The Mobile Apps team just met and discussed the timeline for the release of
the new Android & iOS Wikipedia apps. We've decided to descope a bit and
decouple the two platforms from each other. Our first release will be
beta app on June 4th*, and our end-of-fiscal-year goal is shipping the *fully
fledged Android app on June 25th. *We'll still be working on the iOS app,
but it won't be released to market until next fiscal year (e.g., July).
We're biting off an ambitious chunk of work in our MVP of the retooled apps
(improving the reading experience, adding an editing workflow, supporting
Zero users), and doing all of this for both platforms with a small (but,
luckily, swiftly growing!) team, while maintaining consistent design/UX and
leveraging platform-specific capabilities has been tough. There are a
number of deciding factors in making the choice to focus on shipping to
Android first, including:
* We currently have more Android engineers than iOS, so we can move faster
on that end.
* Android users are a slightly higher percentage of our total current app
* Android is more critical for the Wikipedia Zero program.
* The Android release process is faster and easier for pushing out small
bug-fixes, which we'll almost certainly need to do a lot of as soon as we
put anything out there in front of a wide audience.
* iOS comes with higher user expectations on the UI/UX side, and we need a
bit more time to ensure our product meets those expectations.
We'll probably want to mention some of this in external-facing
communication about the new app and the release, since the Global North app
market is still pretty iOS-centric and people might want to know why we're
not targeting that audience first :)
If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. And I'll be in
touch with Comms to continue the discussion on communication strategy --
we'll probably want some social media attention to announce the beta
release & get more beta testers excited about getting their hands on the
Product Manager, Wikimedia Foundation