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news

Yummy 3.6

The latest version of Yummy is a surprisingly large release. In terms of lines of code changed, this is probably the most significant since version 3.0 back in 2014.

Three pane view on iPad

Since I use the development version on my own phone and tablet, I sometimes forget how much has changed since the last release. This is one of those times.

If there’s one theme for version 3.6, it’s a refreshed user interface. The most visible changes are available on the iPad, where you can see a new, three-pane view of your bookmarks. On the left is the main menu, next are your bookmarks or tags, and on the right is the usual web view. You’ll also see a refresh of many of the icons and graphics. Rather than use custom glyphs, Yummy now uses Apple’s SF Symbols wherever possible.

There’s also a completely new user interface: Shortcuts. Apple’s automation tool has been around for a few years now and is getting more powerful with every year. Yummy 3.6 adds a couple of new actions to the system, allowing you to add a new bookmark and get the title of a webpage when given a URL. It’s true that the system provides a version of both of these built-in, but, frankly, they’re not very good (especially the “add bookmark” option). When adding a new bookmark, you can add it to any account, and set the title, tags, shared and “to read” status. Naturally, any of these values can come from your automation.

In the “improved but not yet complete” category, we have keyboard shortcuts. There are more keyboard shortcuts in this version but there’s still work to be done.

Yummy has worked on every version of iOS since 2.0 in 2008. During that time, Yummy has acquired special cases for quirks and behaviours for those old versions of iOS and the “best practice” for doing some things has changed over time too. While supporting old phones I have not been able to use the “new” methods, resulting in what programmers call “cruft.” So one of the nice things about this version of Yummy, one that almost no one other than me will ever see, is the amount of code that has been removed from it! But less code means (hopefully) fewer bugs and better support for modern operating systems.

Oh, and did I mention that coming soon there is a Mac version of Yummy? (There will be another post about that shortly when it’s available for download.)

Categories
trivia

Yummy for web3

Social bookmarking was forged in the fires of Web 2.0. Store all your bookmarks in the cloud and share them with your friends. While still tremendously useful, the world is moving on to the next big thing.

Today, we’re announcing that your social bookmarks are moving with the times: we’re adding them to the blockchain!

When you save a new bookmark, we will automatically add it to a blockchain uniquely designed for proving the authenticity of social links.

Each bookmark will simultaneously be published as an NFT that you will be able to purchase, with just one click, right inside the app.

Finally, with the version of Yummy that we’re announcing today, web3, the blockchain and NFTs finally have a use beyond GIFs of monkeys and hexagonal Twitter avatars.

We’re excited to share it with you.

Categories
news

End of 2021 Update

The last update here was in June, so it may look as though there is nothing happening. Not true! So here, very quickly, is what’s going on behind the scenes and what you can expect to happen some time next year.

First: updates for iOS 15 and macOS 12. Broadly, all our software continues to work correctly on the latest operating systems even without updates. Additionally, the new operating systems do not appear to offer any new features or APIs that will enable exciting new features. So yes, there will be updates and they will be built for the new OSs, but there is no urgent need.

The main activity for the last few months, however, is pretty big. It’s driven by both my own, personal needs and customer demand, which is generally a good sign. I have been working on Yummy for Mac.

The new Mac version is a port of the iPad version using Apple’s “Catalyst” technology. Getting a version running was actually pretty straight forward. I had a version running back in May.

But it turns out that there’s a big gap between having a version that “basically” works and one that I’m happy to release.

The changes that are being made for the Mac version mostly improve the iPhone and iPad version too, so none of this is wasted effort. It’s just taking longer than I originally expected.

The Mac version will be released as a new app, initially only in the Mac App Store. Other download options may be made available later. Naturally, the iOS and iPad version will also have some new features but I’ll keep them under wraps for now.

So that’s the new from Wandle HQ. Wishing everyone a great festive season and success in 2022.

Categories
trivia

WWDC21

WWDC21

WWDC is always a cool, exciting, busy, scary week for anyone developing apps for the Apple eco-system. Will your app get Sherlocked1? Will there be new APIs that completely change how your apps work? Are there exciting new opportunities? Long story short, if you Apple developer friends look stressed over the summer, the things announced at WWDC are likely the reason.

This year’s WWDC was great. The move from in-person to remote has been fairly seemless from an outsiders perspective, though I’m sure it didn’t feel that way to the organisers. My favourite feature is that the videos can be just the right length rather than having to be stretched to fill fourty minutes.

The keynotes were not the highlight. Unusually for Apple, there wasn’t much of a story connecting the announcements, just a list of features. Which is not to say that the features were bad. The improvements to FaceTime alone look like they’re worth the price of entry. Focus should be good — I use “Do Not Disturb” a lot — and the streamlining of notifications feels overdue.

From a developer perspective, I have not seen anything that dramatically change Wandle Software’s plans. I’ll start building our apps in the new developer kit sooner rather than later but at this time I don’t see any glitzy new features enabled by the update2.

If this all sounds negative or that I’m underwhelmed, that is not the case. iOS 15 appears to be a large number of very nice, relatively small improvements. There’s no one, big thing to get super excited about but, in the grand scheme, these quality-of-life updates often have a greater effect. From what I’ve seen, it’s quite stable, especially for a first beta, which bodes well for September or October when it will get a wider release.


  1. Will Apple incorporate all your functionality in the operating system itself. ↩︎
  2. Frustratingly, there are some good tools that I’d like to use but that will have to wait until I can stop supporting iOS 14. ↩︎
Categories
news

App Tracking Transparency

A new feature in iOS and iPadOS 14.5 has been getting a lot of press recently. It’s called “App Tracking Transparency” and the idea is that it gives people the choice as to whether companies can track user behaviour across apps and websites.

Many companies that are funded by advertising dislike ATP as it limits their ability to target individuals. They claim that this will make advertising less effective and end up costing small business more.

We at Wandle Software are big fans of this feature.

We don’t track people. Our apps don’t even include third-party analytics. We literally don’t know how many people are using any of our apps, much less what features they use or any of their behaviour outside the app. Is this limiting? Yes! When we include a new feature we don’t know whether it gets used. But we don’t want our activities to be tracked, so we don’t inflict it on our users either.

Will ATP cost small businesses more? It shouldn’t. If Facebook and Google’s advertising is less effective, market forces would suggest that they should lower their prices. So maybe they make less money. And if they don’t lower their prices then either they didn’t need tracking or there is no effective market (in which case maybe governments should intervene).

Long story short: we don’t track people. You won’t see the “Can we track you?” prompt in any of our apps. But because we’re not supported by advertising, all the money used to fund development comes directly from users, either by purchasing the app or by contributing to the tip jar.

Categories
news

Yummy 3.5

If I said that there were no new features in the latest version of Yummy, you might very well get the wrong idea.

In fact, a lot has changed.

Rather than add new things, Yummy 3.5 concentrates on making existing things easier and faster, while also updating the core code to make it more maintainable and future proof.

Bookmark Edit
Bookmark Editing screen in Yummy 3.5

In terms of things you’ll notice, three screens have been completely re-written. At the centre is one of the main screens in the whole app: the dialog used to create and edit bookmarks. There are also new screens to filter and sort bookmarks and tags.

The new screens are completely new, using Apple’s latest user interface framework, SwiftUI. Arguably they all have a cleaner, more modern look.

The bookmark editing view has had the most changes. New this time are the tag suggestions. In addition to the auto correct suggestions at the bottom of the screen, beneath the tags you’ll now see tag suggestions. It will show you three suggestions based on what you’ve typed so far. Hopefully that will save you some typing.

Additionally, as you type tags, they appear as tags rather than just as text. The visual representation is helpful, I think, but there’s also utility. You can quickly remove tags that you added by mistake just by tapping them. Again, saves some typing.

The funny thing, though, is that I never got many complaints about the bookmark entry screen. One of the most frequent requests was about the “Share Extension,” the screen that allows you to add new bookmarks in Safari and other applications. As a way of heading those off, in addition to rewriting the whole bookmark editing screen, I also ported the whole thing over to the “Share Extension.” There are a couple of minor differences, but, basically, the “new bookmark” screen is now the same whether you access it from Yummy itself or from another application.

Of course, there are the usual collection of “bug fixes and performance improvements.” It’s been “modernised,” uses more of Apple’s latest APIs and has more updated dependencies so that it operates as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Overall, while it is technically accurate to say that there are no new features, it’s not fair to say that Yummy 3.5 isn’t greatly improved. It’s currently with Apple for review and hopefully should be available for download shortly. Hope you like it.

Categories
support

SSL/TLS

You probably didn’t notice, but I’ve switched the website back from using a secure connection (with the padlock in your browser) to an insecure one. My web host has messed up and is serving the wrong certificate which makes the site inaccessible. I’ll switch it back when they’ve fixed it.

Some things like pictures may not display correctly. No personal information is stored here, there’s no real security risk.

Update: It’s now fixed and we’ve reverted back to secure-by-default.

Categories
news

Quick Calendar 1.3.2

Version 1.3.2 of Quick Calendar is currently with Apple and, with luck, will be available for download as you read this. This version is for Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Version 1.3.2 checks off pretty much every feature request I’ve received for Quick Calendar since version 1.3 came out late last year.

  • Option to show the week number
  • Option to change the first displayed month
  • Option to use the “system” highlight colour
  • Customise the first weekday in the Watch app
  • Localised in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese

Most of these are self-explanatory, so I won’t go into any detail. A couple of them need some context.

The second feature I lied about: the ability to change the first month displayed is not a popular request. The request I get is “I’d like to be able to move to the next and previous months,” though often the message is not that polite. The amount of abuse I’ve received for removing this feature has been shocking. Pretty much every negative review on the App Store is about this.

But I didn’t remove the feature because I wanted to. I removed it because Apple provides no way to implement it! Big Sur uses a completely different way to display widgets and it does not provide interactivity. (So the people threatening to use a competing product were barking up the wrong tree.)

The best alternative I’ve been able to figure out so far is to have the ability to start on a different month other than the current one. I appreciate this isn’t ideal, but without the ability to add buttons I’ve not come up with anything better.

Finally, I’ve localised the widgets and the Watch App into a handful of languages other than English. If you have any corrections for what’s there in French, German, Spanish or Portugues, please let me know. Similarly, if you’re interested in localising into any other language, please get in touch.

I hope you’re enjoying using the widgets. Remember, if you do, I really appreciate any donations. It takes a lot of effort to keep it up to date with the latest Apple technologies — the widgets in iOS 14 and Big Sur were a complete rewrite of the older widgets — and other feature requests.

Update, 7 March. Apple approved the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch version but rejected the Mac version, for reasons unrelated t the new features.

Update, 14 March. I submitted a fix to Apple. Second time lucky?

Categories
news

Yummy 3.4.3

New shortcut menu
Yummy

Yummy 3.4.3 has just been approved by Apple and should be available for download from the App Store shortly (if it isn’t already).

It’s a pretty small update, one of those “bug fixes and minor update” releases. The main user-visible change is that it now supports all the latest Apple devices and their new screen sizes. It’s built with the latest Apple developer kit but doesn’t currently take advantage of any of the new iOS 14 features.

I have heard a few reports of Yummy’s Share Extension not appearing correctly on iOS 14. I think this is a problem with iOS since I’ve not changed anything in Yummy and it’s been working since 2015. Indeed, Yummy 3.4.2 is still built against iOS 13. I can’t guarantee that this version will miraculously fix it, but that’s my hope.

Categories
news

Quick Calendar 1.3.1 (for iPhone, iPad and Watch)

Quick Calendar

Approved in super-quick time: the latest update for Quick Calendar. This version runs the same code as the Mac version and has the exact same features in the iOS14 widget.

That means, new in this version is the ability to pick the first day of the week. Previously it always picked the day your system’s locale suggested, and that’s still the default. But now you can change it.

This was basically the number one feature request. Embarrassingly it only didn’t make it into 1.3.0 because of a silly off-by-one error. Anyway, better late than never!

Hope you like it. You can download it from the App Store now.