Beta testing the Android mobile app


(Sam Saffron) #1

We have been testing our iOS app for a few weeks with great success and are happy to open up Android for beta testing!

I am going to keep a list of known issues updated in this post, so be sure to check the first post in this topic prior to reporting stuff.

How it works and what it does.

The Android app is an open source react native application. The vast majority of the code is shared between our iOS app and it. Source code lives at: GitHub - discourse/DiscourseMobile: Discourse Mobile Notifier

The app takes care of keeping track of unread/new counts and notifications counts across multiple Discourse sites.

For sites we host you also get “push notifications” for every notification you get.

For the Android port we needed to implement a native library for public/private encryption, custom internal implementation of push notifications and a native library for chrome custom tab

Known issues

  • Android has no concept of application badge it is a shame to miss out on this feature but unclear on how we can implement it, feedback on how welcome

  • When you login via Google/Facebook the auth flow is interrupted, you must close site and reopen to reconnect.

  • Unlike iOS, Android really dislikes lots of discrete notifications, instead it expects 1 notification per app that is updated, we will redesign. At the moment notifications are out of control.

  • Background fetch is not yet implemented, this means there is no fallback on Android for push notifications on sites we do not host. We plan to address this somehow.

  • The app normalizes on Chrome stable for all browsing. If you do not have Chrome stable installed you can not use the app. Chrome beta and canary are not supported. Built in browser or custom browsers are not supported. This is entirely by design and a great normalizer.

Big thanks to @joffrey_jaffeux for lots of the work on the app and you all for testing.

Please reply to the topic if you would like to beta test and I will send out an invite!


Discourse as Android Application
Requirements to run the Android App
Nice Android app
Discourse Login & Registeration
Please release FLOSS version of Android App on F-Droid
Android live notifications are now in core!
Android app crashes if Chrome is not installed
(Leo McArdle) #2


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #3

I would encourage working with 3rd party launchers. A current popular one is Nova Launcher with Tesla Unread. You can review the API here.

I will share that (personally) this is a big disappointment. I fully understand not supporting canary, which updates insanely frequently, but beta has a much more reasonable pace of updates.


(Sam Saffron) #4

I follow, but we simply do not support beta browsers, its an unsupported config.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #5

Understand that - but why restrict, why not simply non-support, like you do for non-docker based installs?


(Sam Saffron) #6

It is not simple… for one we don’t even have a page for “settings” at the moment in the app, when choosing the intent preferring “unstable beta” over “stable release” is not a correct choice, if we added a “fallback to beta” you would have to uninstall stable to have it pick that.


(Simon Cossar) #7

Please send me an invite.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #8

That would be fine with me. I don’t have stable installed at the moment, and would prefer to not need to install it. However, if it is that complicated development wise, I’ll go ahead and install stable.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

There are no plans to do this. I’d cancel the android app entirely if it becomes too difficult to support. So weigh that in your feedback, please.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #10

Understood. As I said above,


(Leo McArdle) #11

I’m finding it quite difficult to tap on a discourse instance to open it. About half the time it’s trying to slide to show the delete button. I really have to woodpecker it with my finger for it to register as a ‘click’.


(Sam Saffron) #12

What phone/OS are you using?


(Sam Saffron) #13

Its technically possible to do the fallback thing, does not add more than 5 lines of code… but

It increases our support load so a non starter


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #14

Sounds good! I’ve already installed stable and am working to get meta and stonehearth added now.


(Tobias Eigen) #15

I’d be happy to test the android app.


(cpradio) #16

Count me for being a tester


(Sam Saffron) #17

Note, to get Sitepoint to work properly with the app you are going to have to merge in latest and do a deploy.


(cpradio) #18

That’s okay. We’re in the middle of prepping an upgrade right now anyway :slight_smile: (ping @nec286)


(Squirrel) #19

I’d like to do some testing.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #20

Been playing with the app this evening, and have received numerous notifications for this topic (that I’m watching). Can confirm that the individual notifications are overwhelming. May I suggest looking into the way Gmail rolls up its notifications into one?

Unexpanded notification:

Single notification expanded:

Multiple notifications expanded: