Gutenberg is Coming to WordPress’ Mobile Apps, Beta Version Expected February 2019

The team working on integrating Gutenberg into WordPress’ mobile apps is making progress, but users will not have access to the new editor in the apps until early 2019. Jorge Bernal, a mobile engineer at Automattic, posted an update yesterday, highlighting current capabilities:

Gutenberg Mobile [is] working inside the apps and the first post published with it, the writing flow has improved so it’s starting to feel more like an editor and less like a collection of isolated blocks, we have a working toolbar in place, you can now select images from your media library.

If you are using one of the mobile apps and you attempt to edit a post that was created with Gutenberg, you will see a warning like the one below:

This doesn’t mean users cannot edit content in the mobile apps, but there will be inconsistencies while Gutenberg support is still in progress.

I created some posts with Gutenberg and then went to edit them in the Android app. During my tests of switching back to the Gutenberg editor after saving some changes in the mobile app, I found that Gutenberg included the content but not the formatting options I had selected in the app. I received a warning about unexpected or invalid content.

The mobile apps team expects to ship an alpha release to testers at the end of 2018, with basic capabilities like adding a heading, paragraph, and images from the media library:

We will have an alpha release at the end of the year that will showcase the editing flow with some selected basic blocks. We will have a basic integration with the apps, enough to be able to experience Gutenberg (via secret opt-in or special builds), but won’t be showing this to users. Being able to use early versions of Gutenberg directly in the apps will make it easier to gather feedback and do user testing.

A beta with support for the most common types of content is tentatively planned for February 2019. The team is aiming to make writing a post using Gutenberg Mobile as pleasant as it currently is with Aztec.

“As Gutenberg rolls out to users on the web, we might see a good amount of users hitting problems trying to edit Gutenberg posts on Aztec,” Bernal said. “We have done (and keep doing) a lot of work to try to make that as good as possible, but there are limits to how compatible we can make the existing editor. We want to reduce the gap between Gutenberg launching and having a version in the apps, so we’re adjusting scope a bit to ship in February.”

It will be interesting to see how Gutenberg support is presented in the apps. I imagine it will be challenging to improve upon the mobile apps’ current editing experience, which is already fairly intuitive and streamlined.

Users can follow along with the process and give feedback on the Gutenberg Mobile GitHub repo.

8 Comments


  1. From comments, I read from fellow bloggers Gutenberg is not working very well for people who use a PC or laptop. Shouldn’t that be fixed before going on to roll it out to mobiles?

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    1. Amen, Vanda. WordPress just dropped this on us. There should be an option at least to go back to the old, reliable editor.

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      1. You can use the Classic Editor plugin. That said I’d recommend having a play with Gutenburg on a development/staging site if you get a chance. I first tried it last year and there were far too many bugs for production but recently it’s at a stage where I’m installing it straight away onto new sites. It takes a little getting used to but makes some things a lot easier.

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  2. What’s the strategy for handling custom blocks? Will the Mobile App start pulling in JS from the site itself?

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  3. Oh my gosh… this is ridiculous even the normal GB is not ready, full of bugs, UI failures, etc. Every 2 weeks there is a changelog that takes for minutes just to read. But it is already an optimal point in time to port all that to mobile devices.

    Of course it is based on JS…the most secure platform on earth that is also easy to maintain. Makes much sense ;-D

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  4. This is a real disaster. This new editor is already taking all my pleasure writing on a descktop, now it will do the same in the mobile environment. This text said almost everything I’m feeling:

    https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/wordpress-gutenberg.html

    I am already reformulating my site in Blogger to migrate everything to it if they do not give a new direction to this project.

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  5. Wouldn’t it make sense to release Gutenberg in full, across both the sites and the apps, at the same time?

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    1. It does feel a bit odd that Gutenberg is going live before the mobile app is ready to handle it. I recently experimented with going back and forth between the mobile and desktop editor. I got a few warnings but ultimately the content did not break between the two editors even though WP warned that it might.

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