Session Release Roundup #5: Staying mobile

Session Release Roundup #5: Staying mobile

June 26, 2020 / adminRelease Roundup

Aaaaand we’re back! No, it’s not the Desktop refactor — that’s still on its way. But here’s something to whet your appetite in the meantime — we’ve got brand new updates for iOS and Android rolling out this week! 

These updates aren’t anywhere near as big as the iOS and Android refactors from the last few weeks, but they should help tie up a few loose ends. 

Let’s take a look at the goodies in store for you this week!

Mission launch: Rocket powered performance

That Desktop refactor IS coming. Mobile’s already had its time in the sun, but we had to make a few extra changes to make sure mobile clients will be compatible with the Desktop refactor. 

  • Protocol changes to ensure compatibility with upcoming Desktop refactor (Android, iOS)

The most basic thing you can do on Session is send a message, but some iPhone users were encountering a bug which stopped you from being able to do that. It turns out there was an encryption problem — and if Session can’t encrypt a message, it doesn’t send the message. It should be all cleared up now — message away!

  • Fixed an encryption issue that could prevent some messages from being sent (iOS)

Another issue that was stopping some of you from sending messages: the clock on your device desyncing from the Service Node network. Session will now let you know when the clocks are out of whack, so that they can be resynced and you can keep messaging.

  • Session now notifies you when this your device clock is out of sync with the Service Node network (Android, iOS)

Some people were running into a problem where their messages got stuck on ‘encrypting message’. Well, it turns out Session was encrypting a message that whole time, it’s just that the proof of work it was trying to complete was very difficult. This is a known Service Node bug, so Session will now ignore Service Nodes asking for insanely difficult PoW calculations.

  • Session now guards against Service Nodes specifying an unreasonably high proof of work requirement (iOS)

Open groups help build community spirit on Session, but they’ve been running into some problems. Some people weren’t able to join open groups at all! All of these issues should be resolved now— open groups are now, well, open!

  • Improved reliability of joining whitelist-based open groups (Android, iOS)

  • Fixed open group messaging from a linked device (iOS)

  • Open group names and logos now update correctly (iOS)

  • Fixed an issue where some messages were missing after leaving and rejoining an open group (iOS)

In-line replies in closed groups weren’t working consistently, so it was hard to get someone’s attention in the middle of a big conversation. Thankfully this should be all fixed now — just long-press on a message to reply to it.

  • Fixed replying in closed groups (Android)

The last thing you want is someone you don’t know crashing your party. Unknown contacts kept showing up when creating closed groups, so it was possible to accidentally add random people to your conversations. With this update, the closed group creation screen will only list contacts you’ve actually added.

  • Unknown contacts no longer show up when creating a closed group (iOS)

Profile pics weren’t showing up for some people in closed groups, making it a bit difficult to keep track of who was saying what — that should be cleared up now. 

  • When someone messages you in a closed group, you will now correctly see their profile picture (iOS)

Profile pictures let you show off a little bit of style on Session, but they weren’t syncing  up on secondary devices for multi-device users. Profile pictures should now sync up for both devices linked to your Session ID!

  • Your profile picture should now sync correctly when linking a device (Android, iOS)

If you’ve ever tried to send a selfie on Session, you might have noticed the photo looked a bit blurry. The camera within Session wasn’t performing as intended, but now you can send crystal-clear pictures using the in-app camera. 

  • Improved quality of photos taken using the in-app camera (iOS)

We like Session to look pretty, so we’ve made a few changes to clean up the look and feel of Session

  • All mentions are now styled the same (Android, iOS)

  • Minor UI improvements (Android, iOS)

Session can’t just look the part — it needs to have the performance under the hood to match its good looks. These changes should result in a very noticeable performance upgrade for iPhone users!

  • Overhauled database handling (iOS)

  • Improved use of multithreading (iOS)

There have been a LOT of fixes to help smooth out the process of linking a device. But what if you want to unlink a device? Some people had problems with zombie secondary devices coming back over and over again. This fix should double-tap those zombie devices and make sure they’re removed. Permanently. 

  • Devices don’t return after being unlinked (iOS)

We bang on about Session being open source — and it really is important. But up until now, it’s been relatively difficult for the average person to compile Session’s iPhone app from source. We’ve made it a lot easier, so you can compile the code for yourself for your own peace of mind (if you want, at least).

  • Building the app from source is now considerably easier (iOS)

Sometimes Session screeches to a sudden halt. App crashes are really frustrating for everyone, but thankfully you should be seeing less of them with this latest update. 

  • Several crash fixes (Android, iOS)

  • Fixed a crash that could happen after opening a notification (iOS)

  • Fixed crash which occurred when searching group chats (iOS)

(Almost) ready to launch: Desktop refactor

Yes, the Desktop refactor is coming soon! We’ve been hammering away at it for a while now, and it should be ready for you in the next few weeks. The arrival of the Desktop refactor should have a flow-on effect which improves messaging performance for all users — even those of you who aren’t using Desktop at all.

The refactor will involve a bunch of performance improvements, bug fixes, and should make linking Desktop clients more reliable. 

We’re also still working on shared sender keys, which will be a huge upgrade for closed groups. Once shared sender keys roll out, closed groups will be much faster, and they’ll be able to have way more members!  

Thank you!

As per usual, the biggest props go to you — Session’s users. We’re putting in all these hours because we want to do our bit to protect your online privacy, but don’t underestimate how much of a role you’re playing too — by using and supporting projects like Session. Those of you reading these update notes, sending feedback via social media and email, and using Session every day are the people who make all of this possible.

See you next time!

The Session team

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