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New forum features (December 2020) II: Progressive Web App

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If you use this forum a lot, especially on an Android phone or tablet, then you might like this new feature.

The forum can now be accessed as an app on your phone or tablet.

This is a new piece of technology called a "progressive web app" so there is no need to go to the Google Play Store to download an app, it just takes a couple clicks on this site.

The forum should work at the same speed in the app as in the browser version, and all features are the same. You can get push notifications through the app.

In the app you will see more of the screen on a mobile device because the navigation controls are smaller.

What does the app do?

When you install the app on Android, it puts an app icon on your phone or tablet. This icon has a bubble over it showing how many alerts you have. When you touch the icon the forum will run as a separate app, so you can change between different apps on your phone and not get the forum mixed up with other websites you might be looking at in Chrome.

Does it only work on Android?

The app needs the Chrome browser to be installed. You cannot install it through Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.

The app can be installed on Chrome on iOS but navigating is a bit more difficult. You will have to do a hand swipe left to go back and hand swipe right to go forward.

If you install the app on Chrome on a Windows desktop it will put a shortcut on your desktop, but this shortcut will not show the number of notifications you have. The app will run in a separate window to Chrome, which could be an advantage for switching between different tasks.

How do I install the app?

Chrome on mobile devices:

Open the site menu and click the install button at the bottom of the menu.

install_on_android.jpg
Chrome on Windows (desktop):

Click the + sign in the right of the address bar to install the app.

Click install in desktop browser2.jpg

Advantages of the app:
  • It runs as it's own "task", so you can easily switch between the app and others tasks
  • If started in standalone mode, if does feel more like an app as the navigation controls/URL bar are hidden which also does give a little bit more screen space
  • Push notifications will show up on their own in a bubble above the app icon, instead of within your browser.

Please leave any comments and/or questions about this feature in the thread below.
 
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