Updates & Improvements
August 15th, 2022

Plan | Event Release

We are excited to release our biggest update – we are no longer ‘just a chat’. The experience we have created is the first of its kind; here are a few key highlights:
  1. 1.
    Create an event in the chat.
  2. 2.
    RSVP in the chat.
  3. 3.
    Duplicate an event from one chat to another.
  4. 4.
    Forward a public event between chats – an easy way to invite friends.
  5. 5.
    Update a single event in a recurring sequence without impacting the other events.
While the bulk of the feature set is ready to go, there are a few things that we need to add to polish the overall experience. I also wanted to set expectations by highlighting that there will be a few bugs here and there – over the next few weeks, we will fine-tune the feature set to ensure it is ready for the app store release. Note: The functionality may not be available on your device immediately as it may take a few days for the App stores to approve the update.

Improved Onboarding Flow

The onboarding flow is arguably the most critical flow to optimize across the entire app. And if you have been following our journey for some time, you would know that we have optimized the onboarding flow 3-4 times already. We didn’t stop there; this improvement is the biggest to date.
From now on, new users are no longer required to sign-up on the web before downloading thisapp. Further, when new users open the app for the first time, they will be presented with their personal invitations.
We are excited about this update as we have successfully created a more welcoming onboarding experience – while simultaneously reducing the number of steps users need to take to get onboard.

Share Tree Upgrade

If you have been using thisapp for a while, you would have noticed that sharing media from another app into thisapp was janky and unreliable. We invested time into both the iOS & Android share tree functionality and have seen noticeable improvements across both operating systems. Last but not least, we will be adding video-sharing functionality in the next couple of weeks.

July 8th, 2022

Location Sharing

You can now share your location with anyone at any time directly through the chat. When viewing a location, you can choose your preferred map provider or order an Uber directly from thisapp.

Fail States – Version 1

Few things are more frustrating than typing a long message, pressing send, and watching as your hard work vanishes into thin air. Don’t worry; we have you covered. When your message fails to send due to poor connection, we store your message and give you the option to resend it when your connection improves.

R.I.P Send it

The ‘send it’ button, another of Robby’s pride and joys, was decommissioned. For chat consistency and clarity, the ‘send it’ button was replaced with a directional arrow.

Send it will remain a tagline for thisapp.

Updates & Improvements

Added

  • Added sending location in chat
  • Initial (WIP) message fail state implementation
  • Added invite icon to chat overview header
  • Added invite option to profile overview

Changed

  • When adding from camera roll on iOS, additional "Smart Albums" are available
  • Updated FAB button option text
  • Changed message send button style
  • Manual adjustments to chat text input spacing
  • Changed chat scroll-to-bottom icon
  • GIF icon hides when entering a message
  • Full-screen loader now uses new animation
  • Chat 'Updating...' loader now uses new animation
  • Video playback screen now uses new loader animation
  • Refactored app bootstrapping flow
  • Improve auth deep link support

Fixed

  • Fixed android reply with image
  • Fixed flashing splash screen that would occasionally appear when opening the app

May 27th, 2022

Updates & Improvements

Changed
  • No longer persist pending messages to filesystem
  • Rebuilt full chat state
  • Updated unsplash header within the onboarding
  • Now show additional profile screen sections in production
  • Auto-show keyboard when starting a reply
  • Changed app icon title
Fixed
  • Fixed a bug where login would fail if the email ended with a space
  • Fixed numerous touch issues on Android
  • Fixed resend email logic
  • Fixed light mode within the onboarding
  • Fixed group creation unsplash photo changing user profile picture
  • Fixed Android crash on launch
  • Fixed an issue where a message draft could get moved to another chat when tapping a notification
  • Fixed unsplash profile picture selection in onboarding
Removed
  • Removed intro modals

May 11th, 2022

Events – Stage 1.

Thisapp is an all-in-one chat platform that makes it easy to connect with anyone and organize anything. We are a long way into our journey of making it easy to connect with anyone and beginning our journey of organizing anything. The organization feature set starts with events; the goal of ‘events’ is to make it easy to organize anything with anyone directly in the chat.

The event feature set will be released in 4 stages:

  1. 1.
    Event creation & RSVP – July.
    • The feature set will be limited in utility; the purpose of the release is to gather feedback on the in-chat creation experience.
  2. 2.
    Plan icon – July.
    • Events created within the chat will now display in the plan icon.
  3. 3.
    Scheduled notifications + Google Calendar Sync.
    • You will be able to set reminder notifications for your thisapp events and view/edit your google calendar events in the Plan icon.
  4. 4.
    Availability Sharing – July.

Login/Sign-up Refresh

Over the past couple of weeks, the engineering team has overhauled the entire login/sign-up flow. Even though it's only a couple of screens the login experience has an outsized impact on new user retention. During the upgrade, we doubled down on ensuring that random logouts no longer occur.
We are planning to release the new onboarding flow in the coming week – you will be logged out in the process; if you are having trouble logging back in, please message or email me ([email protected]).

Updates & Improvements

Added

  • Added new onboarding UI
  • Added chat overview media message updates
  • Added missed call bubble updates
  • Added privacy profile screens
  • Added account profile screens
  • Added unsplash photo link to photographer
  • Added non-message-event for users not invited to event
  • Added animation when toggling audio recording in chat
  • Added Profile appearance screen
  • Added UI for calendar, device, notification, media, & data setting screens within profile

Changed

  • Replaced old onboarding screens with new onboarding screen
  • Migrate from Cognito auth to custom magic auth
  • Updated profile screens with various small improvements
  • Updated all text inputs to match the app's color scheme
  • Rebuilt bottom chat bar & animations
  • Improved touch area for chat bar icons
  • Updated name fields in the profile account screen

Fixed

  • Fixed unread bug when forwarding to multiple people
  • Fixed unsplash profile image update failure
  • Fixed saving to camera roll on android

Removed

  • Removed all Cognito-related packages

March 11th, 2022

Profile Update

The profile update is one that we are proud of as profile/settings screens often get neglected in early-stage companies. Taking inspiration from Linear's blog 'settings are not a design failure' we took the time to ensure that the profile screens were visually appealing and allowed users to intuitively customize their experience. The production app currently features half of the profile settings, we will unlock the remainder as the relevant feature sets are released.
Old
New

App Navigation Restructure.

We are going to nerd out here, but this change is a big one; there were many places where navigation felt clunky – for the aficionados out there; below is a before and after view of the app navigation hierarchy.

Quick Action Drawers

We are excited to release the quick action draws as they were a popular request. The drawers feature in the chat overview as well as in group chats. In the chat overview, you can press and hold on to any chat and access a range of options. And in a group chat, you can click on any user's profile and message or call them instantly.

Updates & Improvements

  • Added loading animation for photo/video messages.
  • Added mark chat overview row as read/unread.
  • Added new media prep screen.
  • Added detection for hardware back button presses on Android when sheets are open
  • Improved choppy animation when selecting chat media.
  • Updated icons within the app.
  • Various under-the-hood auth adjustments.
  • Chat media prep screen is now always in dark-mode.
  • Decreases jitter when scrolling back in chat.
  • App navigation restructure.
  • Improved "flash" that could occur when uploading media.
  • Fixed several loading issues with forwarded media.
  • Fixed an issue where user auth wouldn't properly refresh.
  • Fixed some media messages incorrectly appearing as replies.
  • Fixed new message screen "share your link" bug.
  • Fixed delete chat bug on chat overview screen.
  • Fixed broken header in video viewing screen.
  • Fixed broken incoming share screen.
  • Fixed NME ordering/display issues when scrolling back in chat.
  • Fixed chat overview not refreshing in certain scenarios with new direct chats.
  • Fixed action sheet spacing on Android & iPhones w/o insets.
  • Fixed a few message-forward-related bugs.

February 14th, 2022

New Chat Toolbar

Steve Jobs famously said: "Focus is saying no to what you think with every bone in your body is a phenomenal idea. An idea that you wake up thinking about it but say no to because you are focused on something else”. The media switcher toolbar was Robby’s pride and joy; we are unsure whether he was too early or wrong. In the end, we decided to migrate to a more familiar toolbar and focus our efforts on introducing users to our novel feature sets – availability sharing, event creation, event splitting, etc. Will the media switcher make a comeback? Only time will tell.

Timezone Indicator

The timezone indicator has finally been released, and it is a fan favorite. You no longer need to wonder if it's a suitable time to call a friend or family member in another timezone. Just navigate to the chat, and their timezone will be displayed immediately.

Updates & Improvements

  • Added screen to set up alerts for events.
  • Added gradient background for Android event NME.
  • Added timezone indicator when a DM recipient is in a different timezone.
  • Created events now show as an unread message in the overview screen.
  • The device now reports user timezone to the backend.
  • Added additional device reporting.
  • Adjusted audio record button UX.
  • Improved chat message draft logic.
  • Changed ‘Pay’ to ‘Wallet’ in the tab bar.
  • Adjusted chat message & message header spacing.
  • Improved chat keyboard dismissal.
  • Adjusted chat bottom bar display logic.
  • Changed video call icon.
  • Migrated local push libraries.
  • Message pictures now have a larger variety of sizes.
  • Changed how we handle actions in the “createEventState.”.
  • Changed bottom navigation options.
  • Restructure profile navigation.
  • Chat overview header redesign (WIP).
  • Chat overview row redesign (WIP).
  • Chat search list now uses common list UI.
  • Chat bottom bar redesign.
  • Automatically show a keyboard on the direct chat selection screen.
  • Simplified new chat search flow.
  • Improved update banner functionality.
  • Event state management best-practice cleanup.
  • Changed color system to match the design system.
  • Removed chat intro modal.
  • Removed Bulk and Intro options from Chat Overview FAB list.
  • Removed shake bug reporting tool.
  • Old color and component cleanup.
  • Fixed chat bubble ratio for media replies.
  • Fixed audio confirmation button UI.
  • Fixed chat overview header - now centered.
  • Fixed main action sheet logic on the chat screen
  • Fixed font italics on Android.
  • Fixed Android chat spacing and bugs.
  • Fixed Android timezone banner UI.
  • Fixed Android camera unable to load on some devices.
  • Fixed keyboard not hiding when chat sheets opened.
  • Fixed draft icon for chat overview.
  • Fixed audio message slider issue.
  • Fixed missing send button in chat camera.
  • Fixed action sheet dark-mode highlight color.
  • General UI cleanup.
  • Fixed chat overview not refreshing on load when chat was muted.
  • Fixed forward messages screen not searching all chats.
  • Fixed occasional display issues with some chat lists.
  • Fixed searchable chat lists not showing item subtitles when listed.
  • Fixed android crash on app load.
  • When getting invited to a new chat while in-app, it should now appear correctly on the overview screen.

January 28th, 2022

Speed & Stability.

The updates in this release will not be seen, but they certainly will be felt. We focused on improving speed across the app. We reduced the boot time, increased the overview update speed, and worked on getting messages to appear instantly when you open the chat. We are not the fastest chat on the market yet, but we are quickly becoming a worthy competitor in a David vs. Goliath style competition.

Updates & Improvements

  • App & chat open performance improvements.
  • Numerous networking performance improvements.
  • Swipe left on messages now triggers a reply.
  • Updated app font and numerous design elements.
  • Improved handling of existing audio playback when listening to voice messages and watching videos.
  • Audio messages now show time left when listening.
  • Fixed a few issues when tapping chat notifications.
  • Fixed GIFs playing at 4x speed on the newest iPhones.
  • Fixed various logout issues due to unstable network connections.
  • Fixed Android selfies appearing reversed on some devices.
  • Fixed device audio stopping when app loads.
  • Fixed media replies not attaching to the original message.

December 3rd, 2021

Draft Messages

While drafts are are common feature set across all chat apps – we have taken it one step further; in your chat overview, we show you which chats have drafts pending. Leaving your friends waiting for a response that you have half typed is a problem of the past..
Again, hyperlink previews are a common feature set across most chat apps, however, we are excited to finally see the link previews on thisapp.

Updates & Improvements

  • Added mute/unmute option in chat settings menu.
  • Added play button on a replied-to audio messages.
  • Added read more/less when replying to large messages.
  • Improved performance of chat hyperlink previews.
  • When leaving a chat, in-progress text messages will be saved for some time.
  • Missed calls now show as unread on the chat overview.
  • Fixed an issue where you couldn't start a chat with someone when selecting them after a search.
  • Fixed incorrect error display when username/password were incorrect.
  • Pressing pushing notifications while in a video call no longer removes you from the call.
  • Fixed missing "Done" button when adding members to a group and keyboard is visible.
  • Fixed missing profile photos on forward screen.
  • Fixed issue where missed calls would get sorted incorrectly.
  • Fixed several Android video call sounds not playing.
  • Several performance optimizations and bug fixes.

November 12th, 2021

New Colour Scheme

We have a brand new color scheme! While the gradient color scheme was unique and fun, it did not create feelings of comfort and reliability. Given that we are building a chat, a product that you use everyday beauty needs to be expressed in the form of simplicity. By way of analogy, the gradient style reflects ‘the red party cup’ – fun and loud. Whereas the new color scheme is reflective of a hand-made daily Yunomi – simple & minimal.

Updates & Improvements

  • Added lobby sound in video calls while waiting for others to join.
  • Added specific in-app notification UI for video calls.
  • Enabled editing of audio message transcripts.
  • Added banner to show if push notification permissions haven’t been granted.
  • Added a sound when other users enter and exit a video call.
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • Brand new chat color scheme.
  • New video call UI.
  • Users can now receive notifications while in a video chat.
  • Android software back button now closes app on the overview screen.
  • New chat bottom bar UX.
  • Fixed color issues with light mode in video calls.
  • Fixed missed call notifications, so they now redirect users to the chat messages screen.
  • Fixed an issue where the Android status bar could disappear.
  • Fixed numerous touch issues on Android, including the chat media button.
  • Fixed zoom issues with triple-camera iOS devices.

October 29th, 2021

Updates & Improvements

  • Added app update status bar when a newer app version is available.
  • You can now open another person’s profile from the chat screen.
  • Tapping on the bottom bar chat icon now scrolls your chat list to the top.
  • Adjusted haptic feedback in chat.
  • When creating a group on iOS, tapping the text input now selects all the randomly generated. text.
  • Numerous performance optimizations across the app.
  • Fixed an issue where a new group’s profile photo wouldn’t show up on the overview screen.
  • Fixed an issue where a newly created group wouldn’t show up on the overview screen.
  • Fixed some users not showing up in search results.
  • Fixed hyperlink formatting in chat.
  • Fixed several issues that could occur when accepting invites.
  • Fixed invite links not opening correctly when pressed inside the app.
  • Fixed issues with Google login on Android devices when MFA is enabled on the Google account.

October 16th, 2021

Group Name Generator

When creating a new group, deciding on a name and picking a photo is usually the most annoying part. With the introduction of our group name creator, we have flipped the script and made creating groups fun.
When you create a new group, we will suggest a group name and a matching photo. Just press the group name generator icon to try a different suggestion. If you already have a name ready to go, simply delete the suggestion.
Here are a couple of examples:
  1. 1.
    Crayfish Mailboxes.
  2. 2.
    The Gazelle Scooters.
  3. 3.
    The Fruit Watchmakers.

Video Calling

Video calling is live. This is a big achievement for us, however, we have a long way to go before we can position ourselves as an alternative option to video calling on the major chat platforms. Below is a list of enhancements we will need to make before we can market a viable alternative:
  1. 1.
    CallKit interface. We currently send a push notification to notify you of an incoming call. In order to present the standard full-screen call interface that we are all familiar with we need to integrate CallKit framework.
  2. 2.
    Call Navigation. When you are in an active call, you cannot navigate back to the chat. We are working towards building out in-call navigation over the coming months.
  3. 3.
    Design Enhancement. The current in-call screen layout is basic; we will continually improve the experience and design over time.

Updates & Improvements

  • Video calling available in chats.
  • Added app and chat intro screens to provide useful information to first-time users.
  • Added network indicator bar to show if the device doesn’t have an internet connection.
  • The app will now open even if there is no internet connection.
  • Suggest random group names when creating a new group.
  • Improvements to invite link sharing flow.
  • Stability improvements to the onboarding process.
  • Fixed white flash that could appear when opening the app.
  • Fixed top GIPHY results not showing in gif search.