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Jess Lee for The DEV Team

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Help test the DEV beta app!

To all the iOS users out there: we'd love your help testing the DEV beta app. None of us on the core team are mobile experts but, with the help from a few community members, we've stood something up that can be released soon after a few bugs are sorted out.

If you're interested in helping us report and/or fix these bugs, please download the app. This link should provide all the details (you'll have to download TestFlight first): https://testflight.apple.com/join/7Wq8VRLQ

And the GitHub repo for anyone interested in poking around:

GitHub logo forem / DEV-ios

DEV Community iOS App

Build Status GitHub License Language Maintainability Test Coverage

DEV iOS 💖

This is the repo for the dev.to iOS app.

Status:

Released first version, more info: https://twitter.com/bendhalpern/status/1061323718058786822

Design ethos

We will grow to include more native code over time, but for now we are taking the approach of native shell/web views. This approach lost favor early in iOS days, but I believe it is a very valid approach these days. It is inspired by how Basecamp does things. Our tech stack is a bit different, but the ideas are the same.

https://m.signalvnoise.com/basecamp-3-for-ios-hybrid-architecture-afc071589c25

https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3743-hybrid-sweet-spot-native-navigation-web-content

https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3766-hybrid-how-we-took-basecamp-multi-platform-with-a-tiny-team

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWEts0rlezA

By leveraging wkwebviews as much as possible, I think we can make this all pretty awesome and sync up with our web dev work pretty smoothly. And where it makes sense, we can re-implement certain things fully native, or build entirely native features. Life's a journey, not a destination.

Contributing

  1. Fork and clone the project.
  2. Build and run the project in XCode.

Thanks for your help 🙏

Top comments (59)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

To anybody curious: The Android app will follow. iOS got prioritized due to Apple's crappy support for PWA. 🙃

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

A question: is the app "wrapping" the PWA? If I'm not mistaken the API is not out in the wild so I guess you're using "web views" or something like that. Would love to read an article about how you and the contributors built it.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great idea for a post. The repo contains the gist of the approach but I could definitely walk through the process.

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jeyj0 profile image
Jannis Jorre

Personally I prefer an optimized PWA over installing a native app on Android, but I guess there's still enough people who want to use Apps...

(Android should just simply support setting a default PWA Browser which is different to the default browser.. When Chrome Canary is broken, it's really annoying that my PWAs also don't work..)

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vekzdran profile image
Vedran Mandić

I wonder how many regular users are aware of PWAs at all.

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garfbradaz profile image
Gareth Bradley

I'm loving the PWA on android. Using Edge for Android and have it pinned to my homepage. Notifications don't come through though.

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kayis profile image
K (he/him)

Why not Expo? ;)

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skrish2017 profile image
Shashi

haha..thanks. Good to know the poorer section of the globe who arent IOS also have hope!

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aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel • Edited on

Omg! Just moved to iPhone! Perfect timing!

Edit: This is incredible, but as a Python dev can we move to self.DEV instead of DEV.self 😂 (jk)

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jess profile image
Jess Lee Author

Ahh I’m thinking about switching too! How’s the transition?

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sleepyfran profile image
Fran González • Edited on

I switched last December after being in Android my whole life and it was a little bit strange in the beginning, but totally worth it. It also plays very nicely with other Apple devices, if you have any!

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rhymes profile image
rhymes • Edited on

me too! can we do a support group? :D

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aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

It's a little weird -- a lot of the gestures are different. It's an awesome, awesome phone though. The camera is excellent and it looks really nice!

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shiling profile image
Shi Ling

Hm... But why make a mobile app / PWA? Dev.to works perfectly fine in the mobile browser. I added dev.to to my home screen from my Android's google chrome (it has it's special spot in my reading folder). Pretty sure you can do that on iPhone too. Unless there's a need for native mobile capabilities, I don't think the overhead costs of managing two more mobile projects is worth it?

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nektro profile image
Meghan (she/her)

iPhone does support it (I use it myself) but the support is not great. Clicking on links opens the tab in the PWA window, and if you close the PWA and then come back to it, it will refresh the "app" and go back to /. While I don't think I'll download the app because the drawbacks aren't enough for me to be that upset with the experience, but native apps are still very necessary for that "real mobile" experience on ios. Mobile safari also doesn't support notifications etc.

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shiling profile image
Shi Ling

Ah, I see what you mean. That's pretty annoying. Had that issue before when I added Quora to the home screen (gave up and installed the mobile app). But so far, hadn't had any issues doing this for dev.to :D.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern • Edited on

Yeah, this is it. Native true-believers may be disappointed that the app will still largely be web/browser-driven.

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks • Edited on

I wish more screen estate was dedicated to the article. The social bar should maybe be part of the top toolbar?

PS. posting a screenshot via the app was a bit complicated. Pasting the URL from the small edit field and then writing the markdown for it.

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darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

I just like the PWA as android user but the benefit of an app is more popularity due to the fact that the logo can be seen on the app stores (android and ios) and therefore possibly will attract more users.

Just my 2 cents :-)

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thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

Loving the app so far except for one thing - when I try to upload an image in a comment, I’m unable to actually target and then copy the resulting url. A button to automatically copy the url to your clipboard would be fantastic!

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jess profile image
Jess Lee Author

Cool, I created an issue 😇

Improve Image Upload & Copy/Paste #81

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe. From a comment on dev.to:

when I try to upload an image in a comment, I’m unable to actually target and then copy the resulting url.

Describe the solution you'd like

A button to automatically copy the url to your clipboard would be fantastic!

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mungaiandela profile image
Martin Mungai

Testflight link is broken guys

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jess profile image
Jess Lee Author

@mungaiandela and @joppedc are you still getting an error?

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joppedc profile image
JoppeDC

Nope working now and replying with the app 😉

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florimondmanca profile image
Florimond Manca

Installed — looks brilliant! Well done.

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andigwandi profile image
Sanjeev Kumar

On it!!!

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robertcoopercode profile image
Robert Cooper

Downloaded and posting this comment from the mobile app ⚡️

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amareis profile image
Иван Плесских • Edited on

I done dev.to android app half year ago. It's just simple webview, but works nice. I even wrote email to dev.to support about it, but there is no answer.
thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...

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tinashekupfuwa profile image
Tinashe Kupfuwa

Good day

How do I get the Redeem Code for use with test flight?

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rattanakchea profile image
Rattanak Chea

I installed test flight app, and open the link above in safari.

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tinashekupfuwa profile image
Tinashe Kupfuwa

Thank Youuuuuu!!!!!

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pablomarti profile image
Pablo Martí

Awesome! Will take a look soon!

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hunterparks profile image
Hunter Parks

Working pretty well on the iPhone XS! Now I’ll have to be careful about spending too much more time on DEV!

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joppedc profile image
JoppeDC

Sadly, the testflight url gives me an internal server error :(

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