iOS TBA

When will the subscription feature be available for iOS? I really like the feature that is currently available on android and find it useful for scouters to take advantage of.

Hey Aaron - I’m Zach, aka the primary maintainer of TBA for iOS.

For some context around this - the favorites + subscriptions features are both grouped under myTBA. They’re backed by the same mobile API, and we largely think of them as the same feature. Both of these features are “built” and are in the iOS app - more on this in a second.

Just before launching TBA for iOS, I made a change to the server code to support sending notifications to iOS clients. Push notifications are difficult to test in development, so I didn’t do any end-to-end testing. As we got closer to launch, I realized that our existing notification infrastructure (backed by the legacy FCM API) wasn’t delivering notifications to iOS clients. I have a handful of theories around why this is, but they’re not important.

As we approached our release date, I made the decision to pull both favorites and subscriptions from the app, since I felt it was confusing to offer one myTBA feature without the other. There ended up being a lot of requests from people to add favorites to the app (a feature I’d already built). Our v1.0.1 release added the myTBA tab back, with favorites enabled and notifications disabled.

What’s the fix to get notifications working on iOS? We need to migrate to the new FCM HTTPv1 API. This requires us moving to a new way of managing subscriptions, as well as migrating our existing notifications to use this new API. There’s also the work of getting Android moved over to these new notifications, sunsetting the old API, making sure we don’t cause regressions on our webhook support (notifications and webhooks are both backed by the same code) etc. I hope you understand when I say - this is a non-trivial amount of work.

Work on our new notification service (TBA Notification Service, or TBANS as we’re calling it) is underway, but I hope you understand, we’re all very busy… The Blue Alliance is an open source project, built and maintained by volunteers (like me), who work on this in their “free time” (for most of us, after we get home from our real full time jobs as software engineers). I’m not willing to offer a timeline for when this work will be completed - but more hands make for light work.

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