What if I want to white-label the Discourse Mobile apps?

In the past few days since we released the iOS and Android apps a few people have asked us for the prospects of white labeling the Discourse app.

Meaning, they want to have a special app called say “my awesome forum” in the app stores that only includes access to the single forum.

  • The code for DiscourseMobile is open source and lives at: GitHub - discourse/DiscourseMobile: Discourse Mobile Notifier it is licensed under the very permissive MIT license

  • Access to our “Push Notification” server is restricted to our customers. If you white-label you would need to setup Discourse to push notifications to a server of your choice using allowed user api push urls and implement a push notification receiver that re-publishes to Apple and Android play stores.

  • We do not offer a white labeling service, we would consider it for enterprise customers as an added bundle, discuss with us privately.

  • If you white label, your app must not be confused with the official Discourse app. Ideally avoid the word Discourse when white labeling.

We always welcome contributions to the Discourse app, if you have ideas and want to improve it and make it more white label friendly, let us know.

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@sam Discourse works very well on mobile browsers already right out of the box , can you tell me under what circumstances users would prefer to use discourse as an app ?

With an app you always have to convince users to download, install and configure before they can use the application, which to me is an unnecessary hassle. If users can access the same contents on their mobile phone browsers, why are we also asking them to download an app that essentially does the same thing?

I have been debating whether my forum needs an app and I still can’t convince myself that I need one, but am curious to hear what others feel about this topic in case I have overlooked some key aspects that an app can do.

Thanks

In my opinion, a lot of users prefer a native UX. Facebook was a good case study.

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And it still does! The app doesn’t change the way you browse Discourse, you still do that in Google Chrome/Safari.

The main feature that the app has is push notifications. If you are someone who wants to know the moment you receive a notification on your site, this app is for you. Otherwise, just use your browser like normal.

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@sam Thanks for clearing this. Do you have any plan to write some how-to on making builds of Android / iOS app?

Regards,
Junaid

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You have yet to meet internet users in Africa, in some countries upto 70% use Opera mini, because they are sold on data compression, try using it on default mode and give us feedback.

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is the custom development required only on the server side? i.e. can we use the apps standard notification by implementing something on the server side or do you think we would also need some app level modifications?

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Sort of, if you want the app only to show one website it is going to need some patching. Barring that all you need to build is a web service that relays push notifications to the appropriate app store.

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We talked about this internally last week and it is something that we would consider for our Enterprise customers as an add on service. It is a significant amount of work to maintain.

As @Mittineague says, feel free to create your own. :slight_smile:

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Are there mobile apps that have successfully integrated this white labeled Discourse app? We would like to do the same and I’d like to see examples.

There are sites using it, if that’s what you meant:

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Yes this is what I mean. Interesting, this is very simple and a lot of features hidden.