📱 What Android/iOS versions should we support?


(Emma Guy) #1

Hey hey everyone!

I’m Emma, one of the Android Engineers at Monzo with some questions for y’all! Every year Apple and Google release new versions of iOS and Android, and we update the Monzo app to make sure it works well on these updates. Over time, we end up supporting more and more versions, which tends to get a bit painful - there are always unexpected bugs and issues that arise which take time to resolve. This means we have to do more development as well as more testing, to make sure everything is great whatever device you’re using.

What I’d love for thoughts on are the following questions:

  • What do you think about us stopping supporting older versions of Android and iOS?
  • How long is reasonable to support a version for?

The reason I’m asking, is because we’re starting to consider how long we should continue to support Android 5.0 and 5.1 - for context, 3.4% of our active Android users use these versions.


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Android 5 Support
Support for older Android versions
Community Roundup - 4/5/18
#2

Hate the idea. I ditched my iPhone 4S and bought a new Android which is running 5.1

I don’t want to buy a new phone every 6 months just to keep Monzo happy!


(Dan) #3

5.1 isn’t even officially supported anymore because of it’s age (by Google).

If Google have ditched it, I don’t see why Monzo wouldn’t.


#4

Maybe so, but as a consumer I don’t care. I just purchased a new phone and am not wasting money updating it once or twice a year. I expect to replace phones every 2 or 3 years, after all most phone contracts these days are for 24!


(Dan) #5

The hardware may be new, but you bought old software. It’s just like any other computer.

It would be like buying a new PC that comes with Windows XP. Software companies can’t support old OS’s forever, whether you bought hardware recently or not.


#6

I’d agree if you bought a brand new phone - But buying one running an OS which was released in 2015 isn’t a fair argument.

I’d say 4 years for Android phones, and “whilst Apple support iOS updates” on iOS.


#7

It was purchased direct from the manufacturer 6th October 2017, so under 7 months old!


#8

Sorry, I wasn’t implying it wasn’t a new piece of hardware - @danbeddows explained it better.

I just think that catering for software which is over 4 years old is the way to stagnate development - It feels more “legacy banking”, than mobile banking.


#9

It also depends if Monzo wants to be the bank of a billion customers and appeal to the broad masses, or just appeal to techies and the rich with the latest high spec phone!

People keep talking about the threat from legacy banking catching up, and about fintech having to stay in front with developments, but become too cutting edge and exclusive and you cut off your nose to spite your face. Stop supporting some OS that will stop some customer sign ups, particularly if you want to expand to other countries where take up of the latest models and OS versions may not be as advanced as your cliquey London developer crowd!


(Jack) #10

I think it’s bad manufacturers are still selling these as new handsets if the software is unsupported.
it’s like me buying a new lenovo PC, i5, 8gb of ram and an SSD but running windows XP.

This is an android issue, manufacturers are lazy and don’t support / update their devices (mainly the non flagship models). All handsets if still available to purchase should be updated to handle a supported android version by Google. I think this is where Google needs to step up it’s game and be strict.
To go further, if they stop selling a device I believe it should still be able to receive updates for a supported android version for at least 2 years.
I know this isn’t an apple vs android thread but this is where apple is light years ahead.

IOS I don’t think is so much of an issue, apple support these for much longer and from what I’ve noticed people change their phones before the support is even dropped for their handset.
For example the iphone 5s which came out in 2013 can still run the latest ios version.


(Andre Borie) #11

Any software no longer officially supported by its developer should be dropped IMO - it’s not just about better developer experience, the user’s security is at play too - you don’t want to allow users using outdated and vulnerable operating systems.


(Jack) #12

I think off the back of this Monzo should have a web interface to carry out the basics should access to the account not be available through an app. As a post above mentions if Monzo wan’t to be a bank for 1 billion people they need to think about this.
I imagine the first few hundred million will likely come from people who change their phones regularly,but still it’s food for thought…

I understand people may not be able to afford a new phone or potentially purchased a new handset without knowing it’s running outdated software ( Shame on the manufactures! )

Potentially a cut off could be done by a set percentage of the client base still on that version alongside if it’s not supported by google, to whether Monzo support it. Similar for apple?

If users are going to get cut off they need to know wayyyy in advance, but a web interface even if it’s basically the app in the browser would be a good start in my opinion.


#13

Whilst I agree, it’s slightly ironic that this solution would add to the problems this very topic is trying to solve :slight_smile:


(Stuart) #14

I don’t think you should be able to stop existing account holders from getting access to their account simply because you decide to stop supporting their existing and only way of doing so.

If there was a website they could log onto ans use as an alternative then I would have no issue of stopping support for older devices.


#15

There are a hell of a lot of Android users aren’t there? 3.4% of a hell of a lot is still quite a bit…

How long do “legacy” banks tend to support?


#16

I guess when you release a fully functioning web interface you can drop OS support quite quickly.

But as long as the app is the ONLY way to access your account, dropping support for Lollipop really doesn’t seem wise.


#17

I don’t think that’s too relevant, as with “legacy” bank I can still access my account, even if their app doesn’t run on my phone. On Monzo I can’t.


#18

I was thinking it should be longer than them anyway. I just think it’s an interesting number to start at no matter what direction you go in.


#19

Fair enough.

As a starting point here are some minimum version requirements for Android of banks I have used in the past:

  • Barclays, Santander, NatWest, Yorkshire Bank, Halifax: 4.4.
  • TSB: 4.1
  • Nationwide: 4.0

So, all of the ones I checked support at least one version more than Monzo…


(Valeri) #20

As others commented above: if web interface was introduced then you might have much more leeway there, but as the app is the only way to deal with your finances at the moment - you really should support them for as long as possible.