Yesterday, Discord for Android officially launched a “major overhaul” that leverages a cross-platform framework to make development easier and more in line with the iOS app, but the update is resulting in a number of complaints.
The cross-platform framework in question is the open source React Native created by Facebook/Meta several years ago. Discord adopted it for the Android app to allow for “feature consistency across platforms” given a “centralized and streamlined app development process across Android, iOS and desktop.” Previously, Android feature development lagged behind desktop and iOS as those two platforms were prioritized. “Faster app update release cycles” is the other major tentpole of the ground up React Native rebuild.
This update has been rolling out “over the past few weeks” and there have been more than a few complaints in that period. For starters, people dislike the density-impacting larger UI and font on Android that is meant to be “more consistent with iOS.”
Others complain about Discord being “buggy” (2, 3) and “laggy” (“slower,” 3, 4) following the update, with this critique particularly coming from those with older phones. Another common issue has been about text fields requiring manual scrolling after typing a lot of characters. The general sentiment among Android users is that they did not really have issues with the usability of the previous client.
Complaints about performance and quality after apps transition to cross-platform development are quite common. Detractors are often critical of how applications lose native UI elements and conventions after a switch. For its part, Discord says it’s “still retaining Android and iOS specific patterns in the UI.”
Typically, bugs related with switching development processes are common and will get resolved over time, but it’s a bit concerning that seemingly basic issues are still popping up even after months of beta/alpha testing.
Be sure to comment below about your experience with the revamp.
Author: Abner Li