Microsoft’s GitHub today launched its native Android and iOS app out of beta. With the app hitting general availability, developers can stay in touch with their team, triage issues, and even merge code right from their mobile device. You can download the app now from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
GitHub was founded in February 2008 — a mobile app was long overdue. The company announced its first native mobile app at the company’s Universe developers conference in November. The iOS app debuted in beta then, and the Android beta app followed in January.
Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion in June 2018, though the company does not make enough money to be a line item in earnings reports. Still, GitHub is a massive platform — more than 40 million developers worldwide use it for programming various projects. The mobile app’s launch happens to come at a good time: With the current COVID-19 coronavirus, more developers than ever are away from their office computers, juggling working from home, grocery store runs, and otherwise being on the go.
GitHub mobile features
GitHub lists three main features for its app:
- Organize tasks in a swipe: Swipe to finish a task or save the notification to return to it later.
- Give feedback and respond to issues: Respond to comments while you’re on the go.
- Review and merge pull requests: Merge and mark pull requests to breeze through your workflow.
The company has made a lot of progress since the beta launch. Ryan Nystrom, GitHub’s director of engineering, said his team has fixed over 200 bugs, acted on over 400,000 notifications, and merged over 20,000 code changes. That was all made possible thanks to 60,000 testers making nearly 35,000 comments. In the past few weeks alone, beta testers commented on, reviewed, and merged over 100,000 pull requests and issues.
“Since the beta, one of the key changes that we’ve built in is the ability to read and review code,” Nystrom told VentureBeat. “This dramatically expands how the app empowers users, allowing developers to share feedback and review lines of code with just a tap. Additionally, users are able to review and leave comments right from their phone, which is synced, and can pick up right where they left off from their computers.”
Nystrom noted that he didn’t expect developers would want to read and review code on their phone. But when one of the team’s Android engineers prototyped commenting on individual lines of code, that quickly changed. The team prioritized adding more features to mobile code review, and the app is shipping now with per-line commenting on both Android and iOS. As for what’s next, Nystrom said “a pretty detailed roadmap full of features” will come to the app “over the coming months.”
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