Ausdroid has been bringing you Australian Android news now for over four years, and while we’ve experimented with having an actual Android app to consume Ausdroid content in the past, it hasn’t worked out so well. Those of you with better memories may recall we had an app in test for a month or two last year, but sadly the app was unable to make a proper public release due to development of the app falling behind with too many competing priorities.
Fast forward to December 2014, though, and we bring you much better news.
We’ve been working hard with Daniel Grech, the author of a number of Android apps, one of which we’ve recently featured called Sydney OpalTracker. We were so impressed with the design and simplicity of Sydney OpalTracker that we reached out to Daniel and commenced the discussion about whether, and how, he could design an Ausdroid app. Daniel was keen to take a look, and so in the intervening weeks, we’ve worked out a feature list for a first public release, and Daniel is blazing through feature and build requests to get an app ready for everyone.
We’re at that time in the development cycle, I think, where it’s time to show some of you, our readers and users, what we’ve been working on. We’ve got some screenshots below, and a basic feature list to give you an idea of what the app can offer.
Currently, the app has the following features:
- View our most recent posts, both in every category, and split by a number of main categories including News, Reviews, Rumours, Carriers, OS Updates and Podcast.
- Article view shows you header and body images, and allows you to click through to more posts from the author, and from the categories or tags listed.
- Disqus comments are built right in, so you can view AND contribute comments to articles you like. A handy comment counter shows you whether a post is getting a lot of conversation going.
- Push notifications direct from Ausdroid, so you’ll know the instant we publish news. You can view it straight away, or the app will download it and cache it for later viewing (you don’t even need to be online).
There are a few more features we’re working on, too:
- A built-in process to submit tips, leaks and hints direct to Ausdroid’s editors
- Notifications when we update a post with key information (think Nexus 6 stock notifications), as well as reminders not to miss out on giveaways
Down the track, we may look at building in a podcast player as well, so you can consume the Ausdroid Podcast right from within the Ausdroid app.
Anyway, here’s what we want to do for the moment. We’re waiting probably 24 hours or so for a couple of last minute features to be worked into the app. Once that comes through and it passes internal testing, we’ll release it to our beta group. So, here’s how you can take part:
- Request an invite to the Ausdroid App Beta Group on Google+
- Once you’ve been accepted, you should request access to the beta test version via Google Play
- Once that’s done, and once the app is uploaded to Beta, you can access the Beta app via the Play Store
We’ll be looking for constructive feedback via the Google+ group. We have an internal document where we’re managing feature requests and bug fixes etc, but we’ll take what we need from the Google+ group and carry the information across so we’ve got a controlled document for build and test purposes. Accepted feature requests / fixes etc will be notified back via the Google+ group, and of course, you’ll likely see new versions updating via the Play Store every now and then.
If you’re keen to help out, follow the process above, and stay tuned.