(3.2) Pi Speaker Session on Apps and Platform: Platform updates and plans – Pi COiNVENTION 2020

Hi, everyone! This is Lyriaaw from the Core Team.  
In this session, I’m going to present the 
updates and the future plans of the Pi Apps Platform.
In the second quarter of 2020, we 
introduced the Pi Apps platform prototype  
with its first third-party app, FeverIQ. 
We had multiple iterations of the prototypes to 
fix bugs, improve scalability and user experience, 
and finally we announced the developer SDK 
and the testing Sandbox at the end of May.
The Pi SDK allows developers 
to develop their applications  
in whichever programming language 
they prefer in their backend  
and integrate with the Pi Platform 
interface with Javascript in the frontend.
For developers to integrate with Pi, we 
adopted industry standard technologies,  
such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, so that 
they can focus more on building applications  
rather than getting complex technologies to work.
Pi 3rd-party apps will initially 
be hitting Pi’s backend,  
so that they can iterate on their app designs 
and establish their use cases and audiences. 
Once they are ready and the blockchain becomes 
live, their backend will be able to adapt to hit  
the Pi Testnet or Mainnet directly, eventually 
achieving decentralization. This makes sure that  
the development of utility and decentralization 
are in parallel, rather than in sequence.
In Q3, we hoped that developers would be able 
to play with the released SDK and Sandbox  
and explore what could be built on 
Pi. We will see a few examples later  
in the developers’ demos after the Core Team talk.
The next step for the Pi Platform is to increase 
its functionalities for third party developers  
to develop fully functional apps with the
ability to provide better user experience, 
while improving scalability and the 
security of the overall Pi system,  
in relation to the Pi Platform and 
the protection of user privacy.
First, we would like to provide SDK endpoints 
for developers to take advantage of the  
scalable database backend of Pi Network.
We will build a user-state object in our SDK  
for third-party apps to provide continued users 
experience, for instance the ability for users to  
continue what they left off from previous visits. 
This is indeed important for almost all apps.
Providing this endpoint means that 
developers will be able to store data  
for each of their users directly onto the Pi 
backend, without needing to setup their own  
servers or store the data in the frontend.
While more complex apps will still require  
their own backend, this SDK functionality 
will enable a plethora of simple apps  
to work without worrying about the servers.
Second, the platform will be able to allow 
authentication into using third-party  
apps without sharing their Pi username.
In the current version of the platform,  
the access and use of third party apps rely on the 
user’s willingness to share their Pi usernames.
Even though the choice to share or not 
is completely in the hands of the user,  
not sharing the Pi username would mean 
inability to use the specific third-party app.
The next versions of the platform 
would like to make the authentication  
to use third-party apps more flexible to 
provide better control and protection of  
users privacy while maintaining their 
ability to use third-party apps.
Eventually, the platform will enable third 
party apps to request specific information  
about the user, and allow the user 
to accept or refuse each of them.
The platform wants to provide more functionalities 
and accessibility for third-party apps  
to tap into the infrastructure of 
the Pi system and Pi community. 
For example, the ability for third-party 
apps to create their own Pi chat rooms  
through the SDK to interact with their users.
We will allow developers to generate 
custom links that would take users directly  
to the developer’s intended place inside of the 
third party app, a process called “deep linking”.
This way, they will be able to invite 
new users into their apps directly  
without having to go through the 
general workflow of the Pi App first.
It will also enable experiences where one 
user can interact with another one seamlessly.
For instance, in a round-based 
game, a user gets a link that  
navigates them directly to interface of 
the game where they need to make a move;  
or a marketplace, a user can go 
directly check one specific item.
Finally, the platform will also gradually 
release more functionalities to the developers  
to integrate with the Pi currency.
In the current version, developers  
can request payments from Pioneers. Later versions 
will provide ability for the developers to pay the  
Pioneers, completing the loop of bidirectional 
payments between app developers and Pioneers.
As we discussed in the Pi Phase 2 
strategy announcement in March 2020,  
we will first focus on enabling 
third-party apps inside the Pi app itself,  
before enabling a Pi Payments 
for completely external apps.
Technically, this means that 
the availability of specific  
API endpoints will tailor to the needs of 
in-app third-party apps based on reasons,  
such as efficiency and security, rather 
than enabling external applications to be  
able to run Pi Payments, which will 
come further down the line though.
Thus, the API endpoints that we will make 
available next will be able to validate  
payments to the app developer and to provide 
privacy control between a Pioneer and an app.
Thanks for watching!

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