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Yummy Browser 1.0.1

A minor update to Yummy Browser, version 1.0.1, has just hit the App Store. This release includes all the bug fixes and security enhancements that made it into Yummy 2.2.1.

The key changes that you’re likely to notice are:

  • You will find that the Settings application no longer has an option to enter your password. It is now stored more securely in your iPhone’s keychain. If you change your password, Yummy will prompt you for your new password
  • If you have a jail-broken handset you should find that the tag view works now

It’s available right now for free on the App Store.

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Yummy 2.2.1

It’s been a long time coming, but version 2.2.1 of Yummy has finally hit the App Store. It contains only one fix: you can now use Instapaper accounts with a password set.

It is a free download for all existing owners of Yummy.


April Update

If you’ve been following this blog you can hardly have failed to notice that the promised update to Yummy 2.2.1 has yet to materialise. This is mostly outside my control but I do apologise if you have been affected by the Instapaper password bug that this update was designed to solve.

I submitted the update to Apple and about ten days later I got the email that every iPhone developer dreads. It begins with the phrase, “Your application … cannot be posted to the App Store at this time.” With the little information that they sent with the rejection, I think that Yummy is actually fine and that Instapaper was having difficulty at the time that they were reviewing the update. (You’ll note that the reason they rejected it is nothing to do with passwords.)

Still, I have taken this as an opportunity to improve Yummy. As a precaution I have made a minor change to the way that bookmarks are sent to Instapaper. Now rather than just say that there was an error (if there was one), I have added distinct error messages for each of the possible failure conditions. Obviously this doesn’t make it work any better but it does mean that you can tell the difference between it being Yummy’s fault (“Instapaper request error”) and when it’s a problem on the Instapaper side (“Instapaper server error”). The messages are deliberately similar as neither is the fault of users of Yummy.

I’ll be submitting this revised update in the next couple of days and, with luck, it will be available in the next week or two. Fingers crossed.

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Untrusted Server Certificate

If you’re trying to do anything with Yummy that requires it to talk to the servers you may find that you’re getting a weird error message: “untrusted server certificate.” Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about this directly as the server in question is owned by Yahoo. The good news is that they’re on the case:

“We’re in the process of renewing this certificate. Thank you for the prompt alerts everybody.

We had our dates mixed up and thought it expired next week.”

Hopefully you should be back Delicious-ing before you know it.


Out now: Yummy 2.2

It’s been a busy week around Yummy HQ hence the delay in posting this! But in case you haven’t already noticed, the new version of Yummy is now out and available on the iTunes Store. Key new features are:

  • Instapaper integration
  • New bookmark list view, with a preview of the URL and a lock icon to indicate private links
  • Animated bookmark name, so long links are visible without making the text un-readably small

I’m going to talk about these features a little more over the coming week. There is also the usual collection of minor bug fixes and enhancements, the ones most likely to affect you being:

  • Users with jail-broken handsets should now see all their tags correctly
  • The “notes” field in the bookmark screen now shows “placeholder” text explaining what it is
  • The “suggest tags” button is now more obvious
  • Fix for crash when you edit a bookmark and add multiple spaces between tags
  • Improvements to the synchronisation process with

I am also in the process of creating a new release of Yummy Browser that incorporates all the bug fixes. After that I am going to start to plan the next release of Yummy. If you want to influence that process please head over to my Uservoice page and cast your vote or add your suggestions.


Yummy 2.2

I have just uploaded Yummy version 2.2 to Apple for review so, hopefully, you’ll get the chance to download it in the next few days.

A lot has gone into this, but a few highlights are as follows:

  • Instapaper integration
  • New bookmark list view, with a preview of the URL and a lock icon to indicate private links
  • Animated bookmark name, so long links are visible without making the text un-readably small

To the left you can see what the new tag view looks like. The view by date and search looks very similar, as you might imagine. I’ll upload a video to YouTube when I get the chance. More details about the controls and options once 2.2 is live.

I am particularly excited about the Instapaper integration.

Instapaper is a neat service that allows you to read web content offline in an optimised text-only format.

More about all these features later when you can actually see them. Stay tuned.

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Blank tags

This story goes back to January when Yummy version 2.0 made it onto the App Store. This was a major release with a significant amount of work both under the hood and in new features. Unfortunately two problems made it past my testing. The first was that with over about fifteen hundred tags, the tag screen ground to a halt. The second was that in editing your bookmarks you could end up with blank tags that would cause Yummy to crash when clicked on.

I rushed version 2.1 out and squeezed in a couple of extra features in as a “thank you” to all the patient users who had been affected.

Why do I mention this now? Well since then I have had a small number of users tell me that they were still seeing blank tags. It’s taken me a lot of time to track down the underlying cause but the reason for this post is that my findings may possibly affect other users and even other iPhone developers.

Since I had never been able to reproduce the problem, I had been left to look at the code and speculate where things might go wrong. I made a couple of small changes which while undoubtedly improvements I had a hard time imagining fixing the problem. I was right to be sceptical.

It turns out that the common trait for all the affected users was that they had “jail broken” their phones.

But first, what is “jail-breaking”? The name makes it sound rather naughty but it’s basically just the process of allowing software on your handset that has not been sanctioned by Apple. Given that there are over 27000 applications that Apple have allowed on the App Store, why would you want to go down this route? Well, there are certain kinds of application (such as ones that run in the back ground) that Apple won’t allow and certain customisations that are not available.

If you get more choices and more options then why does everyone not jail-break their phone? The main downside is that Apple does not support jail-broken phones. If your phone breaks and they determine that this is what you’ve done, they might say that you voided your warranty and send you on your way.

What I found over the weekend, quite by chance, is that jail broken iPhone’s often have a different version of SQLite, the technology that is used to store your bookmarks to disk, from the stock iPhone operating system. This difference exposed a problem that simply was not there when using a standard iPhone or iPod touch.

The good news is that I have now fixed this bug and it will be available in the next release, which should be on the App Store some time in the next week. The bad news is that I am likely to take a similar stance to Apple on jail breaks in the future.

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Yummy on iPhone OS 3.0

I have just been watching the video announcement of the new iPhone operating system and considering how it will impact Yummy.

What follows are my first impressions of the announcements. I am deliberately writing this before I’ve seen the SDK so I can be sure that I am not violating the NDA, but that does mean that some of the things I speculate may not even be possible. That is, these are thoughts and not commitments. These are also opinions as a developer rather than a user of an iPhone. As a user there are undoubtedly some useful new features but it seems to me that the SDK is where the real news is.

So, in no particular order:

Mail sheet. This is great. The ability to send a link by email without leaving Yummy will be a great improvement. I would also like the ability for third party applications to have similar functionality. How cool would it be for, say, TwitterFon to have an “Add to Delicious” button that showed a Yummy screen to complete the task. Or for Yummy to be able to send links to Twitter using a Twittelator screen?

Cut and paste. I am not as convinced as some people that this is an absolutely critical enhancement, but it’s still going to be nice to have. One particular scenario that I would use is copying some text on a web page, post the link using Yummy and add some notes that includes the quote. You can’t really do that right now without a notepad and paper!

Core data. This is a pretty technical one but it jumped off the page when I saw it on the slides, though it wasn’t mentioned much more than that. Core Data is an Apple-endorsed way of saving data to a database with fairly simple and well-tested code. My hand-crafted code won’t go away any time soon (since I’ll still need to support OS 2.x for a while yet) but this is going to make writing future applications much easier.

Spotlight search. Mac OS 10.4 was worth the upgrade for Spotlight alone, even in the fairly unfinished state it was in then. An iPhone stores much less data and the data that is there is fairly well compartmentalised so I’m not convinced that it’s going to be quite so useful here. Having said that, I would like to see Spotlight work with the title and notes fields held in Yummy’s cache of your bookmarks.

As far as I can tell, most of the other publicly announced developer-centric features probably don’t impact Yummy. As ever, there is almost certainly some other things that I missed or Apple didn’t tell us about. When I delve into the SDK I’ll have a much better idea. As ever, I’m open to suggestions if you have any ideas.

Anyway, must dash. I have some new code to write…

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Yummy Browser Update

Yummy Browser, the “lite” version of Yummy, was first available for download late last Wednesday UK time. It reached its first major mile milestone this weekend: more people now have a copy of Yummy Browser than Yummy, which has been on sale since August 2008. It has far exceeded expectations. If you picked up a copy, I hope you like it. And please consider upgrading to the full version of Yummy!

Some interesting trends have also become apparent. After the US, more copies have been downloaded in Japan than anywhere else. This surprises me since the main site is, as far as I can tell, not localised. Also, while I have made a few sales of Yummy there, Japan is way down the league table, far below the US, Canada and most of Western Europe.

Still, Yummy does work with non-Western text (indeed some features have been much harder to implement since I was trying hard not to assume an English/Latin alphabet) so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

My wife wrote a special message for Japanese speakers: “iPhoneとdelicious.comを使っていますか。Yummy Appを試してみませんか。” (I’m told that it means “Use iPhone and Delicious? Have you considered Yummy?” although for all the Japanese I speak it could say “Own a donkey? Always remember to carry a shovel.”)

Something that I was hoping for was wider distribution, into countries that I had never made sales. Indeed that is exactly what’s happened. In the last couple of days I’ve seen my first downloads in India, Russia and Romania.

But I think I should finish on Yummy Browser’s first review in iTunes. It was five stars, which is great. But it’s the text that stood out. Can’t say I’ve ever had a review like it: “Hi colliflower u can eat my poop u stinky hot dog . Enjoy your magic u little wizard.” I honestly don’t know what to think.


I think.

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Yummy 2 Screencast

Well, it’s been a busy week, what with the shorter-than-expected half-price sale and the release of Yummy Browser, the free, some would say “lite,” version of Yummy. I’ve also been making some good progress on the next version but there’s not a lot to add at the moment.

Instead I will leave you wish a short video showing some of the key features of Yummy 2.0.

Yes, it’s missing the saved search and tag suggestion features that I introduced in version 2.1 but it’s otherwise entirely up to date.