XERO RELEASE: Android 2.6 released

Luke Gumbley Xero

XERO RELEASE: Android 2.6 released

Last week we released version 2.6 of the Android app. It’s been a staggeringly long time since I put out a blog post about Android – for the Files release for expense claims, way back in July. A lot has happened since then. This post wraps up the five major releases we’ve done over that time, and gives you an idea of what we’re working on now. While we haven’t made a song and dance about Android for a while, we have released a steady stream of small but significant improvements.

Last week we released version 2.6 of the Android app. It’s been a staggeringly long time since I put out a blog post about Android – for the Files release for expense claims, way back in July. A lot has happened since then. This post wraps up the five major releases we’ve done over that time, and gives you an idea of what we’re working on now.

While we haven’t made a song and dance about Android for a while, we have released a steady stream of small but significant improvements. I wonder how many of them you noticed? Let the tour begin!

Files, files, files

We spent the first few months rounding out our Files support. The Xero Android app now supports attaching files to invoices (2.2), attaching from or uploading to your files inbox (2.3), support for many additional file types, and cancelling uploads (2.4). Working with files on Android is now a first-class experience and shows the kind of polish and attention to detail we want to give to every mobile feature we release.

The new 'attach file' button on the invoice screen A PDF and an image stored in the Files inbox

Contact account number

This feature was completed alongside a Xero web release as part of mobile version 2.4. It permits searching for contacts by an account number you define. Contact account numbers display in grey alongside the name when you search through your contacts anywhere in the app.

Contacts search result showing new contact account number

Saving and sending invoices

Back in December we added the ability to send invoices to multiple email addresses. With 2.5 at the start of February, we improved invoice auto-numbering and conflict resolution to match a change to Xero Web from July. With last week’s release you now have the ability to select the email template you’d like to use when you send invoices to your customers.

Invoice with multiple emails showing email template options

Contact and organisation defaults

Since 2.4 in December, six fields on your invoice are pre-populated. The invoice GL account, regions, due date, branding, tax rate and discounts. All you have to do is define those fields for the contact or organisation in Xero Web. It’s a subtle change, but this will save you a heap of time and effort remembering and entering the same information every time you invoice with Android. That’s six fields you can define once and never tap again!

Performance

The release of version 2.5 back in February included several performance enhancements. Some tech changes and clever coding have resulted in faster network calls throughout the app, but the biggest improvement comes from locally caching your contacts on the device. If you have a lot of contacts, searching server side was both network-intensive and slow. You may have noticed the app has been a lot snappier since that upgrade.

Next steps with the Xero Android app

The biggest feature we’ve released since July has been the transformation of expense claims for iOS into the more general-purpose receipts function. The performance and scalability work the Android team has been focusing on so far this year is complete enough that work on receipts for Android has now commenced.

This will be the major focus for the next few months and will involve several small releases (as opposed to the big bang release we did for iOS). The first cab off the rank is a view of your expense claim status and history. Next, the ability to submit expense claims directly in-app, then log business expenditure, and finally the revised UI that caps off a beautiful receipt management experience.

We welcome your feedback on what we’ve done with the app, good or bad. If you’ve got a minute or two, please consider rating the Xero Android app on Google Play to let us know what you think! We read all your reviews and, along with feature requests in Xero Community, they help us decide what we should be focusing on next.

Luke Gumbley Xero