The new Gutenberg block editor that arrived in WordPress 5.0 is now in beta testing on the mobile apps. The editor will be available in version 11.9, which is planned to be released to the public on March 11.
“For this first version, our main focus was to build a pleasant writing experience with support for the most basic types of content,” WordPress mobile engineer Jorge Bernal said.
“Our data showed that 90%+ of the posts created on the mobile apps consisted of basic text and images, so we decided to focus on supporting the Paragraph, Image, and Heading blocks on this version.”
The interface looks similar to using Gutenberg on desktop, but it has been pared back to allow for only the most commonly used blocks and access to simple block settings.
The block editor in the Android app feels noticeably slower on mobile than the previous editor. It’s not yet an improvement on the existing mobile editor but it’s still in beta. Even though it’s still rough around the edges, the posting interface is more consistent with what users experience on the desktop. During this transition time, users will retain the ability to use either editor, since the Gutenberg implementation just provides the basics for now.
After version 11.9 rolls out to the apps, users can choose if they want to use the block editor. The app detects which editor a post was created with and will automatically open it when a user attempts to edit a post. Users can manually switch back to the old editor for posts that have blocks by selecting “Switch to Classic Editor” under the ellipses menu. New posts will still use the Classic Editor by default but users can change the default to the block editor by going to Me > App Settings and enabling the “Use Block Editor” option.
After 11.9 is released the team plans to work on UX improvements and bug fixes before moving on to add support for the most common blocks and use cases.
Honestly this new block system feels a bit of overkill and complex for me. I liked the old editor much more.