Embed Discourse in a native app?

iOS does not have web push notifications, not even for PWA’s, hence the existence of services like One Signal.

Android does not have this issue.

Aside from that, apps do provide a marketing presence in the app store which is attractive to some organisations and businesses.

It’s worth noting that the Windows Store now accepts submissions of PWA’s.

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How about just integrating community notifications on an existing native app? And link them to the default mobile web view of the community?

I see your intentions here, it makes sense to want to integrate a webview of a Discourse forum in an existing app. I’ve seen this done in a few apps and if you have experienced mobile app developers it’s not an impossible task.

Your challenges will be around:

  • authentication, some identity providers (e.g. Google), do not allow authentication in a webview, period. And it’s tricky to sync sessions between your native app and the webview
  • push notifications: you need to hook up your Discourse notifications to an APNS server somewhere, you can do this via web hooks, a custom Discourse plugin or a third party (OneSignal, Amazon SNS, etc.)

And as Sam noted above, there will be little details and maintenance issues that will creep up over time.

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Thank you so much @pmusaraj :slight_smile: That is extremely helpful. I agree that the authentication and notifications seem to be the biggest challenges - but I’m going to go for it! I will keep folks posted. It makes sense that Discourse as a whole wants to be cautious with this, because a company requires dev resources and it is not “out of the box”. But I think in my case I can get it done!

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If you do wind up working on this, I think it’ll help a lot to make this an open-source library, so that other devs can help share the load of maintenance.

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Great idea. I’ve really been looking for a place to contribute to the community, and this could be perfect!!

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Hi,

Just confirming, isn’t the GitHub - discourse/DiscourseMobile: Discourse Mobile repo the Discourse Hub app?

I’m not sure if things have changed, but is the GitHub - pmusaraj/discourse-mobile-single-site-app: Single-site app wrapper for a Discourse site. Supports Push Notifications via OneSignal. repo still the “template” for a white label single site app?

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That’s correct on both counts

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Correct, note that @James_Cribbs wants to include Discourse in an existing app, so neither the DiscourseHub repo nor the white label repo are useful in his scenario.

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@pmusaraj still could be useful for methods/techniques on the push notifications (OneSignal?). I’m planning to do it in phases, getting authentication working first then doing notifications as a phase 2.

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Hello @James_Cribbs, just following up on your journey. Were you able to crack it?

I am looking to implement something similar on my app

I put the project on pause for business reasons, not related to the implementation. My developer basically had it working but I offered a subscription service that could be purchased off-app and unlock content in the app - which Apple didn’t like! So project on pause but I think should be feasible

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Oh, that’s a bummer. I am looking to integrate it on my company’s app also and I was just wondering which design approach to take. Can you point me towards any pointers that may prove helpful?

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Hi,
I’m also following up here. Have you ever continued? Or is there any example of a successful implementation?

We also want to build our community in-app but after reading this thread I’m sad to hear that it’s not possible to do this with Discourse. Would love to know if some people made it.