The reason why Blogger Engineering discontinued the iOS and Android app

The iOS application for Blogger (which was supported on both iPhone and iPad) was removed from the App Store by Blogger back in February 2016 but there was not much explanation provided why they did it. The Android app has also not been updated since February 2016 & seems to be no longer supported. Let us look into the different justifications given by Blogger Support team and try to find the true reason why it was removed

If you try searching the official Forum, the current reason being given by the Blogger Support team is -

Just wanted to let you know that the Blogger app for android and iOS is discontinued. The app will not receive any updates or fixes. It is recommended to use Blogger website on Google Chrome for the best experience.

This reason certainly points to the fact that Blogger team is more focused on improving the web version rather than the mobile versions (both the iOS and Android app are no longer official supported). All this would have been well and good if the mobile version of the Blogger dashboard was up to the task. But as it currently stands, the Blogger dashboard isn't even responsive which requires constant zooming in/out to navigate it on mobile. Combine this with the fact the drag & drop doesn't work in Layout tab and Theme editor present in Edit HTML doesn't allow editing of the XML due to issues with the older version CodeMirror editor being used, accessing it via mobile is not a realistic option.

If you try searching the forum even further, you will find the various variations of the explanation similar to the one given above. But the one given in context of the iOS app that stands out from the other is as follows -
Usage for our iOS app is low, so we’ve decided to remove it and better streamline our tools for Blogger.

In my opinion, this statement doesn't at all take in account - reality!  Since the app was discontinued, there has been tons of complaints both on the official forum as well on social media regarding why the app was discontinued so abruptly. There was no prior notice given (even to paying customers using G Suite) regarding the fact that app was going to be discontinued (at least in the case of Google Reader we got that). Also, that fact that iOS app had low usage isn't correct. There were numerous teachers and students under Google For Education program who were affected after the app was discontinued let alone the countless normal users who used it on a daily basis.

If you search even further back in the forum, you start coming across the following posts -
Kindly update the iOS blogger app its really easy for peple to post and edit anything from an iOS app because we want update on iOS its must for every user

I have noticed that whenever there are pictures on my blog I am unable to publish from the iOS blogger app. The error message is 403.

Cross checking with Web Archive, you will notice that the Blogger app was last updated on Jun 01, 2013 with support for iOS 5.0 and above. Now it starts to make sense, the app was removed because it had not been updated for the past 3 years and was facing lots of bugs so the Blogger Engineering team decided to pull the plug. This could be understandable if it was any small startup strapped for cash but the fact that this happened in Google (which employees more than 50,000 people) is truly bizarre.

The same issue is with the Android app, even though it had gotten some minor bug fixes once a year, it had failed to transition to the new Material Design introduced by Android.

From an outsiders point of view, this whole situation is very puzzling. How can Google not dedicate a few teams for the maintenance of Blogger mobile apps? Android being their own product, there is no other company out there with more expertise about the platform than they themselves. Even if there was an off chance, that this was a business decision taken after some considerations, shouldn't they have at least launched a responsive version of the Blogger dashboard beforehand?

Written by Prayag Verma

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This information may or may not be true. You'll notice that all of the "sources" saying that the Blogger app has been discontinued have the badge for "Google Partners" rather than as Google Employees. Can we verify their information? Their connection/relationship to Google seems tenuous, and they may simply be giving opinions or rumors rather than facts. I would trust an actual employee more (real employees do occasionally post in the forums, such as regarding the release of the four new templates this year).

I don't necessarily doubt that the Blogger app won't be updated, but I also don't necessarily believe it. A good example is Google Voice. The Voice app, like the Blogger app, had been neglected for years, but recently was finally updated. I suspect the Blogger app just has low usage, so it's a low priority (and Google likely wants to push casual bloggers to G+). It may still be revamped eventually. If it were truly "dead" then it …

Hi Sam,

If you check the profiles of any of the people with "Expert - Google Products" badge, you will notice the mention of them being "Community Specialist". They are part of the Blogger's support team that works out from the main Google campus in Mountain View. If you search around a bit, you will find information about the company called Akorbi - which is contracted by Google and is responsible for hiring these people. All the people in the forum with the "Expert - Google Products" badge can be considered to subcontractors working for Akorbi. They are lead by the Blogger Community Manager who is an actual Google employee

As far as I know, the Blogger support team takes all their directions from the Blogger engineering/product team.

That being said, Blogger is a user-facing product. Therefore if there is an overwhelming demand for re-introducing mobile apps, then Blogger will have to rethink their decision and likely bring back the mobile apps.

I'm skeptical of some of their advice, because I've seen instances where these "Experts" provide advice that isn't correct. Just the other day I noticed an "Expert" answered a question about incorporating Page Level Ads into Blogger, and when a user identified an error in the Adsense code, the "Expert" only told him to report it and until then nothing could be done. However the error is well documented and a simple solution exists. If those people truly are "in the know" about Blogger, I'd expect them to be able to offer that solution.

Anyway, I don't know much about their employment status. I just feel that their contributions to the Blogger help center are not always the best, and I hesitate to put much official credence into what they say.

That being said, I begrudgingly admit that Blogger apps are probably not in the cards.

Richard P said...

I've been using the Blogger app occasionally and didn't know it had been removed from the App Store. Yesterday I posted with it and it worked fine. Today, it keeps crashing.

This is not a good sign at all. It suggests that Google no longer wants to support blogging at all.