Seeking app for google and yahoo groups

iOS & iPadOS
A while back, an app developer posted a request for ideas. He wanted to know what sort of apps blind users were desiring. At the time, I had no ideas; I was still exploring the vast world of apps. But today, I have one. If such an app exists already, please reply. If you like this idea, reply as well. If you know an app developer, please forward my post. I struggle with the interfaces for both Google groups and Yahoo groups. Yet I am a member of many internet mailing lists on each. And I hate clogging up my inbox with all the traffic they generate. The ViPhone group for example, is wonderful, but I had to stop reading it in my inbox, because it kept me from often responding quickly to important incoming mail. So what I want is a readerfor groups that functions more like an old-style internet news reader. In bygone days, when modems were slow, a news reader was optimized to show you just what you needed, when you needed it. And because the universe was text-based in those days, there was no additional clutter, like their is with so many web forums today: excess verbage about each post you have to wade through using a screen reader. Anyway, my ideal reader would ask me to supply my credentials once and save them. It would log in to my group, and show me a list of all the posts. The list would contain just the user name and subject, with a parenthesized number showing how many posts belonged to that thread. No dates, no avitars, no details about whether the poster was online -- in fact, no details that made the list harder to read with speech! I could sort the list by date, or most popular thread, but all I'd see is the bare bones info I required to select messages for reading. The app would allow me to pick what I wanted. I would then tap Go, and it would download everything for offline reading, so I could get through all those posts while on the bus or train and not use cellular data unnecessarily. This would also permit it to work with an iPod Touch so I'd only need that wi-fi connection to grab messages to peruse offline. It would then remember what it had shown previously so when I next had some spare time and wanted to catch up with a group, it would show me new posts I had not yet seen. There were programs for CompuServe that used to work this way, because it cost money to spend time online. Today it also costs to spend time online for some of us, but few apps are optimized to be frugal with data. There is also the problem that sometimes we are inareas that don't have cell coverage. Advanced features could include the ability to save any post permanently, and the ability to skip to the next message with a single gesture. It could even filter out quoted messages on request, for example, only showing the first three lines that begin with an angle bracket, or the first three lines of the original message that many people append to their posts. Anyway, I'd really like to see a GroupReader app developed. I'd happily pay for it especially if it supported other online forums. The Ubuntu forums come to mind, because I also find them extremely tedious to navigate. And I could imagine such an app being useful for the sighted as well. Being able to read everything offline has got to be handy, and being able to select just what you need to read ahead of time should be useful for everyone too. What are other members in this community's thoughts? --Debee



Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, December 30, 2013

I like the idea as well. But why not just create server-side filters and have it filter everything for you in your email client. That way, you don't have to view the messages all the time.

Submitted by Melissa Roe on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hello, I think the idea you have for a simple interface for google or yahoo groups sounds like a great idea. If you're looking for a way to read forums in an accessible manner, I have a solution. This will also have to be discussed with the creater of such forums, such as the admin of your Ubuntu forum you read. The app is called Forum runner. I was looking for it one day while browsing for forum readers. I, like you, do not like having to navigate between all the useless junk just to read the good stuff. The way forum runner works is: When you install the app, you create an account with their push notification service. This will go online and inform you of any posts that you've subscribed to. Secondly, search for a forum on their ever expanding list of forums. If you want a forum to be on this list, the admin needs to install a plugin on their forum. I'm not familiar with the installation process, because I don't have a forum to test it with. Anyway, the admin installs this plugin, and I assume would need to go through some simple steps to get their forum listed on the directory. You go into the app, and search for the forum. Once you find it, you can sign up for an account on that forum, or log in using your cridentials. Please understand that some forums may ask for a captcha, so for those forums, it may be best to sign up on the computer. This is not a forum runner issue, rather something to do with the forum itself. Some forums require you to solve a captcha to sign up. The day I found out about this app, I was curious to see if it worked with voiceover. I emailed their support, and got a response within hours that it does indeed with voice over. I wasted no time installing the app, signing up for their push notification service, and then searching for forums. It really is an easy app to use, and if you can convince your forum admins to take the steps to install the forum plugin, the possibilities are endless. I've submitted this app to the app directory on this site, and according to one of the applevis admins, this forum can not be included on that app. The app supports many different types of forums, but ones I remember are bit bulliton and pun bb and phpbb. I can help you get this app set up if you need any assistance. Give me an email or message me on twitter. Email is twitter is morning_song I hope this suggestion helps you in any way possible. Take care, and have a happy new year!