Talk:Wikimedia Apps/Android FAQ

Latest comment: 14 hours ago by JTanner (WMF) in topic Removal of Nearby


Is the connection between the app and Wikipedia encrypted? Kripmo (talk) 20:28, 15 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is no way it could be unencrypted, due to HSTS. Seee m:HTTPS. Nemo 10:02, 16 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Problem with "Identity"[edit]

source: de:Wikipedia:Fragen_zur_Wikipedia#Wikipedia_Android_App_will_Zugriff_auf_Identit.C3.A4t._Warum.3F.3F permalink: [1]

Answer from DBrant at facebook: "The "identity" permission is a really unfortunate name given to it by the Play store. To be clear, the app doesn't access any aspects of your identity, except your Wikipedia account. In this sense, you're allowing the app access to your "Wikipedia identity", and only if you choose to log in to your Wikipedia account in the app, nothing more. Also note that this permission is not necessary in the newest version of Android (Marshmallow), since they've updated the way that apps handle user accounts, so as not to scare users with the verbiage.

German translation from Tirkon:

Die "Identität" Erlaubnis ist eine ungeschickte Wortwahl des Play Store. Die App berührt keinen Aspekt deiner Identität außer deinem Wikipedia Account. In diesem Sinne erlaubst du der App, auf deine Wikipedia Identität nur dann zuzugreifen, wenn du dich in deinen Wikipedia Account einlogst, nicht mehr. Nimm ebenfalls zur Kenntnis, dass die Erlaubnis in der neuen Android Version (Marshmellow) nicht notwendig ist, da der Account Zugriff dort auf andere Weise gelöst ist, also verängstige hier nicht die User mit deinem Geschwätz.

--2003:6A:6B30:A400:9F4:AA47:D161:57A0 08:00, 26 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

overview about bugs and suggestions[edit]

Is there an easy possibility to view and search active bugs and suggestions for the android app? I just had a suggestion for the wikipedia app i got over F-droid. For an other app i would just use the bugs link in the F-droid app. This link nornally goes to a github bugtracker where i can quickly see if my bug or suggestion is new or if there is already a discussion. In the moment this link guides to Arndt92 (talk) 13:13, 8 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The place is . Please update any incoming link. Nemo 13:21, 8 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proxy edit request for an anon[edit]

Hi there. Since this page is semi-protected, I would like to request a proxy edit.

Under the "Editing" section, the third currently Q&A says:

Can I view a page's history and talk pages?
This is not yet supported in the app.

At the end of every page are links to the history and talk page (see screenshot). Both links open in the external browser. As far as I know, the link to the talk page was added in the June 6, 2016 app update (version 2.2.147-r-2016-06-06)

Can the above answer be changed to, "Yes. At the end of every page are links to the history ("Last updated [date or time stamp]") and talk page ("Talk"), which will both open in the external browser." or something similar?

Thanks. 02:45, 16 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Enhancements for Wikipedia app[edit]

Can you create the ability to log into the Wikipedia app so one can save their bookmarks and also be able to transfer bookmarks to a Internet browser? Asjones38 (talk) 23:56, 3 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wrong photo in app[edit]

Sorry, but I'm not quite sure where to ask this. I'm an OTRS agent and fielded a question from a reader ticket:2016072410003187

They reported that the image on the article Nicholas Colasanto was incorrect. After a little checking I realize that they were referring to the mobile app. Not the mobile version in the browser but the Wikimedia app.

I checked myself and confirmed. The article does contain a photo of Geronimo, which is the feature picture at the top of the page in the app. I don't know the rules but I would've guessed that if an article had in INFOBOX with a photo that's the photo that would be used. I note that the mobile version of the browser software does show the expected picture near the top of the page.

I hope someone can look into this and either tell me an answer or tell me where I should report this.--Sphilbrick (talk) 21:36, 25 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello Sphilbrick, indeed, the lead image associated with the article on the app isn't for Nicholas Colasanto himself, but rather for one of the images included in the article. The reason for this is that Nicholas Colasanto image in the article is under fair use license, and as per community request, the Wikimedia Foundation team has worked on adjusting Extension:PageImages, in order to restrict the use of non-free images on articles. For the same reason Mickey Mouse article, for example, is associated with Walt Disney image, instead of Mickey mouse itself. There are future enhancements expected soon on this extension, in order to make the results of the selection process less confusing. I hope this answer helps. Thanks--Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 20:53, 26 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, makes sense now.--Sphilbrick (talk) 02:33, 4 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit reading list?[edit]

I emailed the address given on the article about three weeks ago, but have not received a reply. Not a good look. Anyway, I would like to know if it is possible to edit a reading list in the Android app? I would like to remove a single article from a reading list, but I cannot see how to do that. --Viennese Waltz (talk) 08:45, 8 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This was asked again, and answered, over on the enwiki helpdesk. I'm copying it here in case it's of help to others;
Sorry for the delay! When browsing your reading list in the app, you can "swipe" away items from the reading list to delete them. DBrant (WMF) (talk) 17:18, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
-From [2] 20:06, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How can one transfer his Reading list from one device to another?[edit]

H Jivesh Adhlakha (talk) 19:29, 21 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarify the paragraph: "Can I save articles for offline reading?"[edit]

After a couple of hours head scratching, could I suggest a small edit to this page. My suggested addition shown in italics:

You will be able to save articles offline by adding them to a Reading list. (Scroll through the whole article to ensure it is fully downloaded). Articles are made "Available offline" by default. You will be able to access the Reading list from the bottom menu in the App's home page (may change with different versions).

Cheers, --Patbol (talk) 19:30, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Viewing in browser instead of app[edit]

I use the app when wishing to read an article. When I want to check on articles I've been editing, I'd rather use the browser. Clicking desktop view used to work to stop song the awful mobile version. But now the app over rides and I can't see my watchlist or contribs etc without the app opening the pages. Dweller (talk) 18:25, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]



When reading the Exodus report on the Android app, I noticed that it uses HockeyApp. The iOS FAQ does expand on that, but not the Android FAQ. Could that be updated if needed?


Jean-Fred (talk) 09:15, 25 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I filed phab:T181606 for this. Jean-Fred (talk) 12:42, 5 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm seeing the compass symbol for this feature at bottom right, not top left. Am I confused, or is the FAQ out of date? Jim.henderson (talk) 01:05, 19 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am very sorry to see the Nearby feature is no longer available. I used this all the time. :( -Another Believer (talk) 15:46, 22 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Outdated link[edit]

The Android FAQ subpage says

Please visit the Wikipedia Zero page on the Wikimedia Foundation site for more information about this initiative...

but when you follow the link, you see

NOTE: Overview information on Wikipedia Zero has been moved to Talk page discussions should still take place on MediaWiki, along with engineering updates.

Please visit the Wikipedia Zero page on the Wikimedia Foundation site for more information about this initiative, and please do email us for information on joining as a partner.

For information on Wikipedia Zero support within the 2014 updated releases of the Wikipedia apps for Android and iOS, see the Wikipedia Zero App FAQ.

The link should be changed to point to the home and Wikipedia Zero pages, with an in-text note like the third paragraph in my quote above.

--Thnidu (talk) 16:52, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Select a not-so-supported UI language[edit]


The default UI language of the Wikipedia app is the same as the device's UI language, as selected in the device settings. We have editions of Wikipedia in languages that are not necessarily supported in the devices' language settings.

It's easier than ever to select the content language in the app these days, but I couldn't find a way to select a UI language that is not supported on the device. Is it possible?


(Tagging people who may know the answer: User:RHo (WMF), User:CGauthier (WMF), User:MHolloway (WMF).) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:29, 18 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Running problem[edit]

I can upload profile picture?? Er Ajhar Ansari (talk) 20:19, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Delete my account[edit]

I want to delete my account because i have many account Hareram Singh 11000 (talk) 13:38, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have many account Hareram Singh 11000 (talk) 13:39, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


How i up the profile picture Mahadi Hasan Mahin Ishan (talk) 17:26, 27 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How up profile picture Mahadi Hasan Mahin Ishan (talk) 17:26, 27 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit Profile[edit]

Wikipedia should add feature "edit profile" like other websites have. It would be great 😊 Kalki Embodiment (talk) 11:15, 3 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of Nearby[edit]

This was the main useful feature of this app :(

I guess one can just install an old version... sigh. --Piotrus (talk) 10:15, 6 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why was the Nearby feature eliminated? This was the best part of the app! When I was visiting a new city, I used this to find nearby historic and otherwise notable sites. Any chance we could bring back, or is there a space where I can submit a request? -Another Believer (talk) 20:04, 20 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because of too much maintenance need and too few users. I’d be all for reintroducing it, but our chances don’t seem to be very good. —Tacsipacsi (talk) 01:18, 21 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The repeated removal of this feature - previously reinstated after I had a lengthy conversation with the team responsible, explaining its usefulness, back in around 2014 - is lamentable. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:53, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello @Piotrus and all,
The removing of this feature was for a number of overlapping reasons, including extremely low feature usage, ongoing maintenance issues that are out of the Android team's control, and community concern about the location permissions that Nearby required. These concerns made it infeasible to continue to support the feature. ARamadan-WMF (talk) 06:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ARamadan-WMF Thank you for the explanation, but I think this represents one of the biggest failures of our mobile strategy. This was a very nice feature for mobile, and by not supporting it enough we just show how badly our entire mobile approach is designed. Low feature usage can be attributed to bad interface design (hiding this very useful feature instead of prominently displaying it), mainatence issues are - well, I can't comment on such general statements, but community concerns are bogus - location permission is optional, people who care about privacy can always refuse giving such permission, so - this couldn't be a problem. Piotrus (talk) 07:10, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's also a very important point which is the legal one, please check this link for more clarification, and know that we are open to add it in the future. ARamadan-WMF (talk) 06:21, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The legal argument is bogus because the iOS app still supports the same feature. And it is readily available and supported from the browser view. See Special:Nearby which works fine in the English Wikipedia.
This functionality is essential for activities like Wiki Loves Monuments. Please restore it.
Andrew Davidson (talk) 10:28, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Andrew Davidson: The iOS app and the browser view are irrelevant here: this point refers specifically to the Google Maps SDK only. In the browser view, not Google Maps is used for sure. I don’t know the iOS app, but I suppose it’s not used there either – either Apple Maps or (similarly to the web version and the former Android version) some OpenStreetMap-based solution seems more likely.
@ARamadan-WMF: However, this point is indeed not specific enough. “[W]e weren't able to integrate” – why? Because it would’ve meant copyright violation? Violation of the Google Maps SDK terms of use? Violation of some internal WMF policies? Something else? —Tacsipacsi (talk) 09:38, 24 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks @ARamadan-WMF for replying here and expanding our FAQ section.
Hello @Piotrus @Another Believer @Tacsipacsi @Pigsonthewing and all other Nearby advocates. I'm the Product Manager for the Android team and wanted to provide some additional detail here. @ARamadan-WMF is a really new member of the team and was not around for the decision to remove Nearby, neither was I, although I have been on the team now for ~2 years. One of the first things I did when joining the team was ask why the Nearby feature was removed. The technical limitations, as mentioned in the new section of the FAQ page, had to do with us using Open Street Maps. There was degradation on the side of Open Street Maps and they didn't have enough support for their project to improve performance, and so apps like ours were faced with the decision to migrate to another map like Google, remove the feature, or accept the performance issues and lack of support. The team at the time investigated using Google Maps, but there were two issues with using Google Maps. 1. Some users (particularly the ones that did not have Google Phones) clearly explained their concerns in several venues with the Foundation's use of Google products. The concerns were understandable with us being an open source project. 2. If you used something like Google Maps, especially at that time there were data and branding concerns that introduced risk to the Foundation. As it relates to branding in particular, at that time it must say the map is a Google Map and there was certain data they were entitled to. I am not on the legal team so I am not able to go into further detail than this. The iOS app does not have this problem because Apple Maps are used and the ecosystem is completely different as @Tacsipacsi correctly pointed out. Whereas iOS and Apple are essentially synonymous, that is not necessarily the case with using the Android application.
When I learned all of this, I felt it wasn't ideal but the decison made sense. I realize there is commentary on old phabricator tasks about a lack of community usage, I feel that relied heavily on quantitative data and didn't take qualitative feedback like this into consideration, but all things being equal, the decision appeared to be a difficult one.
While I hope this is enough background information to explain how we have gotten to today, I think what is more important is what we can do now:
"Adding it back" unfortunately isn't as simple as rolling back changes and releasing an update, if it was I can personally promise we would do it, because I too am a fan of the Nearby feature. What I can say is within the next six months I will have the team investigate what alternative maps exist today. I believe open maps have advanced since the feature was removed. It also appears through features like Section Translate and the Movement Strategy Forum tolerance for use of Google Products have changed. Once we know technically what the tradeoffs are, I will meet with the Legal team and share the tradeoffs with you all on this thread, reach out to others via mobile-l and run an in-app survey to determine the best way forward being transparent about the tradeoffs, then we can proceed from there.
I realize you may wonder why wasn't this the top priority in the last two years, it was because we were making much needed enhancements to collaboration and communication features, which were some things raised by folks in the community as well as adding longstanding requests from the community wishlist. JTanner (WMF) (talk) 14:25, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JTanner (WMF) Thanks for the extensive reply, it's a nice surprise to see that folks care. I wonder if legal issues couldn't be solved with some Terms of Use, opt-in, opt-out message/settings, etc.? I understand there are always some folks who are very privacy-concerned, and to appease them, it's ok to let them opt out upon clicking the nearby function in the app, or such. PS. I assume the existence of is not relevant? PPS. On a side note (could be split to a different topic), I work with students, editing Wikipedia in class. Regarding "much needed enhancements to collaboration and communication features" I'll just say this: editing in mobile, and even discussing stuff on mobile, still sucks... :/ Feel free to contact me if you'd like more feedback from someone who is "on the frontlines" and see new editors struggle with mobile app (my solution: tell them to enable desktop mode, delete "m" from the url, apologize for Wikimedia mobile mode sucking for anything editing-related and ask the student to bring laptop next time...) Piotrus (talk) 14:49, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the extensive reply. Does WMF not have its own OSM-based tile server? Can that not be used? (It's "OpenStreetMap", BTW) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:36, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pigsonthewing and @Piotrus thanks for your thoughtful responses as we think through this challenge together.
@Piotrus Yes totally agree about Opt-in vs Opt-out. When we do the exploration of seeing if OpenStreetMap or other open source maps have advanced enough vs. using Google Maps we will present the Opt-In vs. Opt-Out case to legal and share what feedback we receive should we advance with the Google Maps option.
PS. The performance issues has to do with loading the pins/list of articles as someone moves around the map. With Apple it essentially comes "out of the box" so it knows how many articles/pins to fetch based on where on the map you are looking and Apple does a lot of the heavy lifting with keeping a pretty unwieldy list relatively contained. If we would have used Google Maps we'd hook into it a similar way and have similar performance as iOS. The Wikidata Nearby feature uses a similar API that we did on OpenStreetMaps, but with the challenge being the actual map, this solution wouldn't resolve the performance issues that was experienced as people scrolled or zoomed in and zoomed out.
PPS. I agree, editing on mobile isn't great and we are striving to change that. Not all students have access to laptops and we've gotten feedback about accessibility gaps of trying to edit on mobile using Web so that is something we are actively striving to improve. I don't think in the immediate future editing in the apps will compare to Desktop, so that hack is reasonable and makes perfect sense for where we are today. Our hope is to continue making enhancements and workflows that become stronger in the app, people will use, and where we are not strong, and people have to opt-out, we understand while we make improvements. However, with feedback like yours we can continue to move in the right direction. Here is an example of when feature ideas or bugs are proposed, how we turn them into tasks, weigh the level of effort against the impact, and prioritize it relative to other requests. As you think of ideas and improvements, please do share them so we can capture it, estimate it, discuss a solution together, and prioritize it amongst our work. Also, we have made quite a lot of changes to Communication features, especially around notifications and talk pages but know there is always more that can be done so if you have capacity I'd love for you to check out the latest features and let me know what you'd like to see more of and less of.
@Pigsonthewing We do have our own OSM-based tile server! It currently has one maintainer, so that is apart of the investigation is to see as of today would it hold up to people scrolling around the map to load articles, or if it still has performance issues, and how it compares to other open maps or Google Maps. In a perfect world we'd use this existing OSM-based tile server without causing so much maintenance overhead that we would never be able to work on any other feature. Just wanting to be transparent with you about the concerns but I can tell you its something we will at least investigate and share what comes of it.
Tomorrow I will reply here with a Phabricator task to follow along with the investigation. Unfortunately, Phabricator is down right now for maintenance, so I can't do it at this moment. JTanner (WMF) (talk) 22:39, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just following up here to share the Phabricator task: T324068 JTanner (WMF) (talk) 00:57, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I wanted to get rid of some irritating notifications on my Android phone, so I tried this: To see all of your current notifications, tap the "More" button at the bottom of the main screen, and select "Notifications". However it has been moved somewhere else. Please update. TIA, Wammes Waggel (talk) 12:58, 27 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bug reporting[edit]

Do I read the FAQ correctly: I'm supposed to send bug reports for the Android app by email; there's no project ("Tag") on Phabricator for reporting them?

How, then can I check that I'm not reporting a duplicate? How can I track progress? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:50, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello Andy,
By sending the bug report to the Android support email, you will get a reply with a Phabricator ticket link so you can track the progress. ARamadan-WMF (talk) 06:19, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That does not help me to check that I'm not reporting a duplicate. I prefer to submit to phabricator directly. How should I tag such a submission? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:30, 19 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please, check this link for further information. ARamadan-WMF (talk) 06:33, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]