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The EN World app (Android/iPhone)

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I thought it useful to have a thread discussing the ins and out of this app. Are you using the app?

Mods: feel free to make this a community ("wiki") thread; this is intended to be a thread for everyone.

What I believe (feel free to rephrase or correct this, mods)

  • this is about the native smartphone app as opposed to accessing the site using your browser, either using the mobile skin(?) or the regular site
  • it is a custom copy of a more general forum app, called Tapatalk. It is specialized for one particular forum (this one).
  • Despite being branded as "EN World by Morrus" it is not directly connected to the admins at this site
  • the Android and iPhone apps are obviously not identical - something that applies to one does not necessarily hold true for the other.

I'm on Android BTW. If you're on Apple hardware, feel free to add iPhone specific details.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
(Android)

I first started using the app a few years back, so forgive me if the following isn't entirely correct:

  • Specifically, the app is this one:
  • Not being based in the US I could not find or install it. My theory is that it is region-locked or some other google nonsense
  • On my current phone, I could install it rather easily simply by virtue of it having been installed before, on a prior phone. As you may know, Play Store maintains a "library" of every app ever installed by your account.
  • But originally, IIRC I had to side-load the app. I can't today recall the exact app locker I used back then, but in the current time, I found it on APK Pure. (Apparently the #2 app locker behind APK Mirror, where I could not find it)
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
(Android)

Just a few weeks ago, there was an update available. From version 7.1.4 to 8.0.x I believe.

I do not recommend this upgrade.
  • Ads load much slower, making me accidentally press the ad instead of the link I thought I pressed. This in itself almost breaks the app. My experience is also that there are more ads, displayed more "aggressively" (instead of just showing up as you scroll, they needlessly load in your face, stealing your attention). This could be a side-effect of the slower loading times, though.
  • The lists of threads (all threads, unread threads, subscribed threads, and participated threads) now automatically reload each time you go back to the list. This is profoundly unhelpful, at least if you're using the app the way I'm using the app. I use the participated threads list to methodically catch up on all the posts made since I was last in the thread (and since the threads are only the ones with one or more of my own posts in them, the likelihood is great those posts are relevant to me), one thread at a time, going my way through the list. Having that list auto reload each time I'm finished with a particular thread is not appreciated since it means I'm losing my place in the list. If you haven't accessed the forum for a while, these lists can be several screenfuls long, and so having to start over from the top each time was most unwelcome.

I'm back at v7.1.4 and will hope this version keeps running until there's a newer version of the 8.x app that is more polished. As previously mentioned, I used this site to sideload back the older version after having foolishly upgraded:

 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Things different since the forum upgrade:

  • That is, we're talking about EN World's switch from vBulletin forum software to xenForo software. Tapatalk apps are compatible with both vBulletin and xenForo.
  • At least in their standard configurations! The En World installation of vBulletin used have been continuously modified and hacked and tweaked and improved over the years, meaning certain aspects of core functionality (as supported by the app) had stopped working, leading to most or all of the below issues. All of which is now resolved thanks to the site using a standard installation. :)
  • spoiler tags now work the same no matter how you access the site. The tag to use is SPOILER. (Previously that tag didn't work on the desktop site, meaning most people only used the tag that did work, SBLOCK, meaning us appusers were spoiled all the time)
  • Messages and notifications work again. Before the upgrade I could see messages, but could not dismiss them. They stayed in the app forever. Not any more! Notifications did not work in the app - I had to log on to the desktop site to see my mentions, xp, laughs and quotes. Not any more!
  • the site used extra-strength privacy controls, specifically making a thread started by someone you had blocked/on ignore inaccessible to you. Likewise, if someone blocked/ignored you, whole threads became inaccessible to you (and not just their posts in those threads). The app did not recognize any of that: you could read every post and every thread, no matter who ignored whom. While this meant you could at least read all the threads, it also made it easy (too easy) to accidentally respond to people that have you on ignore. In fact, you didn't even know they had blocked you, since nothing was different in the app. (I am not criticizing forum policy here, I'm just stating the facts of how the app used to work. I have nothing against implementing two-way block privacy, I just wish and trust the site team writes policy that takes app users into account)
  • Front-page news are now readable in the app. Previously I got an error message with a "this post can't be rendered, visit the site" or some such phrasing. At least I believe this is the case. (I don't get that error message any more). I'm guessing this was yet another customization of the old site (an article add-on thingy?) the app couldn't handle.
  • While browser users get a small menu of different likes app users get only the default "thumbs up" like. Previously the site supported "xp" and "laugh with", which the app translated as likes and hearts. (Now the app displays only likes, no hearts)
  • However, both sets of reactions were tracked separately. Meaning a like given in the app only showed for app users. An xp given in the browser only showed for browser users. Again, this is fixed now - the desktop site now uses standard functionality that the app can handle.
  • And of course, another extension that prevented you from giving out xp more often than every 300(?) seconds worked only in the browser. App users could give out as many likes as they wanted. (They didn't display for browser users anyway)
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
Unfortunately, it appears something has broken in the last few days.

The list of "participated" threads - threads you have posted in - no longer loads.

It worked just the other day. Now it doesn't.

All other lists still work fine.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Unfortunately, it appears something has broken in the last few days.

The list of "participated" threads - threads you have posted in - no longer loads.

It worked just the other day. Now it doesn't.

All other lists still work fine.
And now it's back to working!
 

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