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If were available as a mobile app (iOS or Android), would you use it?

Note that the app would work exactely the same as in the browser (e.g. Safari or Chrome), but it would have its own app icon and would be downloadable from the App Store / Play Store.

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(And yes, I'm aware that Pinafore is a PWA and can be installed to the home screen. But I'm wondering how many people are even aware that this functionality exists, or if they'd prefer to just get it from the app store like most other apps.)

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@pinafore Don't forget to put it into the F-Droid store or as direct APK download on your website/Github releases page.Not everyone has Google spyware installed.

@nipos Good point, yes. It should be very easy to port to F-Droid since it would just be a packaged web app. No dependency on Google Play Services needed.

@pinafore oh, i'm on android~

i really appreciate pwas because they have extremely low overhead and can still send push notifications, so unlike apps in general, i've never really been tempted to get rid of it

plus, i think pinafore's interface is significantly nicer than the official mastodon pwa, and still supports streaming new posts in--a thing i like lots that i kinda miss from a lot of clients

@pinafore before pinafore supported notifications, i used to set up push notifications from the official pwa and use pinafore to actually interact with them

now i just kinda use it across the board

@pinafore Pinafore PWA is my only mastodon client on my android smartphone ☺️😇

@pinafore Would wrapping the PWA in a native app help it hold scroll state? I really like using the PWA, but it would be a bonus worth installing if it kept track of where I was scrolled on my timeline.

I think currently android clears the PWA from my memory too aggressively so most of the time I open it it's a fresh refresh.

@kyleakelly The scroll state should be stored for the last ~10 timelines as long as the app isn't closed. Maybe your browser is aggressively closing the page, so when you reopen it it's a full page load? Which browser/OS are you on?

@pinafore Yeah, I typically see the pinafore splash screen when I go a little while between launchings.

Using Chrome PWA on android 9 (oxygenos 9.0.5 oneplus3t)

@kyleakelly Interesting. Yeah unfortunately the scroll state is not currently implemented to persist beyond page reloads. I wonder if your device has a lot of applications running, and this is why Chrome is aggressive about closing it?

I use the Firefox PWA myself on Android 9 (LineageOS) and haven't observed the splash screen very often. I wonder if this is a Chrome vs Firefox difference.

@pinafore I've just installed the PWA in Firefox, I'll give that a test. Thanks!

@pinafore That is a nifty trick! I didn’t think of this. Thanks. This is probably easiest if people know of it.

@sandro Yep, this would be the plan. Unfortunately you still have to set up a Google developer account, fill out all the Play Store metadata, etc. But it's way easier than the Apple App Store.

@pinafore dev account is basically giving them your name, adress and 15 €. The Infos about the app take you at most one eventing.

@pinafore would it still load resources from pinafore.social/ at runtime, or would they be bundled in the app?

@kepstin Depends. On Android it would probably just point to the website. On iOS this is disallowed, so it would have to bundle the resources and get resubmitted to the app store anytime there's an update.

@pinafore so I guess the answer is "i wouldn't personally use it, since I already have the PWA set up", but I could see how this could help discoverability.

@pinafore

Be careful and look for some apps with similar functionality or experiences from other developers before spending 100$.

My work consisted in making Cordova apps for iOS and Android approximately 5 years ago, fully web based, and we had to do some functionality just to have Apple happy with the application.

For example, they rejected apps that could do well as regular websites, and sometimes push notifications weren't enough. For example they could enforce "iOS style guidelines" requiring a complete design overhaul of the app.

This was 5-6 years ago, maybe now it's different, but investigate.

@sirikon Yeah this is a big concern of mine. If Apple approves it and doesn't give me too much grief, then all the better. But if they ask for big rewrites then it's not going to be worth the effort.

@pinafore I saw Pinafore already available for Nokia 8110 4G and its KaiOS friends on the so-called Banana store. For now I am using Mastodon's native interface - surprisingly usable on a very small screen

@saper Hmm I haven't finished making Pinafore available for KaiOS yet. Did somebody submit it for me? What's the banana store?

@pinafore Doesn't look very good. Top bar is visible, whatever is there below (some form?) is plain white, although the elements are there (mouseover changes the icon). Settings menu shows some text (General, ... ) but then the icons on top are blank - one can move cursor left right so they get highlighted, but they are totally blank. Will try to screenshot

@pinafore filed two issues found when looking at the log; home page is the only one that displays menu icons, all other tabs do not have them; home page does not display text - maximal unzoom shows some lighter frame (probably only one of the div's is displayed). It is possible to blindly click "Add instance" button by observing the cursor changes.

@saper Yeah the issue there is with JavaScript compatibility. KaiOS is based on an old version of Firefox and almost all the new JavaScript syntax is broken. I have a special build for KaiOS to fix that, but haven't deployed it yet.

@pinafore Sorry, I wasn't aware of your progress towards old Firefox support. Much appreciated!

Happy to test the "special branch" once it is out...

@pinafore If it had backwards compatibility to at least Android 4.3 (which is what the current Blackberry OS 10.3 can emulate) I would immediately switch to it.My current client Stegodon gets more outdated with every Mastodon release but most clients require Android 5.0 or newer unfortunately 😢

@nipos Thanks, that's interesting. How well does Pinafore work in a browser on Blackberry OS 10.3?

@pinafore It doesn't work at all :'( In the native browser which works better for most websites,it displays only a blank page.In Opera Mini which uses Android WebView,it looks very buggy (see screenshot) and doesn't work.However webapps which are made native by frameworks like React Native (confirmed with Riot) or Ionic Framework (no app to test but I think so) work quite well.

@nipos Hmm, this is probably because the browser is a bit older, and Pinafore targets only the most recent version of browsers. If you go to html5test.com what does it say is the score?

@pinafore 395 in the native browser and 196 in Opera Mini.The native browser is based on a not that modern QtWebKit version and Opera Mini uses Android WebView of version 4.3 which is even older.And I know that this is problematic for Pinafore but I think if you convert it into a real app,it could work because these frameworks bring their own rendering engine.

@nipos Thanks for the info. It's not necessarily the case that the rendering engine comes with the app - there are multiple ways to do it. On Android I would probably prefer *not* to bring my own rendering engine since it would greatly bloat the size of the APK. But it's interesting to know that the blocker for some mobile users is their browser version.

@pinafore Bringing a own webbrowser rendering engine like Chromium or Gecko is really bloating the app and will crash on my phone.I'm talking about webapps to native app frameworks like React Native or Ionic Framework which would make Pinafore a real app,have a optimized performance,have great backwards compatibility and have support for background services (Streaming API for notifications).Sure,the app size is still much bigger than using WebView but the advantages are worth it in my opinion.

@nipos Ah I see what you mean. React Native / Ionic Native is definitely not what I had in mind, as it would require rewriting almost the entire app. So unfortunately it looks like Blackberry OS support is not on the table for the moment.

@pinafore I thought it would be easy to convert but I never worked with these frameworks.Sad to hear that 😢

@pinafore if the iOS app had notifications, probably. That’s the only issue for me with PWA on iOS.

@keisisqrl Good point, yes, iOS PWAs do not support push notifications.

@pinafore yeah. It’s not, you know, a showstopper. This is still a better experience than native apps I’ve tried.

@pinafore @sc Yeah basically - although the play store listing might increase visibility if that's something you want.

@masklayer @sc I'm wondering less about visibility and more about other things - e.g. maybe some people feel better if the app is in the store and has a star rating associated with it. Maybe it gives people more confidence in the app. I dunno.

@pinafore Oh, yeah that makes sense. I mean, ultimately if it's almost the same code for you, I don't see any real *detriment* to having a store listing.

@masklayer It's a bit of extra work and I'd have to pay Apple $100/year, but I'm wondering if it's worth it for the user experience. Also potentially I could charge for it to offset the cost of listing the app.

@pinafore IMHO pinafore's definitely worth paying a little for, ESPECIALLY if you keep the PWA version free, ESPECIALLY on iOS re: the default browser annoyance thing

@masklayer That's my thought, yeah. Charge $5 for the app, keep the PWA free, and the $5 is basically just buying me a coffee. :)

@pinafore @masklayer legit i just want Pinafore on the app store on ios so it can play video reliably.

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