New iOS beta

There is a new iOS. I have been focusing on polishing up the chat screen, which hasn’t seen a lot of change in about 4 years. There is a lot of things going on in the screenshot below, all of them are improvements for the better. We have headers for the day now so the dates on each row are smaller. I am working on compressing cell spacing and using the space to convey time difference between messages (this is a WIP). Link detection is improved. The OMEMO locks are now in the cells. Messages consistently show the OMEMO lock. I am also gone back and adjusting the point count on all spacing to keep them visually consistent.

Still some spacing issues, but it is getting closer to my vision

Working on UI and Muc

I have closed a few ui and Muc related issues. You should start to see regular iOS and Mac public betas rolling out again this week. I hope to have the next Monal release next week. OMEMO was a big update and but I am planning on getting back into the bi-weekly release schedule. Most of the changes are small tweaks and bug fixes related to the UI and UX. This will be my focus for a while rather than new technical features.

Resolving Push With eJabberd

Push for Monal has worked flawlessly for me for about a year now. However I also heard it didn’t work reliably for everyone. This was not something that I was able to replicate. After a lot of help from others we were able to identify the issue as something specifically odd about the interaction between ejabberd servers and the prosody server that powers push for Monal. This issue with the prosody module appears to have been fixed and I have upgraded my push server.

In theory this server side change should fix push for everyone and there is no app upgrade necessary. Please let me know if you are still experiencing push issues.

OMEMO and French Laws…

While submitting Monal for review, I have discovered that with OMEMO, I can’t distribute Monal in France without government approval there. There is no point in holding up this release for the rest of the world, so I will be removing it from the French store while I file the paperwork for a future release. Something tells me this is probably not the last time this happens.

Chatsecures version of the same issue

And We are Done

I have posted what I hope are the final beta for the next iOS client the Mac one will come soon afterwards. These will be what I plan to ship to the App Store barring any serious bugs. This will be my first production release of OMEMO. I have tried to debug this quite a bit over the past few months. Theres still a lot to do but as usual I would prefer to do more frequent releases rather than large ones. I am sure as more people use these new clients there will be more bugs and I will fix them in weekly releases in Feb.

New Mac Beta

We are on our 13th beta. It has been a lot of iteration and improvement (thank you for helping test) and we are marching towards a good release. There are a couple of more issues I want to address and then we are going to ship this off to the App Store. I am eager to have a reasonably stable, modern XMPP client with OMEMO available on the Mac. It has been too long.

Icons and Art

I am an engineer not an UI/UX designer. I dabble in those things and sometimes have an idea of what is good and bad from past experience but it is certainly not my strength. You can see that in the evolution of Monal over the past decade. We are always presented with a need to balance user friendliness with lots of options. I have rarely seen anything get the balance right. Oddly artwork has always been one of the hardest things to deal with.

Icons are super important. I started off using icons from KDE and later bought Glyphish, which I have been using since iOS 5 or so. I recently discovered Icon Deposit, where a lot of things I would have killed for in the past are available for free with attribution. It is the open source model applied to artwork. This is something I would recommend other developers checkout. Are there other resources like this? I haven’t paid attention to it in ages.