The focus of the development of IPFS to date has been primarily on desktop and server-class hardware. However, the growth of the internet for more than a decade has been almost entirely on mobile devices. Smartphone use has eclipsed desktop, especially in emerging markets, where IPFS stands best to address use cases, patterns and concerns around data sovereignty, offline applications and security.
This growth at the furthest edge of the network requires solutions at the edge. While the IPFS network continues to grow on mobile (for instance, IPFS now has default support on Opera for Android), more research is needed to realise the full value of the network. IPFS should be directly available and accessible to end-users on all their devices - and the design of IPFS integrations should make this clear and easy to use. To create that level of clarity, developers need clear guidelines that align with user needs while unlocking all the power of the decentralised mobile web.
This programme of work will be the first of two phases, the first for research and the second for design. Both will include investigation and exploration of more extensive mobile sharing and receiving workflows of iOS and Android mobile operating systems. These guidelines will provide a foundational effort towards IPFS on mobile platforms, informing both IPFS feature prioritisation as well as ecosystem and community building on the protocol.