Fig - Native Discourse client for iOS

Just wanted to introduce a project I have been working on. It is called Fig, and it is native Discourse client for iOS/iPadOS.

Fig is available for free on the App Store.

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 8.02.48 AM

Most of the functions and features in Fig are free and will be plentiful for most users. Fig+ subscription allows access to private communities, unlimited number of posts and communities, free app icons, and future premium features. It will also help sustain the continuous development of Fig.

Lastly, if you are interested in a while label version of Fig (SDK) for your own (single) community use, let me know. I am trying to gauge what the appetite is for something like this.

Happy Browsing. :smiley:

Screenshots

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How is your freemium offering any different from Discourse’s completely free, unlimited app that is already out there, namely Discourse Hub?

I am not saying that your offering is bad, but it looks like you are copying Discourse’s completely free iOS app that already “allows access to private communities” and “unlimited number of posts and communities” and charging for those features.

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Fig is a native client, and native is tech-lingo to indicate the software is made with the OS’s default (aka native) software modal.

To illustrate the difference using an example, think about the difference of using www.facebook.com in your browser vs say the Facebook app in the App Store.

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Thanks for taking my scrutiny very well. :slight_smile: Being native can be a double-edged sword because many communities use specialized plugins in their Discourse forums. For example, if the app is fully native, then things like Retort, Question Answer, Events, Location, and dozens of other plugins might not be accessible in this app unless you specifically coded for them. Don’t take me wrong: I can see the value in your app being native but I am naturally quite skeptical when a freemium app like yours comes along when a completely free offering has already been available.

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Personally speaking, I applaud your work and encourage you to build and develop as you deem appropriate.

Go for it and let’s see how it goes!

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I really like the discover tab!

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Fig looks really cool! Are there any plans to port it to MacOS? Porting iPad apps VIA Mac Catalyst is incredibly simple.
https://developer.apple.com/mac-catalyst/

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It’s a real shame that private communities aren’t supported in the free app. Meta might be the only public discourse community that I access with any regularity.

Do you plan to offer a free trial in the future?

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Very nice app!

Things I would like to see:

  • a way to browse to last/first post in the topic
  • number or some hint of unread posts for each topic in topiclist (like on discourse)
  • a “timeline” feature like tapatalk, meaning a list with an excerpt of most recent post for each topic (sorted by activity).
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Does this mean that the app supports the iPadOS mouse support that everybody has been chattering about?

It is really not that simple and requires non-trivial amount of work. I have a prototype of it but no where near ready for prime-time and we will be targeting more important features at this moment.

No. You can try it out on public communities though.

Yep!

Thank you! First 2 items are definitely on our short list. Interesting idea about the third item but we will be trying to complete the must-haves first.

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This is pretty cool, congratulations!

I’d suggest trying to get better support for onebox. The normal one needs better styling and the ones like YouTube are missing.

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Oh, I guess Apple makes it sound more simpler than it is.

May I suggest allowing users who do not pay for Fig+ to at least have the ability to join 1 private community?

To extend on what I said earlier, are you referring to the improved version of mouse support (with all of that button snapping stuff) in iPadOS 13.4 and onward?


I have some suggestions.

  1. When previewing a community, it always defaults to top topics. Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to default to latest topics so it doesn’t confuse new users into thinking the community is completely dead?
  2. The developer category in discovery should be changed to “Developer & Technology” or something like that, largely due to the fact that it appears that technology related communities (some of which are geared towards enthusiasts and consumers and the like) are thrown into the developer category.

Also, is there a way to submit a community to be added to discovery? Are private communities allowed in discovery?

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One more feature I would like to see added:

  • make avatar clickable to access user card (to send a direct message, for instance).

Thank you! Definitely that needs to improve as you mentioned.

Not at this time. It is hard to enforce “1”. Communities sync across devices, there is delay. Payment is synced across devices, etc. People login/logout to bypass it, add/delete community, etc.

Yes it should, if you have issues let us know via the app’s support channel noted in settings.

  1. Top topics do seem more attractive to new users who are browsing around. The issue you mentioned was brought up to me and I think the middle ground is probably the Top filter but also select the “Last month” filter as well.
  2. Fair. Categorizing communities is hard and murky. :smile:

Yes, contact us in the support email noted in the Fig app’s Settings. Private communities do not show up yet but will appear soon in search results later this week hopefully.

Definitely, that is on the todo list and is ranked high up.

For any additional requests, support, or issues, feel free to reach us via the app in the “Settings” section.

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I noticed that the buttons to interact with a post (like, share, etc) are sometimes squashed a bit. Oh, and the way you check to see who liked a post feels slightly inconvenient and slightly lackluster. It isn’t half bad though.

Also, how do you remove a community from your communities list?

To quickly see who liked a post, tap and hold the like image or like/heart number label for a second and a window will appear showing you who liked a post.

To delete a community, go to the list view showing all your communities and swipe from right to left on that community and confirm deletion.

Regarding the UI bug with squashed buttons, send me a screenshot to our support email or post it to our community and will look in to it.

Maybe take a look at introductory offers on the apple developer site. Reasonably straightforward to implement and impossible to bypass without creating a new Apple ID.

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It feels like there is wasted space. If there is a very large amount of likes on a post, the list view becomes inconvenient (lots of scrolling). You could probably fit a lot more people on a line.

I think a few features might be a bit hard to find or figure out for new users. Have you considered making a tutorial or something like that?

It doesn’t just apply to the like button.
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This is great, thank you so much! I wanted to have a native app since I discovered Discourse and have used the DiscourseHub so far for lack of a better alternative.

I don’t care if it doesn’t support all the custom extensions. I’ll simply use it for the communities where it does work and will fall back to the Web/Discourse Hub for the others, if necessary.

Since reading your post an hour ago, I’ve already downloaded Fig (and use it to write this post), added all my communities to it, discovered three more communities that are interesting to me via the Discover tab and bought the yearly subscription. And I’d have done so even if I didn’t have a private community, simply as a thank you for developing this app. It’s just so much better than Discourse Hub and really feels like a modern reinterpretation of Discourse for iOS and a great iOS citizen.

I’m looking forward for all the things you are still working on and for discovering many more niceties while using it.

I’ll also check out the Fig Discourse community to see how I can help out in developing this app further.

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