We wanted to give you a quick update about our mobile project. This long-in-the-making update has a long-in-its-outlook plan. Like some of our recent projects (e.g., the new Chat), we're taking an iterative approach. Rather than deliver a giant package wrapped up in a bow and set upon your doorstep, we'd prefer to build the new mobile interface strong and simple as we go along, adding more capabilities along the way. Millions of people are going to be using it on a regular basis, so we need to be thoughtful and deliberate in the way we develop it.
First step: alpha on Creators
We aim to release a version you can try out on your network as part of Ning Labs. For now, we're going to do some testing using the Creators Network (http://creators.ning.com/m).
This alpha on Creators will give you a chance to follow along on our progress and even try out a few of the basics. Please note that what we will be trying out on Creators is a stripped down version of the mobile interface. It hasn't been made to look pretty nor has it been designed to match the current Creators theme. It has some basic functionality that we want to test — while at the same time showing you how some of these details will work. We'll be continually adding more to this version as we go along, so check back from time to time if you are curious how it's going.
A few important things to note
Is this going to be available as a downloadable app for my members?
This project will ultimately update the current mobile version of your network. (It's located at networkname.ning.com/m.) We're not building downloadable apps for the iPhone, Android, etc. Rather, we're improving the mobile version so nearly all mobile devices will be able to access your Ning Network much more effectively.
Will the mobile version include "x" feature?
We're going to include as much as we can, but the new mobile interface will not contain every detail of your network. But, many of the most-used things will be included, like the Activity Feed, Status updates, Forum, Blogs, Photos, etc. In short, there will be some flexibility in presentation, and it will be a big leap up from what you see now, but there will still be some details that won't make it in the initial version. Of course, more features may be added after the initial release.
Will I be able to configure my pages?
Yes! You will have a section of your dashboard where you can change your network pages, settings, design, etc. You can see a few screenshots of how this is shaping up right here.
There is still an outstanding bug (Ticket #00399070) on this that I filed over a year ago. It prevents the workaround for domain mapped networks from working orrectly within the mobile interface. Here's the text from the issue... Please tell me this will be addressed in the new mobile interface.
Ning provided Mobile Upload Hack does not completely work
"The Add By Phone email address can be found on each member's Settings page, as well as the photo and video upload pages. This unique address provides a way for members to upload photos and videos from your mobile phone directly to your network. However, if you have a domain mapped network (like I and most other pro subscribers do) the Add By Phone email addresses on your network will display your custom domain and you must setup an additional MX record with your registrar in order to ensure that email sent to your domain will be routed to your network. This can be an issue if you also want to use your custom domain to receive email (which I do) , since the MX record will route all emails to your network.
Ning provides a hack that will modify the Add By Phone addresses that are shown on your network so that they display your Ning sub-domain rather than your custom domain.
While this hack changes the email address displayed on a member's settings page, it does not change the address displayed when a user accesses the /m version of my network, clicks the "add" button at the top, and selects "Upload a photo". It still displays the domain aliased version of the email address. This is what all members see when trying to upload from their phone. Is there a workaround for fixing this part? Please help!!!
Better yet, can we please have a real fix for this issue?