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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.)

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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.

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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. ↩︎
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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?

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news

Yummy 3.4.1

There are three things in this release: a fix, an improvement and a new feature.

The most visible change is that Yummy 3.4.1 supports Dark Mode.

Yummy: Dark mode
Yummy: Dark mode

For most screens, this is supported automatically. There is one exception: the bookmark list view. In the olden days — that is in 3.4.0 and earlier — you could switch between having a white, green, red or blue background to help distinguish between accounts. This option is still present and is unchanged in the new version. If you want to use automatic dark mode, go into the settings screen and switch the background colour to “Default.”

The fix is for the tip jar feature, which was broken in 3.4.0. I have not changed any code. Submitting a new version will allow Apple to review it properly which, for reasons unknown, they didn’t last time.

In iOS and iPadOS 14 there’s a new notification when an app programmatically “pastes” from the clipboard. Earlier versions of Yummy had a coding error. The logic looks like this:

Get contents of clipboard
If “copy URL from clipboard” is enabled and the thing on the clipboard is a URL then

  Present “New bookmark” screen


I’m spelling it out like this because I want to be clear that nothing nefarious was going on. Anyway, the new version improves that logic by only reading the clipboard after checking that the “copy URL from clipboard” option is enabled.

If “copy URL from clipboard” is enabled then

  Get contents of clipboard

  if the thing on the clipboard is a URL then

    Present “New bookmark” screen


In order to effectively support dark mode, the minimum supported version is now iOS and iPadOS 13.0. I appreciate that this is a big jump since 3.3.x but most users are already on newer versions.

The update is now with Apple and should be available to download shortly. Enjoy.

Categories
news

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.

Categories
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

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!

Categories
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.

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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.