In March we released our new Android app utilizing the new unified backend. While the development team has been very busy since then, on the outside things might seem a bit quiet and people might be wondering what we have been doing, so here is a quick update.
The new Android app exceeded our expectations on launch, performing better than expected for version 1.0 of a completely new app. However even with this being the case, with so many different android versions and devices out there in the wild, there are always going to be some things that appear only after release.
And so part of the team has been monitoring Google Play for any issues that present themselves, as well as listening to various feedback from reviews and has put out multiple releases to improve on what we already have.
We are now 2 months post release and the app we have on the store is really doing great now, it is far more stable than the old app as well as similar competing apps on the store. At this point we can take most of the development focus off Android temporarily — however don’t worry there will still be periodic new releases with plenty more improvements to come.
We can however use your help.
Although we believe the vast majority of our users are happy with the new app, if you aren’t please let us know why so we can improve… A small but vocal minority of users have given us negative reviews over things that our out of our control e.g. forgetting their own passwords. Due to the way that the Play store will give a larger weighting to recent reviews going forward these few reviews can have a very negative impact for us and chase away future prospective users.
So we ask that all users who appreciate this app take a moment to do something positive for the project and to give us a fair rating on the play store, even if you have done so in the past the fact that it is an updated rating is important and will be good for Gulden as a whole. If you are feeling particularly generous an honest review to go with it is even better.
Last month the core team also quietly put out another exciting development. As it is not really user facing at this point we didn’t make a large fuss of it at the time, but it is there for the more technically inclined to tinker with.
A prototype “proof of concept” electron app using the unified backend.
The primary purpose of developing this was to enable the core team to better test the unified backend going forward, allowing us to develop with it on the desktop without having to use mobile devices or emulators.
However this also presents interesting opportunities in terms of being able to develop other new applications using Electron in future, potentially support additional new platforms more rapidly, for third parties to write apps (not necessarily wallet apps) that make use of it and so on. It also makes Gulden more accessible to the large and growing number of node.js developers out there. So we are very excited by this development.
The speed and ease at which we were able to get a proof of concept up and running also showcases the power that having a unified backend brings to the table.
In the meantime the iOS team has been hard at work porting the iOS app onto the unified backend as well, and have been making great progress.
The current iOS app is already great and we won’t release the new app until it is as good or better than the old one, so it may take a bit longer, but we are well on the way to completion in the coming month(s).
Phase 4 witnessing
With the iOS team rapidly making progress, and Android now running smoothly, the core team have shifted their full attention onto Phase 4.
The bulk of the work for Phase 4 is already completed, including our brand new transaction format ‘SegSig”. However with a completely new transaction format it brings we cannot be too careful with testing, we are therefore hard at work on unit tests and functional tests to ensure everything is properly covered. There are various edge cases in the code that need some improvements, manual programmer testing and code review.
Once a new iOS build is released, we hope to have the Phase 4 betas ready shortly thereafter, we will then be able to do a (hopefully short) beta test of Phase 4 across Desktop/Android/iOS simultaneously before releasing.