[Announcement] Previewing OzBargain Mobile App & Dark Mode

Got some announcements to make today. These are the new features that have been requested countless times before, but we have never committed to implement them (for various reasons). I am putting out preview versions of these features to be tested by the brave hearts.

OzBargain Mobile App

Update: Announcement & discussion post.

In the past we have always told our members that OzBargain does not have an official mobile app (and why we do not need one). After all, web browser is the best app you need to use to access OzBargain, and it should already been installed on your devices. However over the years many 3rd party app developers have written mobile apps that access OzBargain, and some even have "OzBargain" as part of the name. We ended up having to provide support, not to mention all the confusions.

So I decided that maybe we need a mobile app. Not necessary a better way to access OzBargain, but as a defence mechanism — there is an official app, thus making all others unofficial which we won't be responsible for.

We put together a React Native based app that pretty much

  • Scans various RSS feed
  • Open deals in a WebView
  • Uses OAuth2 to log into OzBargain.

There are still features that need to be implemented, but we are just putting out a Preview version to get some feedbacks. Feel free to test it out.

iOS version will also be eventually available. Just need to get myself an iOS device first.

OzBargain Mobile App

OzBargain Dark Theme

Dark Theme has also been something that has been requested many times over the years (first requested feature this year!), and many have attempted to create 3rd party themes with various means, so that they can check the latest bargains in the middle of the night.

The dark theme is now available to users opt-in for Beta features (UPDATE: It's now available for all logged in users).

To turn on dark theme,

  • Open My Account menu,
  • Click on "Dark mode" to toggle between the dark and light theme

Doing a dark theme for OzBargain actually turns out to be a lot more complicated than reversing foreground/background colours. There are many hard coded colours in HTML and CSS that got left in the code over the years, and you might encounter many places that do not display properly. Hopefully these will be gradually fixed.

Later on we'll also automatically detect device's theme setting to show light or dark theme depending on your current operating system preference.

OzBargain Dark Theme


  • +2

    Neat work guys!

  • Can't believe I missed the Free AT99 microphone, sure I would've logged in some time around then too..
    As for the app, I'm guessing never is no longer accurate, but I for one won't be using it. Mobile site is good for me.

  • +2

    I also see you've changed the colour of the topic banner and around the sideview elements.
    It's strange seeing it a darker colour than usual.

  • +4

    Oooh okay, that dark mode is super high contrast. Might take a getting used to. Nice work though.

    • +1

      Yes there are a lot of colours that I need to find dark-theme equivalent and then test in all places where they are used. Currently dark theme has high contrast colours because some shades (orange for example) really pops with black background. Work in progress.

  • +3

    Despite the "No April Fools Day" post, the timing of this at 4am still makes me suspicious!

    Dark Mode comment boxes need to be colour inverted!

    • I was hoping that OS-level inputs will be themed by OS preferences, but it turns out not be the case. Something that we'll have to fix.

      • -1

        These grey OP boxes are too stark. It hurts my eyes.

  • Is this the April Fools joke?

    • Yes it is.

      • Thank goodness, I was beginning to think it might be real

  • OzB is channeling the last episode of The Sopranos…

  • Good work scotty

  • That would explain why my Dark Reader colours have too much contrast compared to normal.

    Are these changes permanent or is it still in a fine tuning stage?

    • +1

      Tuning is ongoing, and the manual switch is only available to beta users right now.

  • Someone mind confirming how to opt into OzB beta?

    • My account menu > settings > click 'Show beta features' (it's the last option under the 'OzBargain Settings' sub header).

      • Thanks!

        Would the beta features be targetted to specific users?


        • +1

          Currently it's available to those who

          • have account created for more than 180 days
          • have at least 2 badges
          • @scotty: Awesome, thanks Scotty. I'll aim to grab another one!

  • Also when a deal is unpublished it appears in a white background. shouldn’t it appear in a black background?

    • Where do you see it in the white background? Unpublished deals should have dark-grey background in the listing.

  • I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned but in normal mode in IOS (safari chrome they use the same renderer in iOS) ‘comment’ boxes backgrounds of your own posts (and the original poster) are now blurry. This has been around a few days now and I’m associating it with this dark mode update.

    • +1

      Looks like Safari iOS handles transparency a bit differently. I've made some updates — please check whether the issue has been fixed.

      • Thanks - she's sweet now.

  • +3

    Took a while and the app is finally in the Google Play Store. Linky.

    Meanwhile we'll be uploading a new preview version that has competition listing (and wait another week for Google to approve), and notification integration is "in progress".

    • Yay, I can’t wait for an iOS app, also if you can’t get your hands on an Apple device you can always open it on TestFlight so beta testers can test the app for you?

  • +1

    Few things I've noticed on Android:
    1. Back button doesn't work
    2. Can you put an option to select the default screen that it opens to? I'd like to default to 'New Deals' as an example

    • +1

      Agree with No.2
      I have my browser favourite set to the "new deals" page. Work in progress , nice clean app simple easy to use.
      Couple of suggestions
      - Deal title to be more Bold to stand out more from the normal text
      - Option to vote on the deal by tapping + or - without having to go into the deal first.

    • +1

      Customise the default screen to be either New or Hot deals should be available in 1.3.0. See announcement here.

      • Thanks Scotty! Back button now works too!

  • +2

    Just an update that selecting Dark Mode is now generally available to all logged in users.

    Dark Mode is still available to guest users. However it will be depending on the theme setting of your device, i.e. it uses the dark/light theme of the device to decide whether to use Dark Mode on OzBargain. In order to manually force Dark Mode, one has to log in and change it under the "My Account" menu.

  • +2

    Hell yes, dark mode!!!!!!!!!!!! My eyes thank you.

  • I was wondering why my screen was black until I found this post, looks pretty weird at first sight though

    • You would have device set to dark by default. However you are able to override the setting (turning dark mode off) from the My Account menu.

      • This doesn’t seem to work for me. Dark mode isn’t activated when viewing the site as a guest even though it’s enabled at the system-level (iOS 14)

        I’ve cleared the cache already. Other sites are working correctly.

  • +9

    A few notes:

    • When I first launched OB this morning, I thought that some CSS or something didn't load properly and was confused why I was getting problematic colour changes. Turns out it was intentional testing of Dark Mode. Maybe a small notification in the header to inform people that dark mode is in testing and turned on.

    • Dark mode doesn't necessarily mean bg=#000000 and text=#ffffff. While it's great on OLED devices to conserve battery, often pure black and white contrast makes web pages worse and harder to look at. I recommend a dark shade of gray to navy/dark blue.

    Have a look at other apps like Dark Mode YouTube or Discord where they use soft grays for backgrounds and light grays for text. They are a lot better than just straight up black and white, and grays play a lot better when using other colours as well (like the green/red upvote/downvote, blue metadata for usernames/dates etc)

    • I agree with this comment. I am a prolific dark mode user, however the current Dark Mode for OB is too dark for me.

      • +1

        It looks a lot softer on my eyes with the variables adjusted to;
        —page-bg: #222;
        —link-fg: #a7d2df;

        There are definitely other areas where the contrast isn't quite right yet.

  • +1

    Thank you for dark mode on website OzB team.

  • +3

    Very glad dark mode has finally been implemented, however can it be shifted from straight black to a dark grey?

  • +2

    Not a fan of the dark mode. Doesn't match the OzBargain orange at all, as well as other factors.

  • Dark Mode looks great on my Iphone and mac
    Great work guys :) Really impressed

  • Dark Theme. Nice for those late night sessions.

  • +1

    Hi Scotty. Any update on the availability of the iOS client?

    • +3

      Maybe a month away? I need to

      • Buy an iPhone (already ordered a refurbished iPhone 8)
      • Use iPhone to set up 2FA for my Apple ID
      • Use 2FA'ed Apple ID to sign up & pay for Apple Developer Program

      There are other iOS specific development issues that we need to resolve. Expensive exercise for an app that none of the OzBargain staff will be using…

      • Thanks for the effort. The main feature I'm after is the push notification.

        I've got email subscription and RSS > IFTTT alerts notifications set up but they always seem to come through very late, like around an hour late. Popular deals would be gone by then.

        Do you know of any other more real-time push notification options?

        • All new deal notifications are 10 minute delayed, and search alert notifications are up to 30 minutes delayed. Don't have anything that's "real-time".

          • @scotty: ok. thanks for the clarification.

  • Love the idea of dark mode, but pure black like this isn't right, check out Facebooks markmode and more theres a different shade around post's would look great for ozbargain.
    Hope you are still working on this.

  • Just stopped using dark mode - it just doesn't work well on my eyes much prefer a dark grey background as opposed to solid black. Would make reading text much easier.

    • Feel free to have a look at the custom dark theme I've made for the website, there's a lot more customization and you can tweak colors to your liking :)

  • …just discovered the link in the top nav…will give dark mode a shot as the white background does a burn a little after prolonged viewing. looks pretty good so far, hopefully improves with a few design tweaks

  • i don't know what took me so long to find dark mode (living under a dark rock??) but my eyes love you, scotty. it works very nicely along with f.lux

  • Is the app just for forum notifications or can it notify when deals are posted?

    The twitter account has had a lot of issues of late so trying to find a way to get notified when a deal goes up on mobile

    • +1

      It sends the same notifications on the website to your app. So you can go to your subscription page (My Account -> Subscription) and turn on the ones you want. Make sure you change Notification type to "Web". You'll then be notified on the app.

      For example you want to be notified on every deal that hits the front page, you'll go to Subscriptions -> events and then turn on "Notify me when … A deal reaches the front page". Make sure "Notifications" is "Web"

      Front page notifications

      • Awesome thanks mate :-)

  • Later on we'll also automatically detect device's theme setting to show light or dark theme depending on your current operating system preference.

    Any ETA on this?

    Edit: See comment above.

  • Dear god why would you use jet black as a dark mode? It only makes it harder to read.
    hex: 171717 (rgb: 23, 23, 23) is generally a good color to use.

  • would be nice to implement a full jet black option again, this lighter black is horrid

  • I just cannot find the dark node !!!
    (Mobile version, not App)

    • Here are the steps:

      1. Click on the 3-stripe menu at the top-left
      2. Click on drop-down arrow next to My Account
      3. Click on "Dark Mode"
      • Got It. Thanks!

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