Reddit launches its first official apps for iOS and Android

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 5:15 PM

Available today for both iOS and Android, the new Reddit app will not only serve as the official means for accessing Reddit on mobile amid a sea of third-party clients, it'll also replace Alien Blue, the favorite third-party application the company acquired back in fall two thousand fourteen, as previously announced.

Reddit launches its first official apps for iOS and Android

Reddit’s long-awaited native mobile applications – the first-ever to be built by the company in-house – have now launched. Available today for both iOS and Android, the new Reddit app will not only serve as the official means for accessing Reddit on mobile amid a sea of third-party clients, it'll also replace Alien Blue, the favorite third-party application the company acquired back in fall two thousand fourteen, as previously announced.

Alien Blue will number longer be able in the available in the App Store and Google Play, meaning it won’t be accessible to new users who have yet to establish it on their phone.

Alex Le, Reddit’s Vice President of Consumer Product, describes the decision to wind down Alien Blue a “difficult” one. When he arrived in November, he said that one of his goals was to make better and stabilize Alien Blue, but what started out as a ordinary improvement project ended up becoming a much larger effort.

The engineering team soon realized then it was better to restore its iOS application from the ground up in order to create it “faster, more modern and more usable,” he explains.

In addition, thanks to a new code base, the map presently is to deliver new features at a faster pace than what was possible before with the Alien Blue application. In fact, the map is to roll out updates at minimum once per month, if not more, we’re told.

However, it wasn’t just the necessity to speed up the time it takes to deliver app improvements that prompted Reddit to stake its own claim on mobile. The company also says that fifty % of users today browse Reddit on mobile, including both the mobile web and via third-party applications. When half your audience is arriving via mobile, you've to think more carefully about the experience you wish to deliver.

Though Alien Blue is being close down, Reddit is hoping to transition those users to the new mobile app by applying what it learned over the many months following its acquisition.

reddit_iOS_03

“We learned a lot from our passionate Alien Blue community about what makes a grand iOS app and we applied those learnings when building Reddit for iOS,” Le explains. “Due to Ltd resources, we decided to focus our efforts on making Reddit for iOS our primary and official Reddit client.”

Alien Blue’s developer also had a hand in building the new apps as an engineer, we should note.

The new Reddit mobile application offers a no of key features that aim to differentiate it from the wide range of clients presently on the market. It includes a “card view” option to better showcase wealthy media content, for example, and it sometimes offers platform-specific features when it can – love iOS’s draggable “speed-read” button.

Some features are aimed at catering to the needs of more regular Redditors – including those that haven't been available in other third-party clients, or even Alien Blue. One of these is support for customizable subreddits. In the new Reddit app, moderators will now be able to customize the way their subreddits see and feel.

Meanwhile, other improvements are more under-the-hood adjustments, love the app’s size. The iOS download is only 4.8 megabytes – that means the app will download in just a few seconds on an LTE connection, the company points out.

reddit_android_05

Though Alien Blue may be close down to create room for Reddit’s official new application, Reddit doesn’t have any plans to restrict its community of third-party app developers presently that it’s making a more serious effort on mobile. Instead, the focus is just on offering a grand experience for its own audience.

“Having a native Reddit app on Android and iOS — particularly one that’s this fast — is going to ruin a lot of people’s productivity. And I’m okay with that,” says Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder. “The team has done a remarkable work shipping such a polished app in such a brief period of time and it’s only going to obtain better! It’s a privilege to be able to create for such a devoted user base of hundreds of millions of people.”

Reddit has been teasing its native mobile applications for some time (including yesterday, via Facebook). Plus, earlier this year, the Android beta test went live, but those sign-ups were quickly closed. In total, 4.000 users, both internal and external, had access to the apps prior to today’s launch, the company tells us.

The new Reddit app is live on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

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