Android users who are also WordPress.com customers will be elated by the news released Wednesday that the WordPress for Android app has undergone a major change for the better. Automattic Mobile Engineer Dan Roundhill wrote on April 17th, “We’re constantly working on updates to our mobile apps to make your WordPress.com experience on the go the best it can be. 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.” The large amount of effort going into to mobile apps falls into line with Automattic’s mission statement for the 2013 calendar year, which included a promise to users to bring mobile devices front and center.
WordPress For Android: New Features
The Action Bar (blue in color) has an all-new look which coincides with Android’s “Holo” style guidelines Anyone who has used an app for Android 4.0 of later will immediately notice and be familiar with the revised User Interface and design. From the Action Bar, Android users can gain access to command actions such as post creation, sharing other apps and refreshing.
There is also a Menu Drawer that has replaced the previous Dashboard that allows easy navigation from anywhere within the app.
“You’ll find all of the same actions the dashboard had, but with the addition of some nifty new ones,” stated Roundhill. “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 features include a view site option, admin area access, faster loading, an updated look and feel, improved post editor tools as well as enhanced image uploading.
Download WordPress For Android App
If you are currently browsing from an Android device, all you have to do is tap here to directly download the WordPress for Android application. Roundhill announced Wednesday that the next step will be the addition of notifications that will grant administrations even more control over staying in the loop with everything going on with their website when they are away from their desktop.
Developers who are interested in becoming contributors can visit make.wordpress.com/mobile for more information and to get started.
Mobile Device Usage
Since the turn of the decade, a much greater focus has been placed on mobile device usage than ever before due to the growing amount of Internet users that are constantly navigating via an Android, iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Blackberry, etc.
Some premium theme companies have gone as far as ensuring that each new release is fully responsive and capable of automatically adjusting the content layout in order to accommodate smaller screens for those who “tap” instead of “click” from a mouse.
It is probable that the trend toward smaller screens will continue its forward momentum in the foreseeable future; making mobile app creation and upgrading a high priority for services such as WordPress.com. If you are viewing from a large monitor, all you have to do to see an actual responsive design in action is go to a Live Demo of any responsive theme and reduce the size of the browser window manually.