Artwork

One of the finishing touches of any application is its art work. In the case of Yummy little more than an icon was required but, as a developer rather than a graphic designer, this proved to be much harder than I originally expected. Here’s how it happened.

Playing free word association I tried to find concepts that included aspects of both Delicious.com and Yummy. Delicious branding is basically just four quadrants in different colours. Not terribly limiting.

More limiting was the size, which Apple tells me is fifty seven square pixels. (Still, I remember from my days on the Sinclair Spectum which had entire characters made from an 8×8 monochrome grid.) I settled on a muffin or cup cake as my “yummy” concept and the Delicious colours. My first attempt looked like this:

I’d be the first to admit to the limits of my design skills. However, even setting my technique aside there are problems. It’s a bit too fussy; too many details in too small a space. Additionally, the iPhone adds a “shine” to icons and adds a border with curved edges. It didn’t look great on-screen and looked even worse on my iPhone.

I decided to focus on a single cup-cake and use the Delicious colours as a back-drop. I grew quite attached to my second attempt which I can’t show you. I made the mistake of using clip-art that was really designed for PowerPoint and not distribution in software. The licence agreement was not clear, but it looked as though they wanted to claim copyright on the whole “derived item” and claim an absurd royalty rate.

Anyway, long story short, I emailed them at six of their email addresses to clarify terms. Five addresses bounced, the final message got through but was ignored. Not great customer service.

But in a sense I lucked out. My wife put together the logo you see now, which not only do I prefer but is entirely original and royalty-free.

Reviews

One nice thing about Apple’s AppStore is that users can review their downloads. One of the disadvantages is that the reviews only appear on the store of the user, which means that I can only really see reviews posted in the UK.

[Update: I have been reminded that you can see reviews without being logged in. Still, switching to each of the countries where there’s an App Store and looking for reviews would quickly get tedious.]

But there are other ways. Thanks to Erica Sadun’s excellent AppStore Review Scraper I’ve been able to look at what’s happening everywhere.

Many thanks to the people that wrote good things about Yummy. It is greatly appreciated.

However in this post I really want to concentrate on people who have not had such a positive experience. As long as it’s fair and true I have no problem with people posting bad reviews. What’s interesting is that both reviews (on the US store) report what sounds like the same problem — it saying “Loading data” on startup and then crashes — and yet neither user reported the problem to me directly. Unfortunately I can’t fix bugs that I don’t know about.

Luckily I do have one set of crash logs. It would seem that the recent iPhone 2.1 release leaves applications with less memory than before, meaning that users with a lot of bookmarks can have problems. I am working on the assumption that all three bugs have the same root cause and am currently in the process of putting together a new release.

This should be complete in the next day or two and will be on your iPhone as soon as Apple have reviewed it.

Help!

In the wild there are millions of iPhone and iPod touches and billions of web pages. While I’ve worked hard to test Yummy on as many handsets and with as many bookmarks as possible, it’s just not possible to try out every combination. So while most people who download Yummy find that it Just Works, there’s a small chance that it doesn’t work the way you expect or returns you to the home screen without any warning.

Of course I will do what I can to help.

Whatever happened, I will be more able to help if you can provide me with a succinct and precise description of it. Details are good — but don’t send me passwords!

If it crashed — returned you to the home screen — I will find your crash logs and bookmarks very helpful.

After you’ve synced with iTunes the crash logs should be in one of the following folders:

On Mac OS X they are located in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice.

Windows XP: C:Documents and SettingsApplication DataApple computerLogsCrashReporter/

Windows Vista: C:UsersAppDataRoamingApple computerLogsCrashReporter/MobileDevice/

Secondly, it would be an enormous help if you could send me an export/backup of your bookmarks. (Settings in the top right of the delicious web page and then “Export” in the Bookmarks section.) Of course I would understand if you wanted to keep them private.

You can then email me (support at yummyapp dot com) with the details.

One final note: unfortunately even if I identify the problem I can’t send you a fix immediately. Everything has to go through Apple and they are currently taking about a week to approve new applications. I will offer a work-around if possible.

Frequently Anticipated Questions

Yummy has only been available on the App Store for a couple of days now so I’ve not got a lot of feedback about it yet. However I have seen comments posted about other applications and so thought I would pre-empt your questions with this post. Feel free to ask further questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.

What happens if I add a new bookmark when I’m offline?

It goes without saying that accessing your bookmarks without being online is going to be somewhat limiting. Having said that, Yummy goes to some lengths to make sure that none of your edits go missing. If you lose connectivity, it will queue up all your changes and send them to Delicious.com when you’re next online.

Can I get an evaluation copy?

Unfortunately Apple does not allow this possibility in their App Store. There is no other way to distribute iPhone applications on a large scale.

Deleting bookmarks in Yummy

I don’t know about you but I often delicious web pages that I want to read later and have no intention of keeping. This is just one of the reasons you might want to delete a bookmark from your iPhone. Luckily Yummy can help you.

Starting from the list view — either by date or tag — press the “Edit” button in the top right of the screen. All your bookmarks will immediately show red and white “delete” icons.

Press the delete icon and you’ll be asked to confirm your action. Press “Delete” and the bookmark will be gone. If you’re not connected to the internet, the bookmark will immediately disappear from Yummy and will actually be removed next time you’re online.

When you have finished removing bookmarks, press the “Done” button in the top, right of the screen.

Editing Bookmarks in Yummy

By now you will have downloaded your bookmarks, browsed and searched for something particular and drilled down to see more details about it. Today we’ll learn what you can do if you spot something that you’d like to change.

The first step is to find your bookmark. Then press the edit button in the top, right hand side of the screen:

If you want to change the notes, just press that part of the screen and a text box and keyboard will appear.

Press “Save” to confirm the change. Note that at this point you have not committed the change back to delicious.com; you can still change your mind.

When you are sure, press the “Done” button. Yummy sends your change back to delicious (or remembers it for the next time you’re connected to the internet).

Adding Bookmarks in Yummy

[Update September 2015: since Yummy 3 launched, there is no need to use the URL scheme as described below. Please use the new Share Extension.]

[Update September 2008: see here for a way to add the bookmarklet to MobilSafari without syncing with your PC.]

At the risk of sounding like the Spanish Inquisition, there are two ways to add new bookmarks using Yummy. No, there are three ways to add new bookmarks. Okay, let’s compromise on two-and-a-half.

You can figure out the first option yourself.

There’s a nice ‘+’ icon to the bottom right of the list view screen. Pressing this opens a blank “Add Post” screen. You can edit the Title, URL, Notes, Private, Date and Tags fields here. Press “Done” in the top right of the screen when you’re finished.

The second option is probably more useful. Say you’re in Safari and find a site that you want to record in Delicious. Go to the title bar — the bit that says “http://www.somesite.com” — move the cursor to the beginning of the line and type “yummy:”. Like this:

And press “Go.”

You’re now back in Yummy with the URL field pre-populated. Much easier than remembering it and more environmentally sound than having to write it on a piece of paper.

But there’s an even easier way. You’re going to have to be on your PC or Mac to set it up, though.

Add the following link as a bookmark in Safari or Internet Explorer: Add Link To Yummy. I find the easiest way of doing that in Safari is just dragging it from the web page up to the bookmark bar. In IE try right-clicking on the link and selecting “Add to Favourites…”

Now sync your bookmarks with you iPhone or iPod touch.

Now when you find a bookmark that you’d like to remember, all you need do is select this bookmark:

And you’ll find yourself in Yummy with both the URL and the title populated.

I’ll be back next week with some more features.

Viewing bookmarks in Yummy

Yesterday we linked Yummy to your Delicious.com account and downloaded your bookmarks. Today we’ll look at what you can do next.

When you first start Yummy, the opening screen looks something like this:

If you have added more bookmarks since you last opened Yummy they will appear shortly. How soon will depend on how fast your connection to the Internet is.

You can flick up and down the list much as you do in any other iPhone application. Selecting a link drills down to the details.

If there’s an old bookmark that you want to find, the easiest way to find it is to search for a tag that you might have used to categorise it. Press the magnifying glass icon and select “By Tags.”

Enter the tag or tags that you’re looking for and press “Search.” If you enter more than one it will only list bookmarks that have all the tags you specify. You can switch back to the date view by pressing “Search” again and selecting “By Date.”

Come back tomorrow to learn more about adding links.

Getting Started with Yummy

So you’ve just downloaded Yummy from the App Store (thank you), what next?

Perhaps slightly counter-intuitively, your first step should be to look in the “Settings” screen.

Enter your Delicious.com username and password. You might also want to think whether newly added posts should default to be public or private.

And return to the home screen.

When you start Yummy for the first time it will download all your bookmarks. If you have a lot of links you might prefer to use a WiFi connection though it should work just fine on EDGE or 3G.

When complete it will display your bookmarks in reverse chronological order.

Come back tomorrow to see how you can view your links.