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Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by ecarfan, Mar 14, 2016.
winter, one of the creators of Tapatalk has given the definitive answer a couple of pages back. Read the paragraph above. My take: if TMC doesn't pay Tapatalk for the Premium Tier Plan then no ad revenue will result for TMC for those browsing through Tapatalk, but instead Tapatalk will present the user with the forum minus TMC ads but plus Tapatalk's own ads (remember how the second "topic" was always an ad?
In the olden days Tapatalk made money from users upgrading to the premium version. Now they make money from the forum owners.
So I understand and respect Danny and Doug's decision.
Still like TapaTalk better and don't forget Danny and Doug said there was a "security" issue with TT not that it was revenue related.
Also, I won't be the first one to point out that there seems to be far, far less participation on TMC and key members have disappeared. Many of those cited TapaTalk as a contributing factor for that. I would think TT and TMC could work this out if not then they will have to live with the consequences.
I don't recall ever seeing any ads - either that of Tapatalk or that of TMC - when browsing through Tapatalk.
Also if it boils down to almighty green - which I am now of the belief that it is - then the site owners can simply come and say that, and then we can perhaps come up with solution. Instead we are hearing a different story here, about security holes and such.
And the continued silence is deafening.
Trying out Pushbullet...
Looks ok so far.
I haven't been able to read this whole thread, but seriously guys. Some of you need to get a grip. Ask most forum admins and they dislike using tapatalk. It's been a pain for sooo many reasons and so many little things over the years I'm very happy to no longer have it installed.
Main reason for me is security. We've had incidents where info that was supposed to be restricted to a certain group was exposed to unintended parties. One particular incident we had a troll reported in the private moderator forum. (The mod forum is where we get reports and discuss how to handle whatever particular situation.) A moderator quoted the troll and it turned out tapatalk was giving that person notifications about what was supposed to be a private thread. Yeah, no thanks. Now we are spending a lot of time building out the Groups functionally (a work in progress) particularly for private groups, where we have a whole new layer of user permissions. I have no idea if tapatalk is going to deal with that correctly. I don't intend to risk it and add to the complexity. That and other custom features are not supported by tapatalk.
Here are a few other issues off the top of my head:
Certain user registration controls we had were bypassed by those registering via tapatalk, allowing in spammers.
New TMC is full SSL. You can login from public wifi and be reasonably sure that your password isn't getting stolen. Tapatalk sends passwords out in the open. No support for 2-factor.
A couple incidents of racy photos showing up on TMC in tapatalk that aren't actually on our site. Never got a proper explanation.
Putting in ads that look like normal threads (except obviously completely off topic). Something I didn't explicitly agree to.
Opting us into other various things we never agreed to.
Poor/slow support response, particularly for bug fixes.
Annoying pop up on mobile devices telling users to install tapatalk. I had to hack their code each time I did an upgrade to remove that.
It's a bad security in general to give access to a third party if you can avoid it.
I could go on, but most things require more explanation than I'm willing to spend the time typing out here.
Bottom line, I have no plan to install Tapatalk on our current system. Current TMC has responsive design that most people have no problem using on mobile. I find it quite enjoyable actually. We will work on our own mobile app, but it's not the highest priority. Only thing really missing was push notifications, and Pushbullet does a good job with that.
TMC really has been a labor of love for the past 10 years and we're spending a lot of time trying to sure up its foundation to endure another decade. We have to prioritize and you can't please everyone.
I understand that many of you reading this thread prefered using Tapatalk. I apologize that we will no longer be supporting that platform, and I appreciate your understanding.
@doug Thanks for the reply. As I posted earlier in the day, I'm using Push Bullet today and it looks ok. A little more aggressive in notifications than what I had set up, but will have to figure out how to fine tune that.
I'm ok with using a browser from an iPhone and it's fine.
Pushbullet works well! Only gripe, however minor, is it opens up a new browser window each time you follow a notification. It works well to show notifications, the way I have them set up, on both phone and watch.
In a "past life," I was a computer security administrator at a large company. One of our vendors offered a product that our end users loved but, in my judgement, created some significant security exposures to our company. I attempted to work with the vendor, but was repeatedly rebuffed. I continually made my case to my supervisors and was overruled because the users liked the product so much.
Only when I used the same vulnerabilities I'd found in our installation to penetrate the vendor's network to get and use their CEOs personal contact information was I able to get anyone's attention. The vulnerabilities I'd found required a significant rewrite of the product and effectively ended our relationship with the vendor because of the way they handled the issue.
End users hated me for it, but I saw the potential for millions of dollars in direct damages to our company and an immeasurable amount of damage to our reputation in our industry had we continued to use the product and been exploited.
TLDR - I respect the judgement of the administrators here. A popular product is not always the best product, and it might all be for reasons that the end user should never see.
@doug Thanks for explaining the specific reasons behind discontinuance of Tapatalk support. I will stop complaining about it now, LOL.
Thanks for the detailed transparency regarding the security issues with Tapatalk, much appreciated. I think the reason people like it goes beyond push notifications (which I rarely used anyway). It's more the speed and appealing format that made it more useful than the web interface on our mobile devices. In any case we will just have to live with what we got which by my estimation is a much better web interface than it was before. Hopefully your "get a grip" comment was made in haste as I don't think anyone was attacking you guys personally.
If I were Doug, I would throw the challenge at Tapatalk and work with them to eliminate the 3 or 4 top security concerns and go from there. From what we heard from @winter it sure seems there is willingness work from the Tapatalk side.
Making a final decision of not supporting seems extreme.
If there is a will, there is a way.
I agree with this. Maybe not right away or wait until everything else Doug+Danny is doing for the forum and community stabalizes-- but maybe down the road? Perhaps the TaT guys already fixed those holes? Also, perhaps it was a security hole in vBulletin, and not TaT?
Also, thanks Doug for a response. A lot better then being in the dark.
As a previous Tapatalk user who has moved to mobile Safari, I can say that it's certainly not as "fast". However, for me it's just not all that big of a difference. Getting the content is pretty quick, and pretty straightforward. If mobile is your main access, isn't typing the real killer? Composing on mobile is seriously annoying compared to a laptop, and that's consistent between Tapatalk and browser.
I like having the custom alerting in the browser, and it's a very capable responsive design. I've adapted. There are some drawbacks, some benefits. Bottom line - the content here is solid, and it's easily worth making minor changes to the way I access it.
I think it is more of a "fool me once" thing. Tapatalk obviously is continually working to improve their product, but I see the recent response more of a retention policy than addressing the core situation. Tapatalk being a third party app/plug-in can unilaterally change policies and choose to not enforce security features built into the original forum software (the 2-factor authentication was something Tapatalk deliberately chose not to enforce for Xenforo, saying they will do 2-factor authentication on their own terms when they have a version that works for all forum software).
They can address this somewhat by having a policy of never opting site owners into new changes without permission, but the core issue is it is an app that has too much breadth (trying to cover all the major forum software and requiring essentially full access to the entire forum to work).
Thanks for setting things straight. Too bad people are still not getting a grip. Ugh.
Glad to see an alternative (Pushbullet), I'm even going to look into it for my forum that has TT on it as TT has made even more recent changes such as forced signatures "Sent using my iPhone using Tapatalk" that was optional in the past. TT continues to make poor decisions and provide terrible support, even if someone from there comes in and makes it sound like you're the bad guy. Another pain for me as an admin is I don't allow guest posting but TT allows some guest posting, so it's clearly bypassing some of the forum's built-in permissions. Highly annoying and concerning!
I support your decision 100% and I'm glad you're willing to stick with it. The people complaining don't get it because they've never been in your shoes (I have, and my largest oldest forum is 15 years old now).
Responsive design really is the "holy grail" when it comes to sites. It allows you to code one version of the site and the user's screen size is accommodated no matter how small or big. In the long run the recent big changes lately will all pay off, big time.
Oh, please. I have a "grip".
Again, please don't make gross, blanket generalizations. I've been in Doug's shoes, and still am. *MY* largest and oldest forum is 18 years old now. My sites have also been extremely popular over the years, and I currently have over 8 million registered users and generating millions of page view per week. My forum (vB4) alone has over three times the number of posts on TMC and four times the number of threads. So I know "Doug's shoes" very well. Just because *YOU* support Doug's decision doesn't mean everyone else "doesn't have a grip" or doesn't understand all of the issues at hand. We actually do. Very well, in fact.
Yes, "Responsive Design" is the "holy grail" for WEBSITES. No responsive website, however well written, will ever approach the UI/UX of a native application like Tapatalk or Forumrunner. Responsive Design is not the "holy grail" for native mobile applications. There's a very clear reason why so many people are still campaigning for access to TaT. The web interface is adequate, but it's not nearly as useful or easy to use as a native application, nor will it be.
Hank, do your forums allow access through Tapatalk?
If yes, what is your view on the security issues mentioned by doug and what is your take on the ad/revenue implications for site owners?
If no: why not?
My users use Forumrunner, and have been for I can't remember how many years. So I can't speak to TaT from the admin side, as I've never had to install/run it since Forumrunner has done the job well for so long.
I've been thinking about installing it because I like the interface a little better than Forumrunner, but it's a pretty low priority right now.
As such, my view on the security issues are just my uninformed opinion -- I can't make any real statements w/r/t Doug and his position on Tapatalk other than I would hope they could "work it out" somehow.
Another forum I use everyday which is bigger than both of ours combined uses TaT quite successfully.
The new forum SW does give a vastly improved reading experience. No question.
I still open TaT, to participate on the "Cruise Critic" forum (where there's a lot of fanboi accusations, a smattering of entitlement attitude, a whole lot of off-topic distraction... LOL! Sound familiar?).
However... on my phone I am "Read-Only" on TMC. Regardless of browser. I can't type as a Reply or as a Conversation. Reporting seems to work. Rating works. No idea why. No ad-blocker was ever installed on my phone either (good troubleshooting idea from OhmMan).
Oh, and I see Mike Holt has his forum TaT enabled. Subscribed! But you know how little he cares about doing things the right way.
-- Okay, that was snarky. But come the weekend, I'm under gag rule on TMC, just reading and LIKEing/HELPFULing until I get back to a Workstation on Monday.
On balance, TMC belongs to the owners/admins. I am appreciative of all this free ice cream. And I ain't going anywhere (just more passive Sat-Sunday).