The future of Listium's mobile apps - tell us what you think

We currently have apps available in the stores for both iOS and Android.

However, we are seriously considering indefinitely (but not permanently) removing the apps from the stores in favour of 'PWA’s.

What is a PWA?

A PWA, or Progressive Web App, is an app that is installed on your phone directly from a mobile website rather than via a store. PWA’s have been used by Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Uber and many more tech giants. If it was good enough for them, I am sure it will be good enough for Listium!

Why would we do this?

Maintaining apps in the stores if a time consuming and expensive process. Apple and Google (particularly Apple) are notoriously vague in their criteria for whether they approve apps or not. Even big players like Epic Games, makers of the Fortnite game, have issues with Apple and their policies (Epic Games v. Apple - Wikipedia).

While the issue for us is not about the revenue sharing, we are always at risk of being forced to update our apps for some reason outside our control. When this happens we are required to do a full app release that, in turn, is always at risk of being rejected by one of the stores with very little explanation. (eg. our Mac app was rejected multiple times for being “too similar to our web experience” when companies like Slack have apps that are as good as identical to their web app. And we are far too small to stand up to Apple and get them to change their policy. But we’re not bitter… much). :wink:

On the revenue side, while the sharing of revenue is not a huge issue, what is an issue is that we are required to maintain three completely separate payment platforms: We need Apple and Google payments just to be allowed in their stores, and then we use Stripe for web users. With a PWA we could just use Stripe for everyone.

Finally, maintaining apps for the stores requires some specialist tech skills. If we didn’t have the apps to worry about we could focus 100% of our efforts on the things that, we believe, add real value for our members, like building new features.

So, the store apps might disappear for a while.

That is, unless we get a strong response to this post telling us how terrible this would be for you.

Have your say

Let’s use this as an opportunity to try our first poll in the Listium Community Hub. Let’s hear what you think!

Would you be fine with a Listium PWA instead of an app in the stores?
  • Definitely go with a PWA for Listium
  • Sure, PWA sounds okay as long as it’s easy to install!
  • I only need Listium on a desktop/laptop computer
  • I’m fine with whatever the Listium team thinks is best
  • No, no! I will only use apps I can find in the stores

0 voters

While I agree that PWA is better in terms of development, eventually you may start losing users to competitors. Unless you are confident that you have a feature that others are not able to replicate, which is a challenge in the SaaS world.

The problem with PWA is that end users would rather have something that is user friendly with whatever IOS that they have. As an Apple users such as myself, I would expect a subscription revenue model application to be developed through Apple Store.

But then again, I am just one users, and I like some feature Listium has compared to other to-do app, so I think you can stick to PWA, but when your user base gets much bigger, more so if your customers base are enterprise users, you will need to start developing a team to manage store apps.

All the best!

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Thanks for the feedback, @coolhit! I totally agree with everything you said.

We haven’t made any decisions yet, and it probably depends as much on Apple and Google (and some of our service providers) as it does on us. If one of them makes a decision that forces a whole lot of work onto us for no benefit to us or to you, that is likely to be decision time for us with regard to the apps.

It’s great to know that you’ll stick with us via a PWA thanks to our other features and, in the meantime, I hope we can make Listium even more valuable to you.

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I’m no expert -just a big fan of listium!- but in spite of favoring the PWA option for many of the reasons you raised I do also worry that it could hinder new users finding you via poking around the app store. There seem to be plenty of tangible qqbenefits to switching to the PWA that offset that risk, but also the potential for newer users to be slightly unsure about an app without the reassurance of a formal app store context. I can’t speak in detail to the more tech-based issues raised by the other user above but I do agree that part of my support of the PWA would be contingent upon the app functioning smoothly and similarly to what is on my (android) device currently.

On a totally different note, maybe I just haven’t figured it out, but I’d love the ability to assign multiples of the same cell type to a list item. For example, it would be great to be able to have two category cells for one line item because then it could show up in search results for either. (Again, maybe I just missed that capability. I’m sorry if that’s the case.)

Thanks for all the work you do! I’m excited to see what you create going forward! :grin:

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Hi @sprklstheoctopus! Thanks for providing your feedback. I can help you on a couple of fronts.

First, if I showed you Listium in PWA mode and the Listium app, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. In fact, I find the performance of the PWA marginally faster and use it more often that the app.

If you would like to see how it performs, and also how easy it is to install, here’s the instructions on installing a PWA taken directly from Google:

  1. On your Android device, open Chrome
  2. Go to a website you want to install.
  3. Tap Add to home screen.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to install.

I would add one step to that - when you tap to add to home screen, make sure you are on the Listium dashboard so that is the page that you will start on every time you open it.

You’ll probably need to log in a second time (ie. being logged in while in Chrome is different to being logged in to the PWA), but once that is done you should be good to go.

There are ways we can make it a little easier (for Android users, but no iOS at this stage) by including a button in the app that will automate some of this. That’s on our roadmap of things to do.

I would love to hear how easy you find the current process, and also whether you agree that the PWA is equal to, or maybe better than, the app in terms of performance.

Second, you can add as many fields as you want to a list, including multiple types of the same field. That’s one of the key ideas behind Listium - that every list is different, and we just give you the tools you need to create the perfect list for whatever it is you are trying to achieve. The only requirement is that every list will have a text field as its first field, but the rest is up to you.

Here is an example of a list that has multiple category fields (we call them “multi-select field”) - https://listium.com/@Marc/51918/xbox-series-xs-game-list

Let us know how you go! :grinning:

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I believe that the less you can depend on the Big Tech companies, the better. Specially with their draconian policies.

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