Tag Archives: mobile

Notes on the Zooniverse Mobile App: New Functionality Release

We recently deployed new functionality to our Zooniverse mobile app (available via iTunes and Google Play for iOS and Android). The list of what’s now available is:

  • Swipe (binary question [Yes/No, A/B, etc.] response)
  • Multi-answer question (A/B/C/D/etc.)
  • Rectangle drawing task (drawing a rectangle around a feature within a subject)
  • Multi-image subjects (e.g. uploading 2+ images as a single subject; users swipe up/down to display the different images)
  • Subject auto-linking (automatically linking subjects retired from one workflow into another workflow of interest on the same project; note – this is relevant not just for workflows on the app)
  • Push notifications (sending messages/alerts about new data, new workflows, etc., via the app)
  • Preview (an owner or collaborator on a project in development being able to preview a workflow in the ‘Preview’ section of the mobile app)
  • Beta Review (mobile enabled workflows are accessible through the ‘Beta Review’ section of the app for a project in the Beta Review process; includes an in-app feedback form)

Note: we will continue developing the app; this is just the end of Phase 1.

With this functionality in place, we’re reaching out to research teams to encourage them to ‘enable on mobile’ any workflows that use the above functionalities. Our goal is to have at least 6 active projects on the mobile app in June. At that time, we’ll send an e-newsletter to the full community of Zooniverse users encouraging them to download the app and check out the projects. This will be the first promotion of the app to our full community. The feedback we’ve received from the few projects that have used it so far has been great. We’re so excited to do a major push and we really want as many projects as possible to benefit from the attention and engagement.

With that in mind, if you’re leading a Zooniverse project and have any questions about where in the Project Editor ‘workflow’ interface to ‘enable on mobile’, don’t hesitate to email contact@zooniverse.org. And/or if you’re a volunteer and wonder if workflow(s) on a given project could be enabled on mobile, please post in that project’s Talk to start the conversation with the research team and us. The more, the merrier!

Looking forward to having more projects on the mobile app and launching a major promotional/recruitment push in June!

For more information on the mobile app, see:

Beta for Mobile

One of the big efforts for the mobile app right now is to make the project building experience for mobile feel about the same as it does for web. For the most part, the experiences were very similar. In fact, they were almost identical besides the limitations we put on what workflows mobile projects can have. There was, however, a very large limiting factor for mobile project builders. There was no formal path from creating a project to getting that project to release on the app.

Introducing Beta Mode for mobile!

Now project builders who want their workflows to be enabled on mobile can have them reviewed on mobile as well. Here’s how it works:

When a project that has a mobile workflow is approved to go to beta, it will appear in the “Beta Review” section on the main page of the app.

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 8 - 2018-10-31 at 13.41.22

From there, users will be able to view and test all of the beta projects that are currently live.

We are launching this feature with (of course) Galaxy Zoo Mobile. It is available now for all our users, so go ahead and check it out!

Simulator Screen Shot - iPhone 8 - 2018-10-31 at 13.41.35

Like beta review on web-based projects, we will collect feedback from volunteer testers and give that back to project owners. This new process will lead to better, clearer mobile workflows in the future.

Stay tuned for more notes about upcoming mobile features!

Download our iOS and Android apps!

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.