Photo by Matthias Süßen, CC BY-SA 3.0

In this day and age, many people use a phone as their primary camera. However, this can pose an issue for Wikimedians when they want to upload their images to Wikimedia Commons—do they transfer them to a regular computer, attempt to negotiate the mobile web pages, or hack together another solution?

The Wikimedia Commons Android app offers a solution: it allows contributors to easily submit photos directly from their phone to Commons without needing to use a computer or a web browser. Version 2.0 of the app has now been released, one and a half years after the app was revived by the community. The new version contains several new features alongside improvements that make the app smoother and more convenient to use and multiple bug fixes.

In the new version of the app, you can:

  • Categorize your images much more easily: The app will automatically offer category suggestions based on the location where the image was taken and the title that you chose for your image.
  • View nearby places that need images: Browse nearby locations that need images so that you can target your photo trips towards locations that are lacking in photos. This way, you can help Wikipedia have images for all articles, and discover beautiful places close to you.
  • Be notified if you have submitted this image before: Can’t remember if you have already uploaded a particular image? No problems, just select the image and you will be notified if a duplicate is found in the Commons database.
  • Get your friends started with contributing to Commons: It’s easier than ever to get started with contributing to Commons – your friends can sign up for a Commons account within the app. The new tutorial gives them a quick primer on what type of photos Commons does and doesn’t accept.
  • Select licenses directly from the upload screen: Licenses have been updated to include CC-BY 4.0 and CC-BY-SA 4.0, and you can now select your license directly when uploading.
  • Switch to a light theme: You can now choose between the old night mode or a new light theme which is more suited to daytime or outdoor conditions. This can be toggled in Settings.
  • Participate in beta testing: Sign up for beta testing to help us test the app and get new features before they are released to the public!

Anyone can download the app for free, with no ads or in-app purchases, from the Google Play Store or F-Droid. The app currently has over 2000 active installs, and roughly 6000 files were uploaded through it in the last quarter. More information can be found on its website; its source code is freely licensed on GitHub under the Apache License 2.0. As this is a community-maintained app, feedback and help from volunteers is always welcome.

Josephine Lim, Commons Android app maintainer and IEG recipient