Using the Tapatalk App In Lieu Of the IPF App

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Mickey330, Jun 27, 2014.

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  1. Mickey330

    Mickey330
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    INTRODUCTION

    As everyone knows by now, the “official” IPF app is not working correctly. It has not been updated for iOS 7.1.x and now, with the new forum software, it really doesn’t work well.

    Granted, the new forum software makes browsing the forum on the web easier than before. However, I know that some people (myself included!) prefer the convenience of using an app designed to access the forum.

    I use the app Tapatalk and have used it for over 3 years. IMHO, it’s a great app for easy browsing of the forum. To me, it is very similar in function to the IPF app but there are some differences.

    So, if you are interested in using an app to access the forum, have a look through this series of tutorials I’ve created that will get you going pretty easily, starting with getting the Tapatalk app from the AppStore.

    This tutorial is going up in sections over the weekend (as I write them, I’ll post them). However, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will be more than happy to add to my tutorial(s) - and I know there are other Tapatalk users who will be glad to help.

    Now - on to the learning! :)
     
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  2. Mickey330

    Mickey330
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    DOWNLOAD/INSTALL TAPATALK & ACCESS iPAD FORUM

    Tapatalk has two versions - free (“Tapatalk”) and paid (“Tapatalk Pro” - which is $3.99 USD). For the purposes of this tutorial, I used the free version.

    (1) Download Tapatalk from the AppStore (link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tapatalk/id307880732?mt=8). The free Tapatalk app will be an orange “T” in a chat bubble on a white background; the paid version has a black background:

    [​IMG]

    (2) After downloading the app, tap to open it. You will see this screen:

    [​IMG]

    Now, you don’t have to make a Tapatalk account (you can tap the “Skip for now” button in the lower right). However, if you wish to post photos to the forum, you will need an account (an account is needed to host photos on the Tapatalk server). So, if I may suggest - make an account. It’s free and will help going forward.

    (3) After you tap the “Sign Up” button, you will get this screen:

    [​IMG]

    (4) After tapping “Sign Up” (yes, I know it seems a bit redundant - but that’s how the app is!), you’ll get the opportunity to log in with various social media or your Tapatalk-specific ID:

    [​IMG]

    Do note you can choose to make any ID for your Tapatalk account; it does not have to be your forum username/password. I just chose to do it to make it easier to remember (I’m Mickey330 on a few forums…)

    Now, to get into the forum.

    (5) After you’ve logged in, Tapatalk will take you to a search screen. I entered “iPad” in the search bar at the top:

    [​IMG]

    (6) As you can see, iPadForums was the third choice. Tap on that line

    [​IMG]

    And Tapatalk automatically “subscribes” you to the forum:

    [​IMG]

    (7) Tap the “Done” button in the upper right to be finished with your search for forums. Tapatalk will then provide you an opportunity to review a mini tutorial on the different views the app provides. While I recommend you read through - I will be covering them in this tutorial.

    [​IMG]

    After finishing the tutorial, you’ll see this screen with the “Feed” button highlighted (again, Tapatalk default … can be changed later).

    [​IMG]

    (8) Tap on the “Forums” button to get to your subscribed forums button. Then, tap on the iPadForums line:

    [​IMG]

    (9) You will now get the main forum screen:

    [​IMG]

    (10) At the upper right, tap on the “Join” button and enter your forum username and password:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notice that the Join button is now gone:

    [​IMG]

    And that’s how to get the Tapatalk app onto your iPad, register with Tapatalk and the forum. Do note that this is a one-time requirement. Once you’ve made a Tapatalk account and signed into the forum, you will be signed in until you log out (your sign in will stay active even when you close the app or turn off your iPad).

    The next post(s) will be how to change Tapatalk settings so you can browse the forum in a way that's easiest and most comfortable for you.
     
    #2 Mickey330, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
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  3. Mickey330

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    PERSONALIZING THE TAPATALK APP

    Tapatalk Settings

    The app comes with many settings so you can make it look “right” for you. I always fixed up my Settings before diving into anything, so this tutorial is before browsing or replying/posting on the forum…

    (1) To start, open the Tapatalk app (you should still be logged in to both Tapatalk and iPadForums). I do not know which tab it will default to, but you want to open the “Settings” tab at the bottom. You will then see this:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I’ve listed what each line will allow you to do. There are lots of settings changes you can make. Let me point out the ones, to me, that are important.

    (a) Tab Behavior:

    [​IMG]

    This is where you can make the Tapatalk app default to your preferred view when you first open the app. You can change to have the forum open first (versus the other options you see). That’s with the top area.

    The second are is so that you can see the tab bar while you are actually in the forum. It aids in navigating.

    *In addition, you can set it to open your preferred tab for the forum itself. For example, I have my tabs set so I see the Subscribed threads tab be the first thing I see when I go to iPadForums. I will discuss more about this function (tabs) later on in this tutorial under forum settings…

    (b) Unread Behavior:

    [​IMG]

    You can set it up so that a post “disappears” once you’ve read it; it will be removed from the unread tab. Or, set it so it doesn’t disappear. The post will still be on the forum, but if you wish to go back to it while browsing, you may want to consider allowing the post to remain visible. YMMV

    Note that having the post removed is default Tapatalk behavior.

    (c) Open URLs:

    [​IMG]

    Here’s where you decide whether to stay in the Tapatalk app when open web links or YouTube videos. If you choose, you can have Safari (or the YouTube app, if loaded) open the link. You will exit the Tapatalk app if you choose to open in Safari. Your choice.

    Default Tapatalk behavior is to open links within the Tapatalk app.

    (d) Font Size:

    [​IMG]

    I’ll be honest - this is the #1 reason why I started with the Tapatalk app over the “official” IPF app. Back then, the IPF app would not let me make a very large font for viewing (I have old and bad eyesight!). This app always let me set a nice, BIG font.

    (e) Read Order:

    [​IMG]

    This allows you to choose how each thread is opened for you (first unread, oldest, etc.). You decide how and in what order you read posts on the forum.

    That’s it for the main Settings area in Tapatalk. These settings apply across the whole app. So, if you use it for more than one forum, these settings apply to those, also. So, the next section is to set the settings for an individual forum, such as iPadForums.

    iPadForum Settings

    These are instructions for viewing forums and sections within the iPadForums app. To start, be in the main forums page of Tapatalk (see that Forums is highlighted in this picture):

    [​IMG]

    Then, select iPadForums.

    (a) You will see this view (by default, Tapatalk shows you the main/Home forum):

    [​IMG]

    Tap on the triple-bar symbol in the upper left. This will open up another settings-like page so you can set what you want to see when you access the forum.

    [​IMG]

    If you tap on the “Edit” button at the top right, and then tap and hold the three lines to the right of each line, you can move these items around. You can keep them (in any order) in the “Re-arrange Tabs” area or you can move them to the “Move Below To Hide” area so you won’t see them listed in the forum settings area at all (unless you are in Edit mode). Like this:

    [​IMG]

    When you are finished arranging, press the “Done” button. Your forum settings area will then look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Remember when I said earlier that you could choose which preferred tab to have open when you first opened the forum (I put an “*” by that paragraph). Well, this is where you would do it. If you set the Tapatalk settings to open your first forum tab, whatever tab you have at the top of the list would be the one to appear first. So, in this case, once I entered the iPadForums area, I would automatically be in the “Subscribed” posts tab. You can set whichever tab you wish that suits your browsing style.

    And that’s it. Now you are ready for a tutorial on replying to posts and starting a new post of your own. That’s in the next post…
     
    #3 Mickey330, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
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  4. Mickey330

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    REPLYING TO POSTS

    (1) To reply to a post, you first have to be in an area where you see a post you want to reply to. :) For this tutorial’s purposes, I’ll start in the Unread posts section of Tapatalk (although this works in any section - as long as there is a post to reply to, you can use this information to create your reply). To get there in the Tapatalk app, go to the iPadForums page. Should look somewhat like this:

    [​IMG]

    (2) Tap on the iPadForums line. If you do not have Unread posts as your first/default view (see the previous “lesson,” tap the three lines in the upper left and then select the line titled Unread.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (3) When you tap on the Unread line, you’ll get all the unread posts. Tap on one to open it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are two ways to reply to a post: a quick reply and a full reply.

    Quick Reply

    (4) Notice there is a line titled “Write a reply” at the bottom of that last picture. If you tap in it, you will bring up the keyboard to reply. I generally use this for quick one sentence replies as the only view you get for your response is that little window (it’s only about 3 lines high). You can scroll within it, but it’s still tiny.

    (5) Once you’ve created your reply, tap the “Send” button to the right of that text input window. And, off your post goes to that thread. That’s it.

    Although you can scroll in it that tiny window, if you are writing something of any length, you will want to use the other reply method. Plus, the full method allows you to attach pictures, quote posts, etc. So, it’s better (IMHO) for more detailed input.

    Full Reply

    (6) While in any post, tap on the three dots in the upper right of the post. You will get this pop-up:

    [​IMG]

    Tap the “Reply” icon and your iPad’s keyboard will come up along with this big loverly writing space:

    [​IMG]

    Notice that the picture explains the icons at the bottom/on top of your keyboard. Well, mostly, as I’ve never used the Twitter or Advanced buttons. :)

    You can type your reply and when you are done, tap the “Reply” button at the top. Your post goes off and joins the thread. Done.

    (7) To add a picture (or pictures) to your reply, tap the mountain/sun icon as described here:

    [​IMG]

    Note: If you did not sign up for the free Tapatalk account, you will get this pop-up. So, if you want to post photos to the forum from within the Tapatalk app, you’ve got to create an account and sign in…

    [​IMG]

    (8) If you have/are logged in to your Tapatalk account, you’ll get the standard options to access your Photos app. You can only select one picture at a time, but you can add a lot of pictures to one post. You even get a choice of three sizes to post:

    [​IMG]

    The cool part is that, with Tapatalk, you can make your pictures be in line with your words (as I’m doing here) versus having them all as one attached kludge at the bottom. To do that, just know that Tapatalk will place your photos wherever you have the cursor. Then, you can highlight the link (provided by Tapatalk), cut it and move it to where you wish. Or just move it around using the space bar. Very nice way to arrange your post as you wish with your photo(s).

    [​IMG]

    (9) Should you change your mind, you can either manually delete the post by selecting all and backspacing over it:

    [​IMG]

    Or, you can tap the “Cancel” button in the upper left and choose between these three options:

    [​IMG]

    (a) Discard - completely throws the post away as if you never started/made it

    (b) Save Draft - Tapatalk will hold your post until you come back to it. Do note that you can only save one draft at a time - so if you go to reply again, you will be offered the chance to use the last saved draft you made. If you accept to use the draft, you will get the reply screen with your last draft filled in. You can finish up and then post it. However, if you decline to use the draft, it’s gone forever. Just so’s you know…

    (c) Cancel - don’t leave the screen and stay where you are in your draft. So, you’re canceling your cancel. :)

    And, that’s replying. Now, to use quotes.

    Replying With a Single (Simple) Quote

    (10) As with replying, there is a simple quote function and a multiple quote function. To do a simple (single) quote, tap the message you want to quote. You will get a pop-up like this appear - choose the “Quote” text:

    [​IMG]

    (11) You will get the full reply screen again, but this time, the member’s post you are quoting is pre-filled in for you:

    [​IMG]

    Add your comments (and pictures) as you wish and then tap the Reply button. Done.

    Replying With Multiple Quotes

    (12) To multi-quote, do as you did for quoting: tap the first post you wish to quote and get the pop-up. However, this time, instead of choosing Quote, choose the “More…” button. You will get another pop-up from which you will tap the “Multi-Quote” icon:

    [​IMG]

    Note you can only multi-quote within one thread; you can’t multi-quote across various threads.

    (13) Now, tap the quotes you wish to, well, quote. The bar at the top will tell you how many quotes you’ve selected. Once you have finished, tap the icon at the top right (looks like a message bubble with three dots in it). The reply topic screen will open where you can add your comments to these multiple quotes. You will see where each quote is automatically placed for you - in the order in which you selected them.

    [​IMG]

    You can also put spacing between the quotes so you can comment between quotes. Or, to just leave a space for readability.

    Make your comments, add pictures if you wish and tap the Reply button. Done! :)

    The next post will be on creating a new post. It’s almost the same as replying - but it’s just different enough to have its own separate mini-tutorial…
     
    #4 Mickey330, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  5. Mickey330

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    CREATING A NEW POST

    Creating a new post is really no different than replying to an existing thread/post. You will be able to add pictures, links and make it say what you want.

    The key difference is you have to decide where you want the post to appear and then select the proper forum for the post. In the example for the tutorial, I’m going to create a new post in the General sub-forum.

    (1) First thing you’ve got to do it to get to the iPadForums forums. :) So, in Tapatalk, navigate to the iPadForums. Depending on how you’ve set up your Tapatalk app, you can be in your Subscriptions area, Notifications, Convos, etc.

    If you are in anything but the Forums, tap on the triple bar at the top of the tab/area you are in. You’ll know you’re there when you see this:

    [​IMG]

    (2) Select Forums to go to a list of all the Forums in iPadForums. Note that you can view these forums either by Category or By Name:

    [​IMG]

    Again, the key is to select the correct forum so that you can get the help you need (or to join in a certain area’s discussion).

    Since I’m going to post in the General section, I select “Apple iPad Discussions” (since I know the General section is under there). If you don’t know where a particular category/discussion is - I’d recommend using the alphabetical list.

    (3) After selecting Apple iPad Discussions, I select “iPad General Discussions.”

    [​IMG]

    Then, you will be in the forum and can see all the posts that are in that forum/category/area:

    [​IMG]

    (4) Once you are in the forum in which you wish to make a new post, tap on the three dots at the top right. You will get this pop-up:

    [​IMG]

    Tap on the “New Topic” line

    (5) You will get a window for adding in your text. This is the same window that you got for replies only it will show “New Topic” at the top of the screen:

    [​IMG]

    The biggest difference is that you have to add a Subject line to your post. Please make it as descriptive as you can so that other members know what the topic is before clicking on it.

    Then, you can add pictures, make your comments, etc., just like when replying. When you are done writing what you wish to say, tap on the “Create” button at the top right. Your post will go out and you will have made a new post to the forum. Done.

    (6) If you change your mind and don’t want to make the post, you can tap the “Cancel” button on the post to get the same three options you had in making a reply:

    [​IMG]

    And that’s how you make a new post to the forum. Now that you have these tutorials, you should be ready to use Tapatalk with ease. Just remember - I’ve had years of practice with this app. If you need additional assistance or are lost, please holler for help.

    And, don’t worry if this takes a bit to catch on. You’ll get the hang of it really soon. Promise! :)

    Marilyn

    Next post (or more!) is a hodge-podge of various bits I thought of while I was making this set of mini tutorials. If you have a suggestion or a question, let me know and I can add them to the mix…
     
    #5 Mickey330, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  6. Mickey330

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    Wow! Tapatalk has changed .... a lot!

    It changed to (IMO) an unusable version, so I had abandoned it. But, it then went back to something I could use and so I've been busy learning how the new Tapatalk works.

    I've now decided the newest version (v. 3.6) is something I can work with. I like it and still prefer to use Tapatalk to access my forums. But - it is w-a-y different than the older versions for which this tutorial was made.

    Therefore, I am going to start a new tutorial thread on Tapatalk (for those of us on version 3.6 or higher - the newest version I believe is usable).

    I will leave this thread here for those of you on the old version(s) of Tapatalk.

    For those of you on the new version - stay tuned and it should show up soon. I'll comment in this thread when it is ready for viewing...

    Marilyn
     
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  7. The OB

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    Agree Marilyn, again more usable. I just wish they would stop constantly fiddling with it, unless some real improvements are made.
     
  8. skimonkey

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    I can't keep up with Tapatalk's constant updates. It appears that enough users "voiced" their opinion on previous updates that they added some features back. I still use the website more than Tapatalk, but have recently began using tap once again. Certainly has changed. Thanks Marilyn for keeping is up to date! :)
     
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