I want to give an overview of what to expect from the Forem mobile experience in the near future.
You are currently using Forem. It's the underlying software that powers Community Club, DEV and a growing number of communities built on async communication and great underlying tooling.
Core to Forem is the ability for each community to operate independently, and use the software to grow with unlimited potential. We don't want you just using our service and playing strictly by our rules, we want a collaborative relationship that forces us to keep up with creator and community needs with ongoing open source development.
However, the web on its own is not entirely compatible with user expectations. We don't expect end users to want to maintain a bunch of browser-based communities and for leaders to achieve great success this way. That is where our mobile app ecosystem comes into play.
The Forem mobile ecosystem is developed in two parts: One is a consumable SDK that can fit into existing apps. So if Spotify wanted to build on Forem standards for its social layer, they might want to consume the SDK and have those features appear right in the app, but for the independent Forem creator, they most likely want to leverage the Forem app which is a browser which allows end users to access all their Forems in a cohesive way.
Here is the core SDK if you're curious:
ForemWebView - iOS
This is the WKWebView customization that powers the Forem (coming soon) and DEV mobile apps.
The Project supports iOS 13.x but features like Picture in Picture are only available for iPhones on iOS 14.x
The Swift Package Manager is a tool for automating the distribution of Swift code and is integrated into the swift compiler. Once you have your Swift package set up, adding ForemWebView as a dependency is as easy as adding it to the dependencies value of your Package.swift.
dependencies: [ .package(url: "https://github.com/forem/ForemWebView-ios.git", .upToNextMajor(from: "1.0.0")) ]
Carthage & CocoaPods
We've moved to supporting SPM and not Carthage or CocoaPods. If interested in contributing, PRs to support these are welcome!
After importing the framework into your project you can initialize the ForemWebView like you would any other WKWebView…
The Forem mobile ecosystem is a progressive enhancement on top of the web experience— That means native multimedia playback, native image and video uploading, etc. while allowing the web interfaces to come through as necessary.
All that is to say, the Forem app we will launch can be thought of as a specialized browser. Folks can access Forems via Forem like they access individual Slacks via the Slack app, even though each Forem has the independence of being a standalone web app.
If Forem can achieve great interactive success in mobile, the ceiling is really high for independent community. We believe that empowering creators with great tools will help bring folks away from monolithic shouting chambers into mission-driven spaces for thoughtful interchange.
The Forem iOS app is nearing its launch, followed by Android a little after that, so you'll soon be able to browse Community Club in more ways, and if you are launching a Forem with us, we hope this will help you achieve a deeper connection with your members.
For a little more on our team, we did an AMA here a little while back...