Monzo have certainly been keeping themselves incredibly busy these past few months, a lot of work has been going into app development on both Android and iOS - I don’t really have much (anything) to say about the development of the latter but I know that there’s been lots of it
I, like many others, get the weekly Monzo app update (beta users see updates a week ahead of non-beta users - you can read more about that and folllow along with releases here)
When that sweet update notification hits it’s great! Except when you read the changelog and there’s only a few lines, maybe a bug fix and a new feature. But nothing ‘substantial’… At that point it’s very easy to think “Oh, is that it?” or “Hmm, where’s the rest of the update?!” well I’m here to shine some light on that
When you dig into the app or APK in more detail it, quite quickly, becomes apparent that there’s more going on than meets the eye. The app is frequently growing in size… So what? So although on the surface we might not be seeing new pages, fun features and glorious GIFs, we are receiving the underlying foundations which allow Monzo to snap their fingers and enable features for us! Be that via an A/B test (where only a random subset of users may encounter the new / different feature) or via the famous Monzo Labs.
There are certain features which simply cannot exist or be shown to exist in the app until they’re ready. For instance, as of the latest beta update (2.24.0 whilst writing this) I have finally seen the PayPoint logo inside the APK. It was imperative that Monzo DIDN’T push this asset (image) to production until contracts were all finalised and signed off with PayPoint else they’d likely be breaking an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) That would’ve meant big trouble
Background development was obviously happening in order to support this feature - it just wasn’t available in the public releases (for the likes of me to teardown and find )
There are other reasons why Monzo might not be showing off new features because they’re not ready for everybody or maybe there will be a roll-out at a specific time, etc. For instance, Tabs was in the app available for some about a week before it hit labs It was 90% working but there were bugs here and there hence why it wasn’t just ‘there’ for everybody
Let’s have a look at what the APK (Android App) has been doing since August, shall we
- Grown a few MB in size
- Seen many changes up high & down low
- Moved from bi-weekly to weekly updates
- Seen a few redesigned pages (Settings & Account pages)
- Begun to support the Android 9.0 APIs (API 28)
- And much more!
|Release Date||Monzo Version||APK Size|
There’s been a recent up and down with the sizes but it’s adding more features and that involves more than just lines of code Plenty of assets and new libraries get added over an apps lifetime, let’s see what Monzo have been doing week-by-week!
Looking at those charts the Android team is certainly no slouch There’s a constant strive for improvements and that’s made apparent by the string-diff between each new version.
(A string-diff being the additions & deletions of a specific file inside the decompiled Monzo APK, by no means is that the only file that gets updated between releases but it’s something easily readable and frequently updated)
Over the last few months of data that I have the Android team have been averaging 32 line changes (+/-) per week! (@emmag) In just one of the many places which sees updates. I’ve tried to un-skew the data by removing any single change releases (typically quick patch/bugfix releases) but the number has reached as high as 106
I eluded to changes which are neither seen nor heard, PayPoint was my example. Well I can share some fun little sneak peaks which haven’t hit
Paypoint: Not new news but it’s so close I can almost taste it
(Fun?) fact… I was the first Monzo user to see a decline with PayPoint on the 11th Nov 2018 Nobody else can say that, hehe
Here’s a really fun one for you… Committed Spending Pots!
The logo exists, the pot background exists, it’s all about making it work on a slightly more technical level than a photo though
I shan’t share all the fun little bits I’ve found - Can’t spoil all the fun It’s awesome seeing what Monzo have been doing, I’m really excited to see the redesign on the Payments screen & I cannot wait for the new Summary Date Picker.
I’m immensely impressed with how much has happened in such a short amount of time. It’s basically been non-stop from my perspective, there’s even more that even I don’t know about yet… Feature flags, staff releases, etc. etc.
There’s always more to an app than meets the eye Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean Monzo haven’t made it
Anyway, I’ll leave it there Enjoy!