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Tapatalk support dropped

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thomas

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Dear valued Members,

we have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of the Japan Forum and its members to remove Tapatalk support as soon as possible. This decision has not been taken lightly, but we - along with a growing number of other webmasters - feel that over the past years Tapatalk has become more and more intrusive, often blatantly disregarding member privacy.

What is Tapatalk?

Tapatalk is an application that allows members to browse and participate in online fora via mobile devices.

Why have we decided to drop the application?

Unfortunately, over the years the company's business practices and the direction development has taken have been to the disadvantage of not only webmasters and forum hosts, but also forum members.
  • Updates are inconvenient and infrequent.
  • Tapatalk support is poor and slow. Critical threads on their own forum are frequently closed or deleted.
  • Tapatalk has in the past opened several possible security holes without alerting webmasters of the vulnerability for months. This vulnerability could have allowed attackers to gain access to members' credentials.
  • Tapatalk started to divert users to login through their own instead of the forum's login function.
  • The Tapatalk search function is now diluted with results from other websites.
  • Tapatalk keeps removing/disregarding usergroup permissions.
  • By default, Tapatalk uploads images to their own servers; this has been turned off on JREF => shady business practice!
  • Forum registration via Tapatalk is a potential gateway for spammers (and has therefore already been disabled on JREF).
  • Tapatalk keeps adding annoying popups to the site which have to be taken care of after each upgrade => shady business practice!
  • Tapatalk seems to be keeping a copy of each forum's content on their servers. They have not asked permission for this and we do not condone that.
  • Last but not least, many site features (articles, blogs, reviews, and media) can not be accessed through Tapatalk.

So how can we access the forum via mobile devices?

The current style and the new style we are going to adopt in the very near future are fully responsive. That means that the forum display, in particular the navigation menu, automatically adapts to the screen size of the device used.

We do apologise to those who enjoy the functionality of Tapatalk, but beg you to consider the security and privacy concerns the application raises, not to mention its technical limitations and the company's dubious business practices. I invite you to try out the mobile version of our current (and shortly updated) mobile style.

Downside

The only potential downside of removing Tapatalk is the lack of instant push notifications. The forum does send out notification emails, however, they are not always instant. If this is a concern to some of our current Tapatalk users we shall be glad to look into the possibility of installing add-ons that allow us to send out push notifications.

Screen shots

The screenshots below have all been taken on an iPhone 6+. I also tested it on an old (and, in comparison, tiny) iPhone 4, with the same results.

screen-login.png

The login screen on the new style

screen-forumdisplay.png

The forum index with forum groups and fora

screen-forumview.png

Thread view

screen-thread.png

Thread post

screen-texteditor.png

Text editor

Personal experiences

I browse the forum via mobile devices (iPhone, iPad Mini, iPad) whenever I'm away from my home station and haven't used Tapatalk in over a year. Fortunately, we no longer need to rely on a cumbersome third-party application in order to provide for a mobile-friendly experience.

A few months ago, we dropped Tapatalk support on our sister site where in fact more members than on JREF had been using the application, and we received not a single complaint, just positive feedback.

Conclusion

We strongly advise anyone to remove Tapatalk from their devices, too.
 
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thomas

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Just bumping this up, as I would like to draw everyone's attention to the Tapatalk issue once again.

The number of Tapatalk users here on JREF has dropped to only 6 a day (if we can trust their dashboard), but I know that a few members are ardent users (@Mike Cash @WonkoTheSane and others).

Here's another webmaster's account of why they have deactivated TT on their website (June 20):

We're officially dropping support for Tapatalk for our forum FreeVPS Directory & Discussion due to recent privacy & security violations by Tapatalk.

The Tapatalk plugin comes with a function that is turned on by default without the consent of the server administrators and a proper option to disable it. This function reads data from the database (such as your e-mail address, name and whatever else is stored in the forum database) and sends this data to the Tapatalk server without our consent!

Tapatalk comments that this is necessary for their "Trending posts, threads and etc... e-mails" to send e-mails to users about trending content. The most shocking however is that it is nowhere stated and explained. They say it's a beta. So Tapatalk has access to the whole forum database without ever asking for consent. Moreover this feature can only be disabled in the plugin configuration file. Who is looking for a option in ACP of the forum will have bad luck and find absolutely nothing.

This violations are not something we're going to forgive or accept. Therefore we've deactivated and fully uninstalled Tapatalk from our forum and server.

I've not been able to find something about this in English because so far only a German forum has uncovered this spying tool.

Sources:
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/T...16662.html
http://www.computerhilfen.de/news/tapata...67130.html

Thank you for your understanding. We're always here to defend you and your privacy.
Tapatalk support dropped due to privacy & security violations
 

Mike Cash

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I fully understand and support your decision.

I get tired of their never-ending monkeying with the layout and functionality of the app anyway. You'd think they could just get it so it works and then leave it alone, but apparently not.
 
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thomas

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Thank goodness, Mike! I was afraid some TT fans would be ticked off. Given the low number of users we'll probably disable it once we commence the upgrade on Saturday.
 

WonkoTheSane

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Doesn't really bother me. The day it stops working I'll wander over to the website instead.
 
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thomas

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Just to reiterate: Tapatalk has now been disabled.
 
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