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Mobile Updates: Hands-On Labs

Posted on August 27, 2019 by Matthew PhilpotMatthew Philpot

Greetings Linux Academy learners! Another month has come and gone and so much has happened. As always, we’ve been busy bees working on the latest and greatest in mobile updates just for YOU. In my last post, I talked about the new video player we released and some of the features that included.

Since then we haven’t been sitting idly by, oh no. And while I’m excited to share the fruits of our labor, and I’m also able to give you a peek into what we have planned for the rest of 2019. It’s everything you’ve been asking for, and then some.


Did someone say mobile “Hands-On Labs”?

That’s right! I said it. But there’s one important word that’s missing, and that’s preview. With this initial mobile update release, we are at the first step in implementation. Which means adding the ability to preview Hands-On Labs within the app. So learners will be able to view the overview, learning objectives, videos, and guide for a lab, but not open a full lab-yet! You’ll also be given a direct link to the lab on the website so you can manage your labs.

Mobile Updates at Linux Academy

While Preview and opening Hands-On Labs for mobile has been a hotly requested feature for a while now, we have only recently been able to start the steps to implement it. Special thanks to the efforts from the other development teams (Thanks guys!) that will make it possible. Additionally, I can share that we are actively researching the ability to fully take labs via the mobile app. This, obviously, will be more limited in functionality compared to a desktop, but we think it could be a great alternative for those on the go. I can’t say where or when the research will come to fruition, but it’s an exciting prospect none-the-less!

I’d also like to point out the new design of the view. It follows in the footsteps of our ‘Advanced Search’ page and represents the new direction we’re taking as we redesign and refactor every facet of the app.


Feedback on the mobile Video Player

As mentioned above, we previously released a new Video Player. I wanted to make a quick note; we’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback with a standard fare of both good and bad. We have been taking all of the feedback seriously, and are excited to utilize it to make the app even better.

In addition to making changes based on your feedback, we are planning a follow-up release that will include support for subtitles! Be on the lookout for that in the coming months.


Dropping support for old OS’s

As we continue developing and delivering features, there comes a point where developing for older versions of Android and iOS prove to be more and more problematic. Most of the issues we run into with older versions are security-related, and dropping these versions will allow us to continue delivering excellent features without being forced to create workarounds.

After the next release of Android and iOS sometime in October, we will officially be dropping support for the following:

  • Android 4.4.x (Lollipop)
    • Android 5.x (KitKat) will be the minimum supported Android version
  • iOS 9.3.5
    • iOS 10 will be the minimum supported iOS version


Looking forward to FireTV and tvOS

It’s here! Finally, we will be starting development for our mobile Android TV/FireTV and tvOS apps. As we make progress on them, I will be sure to post updates. We have a blank canvas with which to start, so the possibilities are endless. There are a set of mobile updates and goals we’d like to meet, but be sure to let us know what you want most in a TV app!

In addition, we thought it would be helpful to create a technical blog post, detailing a feature we’ve implemented and the designs, decisions, and (some) code that went into making it. Those are still in the works, but be on the lookout!

As always, we are forever striving to make the best app out there, but it would never be possible without feedback from you! If you have something you’d like to say or a feature you’d like to see, don’t hesitate to let us know at

Until next month, be sure to subscribe to our blog, or follow us on social media for even more product news and feature updates.


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