How would you improve the Discourse iOS App Experience?

I use it daily on my Iphone. I love it espesaly the push notifications! (that’s how I already saw this topic)

Its hard to say. I would say an easy way to login to accounts. For example scan a qr where you are already logged in on your phone so I don’t need to type my password, SSO what ever every time.


I use it on an iPad and it works well.

Improve the chat feature experience, because some of the chat seems cut off and the bar at the top with the controls goes away.


Do you have a screenshot of this please?


I have to admit, since iOS PWAs received native notifications I’ve definitely used the Discourse Hub app less.

For the new users I still point toward Discourse Hub a passwordless login would be huge. You can sort of achieve it today by sending the link by email, opening the link then switching to the app, but it’s pretty inelegant. A url scheme for the app would fix this.

For my own reading volumes, I would like to see the one thing that using the app/pwa loses - topic history. I still use Narwhal over Apollo simply because of the whole ‘hide once read’ / ‘show hidden’ loop. Going back to topics that I read recently outside of a browser is pure pain.

Chat also feels like a second class citizen still in Hub. The server list shows new and unread, but gives no indication that any chat channels have activity.


I took it off of my phone in favor of the “bookmarks” via Safari as live notifications were promised, but are still not being given. Now, I just rely on Gmail. Besides that, when I had used it, battery life was extremely poor and the app occasionally had issues, but those were patched rather quickly.

Either revamping the home UI, adding live notifications (although kinda unpractical), and support for having the forums integrated in the app as an option, kinda like Fig instead of just using embedded Safari.

I’ll describe what I mean by the first one with the new Home UI, I just think it can look better. Not top priority as the current one works fine, but it doesn’t look all that good compared to the rest of iOS. It could probably be redesigned to look like what I assume is the default SwiftUI look? (settings, imessage, developer, etc). This is just more of a wishlist thing, not really all that important.

Secondly, live notifications. I’ve had topics on this before, which was pretty much closed on “it’s not worth it and will cost too much”. PWA apps in 16.3 (i think) were given the ability for push notifications, but I have not received any since, rendering them useless. If the app were to be able to deliver push notifications with the ability to respond like Android, then I would go back to the app.

Lastly: integrated sites. This is a big one and kind of unrealistic, but honestly, if there was just a basic reader view in the app without Safari, it would help the app a lot. Safari has a built in reader mode, but Discourse does not support it:

A basic reader view in the app for every site would help a lot with just quickly checking out or replying to topics.

All of what I just mentioned are more wishlist things and aren’t massive things to the app, but if any of them were added, I would likely return from my current situation in the PWA apps which just barely work and do not deliver on push notifications like they should.


Nevermind, this bug was fixed a while ago, but it still happens on some forums.


Yes I’m using (iPhone and iPad) because of I’m using heavily tabs etc on Safari and I don’t want one tab more per every forum.

But… I would like to easier ability jump from one forum to another one. Basically I would like to get tabs.

  1. Do you use Discourse Hub on your Apple devices? How is your experience been with it?

Multiple times daily, mainly across two forums, with another two less frequently.

  1. If you could add just one feature, what would it be?

A unified inbox of all content denoted by badges, from all forums.

This would mean I can see more about each of the notifications and more wisely choose whether to spend the time to go into each forum or not.

Even better if I can action the content from the unified inbox.

Currently the app is fine but is still a bunch of separate stuff and not really as good a “hub” as it could be.

The best thing about the app that is it keeps the forums self-contained and stops them polluting Safari tabs. Even if this was the only thing it offered I’d still use it if there was no other way to keep the forums out of Safari.

also: bug, fixes


I prefer to use browser and I see our community chose the same, probably because of the following:

  • No SSO and 3 different messages and taps could be really good for devs that want to know every single step that our apps are doing but is really harmful for UI/UX experience (in the modern world we are living less is more, always).
  • I don’t get how to use the top bar and solid FA icons looks -how to say?- kind of oldish nowdays.
  • The view on Hub and Safari is desktop but mobile from secure browsers (like Firefox or Chromium) so we like to use mobile. Plus I made some WIP modifications on Air theme and looks terrible on Hub :sweat_smile:
  • The 99% of our community use Disourse only in our instance, so there is no gain using Hub. That probably can change at future with federation or something similar.

I stopped using it when iOS 16.4 came out with push notifications.

Today, I think the only thing it’s good for is that it’s somewhat easier for newbies to use than iOS A2HS. (But it’s still pretty tricky. Download Discourse Hub, then copy and paste an URL into it, then login again, then sign up for push notifications…)

I think the main thing Discourse Hub should do is just to make Discourse Hub head-and-shoulders easier to set up than A2HS.

In particular, Discourse forums could have a Smart App Banner.

Smart App Banners can include an argument, allowing the app to automagically know the forum’s URL. This can save users the step of copying and pasting the forum URL into the hub.

Of course, this is exactly what Apple “should” do for PWAs. If Apple ships that, or something like it, in iOS 17, then I think Discourse Hub would no longer make sense as an app in the App Store.

A related idea, which I mentioned when iOS 16.4 launched, is to rewrite Discourse Hub as a PWA. A PWA could have multi-forum SSO, a unified inbox, etc. And, then, really truly, the only advantage of the iOS app would be installability. (And if Apple solves that problem for PWAs, then there’s really nothing left.)


I just discovered the other day that I can find what I’ve read by going to my profile in the top-right menu, clicking Activity > Read, which works for me on mobile as well as desktop.

Or a URL shortcut is


I do use that, the problem is that’s specific to the instance, not the device.

The value of DiscourseHub is that it spans instances. The value to me of the feature in Narwhal is that it shows me my browsing history from that device across subreddits (which I would equate to instances in that sense).


Yes, I use it quite frequently. I have multiple Discourse sites I manage and visit and I got used to using it. I may switch to A2HS apps and an app folder to manage them all, especially once I get more active on those forums and want to have the notifications, yet I’m still finding myself using Discourse Hub out of habit.

I like how quick it is to switch between multiple instances, how clean it seems, and how it almost makes me want to use more Discourse instances.

Gosh, just one?

The ability to share things to specific Discourse instances using the iOS Share menu.

As of 3 years ago, this SO answer says it wasn’t possible to add PWAs to the share menu on iOS and from my experimenting, it still doesn’t seem possible (update: as of a few months ago, it says it’s still not possible: I would love the ability to share a URL or a photo or so many things from my phone directly to a new topic on a Discourse instance and I think Discourse Hub may be able to have that advantage over PWAs on iOS for now.

Another thing I’d love to see, but think it would also work in the PWA is mobile swipe gestures, especially swipe to reply in chat.


Ahh ok, yes, that makes sense, thank you for clarifying.

1 Like

My own daily driver is Android, de-googled as much as possible. But because I run several websites and a Discourse community I have an orphaned iPhone to check if everything looks OK. To me it looks like Hub is a wrapper or launcher or whatever to get the PWA working on that crippled OS. After I open my site, it looks just the same as the PWA on Android en Windows/Edge.

Speaking for myself: I love it the way it is. But I have been using forums since even before the Internet was called internet.
Speaking for most of my users and sorry, I’m going to hurt you now: a complete redesign of the GUI to make it look, feel and smell like app as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook. In 2 projects/pilots in different organisations I tried to push Discourse as an alternative to the chaos of WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook and Telegram Groups but I could not get it accepted. Typical reactions were:

“That’s a website, not an app”
“Way to complicated”
"What is Listitem? I ticked the bullet button.
“I took a photo, but only get some code with image and upload”

A growing number of people is completely spoiled by the all-crushing ease of use that they get (or think they get) from social media apps. And they’re so busy that they don’t take the time discover something new. Even with carefully written instructions and demos. Management/boards understand the added value of something like Discourse, but are afraid that teams will keep using informal Whatsapp groups etc. if they would try to enforce Discourse.


Yes, but for my most used boards I did add the PWA, because of the new notification feature and the overall experience is great.

This is a though one, but would it be possible to reply directly from the notifications? To chats, but also to topics? Or Like a message from the notification?


5 posts were split to a new topic: I don’t receive push notifications from my forum and some users don’t receive digests

When you enter a /raw page, encounter a Cloudflare error, or enter a chat, the interface bar at the top disappears. To fix this, the interface bar should always be visible so that you are not softlocked when entering one of these situations. Additionally, having the interface bar present would make it easier to navigate out of forums while chatting in fullscreen. I believe that these improvements would enhance the overall app experience.

When I scroll through site and find sth. interesting and click on it going into this topic, but when I’m done with it and click left arrow button to go back I want to go back to the same location and not to the top of the site. I think :thinking: this is important.

IMO on the latest version with chat enabled and a small (iphone 12 mini) the experience leaves a lot to be desired. I’d love to see a single react native app emerge, along with some kind of documentation for OSS plugin developers to build their own react native UIs to support instances that use the app.