iOS Mobile App Guide
ProBoards mobile forum app keeps you connected with friends and updated on forum discussions as they develop. Offering a simpler layout than the browser on your mobile device, the ProBoards mobile forum app is ad-free and only displays elements necessary for streamlined browsing.
The ProBoards mobile forum app can be installed on iOS devices including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. The application can be purchased for $2.99 in the iTunes store or the App Store available on all iOS devices. To download the ProBoards mobile forum application, open the App Store and search for "ProBoards". Press the "Buy" button to complete the installation on your device. Once the app is installed, press the ProBoards icon on the home screen of your device to launch it.
Once launched, you'll be taken to the main screen of the ProBoards application. While the initial focus will be on the "Forums" tab, you'll also find options at the bottom of the screen for "Network", "Search", and "Settings" which are explained below.
Network: This button allows you to browse the ProBoards directory for forums of interest to you. At the top of the Network screen you'll see a "New" button and a "Browse" button. Pressing "New" displays a listing of the 25 forums most recently added to the directory. The "Browse" button displays 15 different categories ranging from "Art and Culture" to "Travel". Press any category to view a list of forums for that category. Then press the name of a specific forum to visit it.
Search: This function allows you to search the ProBoards directory for specific forums by keyword. Simply type in a keyword in the search box provided, then press the "Search" button found in the lower-right hand corner of the screen. Once searched, any forums matching the keywords you provided will be displayed in the results. Keep in mind, Search will only look through forums listed in the directory. Since forum owners have to manually add their forums to the mobile directory, some forums may not be listed. If you're already a member of a forum that does not appear in the directory, you can add the forum manually using the "Forums" tab on the main screen of the application.
Forums: This is the most important section on the main screen as it lists the forums you've visited as well as any member accounts you've logged into. As soon as you've visited a forum, your accounts and visited forums will be displayed on this screen. If you're on the "Forums" tab and you've just installed the app, you'll likely see the message, "Press the plus button to add a forum to visit". Forums can be added by pressing the + button in the top-right corner of the screen.
If you know the direct web address of a forum you'd like to visit, press the + button in the top-right corner of the screen and you'll be presented with a dialog box to enter the forum URL. If the forum is using the standard .proboards.com URL, press the URL to visit the forum. Otherwise, if the forum has a custom domain or is using the boards.net or freeforums.net address, type the URL in full and press the result to be taken to that forum.
When you add a forum to the app, you'll be visiting that forum as a guest. When viewing as a guest, you'll find two buttons at the top of the screen; "by Category" and "by Name". The "by Category" option will show a list of categories available for viewing within that forum. The "by Name" option will present a list of available message boards in alphabetical order. Once you've pressed a board name, you'll be presented with a list of threads within that board. Simply press a topic name to be taken to that thread to begin reading posts.
Press the "Back" button in the top left of the screen to return to the thread listing screen. Press the Back button again to return to the category/board listing. Once there, you'll see 3 buttons at the bottom of the screen: "Login", "Register", and "View" in Safari.
If you press "Login" you'll be asked for a username and password for that forum. Press "Register" if you don't have an account with that forum but would like to join. You'll then be taken to a forum registration page within the Safari web browser. Once you've created (and activated) the account, you'll be able to login and begin posting. The "View in Safari" button opens the Safari web browser on your device and will automatically take you to the forum you are visiting, allowing you to view the forum as you would when visitng the forum using a computer.
When you login to a mobile forum account, you'll notice a change to the forum screen compared to viewing as a guest. Most notably, 3 buttons that were previously at the bottom of the screen will be replaced by the following 5 buttons: "Latest", "Forum", "Search", "Messages", and "More". Below is an explanation of each of these sections.
Latest: If you've just installed the application and added your first member account, this will be the screen you see after you login with the following three commands displaying at the top: "Unread", "Participated", and "All".
Unread: Unread is the default screen and will show a list of the most recently updated topics containing posts you haven't yet read. The number over the "Unread" tab indicates how many topics contain posts you haven't read. Press the topic to visit the thread, press the "Back" button in the top-left corner to return. You'll then see the topic you just visited has been removed from the unread list.
Participated: The Participated tab displays threads you've either created or posted to. Threads presented here show the avatar of the person who replied most recently, followed by their display name. Other info listed here is the time stamp of the most recent post as well as the thread name followed by a sample of the first post. You'll also see a number below the avatar indicating how many replies have been made in the thread. Lastly, a blue background behind this number indicates there are new posts you haven't yet read. A white background indicates you are current.
All: Pressing the "All" tab will take you to a listing of all topics updated most recently, regardless if you've already read the topic or not. The list will be presented from most recently updated to oldest.
There are also 2 other buttons on the "Latest" screen, both of which are nameless. The button in the top-left will exit the forum and take you to the main screen of the application. The button in the top-right will mark all of the topics on the forum as read, whether you've read them or not.
Forum: Here you'll be presented with 2 tabs, "by Category" and "by Name". If you're familiar with the forum and know which boards are listed within a specific category, use the "by Category" tab to navigate. Otherwise, press the "by Name" tab to be presented with an alphabetical listing of boards. Press a board name to be taken to a list of topics then press the topic name to taken to the thread.
When viewing a thread, you can refresh content and view new posts by pressing and holding any of the displayed topics and swiping downward with your finger until you see the message "Release to Refresh". Remove your finger from the display and the topics will slide back with updated topics displaying at the top of the screen.
Viewing and replying to a topic: When a topic has multiple pages, page numbers will be listed at the top of the thread. Press any page number to be taken to that page. Above each post you'll see the avatar of the member who made the post followed by their display name. To the right of their display name, you'll see a time stamp indicating when the post was created.
If you'd like to post a simple reply to a thread, press the "Write something..." bar at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, press a posting to bring up the following options: "Quote", "Share", and "More". The "Quote" button brings up the posting screen with a pre-populated quote for you to add your message to, allowing you to respond directly to the post. The "Share" button allows you to share the selected post over Email or Twitter.
The "More" option presents the following options:
Copy Post: This will copy the selected post to your devices clipboard, allowing you to paste the contents later using the mobile app or any other application on your device that supports pasting text.
Copy URL: This copies the direct URL of the post you selected, allowing you to paste the URL anywhere you would like to share the location of the post.
Open in Safari: This option opens the thread you're viewing in the Safari web browser on your device.
View Profile: This takes you to the profile page of the person that made the post you selected.
Also, when viewing a topic, you will see a nameless button in the top-right of the screen. This button will bring up a menu with a few of the options listed above in addition to the 2 options described below:
Refresh: This will refresh the topic you're viewing and display any new posts made to the topic since you started viewing it.
Subscribe: This option adds the topic you're viewing to your bookmarks list, allowing you to visit the topic directly at a later time.
Once you've selected the "Reply" or "Quote" options, you'll be presented with the "Reply to Topic" screen where you can type your reply as well as select from other options. To reveal the other available options, press the "Open Advanced Options" bar just above the keyboard . The on-screen keyboard will hide and you'll be presented with the following options:
Camera: You can upload images to the forum directly from your device's camera. Press this option to activate your camera. Once you've taken a picture you'll be provided a preview of the image, a "Retake" button, and a "Use" button. If you're satisfied with the picture press "Use", then press "This Forum" to upload the image to the forum. Otherwise, press the "Retake" button to retake the photo. You'll then be asked for the image size you'd like to upload. "Smaller" may be more suitable when using your mobile providers data connection vs a WiFi connection. Keep in mind, attachment size limits for forums are 1MB. If the image is over this limit, it will be downsized automatically to fit. Once the image is uploaded, scroll to the bottom of the Advanced Options screen to confirm the attachment. To remove the image attachment, press the listing then press "Remove" to delete the attachment from your post.
Photo Album: If you have an image saved in your devices Photo Album, you can attach it with this option. Once pressed you'll be presented with a list of all the photo albums available on your device. Choose the appropriate album then press the image thumbnail you'd like to share for a full sized preview. Next, press "This Forum" at the bottom of the screen to upload the image. You'll then be asked for the image size you'd like to upload. Image size considerations are outlined above in the Camera section.
URL Link: If you'd like to share a clickable link in your post, press this option and provide the URL of the link. The URL will be displayed in the message area between standard [URL] [/URL] tags. This will allow the link to be clickable in your post.
Image Link: Use this option to display images in your post that are hosted elsewhere. Simply type the direct web address to the image then press "OK". Once done, you'll be returned to your message and will see the provided URL between the standard [IMG] [/IMG] tags. Once your post is made, the image will be displayed in your post.
Map: Use this option to share your current geographic location with other forum members. This will provide a map image of your location, followed by the address in the message area of your post.
Signature: This allows you to enable/disable your app signature within the post you are making. If the signature is off, you can press the switch to turn it "On" and add a message to the bottom of your post.
Auto-Tweet: If you have a Twitter account saved on your device, you can use this option to automatically tweet the topic to your Twitter followers.
Once you've completed your message, press the "Send" button in the top-right of the screen and your message will be posted. Otherwise, press "Cancel". If you press cancel, you'll be asked to discard your message or save it as a draft. If you "Discard", you'll be taken back to the topic. If you "Save Draft", a copy of the message will be preserved for the next time you make a post when you'll be asked if you'd like to use the saved draft. This message will only display once so if you choose "No", your draft will no longer be saved.
Post Search: To search for a specific post or topic on a forum, press the "Search" button at the bottom of the screen to bring up the search box. Next, press on the "Input Keyword" bar to bring up the keyboard. Note that searches must be more than 3 characters in length. Once you've entered the search term, press the "Search" button at the bottom-right of the screen.
After conducting a search, the search term will be saved automatically allowing you to quickly search again at a later time. To remove saved search terms from the list, press the "Edit" button in the top-right of the search screen, then press the red (-) icon to the left of the search term. Then press "Delete".
Messages: To check your PM inbox/outbox for messages, press the "Messages" option at the bottom of the screen. When you load a forum, the mobile app will automatically check for new PM's in your inbox. If there are new PM's, a number will appear directly on the "Messages" button showing how many new messages you have.
Once you're on the Messages screen, you'll see an "Inbox" tab and a "Sent Items" tab. The "Inbox" shows all private messages sent to your account, the "Sent Items" tab will show all private messages you've sent to others on the forum.
Inbox: When viewing the Inbox tab, you'll see a count of PM's in your inbox as well as a separate count of unread PM's. Underneath this will be the actual PM's. Contained in each message you'll see an avatar, the sending member's display name, and a time stamp when the message was sent. You'll also see the title of the PM in bold along with a preview of the PM's content. To view a PM, simply press the PM you'd like to view. You can refresh your PM inbox at any time by pressing and holding a message, then swipe downward until you see the message "Release to refresh" display at the top of the screen. When you lift your finger from the screen, the PM listing will slide back up and any new PM's will display.
When viewing a PM, the title of the PM will display at the top of the screen along with the avatar and display name of the member that sent the message as well as a time stamp indicating when the message was sent. Below this will be the content of the PM itself.
To reply, press the "Reply" button below the message and a menu with the options "Reply" and "Reply with Quote" will appear. Choosing "Reply" will forward you to a blank message screen to type in your reply. The "Reply with Quote" option will take you to a message screen that will include a quote of the PM. If you'd like to forward the message to another forum member, press the button in the top right of the screen to bring up an additional menu. In the menu that appears, press the "Forward" option to bring up a new message screen where you can enter a username or display name in the "To:" field.
Sent Items: Here you'll see the number of PM's you've sent and a list of those PM's. Details will show the avatar and display name of members you sent PM's to, along with a time stamp for when the PM was sent. Below that will show the title of the PM along with a preview of the message. You can view sent messages by pressing the name of the PM. Sent messages can be forwarded to other members by pressing the button in the top-right of the screen, then pressing the "Forward" option.
Sending a new PM: To create a new PM, press the icon in the top-right of the PM screen and a new message screen will appear. Then type the username or display name of the recipient in the "To" field. If you're sending to multiple recipients, separate usernames/display names with a space. Next, enter your subject and content. If you'd like to add a link or an image, you can do so by pressing the "Open Advanced Options" bar. Press "Send" when you message is ready or "Cancel" if you change your mind.
More: The "More" option at the bottom of the screen presents 3 additional forum sections as well as the ability to re-arrange or replace tabs at the bottom of the screen. To configure tabs, press the "Edit" button in the top-right of the screen and a page will appear displaying icons for the different areas you can visit on a forum. With this page open, you can re-arrange icons to your liking or switch the default icons at the bottom of the screen. For example, if you don't use Search frequently and would rather see who's online, press and hold the "Online" icon in the Configured area and drag it on top of the "Search" icon in the bottom bar. When you let go, "Search" will be replaced with "Online". Press "Done" in the top-right of the screen to save the changes.
Logoff: You'll also notice an icon in the top-left of the screen when viewing the "More" page. Pressing this will log you off the current forum and take you back to the mobile-forum application main page. You can also log off a forum by double pressing the top title bar.
Favorites: This screen will display any threads you've bookmarked by showing which board the thread is in followed by the thread itself. Each bookmark will display the avatar and display name of the most recent member to post in the thread, followed by a time stamp when the post was made. The bolded thread title will be followed by a preview of the first post in the topic. To the right you'll see a number indicating how many replies have been made to the thread. If the background color behind the number is blue, there are new, unread posts in the thread. If the background color is white, you've read all the posts. You can visit a bookmarked thread by pressing the topic name. You can also un-bookmark a thread by pressing the "Edit" button in the top-right corner, press the red (-) icon to the left of the topic, then "Done" when you're finished editing the list.
Profile: This option will take you to your profile page where you'll see your avatar, followed by your forum username in bold. Below that will be profile details such as your display name, registration date, as well as your total post count on the forum. At the top of the screen, you'll see the tabs "General", "My Topics", and "My Posts". The "General" tab will be the default view for the profile which displays the details mentioned above. "My Topics" will display a list of topics you've created on the forum, "My Posts" will show a list of topics you've participated in.
Online: Here you can view who's currently logged into the forum. At the top of the screen you'll see the total number of members followed by the number of guests viewing the forum. Below these totals will be a complete list of member accounts currently online which includes member avatars followed by their display names. To view member profiles, simply press their name to be taken to their profile pages.
Application Settings: There are a few settings you can change to customize the app to fit your needs. To visit the settings screen, log out of all forums and return to the main screen of the mobile forum app. This would be the screen listing any forum accounts you've logged into as well as any forums visited previously within the app. Once on the main screen, press the "Settings" icon in the bottom-right to be taken to the settings screen. The settings page is separated into 6 categories. Below are descriptions of each.
Social: Press this to configure the options for Twitter. The first option is for "Hide". If you don't have a Twitter account on your device and have no interest in Twitter, set this option to "On". If you do have a Twitter account and wish to use the Twitter functions provided within the app, set this option to "Off". With "Hide" set to "Off", you'll see an additional option for "Auto-Tweet". With this option on, whenever you make a new post on a forum within the app, a tweet will be sent out to your Twitter followers with a link to the topic you replied in. To prevent the app from "tweeting" on your behalf, set this option to "Off".
General: Here you'll find the options "Auto Refresh" and "Show Avatar". Auto Refresh operates when you exit and re-enter the app to view forums. For example, if you have Auto Refresh on and the proper time increment selected, every time you return to the mobile forum app, all forums will refresh with up-to-date content. You'll also see an option on this page for "Cache Forums" which enables your device to save forum structures, such as categories and boards, so they don't have to be loaded each time you return.
The "Show Avatar" option allows you to specify whether or not avatars will be displayed. By default, this is set to "On", allowing member avatar images to display in posts or topic listings. If you're using a limited data connection or are experiencing frequent crashes when entering forum topics, you may want to set this option to "Off" to prevent avatars from displaying. This will reduce the load on your data connection and may reduce application crashes caused by oversized avatar images.
Latest: Here you'll find the options "Latest Ordering" and "Unread Behavior" which affect the "Latest" tab that displays when viewing forums. "Latest Ordering" allows you to change the way topics display which, by default, "Sort by Date" from newest to oldest. Alternatively, "Group by Category" lists forum categories by the topics updated most recently, followed by a number. This number indicates the number of threads within categories that have updated since your last visit to the forum. You can then press category names to reveal the topics that have updated.
The "Unread Behavior" option allows you to specify whether or not forum topics get automatically removed from the "Latest" tab after you've read them. When set to "On", once you visit a topic from the "Latest Unread" list, the topic will be removed from the list. With this set to "Off", the topic will remain.
Topics & Posts: This category has 3 modification options including "Posts Per Page", "Loading Behavior", and "Font Size". "Posts Per Page" allows you to specify the number of posts that load per page when you open a topic. This can be set from 10 posts up to 50, but 20 posts is the default setting.
The "Loading Behavior" option allows you to determine how the application loads a thread. When set to "Latest Post", you'll be taken to the end of the last page within every thread you visit. When set to "Oldest Post", you'll be taken to the top of the first page within that thread. There's also the "Always Ask Me" option which will ask where in the thread you'd like to be placed.
"Font Size" allows you to change font size within posts. The options provided range from "Small" to "Very Large". You can experiment with these if you find the default size to be too small.
Editor: Here you'll find the "Confirmation" and "Signature" options. The "Confirmation" function allows you to enable a pop-up confirmation box when doing things like marking a forum as read, canceling a post you started writing, or canceling a new PM.
The "Signature" option allows you to turn your forum signature on or off as well as specify the signature message displayed after each post you make within the application. This shouldn't be confused with your account signature when logged into a forum using a regular web browser, as that will still be viewed by members not using the mobile app.
Advanced: This category has the following 4 options; "Show Quoted Image", "Enable Smilies", "Enable GIF Avatar", and "Reset". The "Show Quoted Image" option allows you to specify whether or not images appear in quoted posts. With this set to "On", if someone posts to the forum with an embedded image in the post and others quote that image, you would then see that image every time someone quoted that post. When set to "Off", only the original image will display. Subsequent quotes will not display the image again.
You can also determine whether or not smiley images display in posts with the "Enable Smilies" option. When set to "On", smiley images supported within the app will display in member posts. When set to "Off", you'll still see the smiley tag ":)", but the tag won't be replaced with an actual smiley image.
If you'd like to view forum members animated avatars, set this option to "On". Otherwise, set to "Off" for a static version of animated avatars.
The "Reset" area has 2 functions; "Clear Cache" and "Reset All Settings". "Clear Cache" will clear any temporarily saved pages within the application so all pages are current the next time you visit a forum. The "Reset All Settings" option allows you to reset all options in the application back to their original factory default settings.