Android 2.0.0 Alpha 1 released


#1

Hello all,

We just released the first alpha of our brand new Android app. It includes a major redesign and many of the features you were expecting. Since this is our first alpha, you may expect to see some bugs and some weird behaviours, but I can assure you we’re doing our best to have a super solid, reliable and fast Android app for you. Here are some of the major features:

  • New chat list, showing the last message;
  • Emoji keyboard;
  • Reactions;
  • Super fast and reliable connection, not requiring you to have a stablished WebSocket connection in order to receive updates, send messages, etc;
  • Unread marker on the list of messages;
  • Date separator marker on the list of messages;
  • Authentication with LDAP, CAS, E-mail and Username (we’re working hard to have all the OAuth methods and SAML in the next release);
  • 2FA support;
  • Edit profile;
  • Update password;

Screenshots

Chats list

Menu

Actions in a Message (see Add reaction? :heart:)

Emoji keyboard!!!

Contributors

So far, we had lots of issues opened and being closed during the development, many of you from the community are helping us and here’s the list of everybody that merged some code into this alpha version (THANK YOU ALL!!!):

Found any bugs?

Please, see if there’s any issue opened already covering your issue. If not, open a new issue here (https://github.com/RocketChat/Rocket.Chat.Android/issues) identifying that you’re using the version 2.0.0-alpha1.

Want to help us testing it?

If you’re willing to give it a try, please sign to our Alpha program in Google Play by going to our Google Play page at the bottom of the screen you’ll see an announcement.

To download the app from Google Play, you can come here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=chat.rocket.android

If you want to directly download the app, you can download it from our releases page: https://github.com/RocketChat/Rocket.Chat.Android/releases/tag/v2.0.0-alpha1.

For more information, please see here: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/7003180?hl=en


#2

Wow :-o Nice one! Just from a quick view I’m amazed! And the speed of it is finally what you would expect of a modern app :slight_smile:

One UX thingy bugs me, though: I would totally expect the left swipe-in menu to show the chats-and-DM list, the most important reason being that it is “what you are accustomed to” from every other client (Electron, Web-Version).

Also I think that the value of the information you can reach from that menu currently is underwhelming.

Here’s my suggestion: move the content of that menu to a new right-side-swipe-in menu and show chats and stuff in the left-side-swipe-in menu. This would be roughly the way the mattermost app does it… and I have yet to think of a better solution, as I’m quite content with that :slight_smile:

Cheers & huge high-five
Thomas


#3

Thanks for the feedback @TwizzyDizzy, I appreciate that. The Android team is working really hard to have a real fast and solid Android application, I’m glad you felt that way.

Regarding the UX change you suggested: we’re still experimenting. I’m can tell you that so far that this UI we have now is very similar to other famous applications like Telegram and WhatsApp and people feel really comfortable with that, mostly because it avoids having hidden information on the screen. But we’re still experimenting and this interface will certainly have small changes in the future to make it even better.

Thank you!


#4

Using the new app, the body from webhooks is missing:

Desktop

Android 2.0


#5

@rafaelks is this related to the attachment bug we fixed server side?


#6

No (AFAIK). This is because the app is not using the properties fields of a message on this version yet. This is already in progress (cc @falco).


#7

I find that the views for channels and for messages are too similar - the channel list looks like a messages list and I find that a bit confusing. I’d prefer the channels list to more obviously look different to messages and must say I do like the concept of a slide in drawer for channels.

When viewing messages the channels view is still hidden so I don’t see a big distinction between the idea of a drawer and the way the alpha app currently works.


#8

Thanks for the feedback! This interface still needs improvement, of course. We’re still working to improve it and all the feedback is welcome. We’re trying to keep the interface with all the basic information visible, such as the chats list and the last message of each room (and the date of the last message).

You can see in the screenshot below, how the app is looking on the latest commit. As you can see, it includes already a distinction using the icon of Channels/Groups/Direct Messages. In the future, you’ll be able to have a separation of groups of each kind of chat also, if you prefer that way.


#9

Just started testing the alpha due to some bugs with uploads in the 1.X stream. So far I’m impressed with the performance! The UI seems lacking to me though - once you have more than a few dozen it’s very tedious to navigate as it currently is. The large list of channels takes up a lot of space (I’ve got 30+ so it’s a long list), and the sorting doesn’t seem obvious to me. Plus reading a channel causes its place in the list to jump along with your view of it, which seems unintuitive to me. I’m holding out for the PR to add sorting to be merged, since that is a pretty critical feature IMO. I’d like to suggest the option to have a 1.X style UI, specifically a pull-out drawer list of channels, or some sort of size setting (and of course sorting, including “unread first”) for the channel list. I hate feeling like I’m just complaining but hopefully the feedback helps :slightly_smiling_face:

Signed, a long time RocketChat user!


#10

Thanks for the feedback @joshuaboniface! I’m glad you noticed the speed improvements, looks like we’re on the right path.

Regarding the UI: Yes, there are issues with this interface and we’re lacking some important features, like using the same sorting and grouping that web is doing. We are working on that, but cannot promise the final version to the first public build. Hopefully you’ll understand that.

Your PR (it that’s yours? https://github.com/RocketChat/Rocket.Chat.Android/pull/887) just got merged by me, so now we have sort and group locally. Thanks for that :slight_smile:

Keep the good feedback please, we really need that to make our apps better. :+1: