Automattic Is Removing Features from the Official WordPress Mobile Apps – WP Tavern

The WordPress mobile team announced today that it can be pulling all of the Jetpack and features from the official WordPress mobile apps. They might be moved into the Jetpack app through a gradual process that’s anticipated to conclude by the tip of this yr.

“Through the years, the WordPress app has evolved to fulfill a various range of site administration needs and use cases,” Automattic mobile engineer Paul Von Schrottky said. “Features like Stats, Reader, and Notifications were introduced with the hope of meeting a few of these needs. Nevertheless, these features require the Jetpack plugin or a account to operate and might make the app overwhelming for people who want an easier experience.

“For the sake of clarity and closer-to-core experience, the mobile team might be working to refocus the app on staple features you’d find with a fresh download of WordPress.”

The next features might be removed and relocated to the Jetpack app:

  • Stats
  • Activity Log
  • Backup
  • Sharing (Jetpack Social)
  • Reader
  • Notifications
  • Jetpack blocks (Gutenberg Editor)
  • @-Mentions and Crossposting (Gutenberg Editor)
  • More features because the team goes about this effort

Automattic’s products within the official WordPress apps have been a source of controversy for nearly a decade. Two years ago, when Automattic tangled with Apple over an absence of in-app purchases within the WordPress for iOS App, the community renewed its call for the corporate to separate its industrial interests from the official apps. Because Automattic has heavily subsidized the apps’ development, it has been in a position to add and Jetpack-specific features without contest, but these pose a conflict of interest and are unnecessary for a lot of self-hosted site owners.

In 2014, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said the goal with the mobile apps was to get more mobile app users, which included developing things that Automattic deemed most compelling on mobile – notifications, stats, and the reader. The corporate has now modified its stance on this, citing “less user confusion” as a primary motivator for the upcoming change.

“By attempting to cater to such a various range of users and wishes, there are flows within the app that present many options to users,” Von Schrottky said. “An example of that is the present login flow. User feedback (via the app reviews) and support channels indicate confusion around which username and password people should use when authenticating.”

Historically, the mobile apps have had almost zero contributions from people outside of Automattic. Improving the contributor experience is one in all the goals in decoupling Automattic’s industrial interests from the official apps.

“Although the whole lot is open source, latest contributors need to know the blurred line between community-owned features and Third-party hosted services if all they need is to contribute to at least one or the opposite,” Von Schrottky said. “Also, it could possibly be difficult to know what functionality and which features can be found based on the user’s authentication.”

The user confusion and contributor complexities have been evident for years. Providing a more straightforward experience for users has just now change into an actionable priority. It seems that it is because Automattic is planning so as to add more paid features. At this point, the more principled move is to expand industrial features within the Jetpack app, as an alternative of bombarding self-hosted users with upgrade prompts.

“The mobile team has been trying for years to supply a solid, modern experience on mobile, with the goal of helping all users start their WordPress adventure,” Von Schrottky said. “We’ve learned from the range and evolving needs of the app user base. Along with the confusion brought on by the present arrangement, the team found that user expectations are confounded by an absence of paid features, comparable to domain purchases. To higher serve the needs of each self-hosted and Jetpack/ users in the longer term, the team is now convinced that adding these specific features in a separate app is the way in which forward.”

Automattic plans to proceed maintaining the official mobile apps, advancing the block editor development, and might be listed because the publisher in the shop listings for the apps. Once the Jetpack features are removed, users will still have the ability to do the whole lot included within the core publishing experience, in addition to manage settings.

“With this transformation, we plan for the WordPress app to be a more focused companion to the open source project, leaving the Jetpack app to enrich the experience,” Von Schrottky said. “That is more straightforward for users of the WordPress open source project and simplifies the connection between the WordPress app and platform owners like Apple and Google.”

Von Schrottky said Automattic isn’t considering renaming the Jetpack app at the moment. users will have the ability to access the Reader and other .com platform-specific features there. The transition will occur in phases and the mobile team will soon start introducing messages within the app to tell users about which features might be moved.

“The team remains to be understanding the small print of the plan as explained within the post, but this might be followed up with other relevant communications to make this transformation as frictionless as possible for users,” Von Schrottky said.

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