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Yummy 3.4

Despite its public image as an engineering discipline, there’s an awful lot of art in writing software. As with any art, there’s often a lot of experimentation and not all of it pays off.

New shortcut menuIt’s been eighteen months since the last release of Yummy and, while you might have concluded that it is no longer being maintained, the truth is mostly there in the first paragraph.

Yummy 3.4 is both less and more than it was originally intended. Many new features ended up on the cutting room floor. Some were good ideas that just didn’t work well. Some turned out not to be possible. Some were too ambitious. Some will hopefully return, others will not.

Saved searchAnyway, it’s now with Apple and should be on your device shortly. Here’s what you can expect.

  • Full-text search, multi-account support and site status checks now come as standard for everyone!
  • Instead of the upgrade for the “pro” features, we now have a “tip jar.” While there’s no obligation to contribute, if you’d like to recognise the longevity of Yummy and the fact that there have been over forty free updates across a dozen versions of iOS, now you can
  • Slightly tweaked visuals, fitting in with modern iOS conventions better
  • A “Popular Links” widget for Notification Centre
  • Type multiple tags in the share extension
  • Removal of 3D-touch support, replaced with the iOS13-standard long-press shortcut menus
  • Support for all the recent iPhone and iPad devices

There are also some “behind the scenes” changes that you shouldn’t notice but you never know.

  • Yummy now no longer stores your password. It used to be stored in the iOS KeyChain, a place that Apple provides for just this kind of thing. It’s secure and Wandle Software has never had access to it. Now, Yummy doesn’t even store it. Instead, Yummy converts it into an API token and stores that instead (also in the keychain). You can also enter the API token directly if you prefer. If you logged in using a previous version, Yummy converts your password into a token and deletes your password from your device
  • Experimental support for “low data mode.” In short, if enabled Yummy no longer does site status checks and other high-bandwidth activities

The minimum supported version of iOS is now 11.4.

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news

Quick Calendar 1.1.2

This is a kind of embarrassing release for two reasons.

First, the bug that gets fixed should never have made it out of Wandle HQ: the Watch complication would never update. Apple changed the way background updates worked and… I didn’t spot it. Because I tend to have a new development version every day when I’m working on it, I didn’t notice that it didn’t update.

Second, while I fixed it pretty quickly and tested it, I actually forgot to submit it to Apple. Doh. This was mostly because it now worked on my own watch.

But, as an added bonus, I added a small update: the complication now works on more watch faces.

The iPhone and iPad versions are completely unchanged, except for the version number.

Anyway, it’s now with Apple and should be available to download shortly.

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news

Quick Calendar 1.1.1 for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch

As the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system heads to iPhones around the world, you’ll be pleased to know that an update of Quick Calendar compatible with it is already available for download.

As you can gather from the version number, it’s a very small update. There are basically two changes.

First, it works with Dark Mode on the iPhone. And the iPad, but the public version of iPadOS won’t be out for another week or two.

Second, I enabled the “works without iPhone” option on the Watch app. Due to a lack of test hardware, I’ve not been able to test it but in theory it should work. Let me know if you try it successfully!

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news

Wandle and iOS 13

The site has been quiet this summer, but it’s not due to a lack of activity behind the scenes. More that this time last year I trailed a few things that never came to fruition. Sometimes things are just not as close to shipping as you think.

But, as I type this, some things are very close to shipping. The latest update to Quick Calendar for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch is currently with Apple for review and, hopefully, should be out this week. It’s entirely geared around Apple’s new operating systems, including a new Dark Mode and the ability to download to the Watch without first installing it on your iPhone. There will be another blog when this finally hits the App Store.

An update for Yummy is also in the works. While built using the new developer kit, I wouldn’t say the next release will be optimised for iOS 13. Other features will be more prominent. As this is long delayed, I want to ship first and then later create a more iOS 13 optimised version, including Dark Mode and enhanced shortcuts. I’m not putting a date on either of those updates right now but hopefully soon.

Finally, I do want to update Rootn Tootn at the very least to support the latest iPhone sizes. I mention this not because I have a timescale in mind but because by now you might think it has been abandoned. It has not.

In summary: unless something goes wrong, Quick Calendar this week; Yummy a few weeks behind that; Rootn Tootn… eventually.

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news

New site

If you’ve been here before, you might notice something new. The “premium” theme I’d been using with WordPress had stopped working so I’ve started updating it to something shiny and new.

What I’m saying it that… it should be All New and Much Better. But it’s possible that I missed something. Please try the Shiny and New Contact Form to tell me if you find anything broken. Otherwise, welcome to our new home!

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news

ShareEverywhere end of life

It’s time to say goodbye to ShareEverywhere, the app I introduced on the same day that iOS 8 launched so people would have at least one app to use with the new “share extensions” feature.

Listening to the WWDC keynote in 2014, Share Extensions struck me as the most important new feature but it was difficult to know who else thought so. How many other applications would launch extensions on day one?

I decided to remove that uncertainty. Rather than wait for services to (eventually) update their own apps, I would write an app to do it all in one place.

It’s the only time that I’ve tried to release an app at a specific time. Working with beta software has its challenges — does this thing not work because I’m doing it wrong or because it’s broken? Working with a deadline can also be tricky. Doing both together… totally not recommended. What I’m saying is, if you know any iOS developers, be extra nice to them every August. Also, ShareEverywhere isn’t exactly as I imagined it when I started. The deadline and the technology resulted in a few compromises I wasn’t entirely happy with. It did, however, work. It got coverage in the Guardian newspaper and it sold okay, especially in the few weeks after iOS 8 came out.

It’s sad to write this so soon after www.cut, but the reasons are actually very similar: few sales, limited utility and the relatively high cost of maintaining it. In 2019, most apps that would benefit from having a Share Extension already have one. And ShareEverywhere is quite difficult to maintain as there are so many services that change and potentially break.

As I did with www.cut, I’ve made it free for now and will remove the app for sale entirely in a few days.

So thank you if you downloaded a copy, I hope you got as much use out of it as I did!

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news

www.cut end of life

It’s time to say goodbye to the second app that Wandle Software released: www.cut, the “no touch” URL shortening app. I’ve dropped the price to zero and it will be removed from the store in a few days.

It’s never easy to end of life a product, but the fact is the use case for it no longer really exists.

In 2009, URL shorteners were all the rage. Twitter didn’t have its own but did have a 140 character limit for each message. Most people who shared links used at least one service. Most of them had “bookmarklets” that (kind of) worked on early iPhones. If I remember correctly, some did have apps but they weren’t very good. They worked with a single service and required many taps to do the one thing you really wanted to do.

www.cut’s unique selling point was that, once configured, you could shorten a URL without even tapping a button (other than the home button to exit): you launch the app with a URL on the clipboard and it pastes the shortened one back on the clipboard. I though it was a neat idea. App Store review often had other ideas, complaining, in essence, that the UI was too sparse. They weren’t wrong, per se, as much as missing the point. In the last few years, each update has taken several rounds in review to be approved.

I’ve used it as a “playground,” rewriting both the UI and the backend several times over the years to try out new Apple technologies. I also used it to experiment with different business models (it started as advertising supported, then an IAP and finally paid upfront). I’ve even used it myself a lot! But all good things must come to an end.

Thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy. I hope you liked it.

Categories
trivia

App Store Connect and Tide bank

The audience for this post is pretty niche, but I thought it worth posting nevertheless. If you’re a UK-based developer with an App Store Connect account and want Apple to pay your proceeds into a Tide bank account, you are in the right demographic.

In short, this was not possible until recently. Apple pay from abroad somewhere so you need an IBAN number, and Tide didn’t support international payments, even in Sterling.

That changed recently. But if you enter your details into Apple’s website it says “The local clearing code you selected does not match the corresponding part of your IBAN.”

If you’re familiar with IBAN numbers maybe the solution is obvious but it wasn’t to me. With the help of David from App Store connect and some luck (if it didn’t work I may have lost some money!) I found the answer:

Don’t enter your bank account number and sort code. Instead, dissect your IBAN number. It’ll be in the form GB67SAPYXXXXXXYYYYYYYY. Put the digits XXXXXX in the sort code field and YYYYYYYY in account number field. Put the IBAN number in the IBAN field.

A couple of days later I got an error message: “An error occurred whilst creating the Request,” suggesting that I shouldn’t have emoji characters or large attachments (I didn’t). I emailed Apple and got a not entirely convincing response.

Still, it appears to have worked.

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news

Yummy 3.3.3

You’ll find a new version of Yummy on the App Store. It’s one of the usual “fixes and minor improvements” releases.

There (should be) no user-visible change… except if you have one of the recently released Apple devices with new screen sizes. In that case, you’ll find that Yummy now knows about the whole screen!

In the meantime, I’m continuing to work on Yummy 3.4 that will have some more substantial changes.

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news

Quick Calendar 1.1

Quick Calendar version 1.1 is just now on its way to the App Store, ready for download!

Which version, you ask? The Mac version or the iPhone version?

Quick Calendar for Apple Watch

All the above. And more!

Version 1.1 on the Mac brings a couple of frequently requested features:

  • Support for macOS Mojave. This means, mostly, it works much better when using Dark Mode
  • You can now change the colours of the days

And, of course, there’s the usual minor changes and fixes.

Version 1.1 of the iPhone version brings support for all of Apple’s recently released new hardware. And by that I don’t just mean the iPhone and iPad, but the Apple Watch, too!

The Watch app allows you to skim back and forth, month-to-month, using the digital crown. (Really annoys me that you can’t do that in the month view in the Calendar app!) There’s a complication that can be used instead of Apple’s date complication on some watch faces.

As before, Quick Calendar is free to download. No purchase is required to get its full functionality, but if you like it please do add to the Tip Jar available in both apps.