Summary: Mobile Apps Discussion

There are 6 official mobile platforms for WordPress, most active being iOSiOS The operating system used on iPhones and iPads. 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 sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme., 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 GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. and the app stores. There are also issues around APIs, more interested in a JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.-based APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. 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 UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. features we want, not vice versa. It’s difficult for mobile devs to have to put everything through a long review, vs in coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. 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.

Node has a system where different APIs indicate their rigidity, from raw to frozen.

On they can iterate a lot faster because they can co-develop and immediately deployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors..

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 The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization.

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 HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. 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 One of the reasons we’ve been going native for some of the 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 page.