There are 6 official mobile platforms for WordPress, most active being iOS and Android by far.
Mobile apps have been a place to experiment with native interfaces, like the dashboard layout in Android. Lately a move to the swiping sidebar, what’s nice about that is it scales up for example the panels in the iPad version, it’s like responsive design.
We’ve had a lot of issues finding contributors for native platforms because there is a specific set of skills. There are some issues around GPL and the app stores. There are also issues around APIs, more interested in a JSON-based API than using XML-RPC. JSON is lighter weight to parse, and usually lighter to send. REST is a different paradigm though which is more of a remote procedure call.
APIs should come from the mobile apps and UI features we want, not vice versa. It’s difficult for mobile devs to have to put everything through a long review, vs in core where we make the API at the same time. Perhaps we need APIs that we mark for first-party apps only (officially) so we don’t have to worry as much about mantaining things for ever.
On WP.com they can iterate a lot faster because they can co-develop and immediately deploy.
Mobile app sub-forums, we can arrange them however team wants. It’d be sweet if you could view / post in the support forums from directly within the app. Mobile app websites have forums, blog, homepage, download, and a get involved.
We have lots of mobile app sites, each with its own landing pages, download, blog, FAQ, forums. Bring all of that into WordPress.org.
Apps on the download page? Consensus yes. (Action item for Isaac.)
Feedback for apps. “Moderating comments on iOS kind of sucks, because you can’t go back to see other comments on a post.” A uniform design language that can be used across all of the apps, whether in the dashboard or in the mobile apps. Been of the approach that you should follow platform UI guidelines and conventions first. Guidelines should probably go both directions.
What does native do that we don’t get on the web? Device-specific functionality, some is catching up, performance is the biggest thing. Animations, shadows, scrolling, getting data vs getting HTML with every pageload.
Stats are a great example of this, if there were a method for “fetch my stats” different plugins could hook into it. Backbone views are broken down and can be reused.
Two big issues: people in this room have things they want the apps to do, and we’re getting lots of 1-star reviews. Many of the crashes and bad ratings are from webviews, mostly things in WP.com. One of the reasons we’ve been going native for some of the WP.com-specific stuff.
Some feedback around the hierarchy of the sidebar menu. We don’t have universal swipe to the right, you have to swipe from the button. The apps are still blog-centric, even though there is some action-centric stuff. How can more people get involved with making the apps more stable? Perhaps an iOS shop needs WP help and we could trade.
iOS world is full of highly polished, very designed apps. Why have we struggled, what’s holding us back? Most apps are single-party — one host, one developer, one API.
This week action item: add app downloads to the wordpress.org/download page.