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I'm super glad that Stack Exchange finally made mobile apps -- the notification service is really useful and keeps me on the ball. After quite a few months of use, I'm noticing two main pain points.

The first is that there's no autocorrect when entering comments. The keyboard suggests the correct word, but when I hit space it leaves the misspelled word, whereas in other apps (and even other parts of this app, like writing an answer) the typo would be automatically corrected:

No autocorrect

My next feedback is about the text size. It's too small:

Font is too small

I have to hold my phone to my face to read comfortably, whereas I can read Twitter, the news, and websites just fine without burying my face in my phone.

I know it has been mentioned before - multiple times - but I want to emphasize that the system font size setting is for UI elements, but Stack Exchange is primarily a reading and writing app.

(Before you flag as duplicate, consider that unlike those other questions about font size, mine is still unique because I'm also providing feedback about the autocorrect issue.)

Most reading and writing apps let you adjust the font size independently of the system font because the reader may spend hours (or at least several minutes) absorbed into the content presented by the app. They also account for screen size, margins along the edges (whitespace lends to legibility), and pixel density of devices. I'm talking about apps like Pocket and Google Play Books, both of which are very comfortable for reading in.

That other question suggests pinch-and-zoom. I don't even want that -- the text should just wrap itself to fit on the screen. Take a look at other reading apps to see what I mean.

Akin to the very small font size are the vote buttons, which are smaller than the size of my pinkie fingernail. Even the UI elements along the top and bottom are a little bigger than that. (On my tablet, the font sizes are even more disproportionately small.)

Please consider this perspective when working on updates to the Android app. I believe whitespace, font size, and spelling correction are important in making Stack Exchange a top-tier reading & writing app.

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    Autocorrect is the keyboard's job, not the job of every single application ever. – Doorknob Jan 14 '15 at 21:53
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    @Doorknob You're right, it's the keyboard's job. But the keyboard does do it, and it's the application's job to use the keyboard's features. The Stack Exchange app already enables auto-correct for other inputs, but they probably just forgot to set the textAutoCorrect flag on the comment textbox: developer.android.com/reference/android/widget/… – Matt Jan 14 '15 at 21:58
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    Ah, I see. Sorry, didn't read the part where you mentioned it works in the question and answer input boxes. +1 – Doorknob Jan 14 '15 at 21:59
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I definitely forgot to set textAutoCorrect on that EditText. It's set starting with beta release 1.0.53 (coming out later today).

Regarding the text size concerns: I do believe the settings should include the option of changing the in-app text size, the OS text size adjuster doesn't work with most of our app as-is because we use WebViews for displaying content. The text size for content in the WebViews are currently set to 15px on tablets and 13px on phones, I want to add a option in the settings to make that go to larger values, but I'm holding back on doing that for a bit because if I add it in right now the option will only change the text size on posts which might be confusing (the feed and other portions would look the exact same).

  • Thanks very much for the explanation (and fix)! And I understand the complexities with the underlying app components. I'm sure that'll get smoothed out with time. Keep up the good work. – Matt Jan 19 '15 at 21:03

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