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  • Anirudh 2:10 am on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI   

    Android App UI – the experience and what’s next 

    Hey guys,

    GSoC 2011 has been an awesome experience! Not only was it fun to code but also was a great way to bond with the WordPress community. I was lucky to have to have mentors who were nothing but awesome! I would like to thank them the most!

    Initially, I had a few hiccups which were delaying my work on the project. But I was able to bring my project back on track. I learnt a lot of things on the way, and I have been able to implement additional features in my project too, during the GSoC time period.

    I was also given commit access to the main project repository. I started working over there once I got access and I have finally updated my GSoC repository with that code.

    I would like to take this forward and become a full-time committer to the project, next, so that I can work on future projects for WordPress on Android.

    Thank you mentors for your guidance, the community for the support and everyone for the experience! You will be seeing more of me in the near future. 🙂

  • Anirudh 6:19 pm on August 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    Android UI – Weekly Update 

    I found and squished a few more bugs this week. Working on the documentation right now. Will post a more complete update on Monday, which is when all work should get over.

  • Anirudh 12:41 am on August 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    Android app Weekly Update 

    Hey guys

    Good news. I fixed all bugs that I knew and closed all the bug-related tickets for Android for wordpress v1.5 alpha, this week (http://android.trac.wordpress.org/query?group=status&milestone=1.5). I will get the documentation ready soon.

    I will discuss with my mentor on what else is to be done and finish it within the next few days.

    A release of the beta version of the app can be expected by next week.

  • Anirudh 3:07 am on August 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    WordPress Android app – weekly update 

    My mentor, Dan Roundhill took up my changes for the android app and applied it to the source code of the original app at http://android.wordpress.org this week. I have been given commit access to the repository over there and I will continue working over there. The version is 1.5 alpha.

    I created a few tickets over there (Ticket #157, Ticket #158, Ticket #159,Ticket #161, Ticket #162, Ticket #163) for the existing bugs and am working on them.

    Design work for the app is remaining and I think that will be completed by next week.

  • Anirudh 6:24 pm on July 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    Android app – Weekly Update 

    I am really sorry for this late update but last week was the one where companies come to my college and offer jobs. I had to spend all my time preparing and thankfully, I did get placed quickly. That means that I am free once again and will be able to work properly. Since only about 2 weeks are remaining, I’ll ensure that my gsoc work is given highest priority once again.

    There have been some issues of the Dashboard scaling to all sizes and I have been trying to sort it out over the weekend. This is the point where my mentor Dan Roundhill and myself have to start working together, so that we can push it into the main release. My mentor has already started working on it while I am beginning only now. There is also the issue of cleaning up the code and bringing in design changes too.

    I wouldn’t want to take any risk and I am planning to finish all that is required by the end of this week. I will begin documentation work after that.

    • Dan 1:14 pm on August 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Your code has been committed to trunk along with a few fixes I’ve been working on. You’ve been granted commit access there, so please checkout android.svn.wordpress.org and work from there for the remainder of the project! See you on IRC.

  • Anirudh 2:00 am on July 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    Android app – Weekly Update 

    This week was really hectic for me as college reopened and I had 2 tests in the same week. Hopefully I’ll get more time next week. I managed to remove a few bugs associated with the add photo, video option through the add button and I have pushed the changes to my repository.

    I also attended the scheduled irc chat. Other than my mentor, I did not have feedback from anyone else. I updated him with my schedule and the status of my project.

    I am planning to eliminate all bugs that I can find over the next few days. I am planning to merge my code into the main android app’s trunk repository soon, after that. I can then begin work on the design aspect of the app with the help of the UI team and make it ready for release.

  • Anirudh 9:27 pm on July 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    Android App – Weekly Update 

    This week saw a major overhaul in the app as it was the midterm phase week and all features had to be implemented.

    Most importantly, I have brought in the feature of using the blog as a parameter for all operations, as suggested by my mentors. This means that the user need not choose the blog in the beginning and can choose it whenever he wants. The current blog in the Spinner specifies which blog the operation is being performed upon. The user can also set a default blog that he/she would like to move around with.

    This change in the workflow created more bugs in the program than I expected, and it took me quite some time to fix them all. There were also a few bugs, which I had missed out earlier, like Drafts crashing when no Drafts were present.

    I also have ensured that pressing the Back button during Full screen, returns the app to the edit section and saves the text in the Content textbox.

    Another change is that, pressing the + button in the Action Bar now invokes a dropdown list of options that include adding post, pages, photos(from camera and gallery) and videos (from camera and gallery). I am having a few bugs in it though and am working on it. I am also having a few problems while trying to make the Dashboard as the first screen of the app. (It displays a button, right now. Will remove it, once I fix this problem.)

    To summarize, I’d say that all features have been successfully implemented by midterm, but there are a few bugs that I myself know of, and am fixing it.

    I’d be expecting bug reports/feedbacks from the community on my prototype from next week, which I’d have to work upon. I also would have to start polishing my app, to make it look awesome and I think my mentor, Isaac Keyet would help me out with this. 🙂  I’ll post screenshots then.

  • Anirudh 9:10 am on July 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    All of us know that WordPress 3.2 was… 

    All of us know that WordPress 3.2 was released last week and that it has been receiving positive responses from everyone. What I liked most was the distraction-free editor or the zen mode while writing posts. While thinking about it, it struck me that using as much screen space as possible is most important for phones, among all devices, due to their reduced screen size. The existing app provides only about 5 lines for writing posts and it is difficult to view what has been written earlier. I then decided to go about implementing full-screen option for writing posts, even though I hadn’t discussed it in my proposal. I feel that it is a must for the Android app and I am pleased to say, that it works well 🙂 (might require more testing though).

    Here is what I have implemented.


    The first image shows the normal Add Post screen that a user sees. Note that, other than the action bar, only one additional change has been done with respect to the earlier app. That’s the “Write in Fullscreen” option in the ‘Post Content’ section, below the format buttons.

    The second image shows the fullscreen feature. The app takes the whole of the android screen (it hides the system notifications section too). At the bottom are the format buttons. The user can type as usual, and apply the format buttons on it too. The following image shows an example.


    Once the text is entered, the user would have to press the Menu button on his phone. The user is provided with 2 options. To save the text and exit fullscreen, and to exit fullscreen without saving. Once “Save and Exit” is pressed, the user can find that the text has been entered into the Content textbox and the user can proceed as usual, to add media, publish post, etc as shown in the image on the right. And as the name implies, “Exit without Saving” exits the fullscreen without any text being entered in the Content textbox.

    I also fixed a bug related to the width of the Stats graph with the help of my mentor Dan Roundhill, after going through the source code of WordPress for iOS. I am also trying to implement a few other features into the stats app too. The following screenshots can confirm that stats for different durations are all accommodated within the screen properly.


    I was also working on the Add Media feature this week, where I encountered a workflow problem. I was also confused for a long time about how to remove the initial blog list and ensure that the dashboard is the first screen that the user views. I realized that both problems were related to the workflow as I had not completely understood what my mentors had in mind.

    Isaac Keyet, my UI/UX mentor, agreed to help me out and after some discussion on irc and a voice call over Skype, I was able to understand the workflow clearly! He also showed me some mock-ups for the app and I am sure that I have understood it properly now.

    I have started working on it and will be done with it over the weekend. This is the workflow that the app is supposed to follow.

    1. User starts the app and sees the dashboard.

    2. The dashboard contains the icons in the grid for Viewing Posts, Adding Media, etc.

    3. Initially no blog is selected. Therefore the respective contents under that category, from all blogs will be displayed upon clicking each grid icon. (Either this, or having a blog selected as default, and user changing it, if required.)

    4. Whenever new content is being added, or content specific to a blog has to be viewed, the user selects the blog name from the action bar, where all blog names can be selected with the help of a spinner.

    In short, instead of choosing the blog first, and performing actions specific to the blog, the blog name is taken as a parameter to every action that the user does. After a lot of discussion, I realized that this seems to be the most comfortable option to the user.

    The above is high priority work and I will be working for it first and then try to fix bugs in other parts later.

    All features are expected to be complete by next week as its the mid term phase. Therefore I am working hard to complete everything by then.

    • Dan 8:48 am on July 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Looking good! For the full screen editor, could you just hit the back key to return to the regular post editor view?

  • Anirudh 9:27 pm on July 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    WordPress Android App – Weekly Update 

    I have worked more on functional features and less on UI this week. So I don’t think screenshots are required. Will commit the latest source code into my svn repo soon.

    I have finally pulled drafts out of posts this week. I can now display them under a separate view, which is much more convenient for the user. It displays only the drafts written from the mobile though (Local Drafts). I also tried to bring in Drafts from the WordPress website but it seems that I’d break up a lot of other stuff while doing so. I don’t think I will proceed in that direction next week unless absolutely needed.

    I have also removed the wordpress logo from the action bar and have replaced it with the blog name and the blavatar, as suggested.

    I am working on the refresh all feature too. Some problems there and I think I’ll get it fixed shortly. I am also working on shifting my code to wpAndroid.java. Need a little more discussion on that.

    I discussed a lot about the UI with my other mentor, Isaac Keyet too. I am planning on bringing back Add Media feature to the dashboard. So that will be one of my jobs for the next week. I will be changing most of the UI (icons and buttons) next week, with the help of Isaac Keyet.

    I realize that the mid-term phase is nearby and I will be bringing all planned features into the app and make the prototype complete, soon.

    I also had the irc chat this week, which was supposed to be held in the beginning. I would love it if more people from the WordPress community can give their feedback about the app as I didn’t get much feedback in the irc chat.

  • Anirudh 9:59 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android UI,   

    The source code of the original app was… 

    The source code of the original app was made a little more “cleaner” by my mentor, this week. There were some new naming conventions, so I ported all my changes to the new source code and have uploaded it.

    I tried out different themes for the app but after discussing with my mentor, I realized that it would be best to stick to something that is similar to the WordPress website to provide uniformity. I made the drawables out of existing wordpress icons. The dashboard screen doesn’t have a proper background too. Would need a little bit of help from the UI team there.

    I hadn’t uploaded screenshots of my work last week and I decided to combine them with this week’s post.

    • After going through many other apps and discussing with my mentor, I made some latest changes to the dashboard, so that it is more user-friendly. It now contains 3 rows and 2 columns, with a Quickpress button at the bottom for easy posting.
    • Due to this reshuffling, adding new stuff like Pages aren’t directly visible. Therefore the quickest way to add them would be to click the + symbol in the action bar. Upon clicking the plus symbol, the user would be able to see a QuickView. (I implemented it with the help of a Quickview source code written under the new BSD License. Have to discuss side issues regarding this.)
    • I have also converted the line graph in the stats section to a columnar bar graph to make it similar to that of the original WordPress stats site. It needs a little more tweaking to accommodate views for different interval of days:
    • The existing comments section looks a little bit cramped. So, I decided to make it look more like the Gmail android app, where there is a check box by default, and clicking upon any one of those would invoke the options section. (I have smudged out some details. Took a print-screen screenshot to show where my mouse pointer is. It implies clicking.)

    What next:

    There are a few issues with the Drafts view and refresh all features and I will try to finish them asap. I would also try to enhance the column graphs for the stats. I will also do some bug fixing and test the app on different emulators (I have only one actual android device with me).

    Would love to get some feedback from the community. 🙂

    • Dan 7:20 am on June 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is coming along nicely! Here’s a few ideas:

      • Remove the WordPress logo from the top and replace it with the blavatar icon and blog name, so you know which blog you’re on at all times.
      • Since the dashboard is the first view you see in the app (you should probably move your code to wpAndroid.java at some point), there needs to be a way to select another blog on that view. Maybe if you tap the blog name in the action bar, you get another one of those QuickView popups that lets you select a new blog to work with?
      • Check out this google chart code from the iPhone app, it creates a chart that looks very closely to the stats in wp-admin.
      • I like the comment view changes! (with some design tweaks)
      • Now that I see the 2×3 design, I think removing the photo/video icons will be a huge loss to the app since most users want to post media as fast as possible. I’ve seen designs with a 3×3 grid that work quite nicely that I’ll show you.

      Other than that, I think we’re at the point where you need some design help. Isaac will be in touch with you soon on that.

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