This is where we'll do updates on various technical issues about the forums.
Bandwidth Use on Mobile Networks
@Daybreaker made some software changes Wednesday night, July 23, so that these forums now require only 1% more bandwidth, on average, than Lines. For the technically inclined, it's +200 bytes per page. You'd have to read 100,000 pages per month to reach an incremental 20MB on your data plan. We probably don't have that many pages of content.
As an added bonus, these software changes have improved the page load speed of the forums, so that Google Page Speed now thinks the forums are faster than Lines Chat (an average score of 66 for the forums vs 61 for Lines Chat).
We'll monitor this for a few more days, but I'm pleasantly optimistic.
Battery Life Concerns
@Daybreaker made some tweaks to the colors used on the forums today, so that we expect battery life to be the same for both the forums and Lines Chat, even under very heavy use.
In researching the question, it appears that screen brightness is far more important to battery life than, say, data transfer. Also, the colors used on our web pages play a small part in screen brightness, so we wanted to look at the impact.
We're measuring the brightness of our web pages by looking at the Mean Pixel Intensity value in Photoshop, for iPhone screen captures of Lines Chat and various forum pages.
The Mean Pixel Intensity scale runs from 0 (black) to 255 (pure white). Lines' averages around 200 on this scale. The forums currently average 210-220, depending on the page you're looking at. In practical terms, that means an hour of constant use might take an additional 1% of battery life on the forums, everything else being equal. Or, to put that in perspective, how bright the room is that you're standing in, probably has more influence on your battery life than these forums.
Compatibility with Various Phones and Browsers
iPhone 5/5s We're still investigating intermittent issues where the forums don't respond to requests for things like pages, page refreshes, and clicks on links. We're able to reproduce some of these, and it'll be at the top of our list now. The most effective workaround seems to be to re-tap the link, button, or page you want. This affects an unknown number of folks, because it's intermittent.
Internet Explorer 9 and older versions of IE, do not work with the forum software. The workaround is to upgrade to IE11 or IE10, if possible, or install Chrome or Firefox. There are a number of known issues with IE9, and you'll also find better long-term support for IE11 from Microsoft, so there are benefits all around to upgrading browsers anyway. This affects about 2% of our total chat community.
This seems to be solved as of Friday, July 25, 2014. The software's default limit was 2MB for photo uploads, which is small compared to the high-quality photos you can get on most smart phones. We upped that limit to 8MB and it seems to be working. Photos larger than 8MB should be cropped or resized before upload. As phone camera quality increases, we'll revisit this limit.