Last June, I was traveling with my family for a vacation to Washington DC. We had all gotten vaccinated, the Delta variant of COVID hadn’t hit the US yet, and we were feeling pretty great about moving beyond the pandemic. Maybe too optimistic, but that’s another story. For Micro.blog, what happened leading up to that trip and while in DC is that I spent some time thinking about the future of the platform and the team.
Maybe it was the stress of travel. I felt a kind of urgent need to get help with Micro.blog, ideally from someone who knew Ruby, had seen some of my code before, and had experience with mobile apps and APIs, so they could hit the ground running. I emailed Vincent Ritter right before leaving town and asked if he was interested.
Vincent had developed the third-party Micro.blog app Gluon, which runs on iOS and Android. He’s an active blogger and codes with Ruby, which we also use on the Micro.blog backend. He and I have discussed several improvements to the Micro.blog API through his work on Gluon, so I was pretty sure we had a similar approach to development and could work well together.
Vincent has been working part-time on various improvements to Micro.blog since shortly after I reached out to him over the summer. Bug fixes, backend architecture brainstorming, and new features like dark mode on the web. But he’s also been working on something big: Micro.blog for Android.
We rolled out the Android version last week as a public beta on Google Play to get early feedback. It won’t match the features of the iOS version exactly, just like the macOS and iOS versions are different from each other in their own way. The Android version has all the basics: the Micro.blog timeline, posting, replies, Discover. The design borrows from the iOS version but also tries some new things, like a tab bar.
Five years since the Kickstarter for Micro.blog, I remain as excited as ever about the potential for Micro.blog. Finally filling in this missing piece for Android users is a huge step forward.
Thinking back to last summer through to this winter, it’s easy to let bad news happening in the world dominate our thinking. I’m really proud that behind the scenes with Micro.blog we keep moving forward. I probably say something like this every January, but… 2022 is going to be great.