📱 What Android/iOS versions should we support?

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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…

1 Like

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.

9 Likes

I think it depends how you go about allowing the customers whose devices you’re dropping support for to access their accounts, as not all of them would be willing or even able to upgrade their devices, and dropping support means that they’re essentially locked out of their account - which is definitely a very bad thing.

However, I do agree that you can’t support older versions forever - you need to be able to drop support in order to get access to the new features provided in newer versions, as well as newer hardware, and the case of security has already been made by someone.

I think dropping support when the creator (Google) drops support is a good idea (or maybe a year after they drop support). That, or dropping support for versions with less than a 2.5% of active Monzo users using it (as long as you tell them in advance and still provide an older version of the app that they can use).

Liam

3 Likes

I’d say support for 4 years, which would mean dropping Lollipop in November.
Maybe in the last year, drop the app to security/critical updates or a lite version (multiple APKs).

But then there are things like the notification sound and the fingerprint issue because you target the latest version.

1 Like

Given the functionality and quality of legacy apps it wouldn’t be that hard to support versions all the way back to 1.0. :joy:

1 Like

Really? The barclays app (the only one that I use regularly) has far more functionality than the Monzo one, e.g.:

  • Code generator
  • cheque imaging
  • multiple accounts in one app
  • support via phone, or video call
  • manage payees
  • Ability to manage 3rd party access in app
  • see my actual balance :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head…

4 Likes

Any modern features? Does it support offline mode (where it caches the last fetched data and displays that if it can’t connect to the network)? Etc.

Of course it’s gonna have the basic banking stuff, send a payment based on a sort code/account number, etc - that stuff doesn’t really require any business logic at all, just POST to an endpoint and parse the response. I was talking about more modern features that require the app to do more than just parsing some XML (in case of Barclays I’m sure it’s gonna be XML :joy:).

Many of the things in my list aren’t really “basic banking stuff”, and some of it is stuff that has long been requested of Monzo but been postponed as too complicated/advanced/whatever.

As part of their security model they don’t. You may disagree with the security model, but that has nothing to do with “modern” or not.

Anyway, I don’t want to take this further off topic, so I will stop here. Just wanted to point out that some “legacy” banking apps are way ahead of monzo at the moment, in terms of functionality.

2 Likes

Whatever is decided I hope devices which are going to lose support get some notifications and messages in the feed alerting the users well in advance.

2 Likes

Thanks everyone for the feedback! Please keep the thoughts and feels coming :slight_smile: Definitely agree a web app would help a lot here.

If/when we decide to support supporting Android 5, we will absolutely give a lot of notice. The consequence of stopping supporting it could be that someone couldn’t use Monzo anymore, so is definitely not something we would rush into.

For those curious, in terms of numbers of customers currently active on Android (the 3.4% statistic in my first post), this is ~3,500 people.

7 Likes

Of existing early adopters but what percentage of prospective interested customers!?

It’s not really an issue surely?.. you compile with the compatibility libraries and with very little work can support right back into prehistory (1.6).

I tend to limit to kitkat and above for practical reasons (things like native PDF support), have deployed things with arcore support that run fine so it’s not like you can’t support new things with suitable checks in the code.

Obviously there’s ‘support’ in actively support, and ‘allow to work’ and there may be good reasons for former but the latter I’d be surprised about. What feature is prompting this?

3 Likes

I can’t believe you’re even considering this. A bank is a necessity in the modern age and you have a responsibility to your customers.

You can’t claim to be a customer focussed company but tell 3500 people to go elsewhere because you can’t be bothered to support their fully working device or build a website.

By all means restrict new features to new hardware but dropping support altogether is ridiculous.

7 Likes

In my experience this figure tends to drop quite quickly. I would be incredibly surprised if there were still 1000 people using Android 5.x in 6 months from now. At some point it stops being viable to have to put engineering resources in to supporting old operating systems for a rapidly decreasing amount of people.

We had to do this already, when we stopped support for iOS 9. It simply was not viable to continue to support it whilst simultaneously ensuring a high level of UX across all later iOS versions and devices.

It’s not that we “can’t be bothered” - it’s that we have a limited amount of resources, and we also have to dedicate a large amount of resources to building new things - see the huge amount of threads here that say “Why doesn’t Monzo have X feature yet?” or even the huge amount of responses we get for improving features that already exist.

With regards to Android specifically, we are looking for more Android engineers so if anyone knows a great Android engineer looking for work then tell 'em to apply, and then we have more resources to work with :grinning:

9 Likes

their fully working device

You mean a device full of vulnerabilities and malware that even the operating system developer no longer cares about?

I’m sorry that you fell for the scam of carrier-branded Android phones that receive absolutely zero updates but it isn’t really the fault of Monzo is it?

3 Likes

So roughly 102,000 active users on Android, and all the rest on iOS?

4 Likes

Without a working web interface Monzo shouldn’t really be dropping support for older Android/iOS versions that their customers are currently using.

It’s not fair to cut a customer off from their bank account simply because they can’t afford or want to buy a new phone.

This is a choice Monzo has made by choosing to only have one way to access accounts…

3 Likes

I received an e-mail from Monzo today polling my views on this (as an Android 5 user). Have to agree that without offering customers another way to access their account this would be terrible CS. There’s no way Monzo can be considered a serious contender to legacy banks if it essentially turfs customers out. Also worth highlighting that your Android 5 share is going to be way less than the general population. Globally it’s 25% - can’t find UK figures but guess they would be somewhere in the middle.

1 Like