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Meet the new Jitbit Helpdesk mobile apps

Oct 16 2014 :: by Max

Just a quick update on the current state of our mobile apps - something that has started as a hobby project, grew up to be something used by thousands of people every day. But as you've probably noticed, we haven't pushed new updates in a while (especially for the iOS app). And while the apps still work perfectly fine, they have various problems that need fixing and we can't delay this any longer. Currently there are two main issues:

Problem #1: iOS and Android apps are different

The current iOS and Android apps are completely different – they are written by two different people using two different programming languages (Objective C for the iOS app and PhoneGap for the Android one) and even have somewhat different feature sets. But we don't want to be spread thin across two different projects any longer, if we can put all our time and energy into one awesome app.

Problem #2: It takes a lot of work to add features to iOS

iOS app is native. It is written in Objective C with Cocoa. Like I said, it was a hobby project that we used to learn something new. While this was cool for some time, it simply can't remain a hobby any longer. Also, it takes a lot of time for us to add features to the iOS app because we don't feel comfortable enough with Cocoa. We could hire a full time iOS developer, but that would just increase the gap between Android and iOS even more.

We re-wrote both apps from scratch

We found a solution for both problems – a new cross-platform app that will work on both iOS and Android. We spent a lot of time searching for a cross-platform framework and found Ionic, an awesome modern engine, that we re-built both apps in.

What it means for everyone

It simply means that we are going to start adding more features to the mobile apps and they are going to be more usable and better designed. We got a lot of feature request from you guys (thanks!), that we will start implementing shortly.

News for iOS users

First the bad news, the new app will not be optimized for iPad at the start. This is temporary, I promise. It's still completely usable. I was very skeptical myself about going from a native app to a web-app, but please don't worry - the new app works great. The good news is that you will finally have updates, which are long overdue.

News for Android users

Only good news for you. The Android app will now have the same level of polish as the iOS app. You are no longer second-class citizens (we are sorry you were).

News for ”Self-Hosted” Helpdesk customers

You will need to upgrade to the latest version (8.8.1) as soon as possible to be able to use the new mobile app. I'm sorry, we really did the best we could. We can provide discounts for upgrades, if you need it, so contact support with all possible questions. Or - you can stay with the current mobile app.

If all goes well we plan to release the new app at the beginning of November. Until that time we are open to suggestions and we will answer any questions you have.

'Meet the new Jitbit Helpdesk mobile apps' was written by Max by Max. co-counder