Well, it's been 2 months since we re-launched the site, and hopefully things have stabilized a bit. We've been attempting to fix bugs and collect as much feedback as possible...and while we have made some good improvements in some areas, we know there's so much more work to be done, and we'll continue to work tirelessly until we've addressed every major issue. The good news is that despite a few key areas, feedback is generally positive now that people have gotten used to things, and we're seeing site activity on the rise again. So, now that the dust has settled a bit, we we wanted to give you an update on where we are with things and a sense of what we're hard at work on.
What we've worked on so far - (as well as some of the behind-the-scenes functionality that also included speed improvements).
These were changes largely based on member feedback
Removing recently viewed from right column
Removing recent reviews from right column
Full width in forum sections
Post timestamp option
Threads posted in indicator
Forum listing revamp
We've made some progress -- but as you'll see, a majority of what we're working on is still to come. So let's get into that...
The BIGGEST thing is Mobile - and here's a first look at the beta:
Reminder: Even though this shows an iPhone...it will work on any mobile device, from phones to tablets/pads! and scale automatically.
First, it's important to know that the upcoming mobile product will not be a "native app" but rather a modified view of the website. Sometimes people call this a "web app." But essentially, it is not a full-blown "app" as you would find in an app store. We thought we would let you know why we went this direction.
This has a number of advantages:
1) Faster for us to build and develop in the future
2) No hoops to jump through with Apple's app store and approval process or dealing with multi platforms and providers
3) Wide compatibility with lots of devices - you can even view it on your laptop or desktop computer if you want
4) Integrates well with email: see a link in your subscriptions email, click it, the site opens in a browser. This is not always possible with native apps.
Number 3 is of course the biggest thing for us. iOS, Android and Windows 7 Phone are already locked in stiff competition and the marketplace is becoming more fragmented. Smaller platforms like Blackberry and WebOS are less of a concern but they are still out there int he hands of users. And the split between phones and tablets is widening. Connected televisions are becoming a reality now on top of everything. It's a very fragmented picture.
The only single technology that can reach all of these devices is web tech. Native apps for iOS and Android are totally different beasts, each requiring a custom development investment. Many companies offer an Android version months after the iOS version because they each require such a big investment. And then the iPad comes out and they have to start over again. As an example that some of you may have already noticed is the differences between iOS Tapatalk and Android Tapatalk. You will see that the two have already begun to drift from each other a little bit. Native apps are a serious development liability for a content website that doesn't need sophisticated integration into the phones sensors and other hardware.
We have made it to be light weight and thus FAST considering it will be used on everything from WiFi to 3X or even slower connections.
So...the great news... we are getting close to a beta on mobile! That's been the #1 priority for us.
However, I also wanted to make a quick mention of some of the other items that are being worked on. Now, we can't give concrete dates just yet, but we did want to just make sure everyone is aware of the items we are working on and that we're surely listening.
Advanced Search within a thread
Better support for YouTube embeds (HD, Fullscreen)
Moving Featured Sponsors to the FOOTER and getting it away from the right side.
Larger width on the home page
New AVSForum Newsletter
All in all, the point is that we want to be as transparent as possible with what we're working on and let everyone know that we're listening. Obviously mobile is our #1 priority, but we're working on a lot of other items that really need some help. We're also going to be working on a series of posts helping everyone get a better understanding for the new items on the platform and how they can enhance the experience overall.
Well that's that...that's where we are are at this point. Hopefully you agree with all the steps we're taking, but as always, we welcome your feedback. Again, while we may not be able to give concrete dates for many changes just yet (as it goes with most software development), we did want to share our priorities. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your ongoing support as we continue to improve this site so many of us consider home.
Founder - AVSForum
DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)
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