by The BNC Team ~ May 28 / 2010
WPtouch 2.0 Pro beta1 is now officially in the wild. The number of beta testers for beta1 is relatively small, so if you applied and didn’t get accepted, don’t worry too much as we’ll be adding more people for beta2.
WPtouch 2.0 Pro represents nearly five months of work between the two of us. The original features were hashed out over a few beers down in Punta Cana of November of last year. It became evident based on our initial discussions that in order to have the features we wanted we would need to do a 100% rewrite of the existing code, which is ultimately what we did.
Baby’s Got a Brand New Bag
2.0 is a complete mobile theming framework that was built upon a comprehensive plugin framework, both of which were created from scratch explicitly for this project. Under the hood WPtouch 2.0 constructs the entire administration panel programmatically, which means adding new features going forward will in most cases not require more than a few lines of code. It also means that mobile theme developers can easily add setting options to the WPtouch administration panel and have the majority of hard work taken care of for them.
One of the complaints developers had about WPtouch 1.x is that it wasn’t very easy to build upon. First, we didn’t have many plugin hooks that other plugin developers could tap into. Second, the default theme in WPtouch was fairly inflexible for people trying to add new theme features. We’ve addressed both of these limitations in 2.0.
All WPtouch 2.0 themes are based upon a theming example called Skeleton. It is our goal to continue to update Skeleton for each release, including support for nearly all of the WPtouch 2.x features. Skeleton can easily be cloned in the WPtouch 2.0 administration panel and used as a starting point for a completely custom theme, one that won’t be overwritten when WPtouch is upgraded.
WPtouch 2.0 also includes nearly 100 different hooks and actions that other plugin developers can tap into. In fact, many of the recent features added to WPtouch 2.0 utilized these same hooks.
The World’s Not So Big After All
All the text strings in WPtouch 2.0 have been properly internationalized. That will allow us to slowly translate WPtouch 2.0 into other languages. The first release of WPtouch 2.0 will have support for Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German and French. We’ll hopefully add a new language or two for each subsequent release.
The Beta Cycle
As WPtouch 2.0 is a 100% rewrite, we’re looking to our beta users to help us flesh out any of the issues that crop up in the wild. Beta1 will focus mainly on the administrational panel, the upgrade process, support forum integration, and general WPtouch 2.0 usage. We expect beta1 to last roughly a week or so, depending on any issues that turn up. We’ll be releasing periodic updates to beta1 to fix bugs.
Beta2 will be the second and last beta cycle, and will include the full suite of mobile themes and final functionality. Once we’re confident that beta2 is stable, we’ll release WPtouch 2.0 officially for everyone. So if you do the math, we’re only a few weeks from releasing WPtouch 2.0 for the general public.
There are over 100 new features not present in WPtouch 1.9. Here are a few of the highlights:
* Deep integration between WPtouch and the BraveNewCode support forums – users can post support questions directly from the WPtouch 2.0 administration panel
* Re-designed administrational panel featuring intuitive tab interface
* Admob and adsense advertising support in themes
* Support for multiple Prowl accounts
* New plugin compatibility disabler (prevent problematic plugins from hooking into WPtouch)
* New page/menu management panel that includes drop and drop functionality for icons
* All new theme designs and effects
* Inclusion of Skeleton theming example for developers looking to create custom mobile themes
* Ability to customize a welcome message for 1st-time visitors
* Inclusion of several new icons sets
* New nested menu system available to themes
* Inline comment replies and threading
* Support for web-application mode
* Ships with 5 professionally translated languages
And So It Begins
We want to thank everyone who applied to be a part of our beta program, and also everyone who was officially chosen to help with beta1. We’re very close to releasing WPtouch 2.0 Pro to everyone, something that we are quite looking forward to.
If you’re late to the party, you can sign up to be notified when WPtouch 2.0 Pro is released over at wptouch.com, or follow our updates on Twitter. We’ll post again when the second beta cycle opens up, at which point we can hopefully relay information about the final release date and price points for WPtouch 2.0 Pro.