IMPORTANT: HUGE update to AndroidForums.com

Discussion in 'Site Updates & Announcements' started by Rob, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you!
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    Since 2008, Android Forums has been home to every Android device in the world, with a separate, dedicated forum for each. This was brilliant for users of even the most obscure devices, but as time passed, it made navigating the site slow and confusing. It made moderating and maintaining the site nearly impossible for staff. Simply put: Android Forums became overwhelming.

    Today, with our release of the brand new Forums for Android app, we've jumped lightyears ahead of the competition by providing the smartest, most streamlined forum experience for Android. When you download the app it will automatically detect your device, carrier, apps, and games, connecting you with a community of users in each.

    In the coming days, we'll launch a completely revamped website that will match the polish and ambition of our app. We think you're going to absolutely LOVE it. Until that update is pushed live, you may find the forum a bit more confusing to navigate- our apologies, but we think the wait will be well worth it.

    How YOU can support US!


    We've spent a full year working on this overhaul and we're asking for YOUR help in making it a success. Here are 4 things you can do to help:
    (1) If you LOVE the update, download the app and rate us 5 stars on the Google Play Store
    (2) If you have HATE the app or have criticism/feedback, instead of rating us poorly, please reply to this thread or contact us directly, giving us the chance to win your support!
    (3) Share the app/website with your friends on social media, ESPECIALLY when they're asking for phone help on Facebook!
    (4) Participate!!!

    THANK YOU!

    Our members and community are what have made Android Forums successful for almost a full decade now. We're confident that with your help, we've got another - even MORE exciting - decade ahead of us. Thanks for all your help getting to this point and thank you for your continued support. It means the world to us!
     

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  2. Phases

    Phases Community Manager
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    Guys, I CANNOT wait for everyone to see the new theme that is on its way. So much work has gone into all this, and it is exactly what androidforums needs. The changes that happened tonight may appear minimal compared to the tone of this announcement but I assure you, on the back end, this is a huge change - and it'll become more clear why that is over time.

    The upcoming theme, with the backend and app updates, are what is going to drive androidforums forward in a way we've not been able to do before. There will of course be feedback taken and tweaks made, we learn as we go, but the foundation is set and we're super excited!

    Can't wait! Hope to have all your support going forward!!! :D
     
  3. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    The initial reaction to massive forum change that was installed on 2017.01.18 ...

    Using Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 ...
    1. I watch a lot of forums.
    2. None of the device forums that I watch are listed as being watched. I don’t know if I am getting notifications of changers in any of them. I cannot manually visit them over and over to see if something changed.
    3. The pinned threads in the device forums are not listed. Do they still exist?
    4. I have no option to mark another device forum as watched.
    Using Forums for Android on a Droid Turbo 2 under 6.0.1 ...
    1. It recognizes the device/carrier/apps on the device I am using ... what about other devices I want to monitor? It is common for people considering a change or in the process of a change to want to monitor the new and old devices at the same time.
    2. There are no pinned threads listed. It starts with the first unpinned thread.
    3. I have apps that I developed and never posted publicly. They are listed in Forums. The assumption that all apps are open for discussion is not correct.
    4. I cannot access other device forums.
    ... Thom
     
    #3 Thom, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  4. Bg260

    Bg260 VIP Member
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    Competition wise the only threat I could conceive was XDA. AF offered something different, help. Real help to problems Android users face on a daily basis, without the cocky "Google it" attitude. That is what attracted me in the first place and that is why I remained. Let us not lose sight of that.
     
  5. LV426

    LV426 Well-Known Member
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    Is it possible for you to publish this app on Amazon?
    Having a Kindle Fire tablet, the Amazon app store is where I get my apps from.
    If not, don't worry about it.
     
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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  7. Brian706

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    This new app looks like the channels app. Is there a reason to keep channels?
     
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  8. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    Same here, good catch. Hope we are able to follow device forums again. :)

    Try this link for phones and tablets:
    http://androidforums.com/devices/list/

    Wearable:
    http://androidforums.com/categories/android-wearable-devices.2665/

    This for Other devices:
    http://androidforums.com/categories/other-devices.222/
     
  9. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    That comment was relative to the Forums for Android app. I see no way to access phone forums other than the one for the phone that I am using at the moment.

    Internet Explorer allows me to access them through the lists you referenced but there is no way to mark them as favorites. I am NOT going to do it manually for 20 forums.

    The focus for Android Forums used to be THE place to go with your Android question. An awful lot got squashed yesterday ... including some pinned threads that I have spent an enormous amount of time on.

    I'd like to know if there is a plan to permanently kill them.

    ... Thom
     
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  10. stevealbright

    stevealbright Developer
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    Once I get a few of the bugs worked out I'll post the Apk so non Play Store users can install.
     
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  11. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    Ouch ... Internet Explorer ...

    This thread exists ...
    http://androidforums.com/threads/droid-turbo-2-reference-and-tips.965124/#post-7419770

    If you do a search the forum is not identified as a limiting element.
    If you search on "Droid Turbo 2 Reference" it is one of the posts shown.
    If you click on it's forum name at the top of the page it is not listed as a thread.
    There is no option in the forum name to select it as a favorite.
    If you try a Moderator Move Thread there is no way to select this forum.

    Prior to yesterday this was a pinned thread in the identified forum.

    Is the current (highly squashed) structure what is planned for the future for Android Forums or are we expiring implementation problems? What is there today is focused purely on a user with a single device. The referenced document in this post is extremely useful to users who are root-ed to identify the system elements that changed with a specific system upgrade.

    ... Thom
     
  12. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you!
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    The new theme will have a system of following "favorites" and the homepage of AF will be easily filterable so that you can default it to "New" in "Favorites" (or something else depending on your preferences). We think this will be a lot more convenient and flexible once it's up and running and should only take a minute for you to set up. It would have taken A LOT of time to preserve these forum-wide and felt it made more sense to ask users to rethink their favorites based on an entirely new web and app concept.

    Pinned threads exist but are no longer pinned. They began to collect serious dust over time and became a burden rather than a benefit. I still LOVE the idea of having one single sticky for each topic that serves as a guide of sorts, but I want to spend some time coming up with the best solution possible. The "sticky" system in forums is useful, but with THOUSANDS of forums across the site, things get messy quick. I'd be curious to hear more about what you love/hate in regards to stickies.

    We will improve the app to allow users to follow additional topics. We started with the auto-detection of device/carrier/apps because of how powerful we think it will be for the common person who wants help with their phone. That's the basic first building block of our Forums, and has been for AndroidForums.com, but we want to let people build their own experience by additing more layers. This will come in time, but we've had it on our radar awhile.

    The apps you developed but never published may be listed as forums, but unless someone who has the app starts a thread in your app forum, it won't really matter. If you still view this as a problem, I'd be curious to know specifics, and hear what you think a reasonable solution would be.

    This is EXACTLY why we've gone the direction we've gone. Any Android user can download the Forums for Android app and EASILY ask a question about a specific topic and get answers from other users who have an interest/experience with that specific topic. There is less guessing, more accurate categorization, and it really helps focus conversations and questions in a way previously not possible. We will let more advanced users have a deeper relationship with the communties on AF, but as a bottom line experience, this app update is hard to beat. The website relaunch will tie it all together.

    We haven't published any apps on Amazon, and I'm not 100% it would function correctly, but we'll give it a try. Stay tuned.

    Channels was launched separately as a BETA experiment. We think it's proven to be far superior compared to the alternatives, so have decided to fold it into the core experience. However, we'll continue developing Channels as a Beta experience and likely test new featuers and crazy random things there that you won't find in Forums for Android unless things "click". Kind of like a Forums Lab.

    Mostly coming in a future update. Point regarding favoriting well taken. Thanks.

    Thanks for your hard work on the pinned threads. People like you make AF what it is. I'm hoping to bring back this "top" content in a more organized, formatted, and strategic way.

    Sometimes to build something bigger and better you've got to do some bulldozing. Demolition isn't ever pretty, but when you see what's built in it's place, and what monument is erected, your opinion changes.

    We think this update will SOLIDIFY Android Forums as THE place to go for Android Questions because it helps streamline the process from having a problem to posting your question in the PERFECT spot.
     
    #12 Rob, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2017
  13. Dannydet

    Dannydet Well-Known Member
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    Will the new app weed out spammers posts? As the website takes a lot of hits on a daily basis, especially that guy with the "Program name" 1-800-*%!@!!!
     
  14. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you!
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    Good question. I'm not sure. We've considered making downloading the app the ONLY way to register for an account, and that would GREATLY reduce spam, but I think we might not more complaints than make that worth the while. Thoughts on that? (We require Google sign-in for the app).

    We will revisit our spam prevention methods when the new theme goes live. THANKS!
     
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  15. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    And what about those poor souls who need answers to a phone that isn't working? Kind of hard to download the app. It's like the garage asking you to drive the car into the shop after it's broke down.
     
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  16. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the observations. Here's the problem ... I volunteered to help make this INTERNATIONAL information repository work. The difference from yesterday to today ... ignoring the new app ... Android Forums is seriously broken.

    If someone in the newly named app&games forum asks a question that is Motorola Droid Turbo 2 specific what is supposed to happen? The device forum is invisible. The capability to move the thread doesn't know where to move it to.

    When is the expected next change that fixes all the problems planned to be installed? What is the structure of Android Forum that is being published when this fixes all problems update occurs?

    For the new app being focused on a single device ... when someone asks a question they are looking for an educated answer. That answer may well come from a user who does not have the device. An excellent contributor in Turbo and Turbo 2 forums is a member who used to have a Maxx and now has a Samsung. How do we get him to see the question that was asked by the person with the new app? In a word ... self-defeating.

    I no longer have an X or Bion ic. I still answer questions about them and the Turbo and Turbo 2. I will never see them without a Favorites capability that tells me when the question arrives. The question goes unanswered. The new visitor walks. In a word self-defeating.

    This is the kind of activity that drives visitors away.

    There is only one solution to a problem that has two ways for looking at it ... do it both ways and with luck over time phase one of the ways out.

    When? What? What's the vision for the future?

    It's 4:10 in NH ... wine please.

    ... Thom
     
  17. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you!
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    Let me be frank: this update kind of "breaks" the current AF website in some ways. Due to the sheer magnitude of this update, there was no simple way to accomplish everything at one time. Rather than invest hours and hours into perfecting and improving THIS theme, which was destined for the archives, we decided to live with its flaws while we invested our time on rolling out its successor. This will likely take about 2 weeks.

    Perhaps @Phases and @Morgan will let us give a few of you a sneak peek at the unfinished product in the next few days for some private feedback and to kick the tires.

    Once you see the web side of what we've been working on, I think you'll share our excitement. Don't get me wrong- there are still features we need to build in the short and long-term to reach our vision- but Android Forums is going to be incredibly powerful and fun to use when all is said and done.

    I love all the concern here. It will definitely help guide our decision making process to understand what people value. While we want to create something new and fresh and different and powerful and dynamic, we want to preserve the essence of what made Android Forums in the first place. You'll find that in the core, in the heart and spirit of these updates, when all the dots are connected.
     
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  18. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    Thanks.

    So ... really broken for two weeks ... that is going to have repercussions. All those Google references are going to bring people into a structure that cannot be serviced by anyone on the "staff" or other members.

    My problem ... I was caught flat footed with absolutely no idea what the plan was or what the next steps(s) where.

    My experience in this field ... an upgrade d capability cost $x ... the transition from the old to the new cost (at least) another $x.

    ... Thom
     
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  19. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member
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    I don't want any social type apps on the phone. I'll use the PC where I have NoScript and Tab Permissions, plus some anti-Google and anti-Facebook extensions
     
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  20. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you!
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    If you visit the main "devices" page, you'll be able to see questions about ALL devices:
    http://androidforums.com/devices/

    The topics are written as such:
    Thread Title - Device Name

    This should let you browse all the different hardware related questions. Moving threads isn't very effective right now, but this wait will be well worth it. We just have to power through this.

    On the bright side, NOT having these features really let's the important feedback float to the top, allowing us to prioritize how to build out the new theme.

    It's possible we have all this done in less than 2 weeks, but I don't want to make any promises.

    I'd urge you to try upping your app-based participation in the next 2 weeks while you wait for the web side of things to turn around. We need to work on improving the app as well, but base level participation will go a long way to making this vision vibrant.
     
  21. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Well-Known Member
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    As I only have a couple of Samsung things, the S5 and the Note 4, I just follow "New Posts" irregardless of what forums show up.

    Will that still work? or will it be restricted to only the forums that I have been following?

    Also, I mostly read the forum from my Win7 PC and Firefox....
    I use the phone app on occasion, but I have not updated it yet... I am leery of updating apps and then they don't work for me, and the old app is hard to get back on the phone.
     
  22. Thom

    Thom Well-Known Member
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    I thought I reported that in the first post.

    I spend 12 hours a day in front of a two 24 inch Windows desktop monitors. I user the Turbo 2 for Tasker development, a real phone, and some access when outside the office.

    With the new app on the Turbo 2 I only have access to the Turbo 2 forum without pinned threads, the Verizon Wireless forum, and 300+ app "forums". I also have access to some Turbo 2 threads that I started (My Stuff). I can also see the stuff that comes in from the top on Timeline. Very limited. The Droid thread that has been active for a few days is not available to me.

    It is going to be a long two weeks.

    ... Thom
     
    #22 Thom, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  23. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations!
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    Okay, I have a question (technically one question in two parts):

    The Forums app logged me in using the Gmail address that I use for the Play Store... which is exactly NOT the email address I use to log in here on the website. And there's apparently no way to log out to change addresses. So:

    Is there a way for Android Forums to list both email accounts so that Moderator controls show up on my phone? And if not, is there an update coming to the app that will allow us to log out and log back in using a different address?

    :cool:
     
  24. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member
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    As long as the new posts from favorites function still works, I'm ok. Using an app is out of the question.
     
  25. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven -.. --- - / -.. .- ... ....
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    The app will only do forums and threads you are following best I can tell. Seems to me the PC browser experience is mostly the same except for device subscriptions and stickies. New Posts on a browser still works the same way. :)
     

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