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We have been checking the various features of the NEW CHAT ROOM in addition to just chatting using a Windows desktop PC (Win 8.1)– Windows Laptop (Win 10) – iPhone – iPad and Samsung Tablet.  We have chatted both one to one and in the WSS Room with other members including those using an android mobile device and we can find no problem with the way it is all working nor can we find anything that would prevent anyone from using the new chat software from using it to chat.  

We have also checked the video/audio function chatting with each other HawkesburyGirl using the laptop and HawkesburyCouple using the desktop and it worked without problem. We have also tried the video when chatting one to one with another site member as well as in the WSS Room and again it worked without problem.  When opening the video chat a separate window will open displaying the video feed. This video feed window can be resized from a very small window that you can place out of the way in a corner of your screen to full page or anything in between (see screenshots video-1 and video-2). On the bottom of the video window you have the options of END VIDEO CALL  - TURN OFF VIDEO – TURN OFF MIC.  When another joins the video call the main part of the video window will show their feed while your own feed will be shown in a small window in the bottom right corner (see screenshot video-3).

video_1.jpg  video_2.jpg  video-3.jpg

We appreciate that most people in general do not readily accept change once they have become accustomed to something being a certain way. We have no option but to move to new software, as previously stated the company who provide our current MEMBERS CHAT ROOM will be PERMANENTLY TURNING OFF THEIR CHAT SERVERS on the 1 May 2017.  To try and ease some of the resentment of moving to new chat software with a whole new look we have set the new chat room up so that it can be used in a variety of ways so hopefully most of you should be comfortable with either one version or another. 


The chat bar will show to all logged in users as a small blue bar down on the bottom right hand corner of your screen (see screenshots chatbar_1 - Chatbar_2chatbar_3). The purpose of the bar is to provide full functionally of the chat room while at the same time leaving you free to browse any area of the site – post replies – send or reply to PM’s or anything else while at the same time being able to keep an eye on your one to one chats or the conversation in any of the rooms.  Every function that is offered by the chat room can be used from this bar.

newchat_chatbar_1.jpg  newchat_chatbar_2.jpg  newchat_chatbar_3.jpg



Clicking on the CHAT TAB or Chat Contacts or Chat Groups under the Chat Tab will open the chat room within the site wrapper maintaining the navigation bar.  (see screenshot contacts-groups).  You can still browse the site, post replies etc while keeping an eye on chat by opening either the site or the chat page in a new browser tab.




There is also a full page version which can be found as an option under the CHAT TAB.  This page will open in a new browser tab with the chat being displayed full page without the site wrapper so that nothing but the chat page is displayed. (see screenshot fullpage)


Regardless of which version you prefer to use, each has all the same options and functionality.  Within the next 3 to 6 weeks we should also have a WSS Chat app for both Android and IOS mobile devices. The app will enable you to chat directly with other members, share video/audio – etc via your mobile device.  You will also be able to invite others to chat with you via SMS.  We will also have a similar Desktop app for Windows and MAC.

As mentioned previously the new chat room has a great many features that we did not have with the Members Chat Room which we hope you will all enjoy once you get used to the new chat software.  Some of the new features available are Video and Voice chats which can be broadcast to all in a room or group or one to one – Everyone will be able to create their own rooms and should they wish restrict access to only those they invite – share files – share screens and more.  The best way to get a feel for the new software is to have a play with it.

Apple users wishing to use the video and voice service option of the new chat room, there is no support of webRTC to date for audio/video calls via the internet using the Apple Safari browser.  There is however a work around which you can find on the SITE BLOG.  We have not as yet tried using another browser such as Chrome on an Apple device so have no idea whether that will work or not.  Either way we hope the app is available soon so there will then no longer be a problem for those wishing to use the video option.


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This is just a quick reminder to those who like to chat in a room as a group as you did in the old chat room. There is no reason why you can not still do that.  While the new software makes it much easier to chat 1 to 1 or 1 to a group, you can still chat as you always did in the old chat room.  If you click on the GROUPS TAB you will see the WSS GROUP CHAT room. This is a permanent chat room and is no different to chatting in the old chat room.


Should any of you wish you can also create  your own room and invite others to come and chat with you there or you can password protect the room so that only those you give the password to can came in and chat with you.






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8 hours ago, Shaft said:

Don't know if anyone else is having the same issues but I can't use chat just don't work on my phone.


We have tried on our phones, tablets, desktop and laptop and it works fine on all platforms.  We have also chatted with other site members who have been on their phone or tablet and they also had no problem and that included using video. The screen shots we included above would not have been possible otherwise.

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