Official Particle Android app is unable to see new Photon's

All the postings at are for full time positions, and the two postings on Upwork are for contractor or part-time roles.

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Okay well this thread vindicates my confusion!

New user - samsung tab s2 on android can’t find my particle, you know the deal.

Bummer because I was kinda looking forward to tinkering on my tablet (and for teaching classes).

I gotta say - I was cranky at first but the lolz here make it all worthwhile.

user: I’m having this problem!
support: hmm, we are looking into it
user: No really, the flagship features are totally broken
support: Do you know anyone looking for a job as an Android developer? We are hiring.

At least I have some idea what’s going on now!

Best of luck Particle team, not sure I can help but I sure will be happy when the app can find my particle :stuck_out_tongue:

Just to patch up the picture a bit.
Particle had an Android dev, but he somehow got lost (aka moved on ;-))

So Android is a mess (and only a small part of that mess is Particle’s fault IMO).

Pick a different platform (Win/Mac/Linux/iOS) and use it.


Seriously @bko - you cannot mean that? You’re an IT professional and a great resource & help on this forum. I really appreciate your great advice, but this isn’t right.

Developing mobile apps is hard. I know this since I’ve done it myself. It requires constant updates and a solid test plan for testing across old devices. The current version of the Particle Android app was released in February 2016 and in August 2016 there was a major update (Android 7 / Nougat). It’s very likely that the current app isn’t updated for either this or the many smaller releases leading up to this.

Saying that the app not working is anybody other than Particle’s fault is just wrong. It’s all their fault since they haven’t actively maintained it. Professional developers test early builds of Android and deliver something that works from Day 1. The rest of us just fix our apps when the bad ratings start flooding in. If you look at the reviews for the Particle app from the last 6 months, half of them give a 1/2 star rating and says “doesn’t work”, “junk” or worse. Recovering the rating from these reviews is really hard. A bad rating will make it so that you’re the last app with a name containing the word Particle to be shown.

As a former app-dev I would estimate that writing the Particle app from scratch is a 1-2 month job at most. It should be quite easy & swift to hire an external consultant to build and maintain this and if the current code-base isn’t too bad it should be possible to deliver a fix in just weeks for a good coder.

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Hi @jenschr

I appreciate your remarks and I don’t really disagree with anything you have written above but I do see a lot of complaints outside the Particle universe about Nougat networking problems with instructions like “reboot your router to make your tablet connect again” and “try forgetting the network and re-entering your credentials”. These problems make an app like the Particle app very difficult to make right. The December 2016 news stories put the adoption rate for Nougat at around 0.4% or around 4 million devices, so there is not really wide-spread adoption yet to help force these bugs to get patched.

There is no doubt that Particle dropped a ball on this one, but there is plenty of blame to go around in my opinion.


Hey folks. There is certainly truth to both sides that have been presented here – our ability to support and deliver improvements to the Android app recently has been low due to our primary developer falling out of contact with the company, and indeed Android is a fragmented ecosystem that makes ensuring standard experiences across many OS’s difficult (Photon setup works perfectly well for the several different Android phones that folks have here in the office).

Our goal is to deliver a high quality experience across all our tools, so we recognize there is room for improvement on the Android app, perhaps especially with the newest Android releases. We’ve prioritized hiring a new developer so we can start making those improvements as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if you know of an individual who might be a good fit for the position or have experience developing on Android yourself, our Android Tinker, setup, and Cloud SDK repositories are open source, and we absolutely welcome referrals and pull requests.


Fragmentation is Android’s biggest downfall.


Particle announced 90.1 million dollars in new investment on the forum recently. Bloomberg report CEO salary 334k, Bonus 394k.

I get that developing for Android is tough.

I get that they thought having one lead dev (who “fell out of contact” months ago) was somehow sufficient and maybe it was for a while.

I also see they are developing for Android at an average rate of $28 dollars/hr on Upwork, looking for an intermediate level developer (to work 20 hrs/wk tops), and have invested about 5000 hours of time into Upwork projects.

AHEM might I suggest hiring a professional?

Android users are kinda missing out in the meantime. One one hand it’s not the end of the world because I can use my laptop but on the other hand I can’t recommend a bulk buy for my teacher friends either.

So, no, I’m not going to “pick another platform” when I own android devices. I’m going to enjoy the particle cloud and all that while I wait for Particle to resolve this embarrassing issue.

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@will could this be relevant for the Android issue?

Hey there @someguy. While I would love for those fundraising numbers to be true, we certainly did not announce 90.1 million dollars in new investment anytime recently. If that information is anywhere on the forum, please provide me with a link to it, because it’s not accurate.

Our last fundraising announcement was for $10.4 MM in November 2016.

Additionally, the information you cited from Bloomberg about CEO salary is entirely fabricated and not even close to accurate. I hadn’t ever checked myself, but Bloomberg has virtually no information about our company financials, including CEO pay.

I understand that you may be frustrated with your experience with the Android mobile app, and we’re working to fix it. We’re a small team working very hard to support a very broad and complicated ecosystem. In the meantime, please refrain from misrepresenting Particle on our own forums.


Hey folks!

I wanted to provide you with an Android app update to ensure that you all know that these issues with the Android app are front of mind for us.

  • We’ve hired an Android developer. This will allow us to start making additional changes and improvements to the Android Setup application and Tinker application again.
  • We’ve updated our backlog. As always, our Tinker app for Android is open source so we can provide you with visibility into known issues and planned improvements. The backlog has been updated for our new contractor, and we’ll be tracking future progress there in the new projects view.

Now that we’ve cleaned house a little bit and are gearing up for future improvement, we’d appreciate if you’d log confirmed issues in the GitHub repo with information about the problem you’re seeing, the device and OS version that you’re using, and steps to reproduce.

Again, thank you all for your patience. These issues are important to us, and we look forward to resolving them as soon as we’re able to!


Hello all,

I hope this topic is still “alive” somehow as my problem is persistent for already a year and a half.
First Photons I bought was beginning of last year or end of 2015 (not sure) and couldnt get any of them up and running with Particle app (not Tinker app - as it was said that Tinker is ONLY for old Cores) - last year on Samsung S5 and some other android phones i got hands on. Meantime we made our product without Particle components because of THE PROBLEM mentioned by @jenschr.
This year we bought another batch of photons and again app doesnt work on Samsung S7 or on S5.
BUT for the app not working for more than a year and a half and still all guides/help/tutorials are how to do it with an app (everywhere still with old Tinker app - meaning wrong guides). At least the first ones that you can find on google or any other search.
I mean I have in meantime bought devices (from China’s manufacturers - this sounds like crappy cheap devices but by mine tests they are good with good support with APPs like Particle/Tinker that work and “cloud” for free forever - for now :slight_smile: ) “like” photon for half of the price or less.
I am not here to judge how much anybody has profit or not…you set the price and quality standards…on us - customers - falls the decision whether to buy it or not. Please lord don’t let me be misunderstood :wink: I adore your product but this REALLY annoys me as I would like to use your product in my product but because of these issues I cannot.

Is there any other solution or you have any other plan how to do the initial setup except by cli and even that is poorly documented and OUTDATED.


Sorry to hear you've been having problem. That's certainly not the intended experience.

There are, however, some claims in your posts that I feel the 'need' to address.

If I search on Google (which is arguably a fair search engine to be used), I get the following:

The first link takes me to:
Which highlights the use of the new web-setup:
Followed by an explanation on how to use the Particle app:

The second Google link takes me to:
Which highlights how you can configure your Photon using the CLI, over USB:

The third link shows you how to install/use the CLI in a more 'advanced' way:

Are you sure this isn't an apples/pears comparison? Does it offer ALL the features Particle offers? Are the modules certified, well supported, a great community, etc? Sure, there are similar boards out there, but they often lack in certain areas that turn out to be a major hassle later on.

Yes, the web-setup, which can be found using the Google search you mentioned. There's also SoftAP...
Furthermore, how exactly are the docs outdated? I only just quickly skimmed it to write this post, but it looked up-to-date to me... If things don't change, there's no need to update them on a weekly basis. "don't fix it if it ain't broken" :wink:

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@Moors7 I agree with what you say here. Basically, you cannot compare an ESP8266 to a Photon.

It is however the ugly truth that one still cannot use the Android app to set up new devices. It’s been like this for more than a year and it’s quite some time since I started this thread. Nothing has happened despite official word from Particle that theyve hired for the position to fix this. It currently works on maybe 30% of android devices (based on how many of my 40+ students that didn’t need to install CLI to setup this spring + participants in the two Particle workshops I’ve organised at my local Hackerspace).

Android is after all the larger part of the mobile device market and I do find it annoying to tell my clients that they need an Apple device to setup the devices that I create…

What exactly is the issue with setting up photons in the Android app that you encounter?
Please also provide the phone type/android version and exact error you’re encountering.

Android app V2.0 is just around the corner, we are now in final stages of testing it.


@ido that’s really great news! It’s failing on both Android 6 & 7, but it differs from Phone to phone. I’ve had students with the same Android version but different brands of phones both fail and succeed. There is a pattern to it though, but I have not analysed it carefully since when this happens, my entire class/workshop sort of falls to pieces while one half waits for the other to get their devices online.

What exactly fails also varies, but in most of the cases the app won’t list any Photons in setup mode. In other cases, users see the device but setup fails at some point in the process. It is the same for all my P1 based projects also.

iOS devices always work now, but many Android users have to install and use CLI. You could say “just have another student set it up for you”, but that won’t solve it for when you get home from the workshop :wink:

Have you given the web-based setup a shot yet? (not making excuses for Android, but it might help alleviate some issues until that hot mess is sorted out).

@Moors7 Yes. It looks very promising! Worked right away, but I still want the app to “just work” :slight_smile:

And it should :wink: But this is a nice platform agnostic solution that should work in ‘most’ browsers. Might be preferable over having to install an app (though that shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle in today’s society).