Goodbye to the Chat27 Android App

Jun 10, 2017 | 0 comments

First things first to avoid any confusion:
This post applies only to the Chat27 Android app that was downloadable from the Google Play store.
The www.chat27.co.za website is still very much alive and enjoying our full support.

Great, glad we got that out of the way, now here’s what’s what with the Chat27 app:

I started considering developing a Chat27 Mobile app about 14 months ago (March 2016) when a buddy created an app for his dating website. Basically he just put his website in an Android app, which made it much easier for his visitors to load and navigate his website without needing a browser and tabs and distractions and and… oh look, a bunny!

“What a novel idea!” I thought.

When he did all the hard work of finding out how to actually publish that app he created, I thought I’d give it a go.

Because I have no programming experience, I used a third party online app creator (Appiepie) to load Chat27’s third party chat software (KiwiIRC)… and that’s where the problem came in. Both pieces of software work just fine when loaded separately, but loading KiwiIRC in an app just didn’t work correctly… because the app required yet another piece of third party software (Android System WebView). As many relationships go, the three elements were awesome as individuals, but just couldn’t work correctly when put together… a trifecta of f-ups.

When the app DID work right, it was on such a limited range of devices and Android versions, that we were left catering to:

  • a VERY small minority (people who chat on Chat27 and understood how it worked)
  • within a minority (people with the newest smartphones)
  • within a minority (people with the latest Android operating system)
  • within a minority (people who are prepared to live with the limitations of this patchwork of third party apps).

By the way, THANK YOU to that minority for your unwavering support!!!

It took a year of tinkering, poking, prodding, updating, perspiration and eventual exasperation to make peace with the fact that this just wasn’t going to work. Judging by the online store reviews like “worst app ever” and “what a waste of data”, we just couldn’t get it right.

I don’t believe it’s Appiepie’s fault. They bring a great service at an affordable price. All the other online app creators I’ve researched employ the same technologies and would face the same obstacles when trying to shoehorn my requirement into the pre-fabricated technology they provide, not to mention that it would take tens of thousands of Rands to build such an App from scratch.

KiwiIRC is an epic piece of software that allows mooks like me to get people like you chatting online.

From now on I’ll focus whatever spare time and energy I have on the Chat27 website, and leave the rest to the guys with the expertise and/or money to implement that “App” kind of dream correctly. These days, it’s all about “face” this and “photo” that, or swipe left or swipe right… in a split second deciding if you want to spend any time with someone.

Chat27 is about the conversation… but how many people have you met that can actually hold a decent conversation these days?

The Chat27 Android App has been removed from the Google Play Store, and will stop working on those phones that already have it installed around the end of June 2017.

Apologies to those folks that have come to rely on this app on a daily bases. Your support is appreciated and we hope to still see you on this on the Chat27 website!