Moodle announcements

Mobile Moodle app moving to HTML5

Martin Dougiamas
Mobile Moodle app moving to HTML5

After much thought Moodle HQ is changing how we support mobile development for Moodle.

Our current approach of native apps per platform was costing a lot while not moving very fast and not serving our community in the best way possible.

This is what we are doing:

A.  Ending development of the "My Moodle" native apps

  • We will no longer be developing the current iOS app "My Moodle" (or the unfinished Android clone of it).  The iOS app will continue to be available in the Apple Store and should continue working for a long time yet.
  • The Objective-C code for the iOS app has been released under the GPL:
  • You are free to use it to build your own apps (just be careful with the Moodle trademark).

B.  Developing "Moodle Mobile" on HTML5 and Phonegap

  1. We have contracted Juan Leyva from Moodle Partner CV&A Consulting to continue to lead development of his HTML5+Phonegap app (currently called Unofficial Moodle Mobile).  The new app will be called 'Moodle Mobile'.  Juan will be supported by Jerome Mouneyrac from Moodle HQ and others.
  2. The new approach means every release can be compiled for all mobile platforms simultaneously.  The trade-off is that the new app will be a little slower than a native app can be.
  3. The new app uses Moodle's built-in web services so it will have exactly the same out-of-the-box secure features that the current app has.  One difference is that it will use the REST protocol so it gains some speed over the old app which used XML-RPC.
  4. The app will be highly modular, and allow the community to contribute to development just like Moodle itself.  See the current roadmap here: MOBILE-153.
  5. The app will be licensed under the GPL.  You are allowed to fork it and build your own custom apps if you wish.  (Institutions may want to rebrand it and modify it for their own purposes).
  6. Our target is to release first official versions of this new app around the time of Moodle 2.4 at the end of this year.

Although we will lose a little speed and smoothness in the interface when moving to HTML5, I think the idea of building up community effort around a cross-platform mobile client will far outweigh that and sets us up better for the long term.

Once this gets off the ground as a platform, we're looking forward to some groundbreaking work from the community developing new features and concepts for Moodle on a mobile platform.

See the Moodle for mobile forum for further news and discussions.