Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android

This page contains information and links specific to the Android team.

The team

Contact us

Download the app

Get the Wikipedia Android app from the Google Play Store or from F-Droid. Note that the app does not allow you to add custom mediawiki sites.

Help as a alpha/beta tester!

You can install Wikipedia Beta alongside your current version of Wikipedia for Android, so you can test our new features before they go live for all Wikipedia for Android users. Your feedback will help us fix bugs and decide what features to focus on next. (See also: bug reporting)

Wikipedia Alpha: https://github.com/wikimedia/apps-android-wikipedia/releases/download/latest/app-alpha-universal-release.apk

Contribute to development

The Wikipedia Android app is completely open source and welcomes contributions from all.
Learn more on our Getting Started page.

Documentation

Archive

Updates

July 2021 - June 2022 Improving Notifications and Collaboration tools on Android

  • During this fiscal year the Android team is working to ensure communication through the Android app is seamless and promotes collaboration. All of our updates will be on the corresponding project page.

Special Update unrelated to Collaboration tools (January 2022):

  • Members of the English Wikipedia community raised a concern about the Suggested Edits Short Descriptions Suggested Edits task. The concern was that the task was resulting in a high number of low quality edits that were being reverted. When Suggested Edits was released by the Android team, it was the first time WMF explored micro contributions. It has been a catalyst project for StructuredEdits in the Newcomer Homepage, a project led by the Growth Team. The Android team historically had a barrier where users were required to be logged-in and have at least 5 edits prior to accessing suggested edits. The barrier of being logged in remains, however, the barrier of having 5 edits was removed in 2020 based on positive data. With the concern of the quality of edits being raised by the community, the Android team researched reverts and rewrites to understand the severity of this challenge. In October 2021, 2.61% of descriptions added through the Suggested Edits tool were reverted and 0.38% of translations were reverted. During this time, 11.50% of description changes were reverted, it is worth noting description changes are not conducted through Suggested Edits. There was a hypothesis by the team and community that rewrites could be a more accurate indicator than reverts, for that reason, the team investigated the rate of rewrites, which indicated only 2% (31 of 1471) of short descriptions were rewritten during a 30 day sample period. With the team currently focusing on improving collaboration tools, we do not have enough evidence that the Suggested Edits tool is producing such a high number of bad edits that we must pause our current work to intervene. However, the next phase of our working starting July 2022, is to improve the quality of edits coming out of the Android app. During that time, the team will do a deeper dive and engage with the community across language wikis to understand what enhancements we should focus on. The enhancements can include better patroller tools, better onboarding, tenure requirements for certain tasks. Based on some very preliminary research, only 17 unique users of 422 from a 30 day sample used the Suggested Edits tool as a gateway to wikitext editing that had no reverts. Other users started with wikitext and then became suggested edits users. Based on this information, we recognize there is more work to do on our user journeys, and we will certainly pursue that work starting in July. Until July, the Android team will continue to work on improving collaboration tools, another highly requested improvement from members of our community.

25 May 2021 - Image Recommendations MVP in Production and Improvements to Error Handling

  • The Train Image Algorithm task for the Image Recommendations in production. Within the first two weeks of deployment, over 2800 unique users have annotated over 20,000 image titles across a multiple language wikis. Our full insights are available on the project page.
  • The team made updates to the way error messages are displayed, which will be released in the production version of the app in the coming weeks. You can read more about it on our Communications project page.
  • We made bug fixes including a fix to the way Mainpage was displayed in the app and ensure search images were properly displayed in right to left languages. You can review our most recently closed tasks using this query

28 April 2021 - Image Recommendations MVP on Beta and 2021 Android App Roadmap

  • The Train Image Algorithm task for the Image Recommendations is now available in the Beta version of the Android app. You can see a GIF of the behavior and learn more details on the project page
  • We've created a MediaWiki page about our efforts to improve communication functionality in the Android app
  • Our 3-5 year product roadmap is now available. It includes further improvements to communication functionality, patrolling tools, increased editing pathways, and personalized reading experiences
  • We've also released an update that fixed formatting issues on the main page, updated copy changes on the snackbar from 'My Lists' to 'Saved', and other bug fixes for dark mode and image captions

30 March 2021 - 500K Huawei installs, Suggested Edits Evaluation and Image Recommendations User Testing Analysis

  • We've reached 500K installs on the Huawei app
  • The team onboarded Commons Ambassador, Rhododendrites to help us understand how Suggested Edits impacts Commons users. The outcome of the analysis will be represented on this page.
  • The team analyzed user feedback of the Image Recommendations MVP prototype. We will be dedicating a two week sprint to incorporate the feedback.
  • Released update to production that included minor bug fixes for TalkPage and Watchlist and showing non-main namespace pages in-app through a mobile web treatment.

24 February 2021 - Designs for Image Recommendations

The Android, Structured Data, and Growth teams aim to offer "Add an Image" as a “structured task”. More about the motivations for pursuing this project can be found on the main page created by the Growth team. In order to roll out Add an Image and have the output of the task show up on wiki, a "minimum viable product" (MVP) for the Wikipedia Android app will be created. The MVP will enhance the algorithm provided by the research team and answer questions about behavior usage to further explore the concerns raised by the community.

The most important thing about this MVP is that it will not save any edits to Wikipedia. Rather, it will only be used to gather data, improve our algorithm, and improve our design.

We recently created a project page to chronicle the project and shared the designs that will go up through usability testing. We encourage your feedback.

2 February 2021 - Release of watchlist and user talk pages

We're excited to present our latest release of the Wikipedia Android app, available now on the Google Play Store (or as a standalone download for devices without Google). Here are the major highlights from this update:

* Watchlists: Your watchlist is now accessible from the main screen when you are logged in. Tap the "More" menu at the bottom and select "Watchlist."  If you have multiple languages selected in the app, the Watchlist screen will merge your watchlists from those language wikis. You can also choose which languages to show by tapping the language icon in the toolbar at the top.  Tap any of the items in your watchlist to see a detailed diff screen for the selected change.  And of course, to add any article you're currently reading to your watchlist, tap the top-right menu in the toolbar, and select "Add to watchlist."

* Talk pages: Article talk pages and User talk pages are now presented natively. When reading an article, the corresponding talk page is accessible by scrolling to the bottom and selecting "View talk page."  User talk pages can be accessed from various places where user interactions might occur, including your watchlist, various push notifications (e.g. messages left by other users on your talk page), and other users' and article talk pages.

In addition to these major updates, this release has plenty of bug fixes, design refinements, and performance optimizations. Check it out, and as always, we welcome your feedback! We are asking for Watchlist feedback on Phab task T273254 and user talk page feedback on T273253. You can also leave feedback on Talk:Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android/Communication.

Special note: This release is dedicated to the memory of our late colleague and friend Bernd Sitzmann, a brilliant developer and a wonderful person, without whom the app wouldn't be what it is today. He will be missed.

4 September 2020 - Update on Push notifications for editors + Google Play Services

Later this month, the Android team will be starting to implement push notifications within the app. Users will be able to opt out of receiving push notifications if they wish, and users in countries where it might be possible to identify them personally through their receipt of notifications will not receive them at all. As previously mentioned (see update: 9 March 2020), push notifications will require us to implement Google Play Services.

We have also received numerous reports through the Play Store and our help channels that users on Android 4.4 are experiencing connection problems with the app due to a certificate issue. The Android team will implement Google Play Services immediately for users on Android 4.4 - which is the only way to fix that certificate issue and allow those users to once again use the app properly. We anticipate a release by 15th September 2020.

22 May 2020 - Update on Push notifications for editors

More information on the proposed project phases and deadlines can now be found on the Product Infrastructure team push notifications page. Any questions related to the Android implementation specifically can still be left on the Android team Talk page.

9 March 2020 – Push notifications for editors

Beginning in around June 2020, we will begin working on push notifications. We think these will be useful to people who want to keep up with their watchlists and other editing-related notifications on the go, without continually needing to check the site. As with most other Android apps, we’ll be using Firebase for our push notifications, which requires users to have Google Play Services on their phone. If you prefer not to use Google Play Services, we will provide a workaround at the appropriate time.

We’ll continue to update this page as we get closer to implementation time. As with our other features, users who don’t want notifications at all will be able to opt-out entirely, or enable only the specific types of notifications they want, e.g., revert notifications or talk page mentions.

9 March 2020 – Tag Commons images to improve search

See Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android/AppEditorTasks#Suggested Edits 4.0 - Tag Commons images to improve search