Stack Exchange for the iPad is here – and iOS apps now support iOS 8

When we launched our iOS and Android apps, we were pretty sure they’d help our most active users in a couple of ways:

  • Push inbox notifications are epic – you can know the minute you get an answer or someone comments on your post.

  • The personalized mobile feed lets you browse all content relevant to you, whether it’s posts from your communities or replies to your posts.

  • Voting, commenting, and minor edits are all things you often want to do when you’re away from your desktop, and an interface built for touch makes them a breeze.

Those were a huge success; a ton of our most active users loved them. Here’s what we didn’t expect:

A lot of people are posting from the app.

  • Over twenty-five thousand posts have been made from the app…

  • …More than 69% of them are answers!

  • The average quality of the posts is significantly higher than the overall average.1

Those on-screen buttons may not have the same satisfying click your Cherry MXs do, but despite your freakishly large thumbs, an amazing number of you are helping others from the bus. Or in line at the DMV. Or at other times that you’re… just not at your computer. (They tell me I can’t make a “or while in the bathroom” joke here. Because of course that would be a joke, right?) That’s not just a reflection of how dedicated our users are to sharing their knowledge; it’s also awesome for my personal job security, so thanks!


(Phil Schiller with actual-size prototypes.)

Bigger is Better

So that’s all great. But we still had a problem. Sure, the iPhone 6+ is big – but even the new iPhone 6+ probably can’t show you all the upvotes you’ve earned today from all the knowledge you’ve dropped lately.

So, what are you supposed to do? Scroll? Like an animal?!?

We thought not. So, we’re ecstatic to announce Stack Exchange for iPad, built from the ground up for the ideal tablet experience.2

Go download it now! What if we raised the price to $0.99 next week? Think about how long you’d agonize over paying nearly a dollar for this wonderful app. We really don’t want that stress for you, so go get it now. (Okay, we’re probably not going to charge for it. But why risk it? Isn’t life stressful enough?)

The Feed: Bigger than Ever

Thanks to the bigger screen real estate, we were able to let the feed display way more of your recent notifications, achievements, and recommended questions. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, there’s a screenshot at the top of this post – just look at all that information!

There’s also a dedicated, swipe-browsable hot questions section at the top. Did you ever wish you could swipe new things onto your screen, without the sense of guilt that comes from swiping a human out of your life based entirely on their looks? Have you ever wanted to know if a society could evolve without wood, or if submarines technically “float”? Your day has come.

Editor and Preview Just Might be Better than on the Web

We can’t overstate how happy we’ve been to see people writing actual, great posts on the go. This new update makes that even easier, with touch-optimized Markdown tools in the composer, and a live preview that’s right next to the compose window, so you can see your beautiful formatting as you type (without scrolling!)

This is just the start. Given how much you’re posting using the applications, we’re going to be focusing a lot on making the entire process nicer.

When we started out, we thought the iPad standard browser experience was pretty solid, and we decided we weren’t going to build an iPad app unless we thought it actually improved that experience. Between the touch optimized browsing and interface elements, side-by-side composing, and a much more integrated experience going from one site to the next, we’re convinced it does just that – we’ve been testing it a lot internally for the last few months and I can’t live without it; hopefully you’ll feel the same.

So, if you’ve got an iPad, get to the store and download it now. (No worries, it’s still free. For now…)  If you’re an iPhone user, the new update also includes lots of quality of life changes for you too (including full iOS 8 support), so upgrade or install it today!

Not an iOS user?

  • If you’re an Android tablet user, don’t worry, we’re working on things to make you happy too.

  • If you’re a Windows Phone pioneer, check out this meta discussion.
  • If you’re anxiously waiting for a Symbian or WebOS version, please submit your request via betamax video, ideally delivered by a human being riding on a horse, don’t forget to have another person following to clean up after the horse.

Feedback

These apps couldn’t have happened without our incredible beta testers from the community, and we’re counting on you to tell us how to make it even better! Please post any feature requests you have on Meta – and if you find a bug, please report that too.


1 To be fair, there’s probably a lot of selection bias there – the app users are likely our most active, experienced users, but the point is this: the posts from the app are good.

2 Technically, it’s iOS 1.2.0, a universal app available now for iPhone and iPad.

Author

Kasra Rahjerdi
Mobile Team Lead

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