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Xero Touch news and iOS 5 release

We’ve been pretty excited to see the latest iteration of iOS. Early testing showed us that Xero Touch performance on iOS 5 was going to be better. And running Xero Touch on an iPhone 4S with its smokin’ new A5 chip got Craig our CTO so excited that he made this video.

Today we got our second iOS release into the App Store and pushed our changes to Xero Touch, which is available through any touchscreen phone’s browser. This release has addressed a few display issues and functional problems with the original release and with the upgrade to iOS 5. Here’s the detail:

  • Fixed bugs that appeared with the release of iOS 5, which prevented some people from saving expense claims.
  • Reduced the size of attachments that are uploaded, saving you mobile data bandwidth when you’re out and about.
  • Switching in and out of the app should now be more reliable: you can start writing an invoice, switch out of the app to check some details and then switch back to finish your work.
  • Fixed some bugs with session expiry that caused the application to hang.
  • Made lots of small but important improvements to the user interface.

Our next release, which we aim to get out before Christmas or shortly after, pending the App Store approval process, will include support for inventory items which will make invoices much faster to complete.

Android

We’ve talked about having our first Android release by the end of the year, but we’ve been quite disappointed with the performance on Android devices. We don’t want to release a product that we know is going to frustrate people and that we wouldn’t want to use ourselves, so we’ve elected to wait until the release of Sencha Touch 2  before we package up our first Android release.

Sencha Touch 2 specifically tackles performance – most notably Android performance – and has a whole host of optimisations that will make Xero Touch run much better on Android, whether you’re using a dedicated app or your phone’s browser. We think it’s worth waiting for. There’s no release date for Sencha Touch 2 announced yet, but as soon as they provide a stable beta release, we’ll begin the job of moving things over. Should be early next year.

In the meantime, we know that some people on Android have been struggling so shortly we’re going to make it easier for Android users to switch between Xero Touch and our low-fidelity mobile site from within their phone’s browser.

Developers

We’re committed to mobile and have more ideas and platforms than we can execute on right now. We’re looking for gifted mobile developers to join our talented team. The challenge and fun of mobile is that it exposes you to a variety of technologies (Objective-C, Java, C#, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, sexy hardware) and the joy is that when someone asks you what you do at a cocktail party you can whip your phone out and show them. We need someone who can hot-swap their brain to work with different tools and languages and who works best on short release sprints. We’re one of the smaller teams within Xero right now, and there’s very little friction between ideas and execution. You’ll also get free handsets.  If you’re keen see our careers page.

 

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16 comments

Rhys
8 November 2011 #

Can you release a beta apk for the android that we can play with anyway for the die hard fans who dont mind bugs?

Matt Vickers
8 November 2011 #

@Rhys It’s not an issue of bugs, it’s an issue of performance and features. Performance-wise it’s unusably slow. And there are still some platform-specific features to be implemented before we can actually package up a usable Android release. Rather than build them and have them perform poorly, we’ve decided to wait for Sencha Touch 2 instead.

Steve
8 November 2011 #

Thanks for the latest update.
When are we going to be able to reconcile accounts from the app? As a user of public transport I’d love to be able to get it done while sitting on a bus or ferry.

Thanks
S

Matt Vickers
8 November 2011 #

@Steve Reconciling accounts is definitely on our list of things to do. Too soon to give you a firm date right now, but it’s coming.

Brandon
9 November 2011 #

i am wanting to enter payable invoices from the app. will this be considered?

Matt Vickers
9 November 2011 #

@Brandon Right now we support business expenditure via expense claims, where you can log an expense and submit it for later approval. However we’ve had a couple of requests for accounts payable functionality. We’ll consider including something in a later release.

Hi Guys, can I ask when the inventory items update for invoicing is going to be released?

Matt Vickers
18 January 2012 #

Hey there,

We’re working on it right now. Shouldn’t be too much longer.

Cheers Matt!

Ian Edwards
4 April 2012 #

Hi any news re android app and any news ee reconciliation via mobile app
Cheers…Own

Matt Vickers
4 April 2012 #

@Ian, no update on Android yet except that we are actively working on it. Reconciliation is definitely something we want to add to Touch, but no further news yet.

Dan
14 April 2012 #

Hi, is there any update on the Android app yet?

Matt Vickers
16 April 2012 #

@Dan – It’s being worked on, but no, no further update yet. When we have an update we’ll do a blog post.

Shane
10 May 2012 #

Hi guys I run a Lenovo think pad with android as the os instead of the iPad as my mobile device I’m hoping to use xero on the is it possible?

Matt Vickers
11 May 2012 #

@Shane – Xero should work through the ThinkPad’s browser. With the larger screen size you might find the full Xero site more preferable to use than the mobile or touch sites.

Tom
20 June 2012 #

I will swap over to Xero when you have an android version available. All the best. Tom

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