After months of back and forth with Apple, dozens of adjustments and performance enhancements, and a hell of a lot more grey hair (mine, not Apple’s), a native iOS app is finally here. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of ‘Firecracker Daily Review’, a companion app for use alongside the core Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO desktop experiences.
The Firecracker Daily Review app is great for studying while on the go. Your daily review tasks will appear in the mobile app each day, and you can create additional 'Get Ahead' tasks if you'd like to continue burning through your stack of high priority questions. When you need to access Study Something Specific – either to review something else or mark new topics as learned – you can do so within the desktop version. These changes will be reflected the following day in your Daily Review app.
So what about Android?
The Daily Review app for Android is coming soon! We released iOS today because a vast majority of our users are on that platform, but we have every intention of building an Android version. Early next year is the most likely timeframe, but as always, we’ll do the best we can with our small team to get it out to you earlier. In the meantime, we do still have a beta version of the Firecracker MD/DO app which you can download and use for now. You can also use your mobile browser to access Firecracker. Both of these options should be able to handle what you need in the interim.
So what took so long?
Ugh… don’t remind me! (Just kidding.) I know you’ve all been waiting patiently and deserve an explanation, so here’s the short version:
We submitted the original beta versions of both the Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO mobile apps to Apple back in August. Getting an app approved can be an involved process and often takes a few rounds of back and forth in order to address any small issues they flag. As such, the apps weren’t officially approved and live for download until late September.
However, once a small group of students tested the apps out in the wild, it became clear that older phones (e.g. iPhone 4s or 5) were struggling with several performance issues stemming almost entirely from the fact that we designed these apps to provide all the same functionality as the desktop experience. While newer phones such as the iPhone 6 worked great, these older phones struggled to handle the load of all of content and functionality that exists on the desktop. Given that study efficiency is our biggest priority, this simply wasn’t acceptable.
In the end, we decided it would be faster and more in line with our standards of quality to just start from scratch and create a completely new version of the mobile app, one that wasn’t a direct one-to-one copy of the desktop experience, but rather a companion app focused primarily on daily review tasks (the main reason students use the app). Thus, Firecracker Daily Review was born. Yay!
Now that you know what we’ve been up to, I’d just like to thank you, on behalf of the entire Firecracker team, for your patience over the last few months. We know you’re often on the move and not having a mobile app from which to do your reviews is a pain in the ass. Fortunately, that gap is now filled for iOS users, and will be for Android soon.