Back button in companion app forums not working

this is definitely not a big deal, but it does bug me on a somewhat regular basis, so here goes:

i’m on the android version of companion app. i usually browse these forums using the app.

i think two updates ago, the android “back” button stopped going “back” from a post to the main index of posts. i have to click back to the main index of posts using the nav at the top, which means i lose my place in the list (and it’s not as easy to reach).

i tried uninstalling in play store and re-installing on both the previous version and the current version, no change in behavior.

the back button works fine in the main app proper, but stops working specifically in the forums part of the app.

Hi @Dan_Dube
Appreciate your posts as always. That back button behavior wasn’t intentionally changed to have this effect in recent builds.

Browsing the forums with the Companion app’s built-in browser isn’t an optimal experience. For starters - it doesn’t allow you to open multiple tabs like external browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. Opening new tabs keep your place on the main index of posts intact.

I’m curious why you prefer reading the forums with ZC’s in built browser instead of your regular browser? If you were given the option to change what happens when you click the “forums” link at the bottom of the ZC menu - which outcome would you prefer, and why?

  1. Clicking the link opens the inbuilt browser, and passes your username / PW to the forum and you’re logged in automatically. You would still be limited by the lack of multiple tabs.

  2. Clicking the link opens the forums in your preferred external browser. This option would give you the multiple tabs and a navigation experience that’s on par with other websites.

Although you directed the question in reply to @Dan_Dube, I hope you don’t mind if I also give an answer, from the standpoint of someone who mainly accesses the Forums from the ZC app on a phone.

While the experience isn’t optimal, I still find it more comfortable and convenient than jumping to a separate browser on the same device. When in the ZC app, one can instantaneously jump to the ZC Home page via the permanent menu at the bottom of the screen and throw out some Ride-ons, look back at some Activities, or quickly ‘Find Zwifters’ to see the rider profile of someone who has posted and whose ride history/activity profile is useful for answering them.

True, navigating across subjects can be a little laborious, but one develops the reflexes to speed up the process, and I don’t find it slower than when accessing Zwift Forums in a tab in FireFox on the same device, for example. For me, doing that provides a virtually identical appearance/experience to the Forums in ZC, with no particular advantage, aside from being able to have multiple tabs open simultaneously.
Sure, the Forums are even more comfortable to use in a tablet or laptop browser, but I would visit and interact far less often during the day if I were limited to those options.

So, if I understand your question correctly, I’d go for option 1., i.e. the status quo.
I hope that it won’t be phased out.

What a curious answer!

Q. It used to work, it’s now broken.

A. Do you really want us to fix it? Why were you using it in the first place? It was really a rubbish feature compared to the alternate options anyway.

Okay, I paraphrase to the extreme but that is the gist of the first response.

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i agree with @Roule_Thoune for the most part, but i’ll add a bit more:

  • i use private-only browsers on mobile, which means that all cookies are wiped all the time. so logging in is always necessary, and a bit of a pain in my main browser, and in fact i try NOT to log in to services in my main browser. (my main browser is sometimes TOR)
  • i don’t use tabs in mobile, they don’t make as much sense as desktop; i actually hate browsing the web in mobile and avoid it most of the time.
  • i like that i’m already logged into the app and it seems to log me in to the forums. i’ve sort of decided that the app is allowed to log in, so it logging into the forums “makes sense” to me.
  • i go in to the companion app to poke around at zwift stuff. i give ride-ons, check my activity, look at my weekly goals, and schedule my next event. and then i go fart around in the forums “while i’m in there”.
  • the tab experience for Discourse isn’t fantastic, so, despite me being a tab-aholic, i actually don’t use them that often even in desktop for Discourse.

does zwift actually use a built-in browser, or does it use “android webview” which is some pass-through to chrome?

i’d vote for 1, though i can understand the appeal of the external browser. if i had to log in via the browser as an extra step, i’d just stop looking at the forums on my phone. the only reason i look at them there now is because it’s “easy”.

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