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As the mobile apps aren't maintained anymore, and won't be in the future, many users are waiting for bug fixes or new form factors to be supported.

If the SE development team is too busy with other projects, why not outsource the development to the community? Why not make the apps open source?

It might be some private APIs are used, well, those could be made public or written out.

This was previously requested and declined back in 2014, when the apps were being actively developed. As the apps are no longer being maintained, this is a request to reconsider that decision.

(Inspired by Is the SE iOS app being maintained?)

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    Unfortunately this was asked before (specifically of the Android app) and the answer was no. But that question was asked in 2014 so maybe it's worth seeing if the answer's going to change. – Laurel Sep 22 '18 at 17:16
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    @Laurel Also worth noting that that answer was posted back when the app was being actively developed. – Sonic the Masked Werehog Sep 22 '18 at 18:26
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    Being someone who very much prefers the app over the mobile site, I definitely support this proposal. – Massimo Ortolano Sep 22 '18 at 19:01
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    @MassimoOrtolano I think the mobile site will die soon due to rolling out responsive design to whole SE network. – αλεχολυτ Sep 23 '18 at 15:33
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    @alexolut Even worse. I really prefer the app. – Massimo Ortolano Sep 23 '18 at 15:37
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    @YaakovEllis Mind answering this question with details on why this request has been declined? – Sonic the Masked Werehog Dec 13 '19 at 13:54
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    @YaakovEllis Why status-declined? – S.S. Anne May 18 at 18:27
  • See the answer here, especially the paragraph starting with "the other 10% of the app". Still relevant. And we can't spare the bandwidth to remove these. – Yaakov Ellis May 18 at 19:33
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We will not be making the mobile apps open source.

To quote the answer given the last time that this question was asked:

The other 10% of the app however consists of internal things that we are not yet ready to put out to the world and say "here are all the URLs, documentation, description of what they do, go wild". This includes the server endpoints for the feed, user registration, etc. Because of these, and the fact that the rest of the apps are simple data-retrieval and demonstration, the mobile apps themselves are not going to be open sourced.

This reason is still relevant today.

Unfortunately, we are not able to commit the significant amount of time needed to make a version of the codebase that would have these functions removed, and that would include code that is in a shape that we would be able to share. (Not to mention that were we to remove these pieces, the apps themselves would be completely unusable).

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    This makes me sad, but it makes sense and I appreciate the full answer and closure. – Rubiksmoose May 18 at 19:41
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    "Not to mention that were we to remove these pieces, the apps themselves would be completely unusable." I understand the answer, but I wonder if the last statement in parenthesis might be slightly exaggerated. An app relying only the publicly available things might still be somewhat usable. – Trilarion May 19 at 11:40
  • @Trilarion May I quote your relevant comment here: If there is a public API, the community can build a mobile app around it, if it wants to. I consider this a good idea. – jay.sf Jun 7 at 11:09
  • @jay.sf That's definitely a possibility. Currently I'm more a fan of a complete open source solution for a high quality Q&A platform. – Trilarion Jun 7 at 21:18

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