Announcing the Beta Release of Our Mobile Apps for iOS and Android

Robert Friedman

Permanent is excited to announce that our new and improved mobile apps for iOS and Android are available as beta releases starting today! If you’ve downloaded our mobile apps before, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. These new beta releases are a major step up in app quality and performance.

Apple and Google handle beta releases a little differently, so here’s how to get our app on your mobile device.

Apple iOS 

You can’t find beta releases listed in the Apple App Store directly and you will need to have the TestFlight app installed on your device first. Once you have TestFlight installed, you can use this invitation link to install our app.

Android

Google allows us to list our beta release directly on the Play Store so you can just use this link to install the app on your device.

Get more detailed instructions on how to install the beta release apps in our knowledge base here.

What Do We Mean by Beta? 

A beta release is a work-in-progress version that is intended for user evaluation. We want to learn from you! Sharing your experience with these apps will help us to improve them before we release a more complete version to the general public. We are planning a full release for later this year.

We’ve built out enough functionality in the beta releases to make sure you could upload and share files and folders in your default archive directly from your mobile device. However, the apps are limited in their current functionality and don’t completely reproduce what you can find at Permanent.org. They also still have some rough edges to smooth out.

We need your help: install these apps on your iOS or Android devices, use them to preserve memories on the fly or those you’ve already got saved on your mobile device, and share them with family and friends. Learn more about how to install and test these apps. Then we want to hear about what worked, what didn’t, and what you would improve. You can provide feedback directly from the beta releases or by sending an email to support@permanent.org

How Does Mobile Factor into Digital Preservation?

Our mission is to make preservation and access available to all people. 

Mobile is the primary experience for the majority of internet users and has become the de facto, exclusive experience for many of those people. Mobile devices are also the prevailing source of the born-digital content we create during the course of our day-to-day lives. Moreover, the walled garden nature of the mobile ecosystem presents some serious risks to digital preservation. 

Therefore it is critical that we bring our preservation solutions to mobile in order for Permanent to fully achieve our mission.

Mobile makes it easier to build an archive on the go by tapping into your device’s photo library and file system. It is easier to preserve memories with others by integrating your archive with text messages, email, social media, and other applications. Mobile devices are a practical tool for most people to use when scanning documents and photos or interviewing and recording loved ones. These are files that should go right into your Permanent Archives in the moment, not years after the fact.

The longer we delay preservation, the more stressful and costly it becomes.

What’s Next for our Mobile Apps?

We limited the scope of our initial beta release to cover the core functionality of Permanent.org. This way we could get our members started with using the apps in meaningful ways but use that experience to improve the apps before we got too far ahead of ourselves.

Our current beta releases include the following features:

Signup for a new accountMyFiles workspaceMove, copy, and delete files
Login w/ biometricsShares workspaceAdd members to your archive
Access your default archiveShare files and foldersActivity Feed
Upload files and foldersGenerate a share linkPush notifications
Create foldersEdit file metadataEdit account info
View most file typesDownload filesChange password

Over the next few months, we intend to release the following features so that the mobile app functionality matches the web app:

Grid view for filesEdit archive profilePublic workspace
Switch archivesCreate archivesPublish files and folders

Our goal is to finish development and release the apps to the public before the end of 2021. When we achieve the core functionality of the web app you know and love, we will release the mobile apps out of beta testing to the app stores. In the meantime, you won’t find the Permanent app listed there until we do.

Your input will directly determine the success of these apps. Please download the apps to your mobile device, use them to preserve your most important memories as they happen, and let us know what your experience is like. Please consult our knowledge base for detailed instructions on how to participate or email us directly at support@permanent.org with any questions.

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Jack Dolby
Jack Dolby
12 days ago

Installing TestFlight and the iOS apps was easy as pie on both my iPhone and iPad





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