Kickstarter today updated its iOS app with support for Apple’s iPad. You can download the new 2.0 version release, which also has some improvements for the iPhone, now directly from Apple’s App Store.
Kickstarter developers Brandon Williams and Zack Sears explained the thinking behind the new app: In short, they wanted to change how the navigation works in the app to specifically target a tablet form factor. They eventually chose a vertical spectrum of categories, each with projects that you can swipe through horizontally.
The iPhone app has also been revamped, inspired in part by the iPad improvements. Many gestures were ported over so they made sense on the smaller screen. The result was a universal app that has a shared code base for both devices.
Back in April 2014, Kickstarter added a full-screen view that let you discover projects just by watching their videos. It was the replacement for “lean back mode,” a similar feature. This approach, Sears believes, is perfect for the iPad:
The idea was to be able to, quite literally, “lean back,” and browse Kickstarter projects based on their videos. We built the feature but the technology wasn’t right — it really was an experience intended for the iPad. The iPad is the perfect device for that. It’s geared toward casual discovery.
Furthermore, Kickstarter has changed since it first arrived on the crowdfunding scene. The iPad app focuses on discovery, rather than on helping users back projects, because that’s what many users are starting to use the site for: browsing cool projects.
Williams explains it best:
That’s also a relatively recent user pattern — for people to just casually browse. Historically, so much of our traffic has been someone going straight to a project because a friend shared a link. But we’ve reached a point where people are going to come to Kickstarter without knowing about a project, just wanting to explore.
In other words, Kickstarter has hit a level where its users trust the platform. That’s arguably a bigger milestone than just a revamped app for smartphones and a new one for tablets.