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iPhone, Android & iPads oh my!

Mitchell Amihod's Avatar

Mitchell Amihod

17 Jan, 2012 12:26 AM

Hi.

There's been a lot of talk about development scheduling of the iPhone, Android & iPad version of Nirvana app. I'd like to share a bit of the thinking behind the approach we're taking. I've recently come on board, and am initially working on the mobile app side of things.

For development, we're using the Titanium Mobile framework. One of the biggest wins with using Titanium is the fact that it's javascript powered. Nirvana itself is a web app with all the logic coded up in javascript running client side. A large portion of the code powering Nirvana in your browser can be reused in the native app. This means we don't have to maintain the logic behind Nirvana on numerous platforms. This is a big win.

On iPhone first development

There are a few pragmatic reasons for going iPhone first. Using Titanium, we are able to write an app that will work on iPhone and Android. If we tried to target both platforms at once though, things would be going much slower. Workflow wise, its much better to get the iPhone app working, and then doing another pass to get it working on Android as well.

While Titanium is good, its not perfect. With their latest release, they've made some good strides in developing for Android - this is a good thing, but it is recent. Trying to build an android app under the previous release of the software development kit (SDK v1.7) would have been an exercise in mega-frustration, and would have ended up much the same way as Wunderlist - abandoning the Android titanium release to build a native android client - something we just don't have the resources for at this point in time.

On Android

Dear Android users, I feel your pain. I'm a long time Mac user - so I know what its like to use a platform where software comes out second, if at all. All I can do right now is publicly commit to the fact that an Android release is on the radar for us, and is next in line. (Note - I currently can't comment on which versions we will be targeting.)

To all those who keep telling us how much you love Nirvana, but won't pay till there's an Android release, I don't have a good answer for you. There's many good arguments on the web for supporting products you love, so I won't repeat them here. But know that we will have to begin generating revenue before we can produce the Android version - there's just no way around it, and the quickest path to that is releasing the iOS app first, and moving Nirvana out of beta.
This isn't a reflection on "Android users don't pay debate". At the end of the day, the mobile app on the various platforms are free - you will be (or won't be) paying for the Nirvana service. I think that's outside of whether a user is an iPhone user or a Droid user.

I am looking forward to building out the Droid version - it will give me the opportunity to get an Android and use it regularly as my primary device for a while.

On iPad

Right now, the iPhone version will have to suffice for the iPad. There's a lot of cool UI stuff we are able to do on the iPad, but for now the iPhone version will work just fine. So, once we have a working Droid version, then we will look at making a custom version for the iPad. What I can tell you is this is the excuse I need to finally buy one :)

And the others...

Before you go and post 'what about [your platform of choice]', just know that we're pretty aware of most of the mobile platforms, and will keep an eye on how the market develops and whether we can target them.

Hope this helps answer some of the questions & speculation thats been going on, let me know if you have any questions.

thanks,
meeech

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  1. 31 Posted by greg.golightly on 03 Mar, 2012 03:05 PM

    greg.golightly's Avatar

    I think I am going to eject from Nirvana as my 'production' GTD system. I have been using it for maybe a year. I just need a better mobile interface (android ) and I agree 100% with Bruce in that paying for future promises is something I will never do again. Too often it just does not happen or it does not happen with quality.
    Right now I have a number of GTD services that I keep bookmarked to check in on every 6 months (doit.im, getitdone are two examples off top of head). Nirvana will likely move into that group.
    Make no mistake, I am not ejecting due to a fee structure away from free. I am leaving because of a pay structure when it is not where I want it to be. A quality GTD system that meets enough of my needs (omnifocus on mac was the last system I loved and I left macs 2 years ago) seems to be some holy grail and I do not think I am that demanding. But a GTD is so important to me I will gladly pay.

    I am just going to take more more shot on the Android thing, and sorry this is less than all warm and fuzzy. I understand it is harder to develop for. I understand fragmentation is a problem. Tough shit. Life is hard. Android has nearly a million activations a day. Put in the effort, hire people, and make it happen. If you cannot get the funding/backing to do that, then you are going to be handicapped.

  2. 32 Posted by AJS on 03 Mar, 2012 06:48 PM

    AJS's Avatar

    Mitchell,

    any update on progress so far for the android app? Has the project commenced or is it on the backburner until the iphone app is launched? I'm interested because the feedback for the ios app seems to be positive, but with so many other task management developers such as Flow for example, offering iphone apps only it's difficult not to feel sceptical whether this will see the light of day any time soon.

    I have a month left on a subscription to another app and while I won't be renewing, I still haven't moved my tasks over to Nirvana because of the nagging doubt over the android app. I realise there is a mobile web app but while that suffices at the moment, when the $49/year subscription kicks in soon I won't be able to justify spending that on an incomplete solution.

    As things stand I'm gradually moving projects and tasks into Doit.im to see how it stands up as a full time task manager. Not quite as polished as Nirvana but the basics are there, and quite a bit on top as well. Wunderkit also have plans to incorporate Wunderlist into their project management app so that will be another alternative. They are both free, which while it's nice isn't the most important thing for me. Doit has a working android app now which syncs seamlessly with the web app. When Nirvana can offer the same I would happily pay for the extra features whch I consider important. Email tasks to Nirvana and Areas of Focus being the main consideration for me.

  3. 33 Posted by Bruce Marriott on 07 Mar, 2012 07:31 AM

    Bruce Marriott's Avatar

    @AJS

    While you (and all Android users) wait for a specific response from Mitchell to your queries there has been a brief exchange on another thread that partially (but only partially) touches on where you are coming from....

    On a thread titled: "Timeline on Android App" at:
    http://help.nirvanahq.com/discussions/nirvana-mobile/105-timeline-o...

    Visitor Taha asked:
    Hi Mitchell,

    Hearing good things about the iPhone app so congrats on that! Just wanted to touch base and find out how the progress on the Android app was coming along in terms of how far we were from signing up beta testers for Droid!

    Many Thanks

    David McLaughlin responded
    @Taha - you'll need to be patient, and understand we are not going to give out dates or time frames until we're ready to do so -- and now isn't the time.

  4. Support Staff 34 Posted by Mitchell Amihod on 07 Mar, 2012 03:53 PM

    Mitchell Amihod's Avatar

    @AJS nothing has changed from what I outlined in my original post. The commitment to make android app is still strong. And the timeline is still the same - nailing the iphone version, then android version. Sorry I can't give more definite timelines.

  5. 35 Posted by AJS on 07 Mar, 2012 04:47 PM

    AJS's Avatar

    Thanks for the response Mitchell, I wasn't necessarily asking for a timeline, just some idea if the android project was actually underway and a general progress report if it was in the form of "going well" or "coming along nicely" sort of comment would have been useful in light of the rapid progress on the ios app.

    I take it from your response that there won't be any movement until the ios app is launched, Thanks.

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