Notes on Mobile: Launching a Workflow

Hello! It’s probably about time that I introduce myself. I am the (relatively) new mobile developer working on the Zooniverse Android and iOS apps. I joined the team back in February and, as the sole developer on the project, I want to not only improve and enhance our current app, but also focus on making sure our community of project builders and volunteers are excited and engaged with the app.

So, what is the app?

As our user base on the app is significantly smaller than our user base on the website, I am guessing that a fair share of the people reading haven’t even used the app. Both the Android and iOS apps are very specialized version of the website.

More specifically, the app only supports a specific type of workflow: A question workflow with only two answers. Here’s a screen cap from one of the current running projects: CameraCatalogue.

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 6 - 2018-05-16 at 14.25.56

As the image shows, the user can swipe left or right based on the answers given below. But don’t take it from me. Give it a try!

How do I get my project on mobile?

Deploying a project to mobile is not so hard. In fact, it’s just a matter of adding a mobile enabled workflow to your project. As mentioned before, the mobile app only shows question workflows, so you are going to want to configure a workflow with just a question task:

mobile builder

Now that you have a question task set up, you may notice the ‘Mobile App’ section at the bottom of the page:


As long as all of the criteria in the checklist are met you can enable your project for mobile. And that’s it! If your project is launch approved it will show up in the app. 

Can I test the workflow before it goes live?

Yes! On the most recent release of the app we introduced a preview mode. Here’s how it works.


  • Project visibility set to public
  • Project state set to development
  • Project has a workflow that is mobile enabled

You can view this project if you log in to the app with an account that is either an owner or collaborator on the project. If everything was set up correctly, you should see a preview tab in the main menu like so:

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 6 - 2018-05-17 at 10.39.32

From there you should be able to view and run your workflow just as it would appear when it is actually live.

Beta for mobile is coming

As of now, only projects that are currently launch approved can add mobile workflows. This is because we have no beta process set up for the app.

But stay tuned! We are working on a beta system for mobile. I’ll be making another blog post once that is live.

2 thoughts on “Notes on Mobile: Launching a Workflow”

  1. I like using the app when I’m away from my computer. The only additional feature I would like as a user would be the ability to save/tag certain photos so I could find them again on my laptop as I can’t find them in my recents. Sometimes I see a cool picture I want to look at on my laptop or save but I can’t find the option to do so.


    1. Thanks for the for the feedback, Julia. Unfortunately that feature is not available on the app yet, but it is in the pipeline!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s