And Reddit is continuing with its drive to update and improve stuff on its platform. The company has finally launched native apps for Android as well as iOS in a move that marks a major step forward in the company’s attempt to increase its reach to a greater audience by letting users access the website with greater ease.
The new app replaces Alien Blue, which used to be the largest unofficial Reddit app before it was actually acquired by the company. Reddit initially set out to solidify and better integrate Alien Blue itself and before you knew it, one thing led to another, resulting in native apps for the platforms.
As per Alex Le, Reddit’s Vice President of Consumer Product, improving and stabilizing Alien Blue was one of his original goals when he joined the company in November. However, it was later decided to build the app from scratch to make it faster and better suited to the times. The new application meanwhile, promises to deliver new features faster with regular updates.
And although Alien Blue is going away, Reddit says that it has learned a lot from the application. As per Alex Le,
We learned a lot from our passionate Alien Blue community about what makes a great iOS app and we applied those learnings when building Reddit for iOS. Due to limited resources, we decided to focus our efforts on making Reddit for iOS our primary and official Reddit client.
The apps, along with other Reddit updates, seem to be denoting better times for the company after the mod revolt of last year, which saw the website essentially held hostage by a group of mods unhappy with the firing of a fellow staffer.
Reddit is one of the fastest growing community driven platforms and a native application was a necessity for it. As per data from the company itself, almost 50 percent of its users access it through mobile, through web based browsers and via third-party applications.
Speaking on the topic, Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder said,
Having a native Reddit app on Android and iOS — especially one that’s this fast — is going to ruin a lot of people’s productivity. And I’m okay with that. The team has done a remarkable job shipping such a polished app in such a short period of time and it’s only going to get better! It’s a privilege to be able to create for such a devoted user base of hundreds of millions of people.
The company had been testing its app for quite some time and almost 4,000 internal and external users were able to access the apps prior to today’s launch. Here are some of the more important features of the application:
- Browse all of Reddit, wherever you are
- Search and discover communities by topic or interest
- Submit your own comments, images, links, and stories for others to view and discuss
- Customize Reddit with themes (including night theme)
- View in either compact view or card view
- Stay up to date with your orangereds with Inbox: messages, comment replies, post replies, and mentions.
The step also marks another major improvement to the community, within days of each other. The community recently received the ability to block trolls and users that are harassing them. Meanwhile, the Reddit team is happy with the unofficial apps and forums out there and there are no plans to bring any restrictions to the scenario, now that an official app is finally here.
The third-party ecosystem has been really awesome and there’s always going to be third-party apps for Reddit.