We've been putting the finishing touches on the Stack Exchange iOS app update for the iPad and need your help testing.

We wish we could say more... so we will. The iPad update is bigger than bigger and rethinks the way we display the feed, user profiles and questions.

Pretty screenshots

The feed

Live Preview

How to Sign Up

To register for alpha testing sign up here. If you are already an alpha tester for the iOS app, dig up that old email on your iPad and dive right in or sign up again if you can't find it.

After you register we will send you an e-mail with instructions on how to download the app on your iPad. The invitations will be sent out in waves, so if you don’t get an invite immediately, be patient.

Providing Feedback

Like with the beta, crash reports will be automatically reported back to us using Crashlytics. Bugs or feature requests should be reported here on meta and tagged . (For reporting purposes, the app version number can be displayed in the app by tapping the question mark near the bottom of the menu).

As always, we welcome your feedback and are committed to building the best mobile app possible for browsing the Stack Exchange sites.

  • 1
    @Kasra: iOS 7.1.2. I Downloaded and started the app. Logged in. The app takes you to the normal stack exchange start page and displays a message "authorizing application" in place of the usual question list. After a few minutes of waiting I got bored, hit a link, and it just shows a standard stack exchange web page. Killed the app, restarted the app, and it all works fine. Looks good! – Andy Clifton Sep 12 '14 at 2:58
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    Do you have an Android app? – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Sep 12 '14 at 3:47
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    @SumindaSirinathSalpitikorala you just made Kasra cry. play.google.com/store/apps/… – Brian Nickel Sep 12 '14 at 3:50
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    "After you register we will send you an e-mail with instructions on how to download the app on your iPhone." Does that mean an iPhone is required? – Derek 朕會功夫 Sep 12 '14 at 6:18
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    Does it work with Apple Watch? I would like to flick my wrist to see a new question pop up! ;) – Abhitalks Sep 12 '14 at 6:24
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    @abhitalks - *The ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ – Derek 朕會功夫 Sep 12 '14 at 6:26
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    @Derek朕會功夫 copy-paste problem. Only one iDevice required. – Brian Nickel Sep 12 '14 at 6:41
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    But not the mod functions like the faded menu in the sidebar (which is the only way of undeleting comments)? – Andrew Leach Sep 12 '14 at 12:39
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    @AndrewLeach the apps are based on the StackExchange API v2.2 which excludes deleted items so undeletion isn't an option yet. No diamond menu yet either. – Brian Nickel Sep 12 '14 at 14:09
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    @user568458 the Android app is currently mid-way through a tablet UI refresh too. It'll look drastically different on a tablet soon (right now it's just a blown up version of the phone's UI) -- but not exactly like the iPad app. – Kasra Rahjerdi Sep 12 '14 at 16:05
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    @NonymousNT our apps themselves aren't open source, but the vast majority of their usage is nothing but usage of our API, which is open to all and the iOS and Java implementations which the apps use are open source: github.com/kevin-montrose/stacman-java github.com/arielitovsky/stacman-objc – Kasra Rahjerdi Sep 12 '14 at 16:07
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    @Kasra nice! So just add the ipad to questions about the iPad app? :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 13 '14 at 18:47
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    @Edper nice to see someone here with a sense of humour! – Alec Teal Sep 14 '14 at 10:57
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    @AlecTeal FB and Twitter both have one. So, does it mean they have a good sense of humor? – Edper Sep 14 '14 at 11:08
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    You'll get a lot more people using SO on iPads and iPhones after iOS 8 lets us install custom keyboards. – Blazemonger Sep 15 '14 at 14:05

I've tried the app (the *.118 version). I dunno what you're showing me on the home page of Stack Overflow, but it is enough to render the app unusable for me. (I accept it might suit some other people, though I have my doubts, but it does not suit me at all.) It is not the list of questions I'd see in a browser, and it is unusably cluttered with totally uninteresting questions.

That means I am reduced to using the app like the phone apps - quick comments to comments posted at me. It can't be used for serious work. I find that I cannot use the phone apps (Android and iPhone) for serious work because the keyboard is too fussy (not your fault, but a fact of smartphone life); getting to a back-quote is painful, likewise most of the programming characters. I have reservations about the iPad app on that score, but haven't really got that far with it yet.

I was hoping that the list of questions would be tailored to the user — at least respecting the tags lists that I've set. It doesn't; it has a pile of completely irrelevant-to-me questions on display. (3 of 10 questions actually have tags I pay attention to, but that's a serious degradation from a 90% hit rate or thereabouts when I use a browser.)

  • Bingo. "Sort by interesting" from the website works fine, and it doesn't seem to be present in the app. – rickster Oct 8 '14 at 0:03

I really like the fact it logs all of your accounts together ... a much better feature than online. Yes, you can log into them on separate tabs in your browser, it's just easier this way. Single login is the way to go! The side bar is very easy to navigate as well. The differences do take a bit to get used to, but it's no big deal.


I have run into issues with the latest version of the ipad app. When trying to install the latest version it was starting (the icon changed to look like it did during the initial install) and nothing past that happened. At this point I am unable to open the app or remove it (by holding down on the icon and clicking on the red x that appears on the icon) from my ipad. Trying to re-install it does not seem to help either.

  • Sometimes these installs break for reasons I have yet to figure out. (I've seen it a few times since we started the alpha channel.) I think restarting your iPad will get the download process back into a state where you can try again. – Brian Nickel Sep 16 '14 at 18:27
  • @BrianNickel Thanks I will try that tonight when I get a chance. – Joe W Sep 16 '14 at 18:33
  • @BrianNickel that worked thanks. – Joe W Sep 16 '14 at 23:31

I didn't see it mentioned above ... Why doesn't the app show us when a question is on hold?

EDIT: sorry, Version on an iPad 3.

  • It does so when inside the question view itself. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 26 '14 at 21:47
  • @ShadowWizard ... thanks for the comment. This was pointed out to me when I actually posted this question separate (not as an answer). It bugs me that you have to go into the question in the first place to figure out that it's on hold or a duplicate, unlike when you view online, where it tells you up front. They told me this was "by design" ... cruddy design if you ask me. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 26 '14 at 23:58
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    Well, guess it's matter of the API not returning question state when asking for questions list. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Sep 27 '14 at 6:35
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    We can actually get this from the API (a question query is a question query). It's worth looking at. – Brian Nickel Sep 28 '14 at 3:24

Looks very snazzy so far. The one thing I notice is that MathJax processes beautifully in questions and answers, but not in comments. That is distressing. (Oh, just downloaded today.)

  • 1
    It's distressing for me too, a limit of MathJax being browser based. Someday I'll wire up a JavaScript bridge to get the SVG, render the SVG to a bitmap, and embed it in the attributed string. Right now you can open the comment menu and select an option to view the rendered math. – Brian Nickel Sep 28 '14 at 3:30

I've installed a version of this app and it worked fine then it asked me to install a new one.

I installed the new one and removed the old one.

Here's my problem, I can't open it (anymore) nor delete it. I am stuck with an useless app (even after restarting my ipad).


So .... there's no question here (that should mean downvoting!) but it really ought to be said:

On a tablet... great. Seriously guys well done, as if detecting the user agent and a web-browser wasn't enough, you actually wrote an application.

I am sure typing out answers in all but the "fluffy" SE sites will be awesome! Also much better than using a web-browser on the same device.

Math.se uses mathjax... you've lost the ability to render the nice maths that site requires! (I imagine - very unlikely you re-implemented it somehow?).

I mean seriously, what is the point! Answers in the comments!

BTW browsers have tabs, I'd hate to be finding a source and have to back out of something... Android activities handle this well, not sure about the iOS app.

Either way it'd be really annoying if (say on the Fantasy and SciFi SE) I wanted to visit youtube to reference something, or saw a few interesting questions and wanted to open more than one, I'm guessing the main view of the app will refresh each time? See sucks...

  • 19
    Calm down. They probably won't force you to use the app. Btw, mathjax works. – Matthias Bauch Sep 14 '14 at 11:33
  • @MatthiasBauch it's more the principal, remember the old top-bar that had your name in it and a direct link to chat..... good times. Change for the sake of change is bad. – Alec Teal Sep 14 '14 at 12:29
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    I disagree entirely with how this post was written, but the crux of the issue is absolutely true. Making a dedicated ipad app is just bad in a lot of ways, because StackExchange doesn't need it. It isn't using any features whatsoever that are only available to applications... and this design looks really easy to implement in pure HTML as well~ – David Mulder Sep 14 '14 at 16:07
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    Sure it does. It has the feature of staying open when Safari crashes. – The Real Bill Sep 15 '14 at 2:07
  • @TheRealBill I like that, "Why did you write this program?" -> "Oh sometimes, the usual/better/standard way of doing it would crash". I've seen people write programming languages for lesser reasons though :P – Alec Teal Sep 15 '14 at 3:09
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    @DavidMulder A dedicated app can display out-of-app notifications when your question is updated or your answer is commented on; the Safari version can't. – Blazemonger Sep 15 '14 at 14:06
  • @Blazemonger: If those are triggered then still a wrapper based solution would have been far more applicable. Using projects like phonegap for iOS and crosswalk for Android you are able to keep all the web's features and just add specifically the native functions you need. – David Mulder Sep 15 '14 at 14:12
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    @AlecTeal Who are we to judge their use of resources? You are a consumer for SE, not an owner. As Matthias said, if you don't want to use it then don't. Complaining about it without testing it doesn't contribute to the conversation. – basher Sep 15 '14 at 14:45
  • The app is definitely tablet-friendlier than the website version. It's smoother, and most importantly, with notifications. – Derek 朕會功夫 Sep 15 '14 at 17:36
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    Just jumping in to mention that our apps are Stack Exchange apps, where as our sites are, well, individual sites. It's much easier to start reading cross-community content using our apps and get lost in interesting content, rather than having to make the mental decision of "Well, I'm done interacting with UX, should I go to SO?" in a browser. – Kasra Rahjerdi Sep 15 '14 at 22:43
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  • At least i expect it to load faster than a web app which will load a lot of css and javascripts. – John David Sep 17 '14 at 11:44

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