A lot has happened in the past 10 weeks with the Base æpp Wallet. In this post, we will share a high-level update on the last few Base æpp releases, publishing the æpp in the iOS App Store as well as the Android Play Market, also on base.aepps.com along with some other fun updates.
iOS and Android Public Releases
Back in March, the Base æpp team began optimizing the Base æpp for release as a native app in iOS and Android. The first step was extensive testing of the native builds (based on the open source Cordova framework). Based on this testing, the team implemented a number of iOS and Android optimizations in Sprints 34 and 36. The next goal as part of the native release track was to get the native builds into the iOS App Store and Android Play Market. We created all the meta information for each one and uploaded the builds during Sprint 37. In Sprint 38 the team continued to incorporate iOS & Android optimizations while simultaneously working on all the features necessary to support the Hybrid Voting æpp (integrated with the Base æpp). The internal testing, which took place in parallel, included only æternity team members.
By the end of Sprint 39, the team had published both release 0.8.0 — which made the Hybrid Voting æpp work with the Base æpp on the æternity Mainnet, and release 0.8.1 — which was submitted for external testing in iOS and Android.
Once the team was ready to share the iOS and Android builds via a link, we created a Telegram group dedicated to Base æpp discussions, a form where community members can volunteer to become testers, and collected some input.
The input that was collected was incorporated and the Base æpp was ready for public release in iOS and Android in the middle of Sprint 40. By the end of the sprint, both the iOS and Android apps were approved and released.
Ahead of the Curve…
The iOS App Store and Google Play releases went very smoothly and were deployed very quickly. In many cases, reviews for first time releases by Apple and Google staff are complicated due to repeated input from reviewers. In the case of the Base æpp, there was only one small delay. The Base æpp team had provided a recovery phrase in the notes for the submission, so that reviewers could test the token send/receive functionality. Reviewers, however, asked that the team provide a login in the form of a username and password pair. What they consider a “login” (a means of authenticating) in the blockchain space is the ability to import a private key through a recovery phrase import. So the Base æpp team explained that what the reviewing team asked for was already included in the notes. Once this was made clear, the release of the æpp was quickly approved for public release in iOS.
It’s interesting to note that App Store Connect seems to equate authentication with a username/password: if a checkbox for requiring authentication is checked, a username and password input fields became required as part of an app submission. Perhaps as the decentralized technology mindset and superior privacy take hold, the acceptance of the user being in control via owning the keys to their accounts will become more widely accepted and the interfaces of major platforms will reflect this.
Walled Gardens vs the Open Internet
So what is the difference? Why bother with a web app if we can serve most users via iOS and Android apps?
Native apps make it easy for users to find and download the Base æpp in iOS and Android. This is true for both users who are looking for the æpp and also those who have not heard about it but are interested in crypto and wallet apps.
A Censorship-proof Progressive Web App (PWA)
æternity’s Base æpp is a PWA (progressive web-app) — it is censorship-proof. If the major platforms decide to take off crypto wallets from their stores one day, the Base æpp will continue to be available as a PWA and behave more or less identically to the way the iOS and Android native apps do. This allows the Base æpp wallet to survive untouched beyond any changes and commotions that proprietary platforms endure and this has been very much an integral part of the æternity philosophy from the very beginning.
Open Source and an Incredibly Permissive License
As you most likely already know, the Base æpp Wallet is fully open source and its code is available for anyone to review, improve, and fork on GitHub. You are also welcome to join the Base æpp-dedicated Telegram group and quickly share feedback with the team. This allows users and developers to self-host the Base æpp Wallet for security reasons, or just for convenience during development. Since the license is as open as it is, anyone could also fork the æpp and make their own version.
The new Base æpp Wallet regular release schedule (at the end of every 2 week sprint) as well as a number of functionalities and improvements will be covered in the next update. As always, thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to connect with the Base æpp team about the Base æpp in the dedicated Telegram group.