Ten Years of Monal

If you  look at the top of some files you will notice the year they were made is 2008. I realized today that come the new year, it will be 10 years since I began to write Monal (then called SworIM).  All of this came up after a conversation at brunch one day with my brother about how our fancy new iPhone 3G didn’t have a better messaging ability and the only way we could message was by email.  We could use text but SMS cost money in those days.

Back in the magical year of 2008, the iPhone was on its first iteration. iPhone OS 2 was coming out (it wasn’t called iOS until later). iMessage was not going to be a thing for at least 3 more years, whats app didn’t exist. Push notifications didn’t exist and there were no 3rd party multi tasking capabilities on the iPhone. In fact, the most popular messaging client was AIM, which stupidly disconnected every time you closed the app.  Initially Monal supported both AIM and XMPP because people (including myself) used AIM a ton back then.

Much of the code for Monal is actually based on the API introduced in iOS4. With the removal of VOIP sockets, it looks like APNS push and side by side multi tasking (iPad) is the only way that Monal will multitask going forward.  Additionally, I going to focus on keeping the code as modern as possible. I have been very conservative with changes to support as many older iOS versions as possible,  the App Store has the ability to retrieve the last compatible version now  so older OS versions will still have a functioning client. This should improve stability and make changes easier.  Additionally, iOS updates do not cost money anymore so its not unreasonable to expect everyone to update.

In fact, there are some screens that are exactly the same from 10 years ago.

 

Something that’s been long over due is a new icon.  I’ve been tinkering with the idea for a while and decided to try it out yesterday.  This is the first iteration on the new icon. I would love feedback — esp since I made it myself based on vectors of the old one, so it’s hardly the most professional looking thing.  The SVG is here is you want to play with it. I think we can all agree the new icon looks better in the post iOS 7 world. 

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