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In early September, I reviewed the GameOn Forums app, and suggested that it painted a terrific blueprint for others to follow to make reading forums on the iPhone a much more pleasant experience.
It'd be pretty silly of me to take credit for what happened next, but regardless, here I am reviewing the Tapatalk Forum App not two months later, and it is (almost) exactly what I was calling for. More than 6,000 web-based message boards have been converted into a single iPhone-friendly app.
Design wise, Tapatalk is quite user-friendly. Users can browse any of the forums available via Tapatalk by genre, or they can search for their favorite forum to see if it made the cut. Assuming the message board you frequent lets you view posts without logging in, you have the same sort of access via Tapatalk.
In fact, if you never log-in to Tapatalk, you'd be looking at a five-star app. Reading posts without logging in is simple and easy, and jumping to different sections of each forum is as easy as tapping your iPhone screen a few times.
Unfortunately, logging-in to a forum creates an unexpected list of headaches that hold this social networking app back from reaching its full potential. Sometimes, you'll receive errors when typing posts, other times you'll receive errors for logging-in to your profile, or any number of other simple tasks. While you can proceed without error through the occasional members-only screen, it's so much trouble to find out what works that it's not surprising that few would stick around to see this app through.
That's a shame, too, as Tapatalk is set up smartly for browsing multiple forums, even using a tab to list all of the forums you've logged-in to, as well as a history encompassing forums that you were just browsing.
With so much potential, it's extremely frustrating to see Tapatalk plow headfirst into so many bugs and errors. If they can get sorted out, this app is well worth its price, but otherwise it's best recommended if you don't mind not logging-in to the forum you love to read.