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The iOS app has been abandoned for at least a year now. What is Stack Exchange's current mobile strategy? Will development resume, and if so, when?

closed as off-topic by Glorfindel, Robert Longson, fedorqui, Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog, Rory Alsop Nov 3 '18 at 0:57

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    What should Stack Exchange stop doing in order to do this instead and why is this more important than that? – Robert Longson Nov 2 '18 at 11:05
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    They should hire at least one specialist in iOS engineering and have that work be done in parallel with their work on other platforms. – Austin Conlon Nov 2 '18 at 11:09
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    Are you going to pay the salary for that specialist in iOS engineering? – rene Nov 2 '18 at 11:31
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    I apologize if Stack Exchange is indeed cash-strapped. – Austin Conlon Nov 2 '18 at 11:37
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    They actually have a very competent iOS developer - just that he does other things now. Their Android dev left. It's probably unlikely - I just use SE app for notifications and there's more modern ways to do it, and there's no real impetus to restart development – Journeyman Geek Nov 2 '18 at 11:41
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    @JourneymanGeek Almost all of my interaction with SE (including writing some lengthy answers) is through the iOS app. I much prefer it on a phone; the mobile site experience doesn’t stack up to it. I miss moderation and seeing deleted posts, but that’s it. Some bugs have crept in since it’s been left to bitrot (can’t copy/paste into comments, screen always whites out after pressing “post”, so you have to leave question and return), but if they fixed these minor annoyances, it would suit all my SE needs. – Dan Bron Nov 2 '18 at 12:47
  • @DanBron post an answer? Even if it's not technically an answer at least users could express whether they agree or not. – Mari-Lou A Nov 2 '18 at 13:16
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    @Mari-LouA The general sentiment (support the apps!) has been posted before, as have the individual gripes (copy/paste and whiteout bugs). They’re all highly upvoted. The reality is SE is not prioritizing the apps and in fact is intending to completely deprecate them (excluding the newer SO-only app) in favor of the responsive design working for phones. Posting an answer won’t help, and I fear will simply cause TPTB to feel even more strongly that meta is full of toddlers demanding ice cream when they’ve been specifically told they can’t have ice cream. :/ – Dan Bron Nov 2 '18 at 13:20
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    @DanBron fair enough. I agree there have been too many posts wagging their fingers at them recently. – Mari-Lou A Nov 2 '18 at 13:30
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, it’s time for a detente, IMO. – Dan Bron Nov 2 '18 at 13:39
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    Well, we have lots of open mobile bugs, there's been no significant release in a while, we now have teams, I think this is a fair question. I'm going to try to get an answer. – Tim Post Nov 2 '18 at 15:16
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    Honestly I'd rather have an expansion of the APIs more than an actual app. Anyone could write a mobile app for Stack Exchange. Only Stack Overflow employees could spruce up the API to make that possible. – Makoto Nov 2 '18 at 16:50
  • @Mari-LouA Both major iOS app bugs I mentioned (the ones that frustrate me the most) now have bounties on MSE. – Dan Bron Nov 2 '18 at 20:44
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There are no plans to resume development in the near future.

I don't have a definite timeline, or even what kinds of new things might be considered once picking up work on native apps is something we could resume. We'll have to see what the benefit of native apps over a feature-complete truly responsive design might look like, and we're still rather far from that.

We'll continue to support critical bugs in the interim, but no new work is planned. There's also a lot of work and research we need to finish around the new user path and experience prior to trying to support that growth on multiple platforms concurrently.

It's not that we don't want to invest in it right now, it's just not the right time to do it, and the 'right time' is far enough away that it's still too early to guess at when it might be.

I know it's not the answer you probably wanted, but it's the best one I've got.

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    Waiting to see what benefit a native app might provide over a feature-complete truly responsive design once that’s eventually in place like seems a perfectly reasonable approach. In the short term you avoid duplicating work prematurely, and looking further out you reserve the possibility of a more unified codebase should that prove both feasible and desirable. – tchrist Nov 2 '18 at 16:26
  • @tchrist Pssh. You just don’t want any resources allocated away from refontification. – Dan Bron Nov 2 '18 at 16:53
  • A note, I would state in your answer that the new theme look good on the mobile, and if you plan to add more mobile web page ? (It's only the review queue and such page that still are ugly on the mobile web) It's not directly the app, but a lot of mobile user the mobile web – yagmoth555 Nov 2 '18 at 17:17
  • I'd favor implementing new features and DAG discussion over resuming support for the mobile apps any day. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Nov 2 '18 at 21:08
  • Well, thinking generally, if you consider that apps on mobile would extend site functions natively, we'd also want to wait until said site functions were a bit more settled, too (jobs, teams, etc). So, developing those features with a fully responsive theme and eventually looking at if we're at a point where native support would be better for the user seems like a good idea. Nothing is carved in stone yet, it's actually a little too far out to say at this point, but I'd rather prioritize things that influence quality before making it easier to ask questions on mobile :) – Tim Post Nov 5 '18 at 14:06

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