Today, we’ve jubilantly released version 2.3 of WordPress for Android to Google Play. After updating, you’ll see right away that this release includes very exciting updates to the user interface. Let’s dive in to what’s new!
You’ll notice a fresh, new look. We’ve taken into account Android’s “Holo” style guidelines and implemented the Action Bar interface throughout the app. If you’ve used any other apps designed for Android 4.0 or higher, you’ll feel right at home with the new user interface. Your Action Bar provides easy access to common actions such as creating a new post, refreshing, and sharing to other apps.
We also couldn’t resist making the Action Bar in WordPress blue. 😉
The older-style dashboard user interface has been replaced with a Menu Drawer for quick and easy navigation to other areas of the app from wherever you are. You’ll find all of the same actions the dashboard had, but with the addition of some nifty new ones.
To access the menu, simply tap the arrow next to the WordPress logo — in the top-left corner of the app — or swipe from the left side of the screen. If you’re on a large tablet device, the menu will always be visible, which takes advantage of the extra screen space. If you have multiple blogs in the app, you’ll see a drop-down list at the top of your Menu Drawer that you can access to quickly switch to another blog to work with, right in the app.
When you leave the app, it will remember the last selection you made in the Menu Drawer so when you return, you can pick up where you left off.
Other new features
In addition to the revamped user interface, you’ll find these new features as well:
- View Site option. A View Site option has been added to the Menu Drawer so you can view your blogs from within the app.
- Admin area access. You can access the wp-admin areas of your WordPress.com blogs by loading the Dashboard option in the Menu Drawer.
- Faster loading. The WordPress.com Reader now takes advantage of caching for faster loading.
- Updated look and feel. Settings have been converted to use the Android standard for preferences, giving them the Holo look and feel on supported devices. Many views have been updated to the Holo look and feel as well, including the post editor and all list views.
- Improved post editor experience. The post editor now has an expandable content area, which makes it much easier to navigate around the post content when you’re editing.
- Improved image uploading. If a post has an image but fails to upload the image, the post will be saved as a draft first — instead of published — so the image upload can be corrected.
Thanks — and what’s next
We thank the developers who worked so hard on this release — mrroundhill, willnorris, isaackeyet, daniloercoli and aerych — as well as the beta testers who tried out the app over at the Developer Blog. Great work, all!
We also thank Jake Wharton and Simon Vig Therkildsen for creating the ActionBarSherlock and android-menudrawer libraries that enabled us to use the Action Bar and Menu Drawer on older Android devices. Good stuff!
What’s next? We’re looking at adding notifications to the app so you can keep up with what’s happening on your WordPress sites while mobile and on the go.
What would you like to see added to the app?
Want to contribute?
Don’t forget that WordPress for Android is an open source project. Want to get involved? Check out make.wordpress.org/mobile to get started.
Finally, we’re always excited to get feedback on the app. Please feel free to leave a comment here or send a tweet to @WPAndroid.