Tapatalk operation suspended

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Folks, for the few of you using Tapatalk -- especially now that we've made a practical version of these forums for mobile -- I am at least temporarily suspending access to Liftlines and FTO via Tapatalk. I have a number of reasons for doing this:

1. At times, Tapatalk has been problematic, at best;
2. Tapatalk prevents our native ads from running, restricting our revenue derived from forum traffic (hey, someone has to pay the bills!); and
3. I have something else up my sleeve that if it works, will be of tremendous benefit to everyone here. Unfortunately, I already know that it's incompatible with Tapatalk. If this actually works, Tapatalk will most certainly be gone from FTO on a permanent basis.

More on #3 here.

Thank you for your understanding.
 

socal

Member
Well, I guess I'll delete Tapatalk now, it was an easy way to keep up to date on First Track but that was about all i used it for.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry, socal...but honestly you were one of only a handful of people using it.

May I suggest doing what I did and making a web app of the forums as an icon on the home screen of your mobile device?
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
socal":3t75196k said:
Well, I guess I'll delete Tapatalk now, it was an easy way to keep up to date on First Track but that was about all i used it for.

Hey socal, IIRC you're on Android, right? Tonight's project was to update the FTO Android app, which puts live mobile versions of both the main site and the forums under a single app, plus gives you menu access to our Facebook and Google+ pages, Twitter feed, etc. It also downloads new stories as they're published for offline reading. It's looking really good and I'll be submitting it to Google Play tonight (keep an eye for version 2.2, updates usually take a day or so to be approved). Once that's available to install you'll be nearly back to where you were with Tapatalk...but without all of the buggy behavior.

I'll post an announcement here in the FYI forum once it's available in Play.
 

socal

Member
Ironically, I missed your messages since the link to the forums that I use on my phone/desktop is for the western forum. Only when i started using Tapatalk did i start reading all of the forums. Whatever, no big deal as it was annoying that the pictures and captions never worked right.

I'm on ios now, i think i had the android app a while back. Any chance you can make an iphone app? I know you're an android guy, as I used to be, but i'm pretty sure there are more ios users.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Actually, worldwide Android's market share is 82.8%, with iOS 22.3%. iOS does better in the U.S. with 43.1 market share vs. Android's 52.2% in 2015, according to Comscore. However, the reason that I haven't created an iPhone app is simply because the Apple ecosystem doesn't lend itself as easily to app creation, especially for a guy like me who learns what he's doing as he goes along.

I actually have both, as much as I personally dislike iOS it allows me to test cross-platform. I've installed the web app onto my iPhone and find that it works just as well as a dedicated app. The biggest difference is just that you don't install it from the iPhone App Store. That wasn't enough to make me wade hip deep into iOS app development.
 

Marc_C

Active member
Admin":1rm1mui1 said:
Actually, worldwide Android's market share is 82.8%, with iOS 22.3%. iOS does better in the U.S. with 43.1 market share vs. Android's 52.2% in 2015, according to Comscore. However, the reason that I haven't created an iPhone app is simply because the Apple ecosystem doesn't lend itself as easily to app creation, especially for a guy like me who learns what he's doing as he goes along.

I actually have both, as much as I personally dislike iOS it allows me to test cross-platform. I've installed the web app onto my iPhone and find that it works just as well as a dedicated app. The biggest difference is just that you don't install it from the iPhone App Store. That wasn't enough to make me wade hip deep into iOS app development.
Thing is, it's now a lot easier to develop for iOS than it is for Android with Apple's introduction of Swift a year or so ago to replace Objective C. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ugh-that-almost-no-one-knows-about-swift-code

While the open-source approach of Android can be a strength, in many ways (as is typical of any open-source environment) it's one of its biggest weaknesses, especially since Android users are notoriously slow to update their OS. This means a much larger testing effort since at the moment there are 3 major versions of the OS in use.
"Developing for Android, meanwhile, is a more fragmented experience where developers have to develop versions of their apps for platforms that are years old since it takes so long to get new software out to devices. The most widely used version of Android right now is KitKat, which was unveiled more than two years ago. The second most widely used version is Jelly Bean, which came out three years ago. Lollipop, which released last year, is still only used by 12% of Android handsets worldwide." [ http://bgr.com/2015/06/04/ios-vs-android-apps-developers/ ]

Doesn't mean one is better than the other, but it does help explain why the majority of apps that are on both platforms often appear on iOS weeks or months ahead of Android.
 

Marc_C

Active member
Admin":334x0y69 said:
...as much as I personally dislike iOS ...
On a mobile device, you shouldn't even be aware that the OS exists. If you are spending a lot of time interacting with the OS, you or the platform are doing something wrong.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Marc_C":43h660sl said:
Thing is, it's now a lot easier to develop for iOS than it is for Android with Apple's introduction of Swift a year or so ago to replace Objective C.

Want something to do? :wink:
 

Marc_C

Active member

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Marc_C":10x43l7t said:
Admin":10x43l7t said:
Marc_C":10x43l7t said:
Thing is, it's now a lot easier to develop for iOS than it is for Android with Apple's introduction of Swift a year or so ago to replace Objective C.

Want something to do? :wink:
If you buy me a development environment (which would mean a recent Mac of some sort).....and pay me!

Hence, FTO is available as a Web app for iOS.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Marc_C":33mp064h said:
Admin":33mp064h said:
Hence, FTO is available as a Web app for iOS.
Maybe it's time for you to ditch platforms named after candy and move to a real environment.

When you find a real one, be sure to let me know.
 

socal

Member
Admin":h5qlqda6 said:
Actually, worldwide Android's market share is 82.8%, with iOS 22.3%. iOS does better in the U.S. with 43.1 market share vs. Android's 52.2% in 2015, according to Comscore. However, the reason that I haven't created an iPhone app is simply because the Apple ecosystem doesn't lend itself as easily to app creation, especially for a guy like me who learns what he's doing as he goes along.

I actually have both, as much as I personally dislike iOS it allows me to test cross-platform. I've installed the web app onto my iPhone and find that it works just as well as a dedicated app. The biggest difference is just that you don't install it from the iPhone App Store. That wasn't enough to make me wade hip deep into iOS app development.


I liked Android, and still do. I had probably 6 phones but I like the latest software and it was just annoying having to go the "hack" type route to put custom software that always seemed to have too many bugs. I miss a lot of things about android but my iphone does the job, and honestly, everyone i know has one so using imessage is pretty great for sharing photos/videos. It was tough trying to get family/friends to use hangouts for video chat so facetime is another plus since we have a kid and family 2000 miles away.

Regardless, my guess is if you broke down android vs. ios further into demographics you'd see that the skiing demographic is probably a larger percentage of users.

You're the admin, are you able to see the platform a user is on? I'd love to see the statistics on that.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
socal":a32x3ohc said:
You're the admin, are you able to see the platform a user is on? I'd love to see the statistics on that.

Sure thing. Here's the month of October to date from parsing our server logs:

Windows 46.2%
BSD: <1%
Linux: 10.8% (includes 3.6% Google Android)
Mac: 10.2%
iOS: 10.3%
Others: 22.2% (includes a remarkable 21.4% unknown, which could be anything)

Google Analytics says that 50.24% of our mobile traffic comes from an iPhone and 18.64% from an iPad; the rest is comprised of various Android devices, with a tiny percentage allocated to Symbian, WebOS, etc.

Another interesting statistic is where the site makes most of its money, because advertising is what keeps the doors open and the lights on. Advertising revenue for October to date was generated as follows:

52.6% comes from Desktop machines, including PCs and Macs
38.8% comes from smartphones
8.6% comes from tablets

So while smartphones and tablets represent 13.9% of traffic (and probably a part of that 21.4% "unknown") they represent 47.4% of the revenue stream, explaining why I'm trying as hard as possible to optimize the user experience for mobile browsers. They may be a relatively small slice of the traffic, but they're far more lucrative. And until a few weeks ago, Tapatalk was reluctant to share very much of that revenue stream at all (several weeks ago they began permitting native ads in place of their own ads, which they keep most of the revenue from). Even so, nearly the entirety of the mobile revenue comes from mobile-optimized versions of the website; only a tiny fraction comes from the Android app.

Needless to say, the web publishing environment is now very different from when FTO got its start in 1994. Over the past couple of years especially, I've seen a dramatic shift toward mobile viewer traffic, and I'm doing my best to keep FTO ahead of that curve.
 

socal

Member
Good statistics. Sorta what I'd figured, you have almost 3x more ios than android users. Again, I really liked my android phones over the years but for the average person who doesn't want to mess with anything and wants it to just work, ios really is a great solution. Plus iphones have that cool factor.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
socal":1ykvu7gd said:
Plus iphones have that cool factor.

And no replaceable battery. And no microSD card slot. But they do come with a premium price tag for two-year-old technology, and a bass-ackwards UI. :wink:
 

Marc_C

Active member
Admin":1gf0eqtb said:
socal":1gf0eqtb said:
Plus iphones have that cool factor.

And no replaceable battery. And no microSD card slot. But they do come with a premium price tag for two-year-old technology, and a bass-ackwards UI. :wink:

Yes, the battery should be user - or at least dealer - serviceable/replaceable. But battery technology is hella better now than even just 3 years ago, so it's not really the issue people make it out to be. Chances are someone will upgrade their phone long before the battery stops taking a charge.

For me I don't miss a card slot in the least. I also don't really use the phone as an entertainment content delivery device. I have no music, movies, TV shows, or podcasts on my phone. For all that I use my tablet or desktop or home AV system. Any pics/vids I take I tend to follow the same workflow I use with my cameras - move the stuff off the phone relatively soon. I have a 16GB phone that's 1.5 years old with around 10GB free at the moment.

It's only a premium price tag if you outright purchase your phones. If you do that, any of the Androids are equally price prohibitive.

Yes, the iphone did have to catch up on the technology front and now has features that Android devices had 2 years ago. So what? Again, it all depends on what the device is being used for.

How is the UI backwards?
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Marc_C":33t8k5su said:
Admin":33t8k5su said:
socal":33t8k5su said:
Plus iphones have that cool factor.

And no replaceable battery. And no microSD card slot. But they do come with a premium price tag for two-year-old technology, and a bass-ackwards UI. :wink:

Yes, the battery should be user - or at least dealer - serviceable/replaceable. But battery technology is hella better now than even just 3 years ago, so it's not really the issue people make it out to be. Chances are someone will upgrade their phone long before the battery stops taking a charge.

I replaced my battery this week because on my phone, 1 year old, it wasn't holding a charge anymore. In fact, I bought two, with a sled charger for a spare battery, so that when I'm in the middle of nowhere I can have a backup. Can't do that with an iPhone.

Marc_C":33t8k5su said:
For me I don't miss a card slot in the least. I also don't really use the phone as an entertainment content delivery device.

I do, and have a 128 Gb card with over 16k songs on it. I spend enough time out of service that cloud storage really isn't an option.

Marc_C":33t8k5su said:
It's only a premium price tag if you outright purchase your phones. If you do that, any of the Androids are equally price prohibitive.

They're the same price for current technology instead of two-year-old technology. That makes it a premium price tag.

Marc_C":33t8k5su said:
How is the UI backwards?

- Instead of app settings in the app where they should be, you have to open a separate settings app. Stupid.
- Really, why can't the keyboard display lower case characters in normal mode and capital characters when the caps lock is on?
- Folder creation is ridiculously counter-intuitive. You're the UX expert, so why should I have to break out a manual to figure these things out?
 
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