Discourse Mobile: chat improvements, notifications, widget

After the release of the chat functionality, I think that Discourse Mobile needs some improvements to make it “comparable” to other platform apps for ordinary people (in Germany, roughly 69% of the users on the internet use mobile devices). Questions:


discourse’s mobile mode is terrible, the buttons are at the top, it’s very bad to use your thumb to touch the buttons, it had to be the bottom button, like on the iphone, there are a lot of things that are not usual


I also think that some work on the mobile platform is needed as 2/3 of the people on the internet use mobile devices …


Well, in Finland at more general type platforms mobile users are covering 90 % or more. And I’m quite sure the situation is same at all Nordic countries.

The most alarming thing is the most of mobile users are used to bad user experience.

I kind of hate to say this at loud, but the biggest issues here are coders working with big multi screens. Even here we can find a lot topics where everyone are worrying how two or three sidebars are done :wink: The majority of themes are planned to 21 inch screens. I’ve lifted the cat on the table, of showing the well known elephant on living room, saying that I’m counting every theme, component or plugin that is big screen only as a broken one. That isn’t liked too much :wink:


I am reading this and replying on my iPhone so :man_shrugging:

What specially is being asked here?

To answer point 1 in the op, yes we are always testing and improving mobile


That’s nice. I’m using iPad right now. So indeed?

You aren’t suggesting that easiness, or UX in full, is on/off question and capability to do basic things is equal than good UX, are you?

I don’t know, but perhaps OP will open that queston more. I’m doing general meta-conversation and from my point of view feature is wrong category now.

Well, my question was simple and “feature-related”, therefore the category should be fine.

  • are there any planned improvements for Discourse Mobile concerning the Discourse chat functionality and android notifications? (example: there are no notifications at all on android)
  • is someone working on implementing a widget for the android app?

From the “android perspective” it looks as if the app needs some “overhauling” or feature updates. But this may be my personal picture for the android part of the code. I can see on github that @pmusaraj is working frequently on the code …

@Jagster I understand the global discussion about “UX for mobile devices”, but this should be discussed in a separate thread.

I think Discourse works well on the iPhone. Is it very different on Android?

We have full support for Web Push notifications. I rely on Discourse Chat notifications as part of my job, and they work reliably on my phone and are even mirrored on my smartwatch.

Do you have the instance you use installed as a PWA on your device? That’s step one for heavy usage of an instance, and we prompt every active user for it.

Widgets for PWA are coming in the near future, as the spec is being developed by Microsoft in the Chromium project. I’m keeping an eye for it and will work on it as soon as it’s available as we did with every other PWA feature.


Hm, thats the version available in the Google Play App Store in Germany.

I don’t think that this is a PWA app? App version info is 1.8.7
notifications are definitely allowed, but I dont see any when there are new messages on meta.discourse org or my own instance forum.netzwissen.de

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Enough to be somekind pain for development.

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Hey @Falco - just to be clear i understood everything correctly:
In the future it will be possible to develope mobile phone widgets, like we all know from weather apps for example? So in other words, elements for mobile devices that can be placed on the home screen and whose content could be parts of the forum? For example, a wiki article that changes very often and should be monitored independently via the widget, without starting the app / Forum via Browser.

Could you already provide some links to specs / researchs / devs to this?
In our Forum we are interested in creating mobile widgets exactly for that reason.

best regards

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Also an android user. For my self hosted instance I gave up on the mobile app. From what I recall it wasn’t possible to get the push notifications without being on a paid teir for discourse because of google api calls or something (there’s topics about this somewhere).

So… instead I’ve started working on a python script which sends a message via Signal when people have an unread notification for more than an hour. :person_shrugging: not great, but better than nothing. I haven’t accounted for chat yet.

Hmm, but why not just use the PWA? You get push notifications there (now both on iOS and Android)


@sam I’m grateful you asked. This triggered me to play around with the settings again and I now have notifications for chat, PMs and replies.

I suspect the “push notification time window mins” was the main cause of my original confusion – the default is 10 minutes, but in my head I assumed it took the the email notification timer (3 minutes). Hence, every time I tested it, I would go back to the site after waiting 6 minutes, preventing the trigger. I also had “only send chat push notifications” set to True as part of my original tinkering, so this timer never had a chance to reveal itself.

For future reference, below is some of the config as I currently have it:




On Android:

  • Go to Settings → Apps & Notifications → Browser(I use Chrome) → App notifications
  • Ensure the first notification for the browser itself is on
  • Scroll down until you get to sites, and then scroll down till you get to the address of your discourse site.
    • Tap the name of the site and you will get the full set of notificaiton settings for that specific website
    • Enable the settings which match what you want

Hi there! I had to register because I noticed this topic. Here are findings of mine:
If not in PWA mode page LAGS a lot when the top address bar is being hidden/shown in mobile chrome because some element in page contains either value in % of main viewport or “vh” unit. I had to install PWA to avoid it, but…
I’m not sure if this is to do with the specific PWA I installed but it does have white circle instead of icon.
And the other thing is that when you scroll up a thread you can accidentally trigger a refresh when the infinite scroll bumps to the top of the non-infinite page.
This is most of my pain, but I also encountered some weird issues with notification panel doing some random redirects instead of showing me the thing I wanted to see. It’s hard to put into words exactly what happened, if it will repeat I’ll try to describe exactly.