TLDR: Mobile is
sad Dead. Can we have web push notifications?
(While the eventual intended audience will know what I'm talking about, Google has a nice, though somewhat technical article on what this is. I don't expect it to happen soon, but it would be nice to put it on the radar.)
For starters - and this could take the proverbial 6-8 weeks or more, could we have web notifications on the mobile/grand unified responsive design pages? This would help do notifications for desktop, Android and possibly even natively on IOS/MacOS (apparently iOS doesn't do webworkers/notifications correctly yet - but whatever work's done would be useful even after that). I'm not sure what else the mobile apps offer but this is the one thing I'd miss. Its definitely not a high priority but something I'd like to put on the radar.
Considering that there are plans to unify the mobile and desktop views, this might work for both.
The mobile applications are something that power users of Stack Exchange love.
That said, they kind of have been left stagnant a while - and they're essentially technical debt, especially with, well, the mobile landscape changing a fair bit. Might be worth planning for the time they are no longer around. Even for folks holding on to 'old' versions, they're starting to break. As of 2021, the application crashes in Android 12 and I'm no longer getting notifications at all. As of 2022 - the back end code is being sunset in addition to substantial changes in the inbox and the apps are completely dead, but considering how long the app's been unsupported, we're lucky to have has it so long.
They're formally no longer supported, and it would be really nice to have at least one of the critical features they supported - mobile notifications, somehow supported..
Opt in notifications (by installing the app) were one way I stay engaged with goings on in Q&A I have participated in across the network, even on sites I frequent less. The ability to get notifications via any supported browser would be a lighter/simpler alternative.
While this feature is deferred - it might be worth considering a few factors in implimenting
Everyone else has an annoying pop up asking for it. Is there a better way? Maybe a profile option?
How can discoverability be balanced with unobtrusiveness?
Can/could this be done globally for public Q&A and on a per-team basis? More broadly, can we opt in to different types of notifications somehow, and enable them on a per device basis?
If network wide, where would this live? (Hopefully not SO for public Q&A.)
Would PWA/PWA-like features fit in with SE's development (ugh, I wish someone who knew these things better asked, but here we are.)
could this be used by third party apps to support notifications? - there's a handful of third party apps, and at least the android one that's the most polished lacks a good way to do it