Future technology needs a strong basis. Not only in the ownCloud Android app 2.9.1, there is a lot of effort in architecture consolidation right now – you can also see this with the rewrite of the iOS app.
Version 2.9.1 makes progress with introducing a new network library, but more architecture improvements are in the pipeline for the next versions. A good architecture is the foundation of handy usability features.
There was no blogpost about 2.9.0, because this is a hotfix release. If you are on 2.9.0 already and experience login errors, upgrading to 2.9.1 should solve them.
The new version also contains several long expected usability features:
You can now search for files in the current folder. Especially in large folders, this makes file discovery a lot easier:
Shashvat Kedia, one of our most active community members, contributed another long expected usability feature. You can now select all files in the current folder, or inverse the selection for more granular changes:
While this makes the app way more usable and convenient, it also gets more beautiful with 2.9.1. The new login view welcomes new users to their ownCloud. It looks more similar to the web interface now:
Apart from that, there are other small user interface improvements, including a changed edit share icon, and a new gradient in top of the list of files.
New Network Library
In the last years, the ownCloud Android app used two libraries for network connections: the HTTPclient library and the jackrabbit WebDAV library by Apache. Instead, the app switched to the more modern and active library OkHttp.
There is also a new library for WebDAV requests: the dav4android library by bitfire. You may know bitfire from the popular DavDroid app, which is very useful to sync your calendar & contacts with your ownCloud.
The bitfire developers were at the ownCloud Conference 2018, where they talked with the ownCloud Android developers – a very productive collaboration emerged out of this. In the end, ownCloud developers helped merging some WebDAV operations to dav4android, making it more complete.
In the ownCloud app, the WebDAV requests are completely abstracted from the network library now. A better isolation of network library and WebDAV library ensures a more reliable architecture.
This will probably fix some connection errors too, and ensures a working foundation for the rest of the app. Almost everything in the app needs a reliable way to talk to the ownCloud server – this is a very important part of the architecture.
Available Offline Check
When you make a file Available Offline, it synchronizes regularly with the server. If a file on your phone changes, the changes get uploaded, too. This way you can always be sure that you have an up-to-date version of the file on the other devices.
The checks are now included in Android Events – the app checks for file changes every 15 minutes, even if the phone is locked and the app is closed. This goes easy on your battery while not sacrificing reliability.
To pull changes from the server, just open the app. Then the app will ask the server for new versions of a file.
The new version brings a lot of bug fixes, as usual. Especially if you had crashes when rebooting the device, you can expect a fix now. Another crash when copying, moving files or choosing a folder within camera uploads feature was especially hard to track down.
If you had failing downloads with the last version, then you should retry those in 2.9.1 – they probably got fixed, too.
And finally, Shashvat Kedia fixed another bug that the pattern lock was asked very often after disabling the fingerprint lock.
Try it Out!
Get the new version at the Google Play Store. It will also be available on F-Droid in the next days.
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