GitHub rolls out long-awaited features to its desktop and mobile apps
GitHub is one of the most popular code-hosting platforms in the world, home to millions of software projects and websites. Even though many developers prefer to use the Git command-line application for uploading code and managing projects on GitHub, the company has its own desktop application that can make some tasks easier, and it’s now receiving an important update. The mobile app, which arrived on Android in 2020 and iOS in the year prior, is also gaining some features.
GitHub Desktop v2.7 is now rolling out to Windows and macOS (still no Linux support, sadly) with a long-awaited feature: cherry-picking commits. This allows developers to pick any commits from one branch, including more than one at the same time, and copy them to another branch. There’s also an undo function, as well as the same conflict resolution dialog you get with normal branch merges.
The desktop application also now displays a warning icon if the email address on the current GitHub account doesn’t match the email in the global Git configuration. This should help prevent commits from being misattributed, which can easily happen with multiple GitHub accounts (or when using Git for both personal and work projects).
Meanwhile, the mobile GitHub apps can now send push notifications when you’re assigned a pull request or task, or when you’ve been requested to approve a deployment for a protected environment. Each notification category can be turned on or off through the app’s settings, and a new option has been added for muting all alerts at certain times or days. The mobile app is also gaining the desktop site’s ability to change how you’re alerted for a repository — you can get an alert for all changes, changes you’re tagged on/participating in, or no alerts at all.
Finally, the GitHub app can now view any release from a project, and any files from the release can be downloaded. You probably won’t be able to do much with the files from just a phone or tablet, but it’s still a handy feature for backups or sharing files to another service.