Gutenberg in the apps: what to expect

The team in charge of bringing Gutenberg to mobile is hard at work, and we’ve seen some really nice progress in the past month: Gutenberg Mobile working inside the apps and the first post published with it, the writing flow has improved so it’s starting to feel more like an editor and less like a collection of isolated blocks, we have a working toolbar in place, you can now select images from your media library,…

We’ve also updated the apps to warn users if they try to edit a Gutenberg post with our existing editor:

Besides the current progress, we have planned the next two milestones: an alpha next month, and an early beta in February.

Alpha, December 2018

We will have an alpha release at the end of the year that will showcase the editing flow with some selected basic blocks. We will have a basic integration with the apps, enough to be able to experience Gutenberg (via secret opt-in or special builds), but won’t be showing this to users. Being able to use early versions of Gutenberg directly in the apps will make it easier to gather feedback and do user testing.

Our first release is not meant for end users, as it will only support very basic content: heading, paragraph, and images from the media library. We’re moving from the stage of making blocks work on native to actually building an editor, so there’s a lot of focus on the writing experience and getting this in the apps.

Progress is looking pretty good so far, and we’re still confident we can ship this next month. You can follow along in the Github milestone.

Beta, February 2019

We’ll ship our first beta in February 2019. We want it to be pleasantly usable, but we need to balance that with shipping early to provide a useful solution to those needing to edit existing Gutenberg content. We will support only the most common types of content, but writing a post using those is hopefully as pleasant as doing it with Aztec, things work as expected and writing a post is not frustrating. This is what we scoped as 1.0, but we will adjust the scope depending on what we hear from users after the public release of Gutenberg.

Back in September, we defined what we thought would be a good 1.0, and we were looking at shipping that in Q1. But as Gutenberg rolls out to users on the web, we might see a good amount of users hitting problems trying to edit Gutenberg posts on Aztec. We have done (and keep doing) a lot of work to try to make that as good as possible, but there are limits to how compatible we can make the existing editor. We want to reduce the gap between gutenberg launching and having a version in the apps, so we’re adjusting scope a bit to ship in February. As we hear more from our users, we might still reconsider scope to shift that date.

You can follow along in the Github milestone.

Beyond the beta

Once we have the alpha in place, we’ll be able to put this in the hands of testers and do some user testing, which will help us evaluate our priorities after the first beta.

Also, we’ll start planning soon what our roadmap should be to support blocks from plugins, and start the discussions to make that happen.

You can follow along on the Gutenberg and gutenberg-mobile Github repos, and if you have any questions or want to get involved, you can discuss here or find us in the #core-editorand #mobile rooms in Slack.