Mobile app is unbearingly slow

I simply love the dynalist web app. There is no alternative that comes even close (except obviously workflowy :slight_smile: )

The mobile app is a very different experience. It feels like it is just the web app with a very thin packing and very poor performance.

The usecases for accessing dynalist from web and from mobile, I believe, are very different.
I think that to have an efficient experience on mobile, a complete redesign is unfortunately needed. The interface can’t be the same - first of all because mobile doesn’t have mouse and keyboard. Tapping an item, waiting for keyboard to appear, just to use the floating menu, is not viable.

I have no concrete ideas for a good design of the mobile app.
But I think a completely different UI is necessary. Maybe more like having a dialog with the app, rather than the experience of navigating/editing a doc.
Less content on the screen at a time, more space for one-click buttons (instead of the more modal floating menu).
Loading the app or a doc also still seems too slow, despite the recent optimizations to load incrementally.
I would much prefer an oversimplified but fast app, over cramping all the web features into an app with everything on the screen at once.

Sorry for the negative tone and the lack of constructive ideas, but I hope you can use this input anyway.

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What mobile device are you using…? And are you requesting the desktop site by any chance?

I’d argue our mobile app looks pretty different from the web… (Screenshot below)

Nexus 6, android 7.1, the unreleased android app.
Yes, the style is quite different, but searching and organizing a tree is still done roughly the way you would do it in the web app. I still haven’t learned how to properly move a node around. I think maybe tap and hold, then drag, but I never made it work reliably. Much better to use up/down and indent/dedent buttons in the floating menu above the keyboard, but they have the problems I describe in my post, and also these buttons are located too far from each other for quick tree restructuring.

Maybe lots of heavy javascript is running inside the app (is it an embedded browser engine?), e.g. for special rendering. Could this be a place to make more lightweight, e.g. plaintext-only would be fine, if it runs more smoothly.

Ah, reading it again and I think I see what you mean.

Unfortunately I don’t see any alternatives. Without tapping on an item, Dynalist doesn’t know which item you want to operate on. Alternatively, we can show all the icons for each document, but that would greatly clutter the interface.

This has always been a problem, and I don’t know if there’s a perfect solution that both allows fast operation and a simple interface. We surveyed a dozen of apps like Google Docs, Quip, Bear, etc. No app seems to do what you mentioned. At least for now, it just seems like the limitation of mobile. You don’t need to carry around a mouse and a keyboard with you, but that means you don’t get to use their power either. Sad, but it’s a trade in my opinion.

A middle-ground solution some people use is to use an external keyboard with a tablet like iPad. It makes operation reasonably fast, and is portable at the same time.

Yes, I guess there are no obvious ideas for how to make it perfect on mobile.

Maybe it should be an explicit choice to edit an item. Then we can click the item and it would be highlighted, ready for manipulation by a row of keys, e.g. move up/down, indent/dedent, long-move in doc, easier multiselect , … And finally a button for entering edit mode, which could be done in a special edit field, not necessarily inside the tree.

Also quickly capturing something is very often needed on mobile, so the new Inbox-feature would be very welcome. But of course, you already thought of this :slight_smile:


Ah I see. So the part the annoys you the most is having the keyboard pop up, not having the tap on the item, is that correct…?

Yes, keyboard opening/closing is quite a blocker, when you don’t want to edit text, just search/manipulate the tree. I use GBoard, which is maybe slower to popup than other keyboards, I’m not sure. Anyway, the keyboard is usually unwanted :slight_smile: when I tap an item
But I would also say the concept of embedding the web app inside the android app (I assume this is what happens(?)) including javascript and all, makes the whole experience slower than if it was a native app.
And I am well aware than building a native app with nice UI is a huge task… So I fully understand the state of things. So maybe let’s (me and hopefully other users) identify the major painpoints. Keyboard popup is definitely one.

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I see, thanks for the insights and the clarification.

We want to improve the mobile app too – thanks for the constructive advice!

This is the reason I thought it would be a good idea to have the functions slider available and usable in non-edit mode on mobile. This would alow you to do ‘sorting’ without the keyboard popping up and down. It could also allow for selecting multiple items just like when you hold control and mouse click in the Web app.


Okay, so the “edit” in “non-edit” context strictly means text editing?

Yes (as well as not being able to drag bullets around with your finger) and I think that makes sense because accidental dragging and the keyboard popping up and down are the two really frustrating things about edit mode

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Of course as always this extra functionality of non edit mode could be an advanced option (not default) :slight_smile: