You asked, and we responded. I know people have been wanting a mobile app for this site for a long time, but until now it just wasn't something easily possible. I always figured someone would have to write/design an app, but I recently learned of the Tapatalk forum app that I thought would do the trick. It's an app that works with many forums as long as they install the stuff to connect to it. I proposed this to Janet, and after looking into it, she confirmed it's something that we can have here!
The only downside to the Tapatalk app is the cost. It costs $2.99 in the Apple App Store. So it isn't real expensive, and many will probably agree it's worth it.
I believe this app is only available for Apple and Android mobile devices right now (sorry BB users).
I will outline a how-to for installing it below. Many of the iPhone app functions should be similar on the Android version.
First, to install the app, I think the easiest way is to go to sunlineclub.com via your mobile browser (Safari, Browser, or other).
If you've been there over the last couple days and already dismissed the pop up, you'll need to close that tab in the browser and clear your browsing history. In iOS, go to settings, slide down to Safari, then tap Clear Cookies and Data. Once cleared, return to your browser and open up Sunline Club again. You should see this pop up:
When you tap on OK, it will take you to the app store. At this point, you'll need to tap on the price to start downloading, and you'll have to approve the cost and enter your Apple password at that time. Just to be clear, please be aware that this app does have a $2.99 cost associated with it that will appear on your phone bill or billed from iTunes.
When you're all set, it'll show when it's installing:
Once the app is done installing, it'll show to open it. Tap that:
When the app opens, it'll want to know if it can send push notifications. I believe this means it'll notify you for things that the forum would normally email you about, like topic replies, new private messages, etc.
Along the lower edge of the app, you can choose a few screens. Choose the search screen and type in Sunline Club:
Then Sunline Club should show up:
Tap on it, and you'll be taken to the forum home screen. You can read all you want here:
No doubt you'll want to log in at some point though. Tap on the "Log In" button in the lower left to see this screen:
Then it will update to show your logged in view, just like it does on the full site, and includes read/unread posts (unread=bold) based on your last login:
The forums are organized just like they are on the full site. So when you tap on one section, like the Sunline Club Community Forums, you'll get all the sub forums:
Then when you open up a forum, it'll show the topics in that section, which you can tap on and read:
When in the main forum list, if you tap the little square button in the upper left corner, that will essentially log you out and take you back to the Tapatalk home screen. Now that you've entered your login info, it'll give you the following choices when you tap on your now-saved Sunline Club link, so you can log in either under your account or just read as a guest. Remember you need to tap to go in under your account name if you want to post anything:
The first screen you'll see once logging in again is my favorite screen. It's a complete listing of all the latest forum posts, basically as a live feed that you can refresh by sliding the screen down like the Facebook app. You can tap on any topic to read the latest posts:
You've got other options along the bottom of the Sunline Club part of the app as well:
You can search the forums like the normal site search function. Note this isn't the incredibly awesome Sunline Club Custom Google Search
, but this is just the regular search function. So not the best, but better than nothing:
The last button takes you to more options.
Notifications is a summary of everything active with your account recently, be it topic replies, new private messages, profile comments, etc.
Favorites is just a list of the topics you are subscribed to. Typically you are automatically subscribed to any topic you comment in.
Note, the button in the upper left corner is sometimes a back button, but here it seems to be a Log Off button quite often. To go back, tap the three dot thing at the bottom to return to that more screen.
People: This shows a current list of everyone logged in and what they're currently doing:
MOST IMPORTANT--- HOW TO POST VIA THE TAPATALK APP
If you want to reply to a current topic, go there.
If you want to create a new topic/thread, go to the sub forum (such as Sunline Community) that you want to post it in and tap the little box in the upper right corner with the arrow pointing to the right. That will give you many options, one of which is create a new topic. Once you tap that, the screen will look like the reply screen.
When reading threads, you will see a small bar at the bottom that says Write Something, with a reply button on the right. Tap in that white space, over "Write Something". This will bring up a screen to write your post:
You have a number of options in this screen, which I labeled above.
Advanced post settings will give you the choice of attaching a URL link, image link, or special Tapatalk signature (sig feature currently not enabled with SOC- working to change this).
Note, if you have your current Sunline Club signature set to post automatically with your posts, it will continue to. The Tapatalk sig is different and I'll describe that in a minute.
To add a picture to your post, you can either tap for camera and it'll pull up your camera to take a current picture. Or you can tap to include one already in your photos:
Once you choose the picture you want, it will want to know how large you want the picture. I usually choose the largest size so people needing the pic can get details in it. A small version will be nearly useless:
Once you tap that choice, it'll attach it to the post. When you see this at the bottom of your post, it has attached:
Tap send to send your message and it should post on the thread!
REGARDING TAPATALK SIGNATURE:
Many forums allow a Tapatalk signature which adds to the post. In fact, it will probably show up as text on the bottom of your write post screen, so you could delete it if you wanted. I personally like this signature feature and hope that Janet can enable this. Not only will it let people know about the existence of the app and encourage more mobile use, it can be used to include your name or something that you normally type every time but don't want to with the mobile device.
You edit the Tapatalk signature in the main part of the Tapatalk app, not in anything specific to Sunline Club.
In the main Tapatalk screen, tap on the Settings button along the bottom ribbon. Scroll down to Signature.
Tapping on that will allow you to edit it. I have this as my current signature there, so it's ready to go if the feature is enabled:
In the mean time, I will try to manually type something like this manually at the bottom of all posts I do from the app, just to help get the word out. I'd like to encourage all of you to do the same.
Hope this helps some of you set up your mobile app!