iPhone and go to another that does not use this theme, I'm going to be severely disappointed. And would that admin install it just because I asked?

It is going to be very unlikely to receive 'out-of-the-box' multiple-forum compatible applications. These apps would require some sort of JSON or XML communication protocol, something which is not going to be provided as standard (SMF developers are keen on cutting bloat) and would require more development than what is already available in SMF.

Offline Arantor

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 02:43:29 PM »
It cannot possibly work on all forums out of the box. Most forums are modded to some degree that will make this totally impossible.
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Offline darrenbeige

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2009, 09:40:24 AM »
It cannot possibly work on all forums out of the box. Most forums are modded to some degree that will make this totally impossible.

Exactly. It's like saying I want some code that can access the entire web and display it in a different format.

Offline jsdoyle

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2010, 02:17:48 PM »
There are a number of apps starting to show up on the Apple app store and in third-party stores for jailbroke iphones.

I've looked at several and they are a very nice way to access a forum via the iPhone.  They are fast and a lot easier to read than having to work through Safari on the phone.

One in particular is set up for SMF forums but is for jailbroken phones.  It is called i-Forum Xtreme by Calumks.  You can see it on his forum at iHackMyi.com.  I have it on my phone and I can access the iHackMyi forum using it.  Very nice!

I see the potential for some money to be made here.  May not get rich but it might pay a bill or two for someone.  I'd buy it on the app store if it supported SMF forums. 

Bound to happen soon.


Offline Arantor

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2010, 02:42:31 PM »
Can you use that app to visit here? Or any other SMF forum I point you to? Each one is different, with different customisations - since it's not possible to write a generic app for all of them other than a browser, any such app would be niche at best.
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Offline kaamaru

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 03:27:21 PM »
The iForum app only goes to iHackMyi.com right now. Although iForum Xtreme goes to a few other places too.

Offline Rumbaar

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2010, 05:09:49 PM »
I'm sure vBulletin/phpBB has a dedicated iPhone app already?  So it seems there is a market for a dedicated application.

Example: http://www.tapatalk.com/
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Offline CFCParadox

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2010, 05:52:11 PM »
Yes it is needed. I am an Ipod Touch user and I would find it extremely useful. You can also place AdMob ads on it to increase revenue too.
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Offline Dragooon

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Re: SMF iPhone app
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2010, 11:49:08 PM »
I don't think the market is big enough for someone to create a dedicated SMF iPhone app because 2 things would need to be created a mod for SMF which will answer the iPhone apps calls and the app itself.