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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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Smart App Banner 1.1.2

This almost happened without any fanfare at all, and, while it’s a tiny update, it seems that releasing software without even a tiny blog is fair to both the users and the people who develop it.

And, this time, the developer wasn’t me.

The change to our Smart App Banner WordPress plugin is small but was submitted by a user. You shouldn’t notice anything new or different but it’s a nice, internal update that should limit the risk of Bad Things happening in the future.

Enjoy!

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Yummy 3.3.2

So here’s the last “tidy things up before the new version of iOS comes out” update for Yummy. The changes are mostly fixes for things reported by users:

  • Refresh tags on edit tag screen when they arrive from Pinboard after the screen appears (#43)
  • Fix for handover not working when using Safari View Controller (#46)
  • Always show title/url in browser view (#48)
  • Open in Safari and Chrome actions for browsers (#47)

(The last one is kind of a new feature but, oddly, one I thought Yummy already had. Not sure if I imaged it or I accidentally removed it at some point. Anyway… the point is… it’s there now.)

A quick explanation for the wording in the last one: yes, it says browsers (plural). Yummy has two. On the iPhone it uses something called Safari View Controller mostly. This is nice because it shares cookies and other niceties with the main Safari browser. Sadly, you can’t really embed it as part of a screen (like on an iPad) and you can’t edit the URL once you’ve displayed it (like a browser), so Yummy also has its own screen. If you want to play spot-the-difference, the Safari View Controller has a “Safari” button on the bottom right.

I submitted it to Apple today and it should be available soon. Keep an eye out for it!

Update: there’s a snag with App Review so this is taking longer than anticipated.

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WWDC 2018

What do the announcements at this years Apple Developer Conference mean for Wandle Software’s apps? In addition to a few more general thoughts, that’s what I hope to answer with this post.

But first, what was I hoping from Apple and what did we actually get? I didn’t put up a wish-list for WWDC this year mostly because my desires matched up mostly with the rumours, which was that this was going to be a “stability” update.

High Sierra has been a low point for Mac releases in my opinion, with the installer on both of our Macs failing (mine on the initial install, a point release for my wife). You might forgive the installer if the update had huge user-facing benefits but, as neat as ADFS is, there’s not much to see upgrading from Sierra. iOS 11 also had problems, but more like glitches than absolute failures. I’m not adding anything new here to the “stability” debate, I’m just saying that I see the same problems.

The rumours were not untrue. The first thing Apple talked about was performance. I guess for marketing reasons it’s difficult to come out and say “we’re fixing lots of bugs” so talking about speed improvements was probably smart. But the surprising thing was the number of other nice, new additions. There was not a single must have feature, but put together all the changes to both iOS and macOS look like they’ll be well worth having.

As a consumer, there are a bunch of nice things that I’m looking forward to. The most glitzy is possibly being able to have up to 32 people in a FaceTime call. (Yeah, it’s a big number, but anyone who has used Zoom or Bluejeans will know that it’s possible if not a great experience.) And the other stuff like being able to use your iPhone camera from your Mac is going to simplify a number of more convoluted workflows. On a day-to-day basis, the enhancements to notifications is likely to be the feature that helps us the most.

The stand-out feature as a developer has to be Siri Shortcuts. If you recall from the keynote, they’re a combination of commands that you can, for want of a better word, train Siri to understand mixed with some simple scripting (using an app that isn’t currently available outside Cupertino). Unfortunately, right now, playing with the iOS 12 beta, there’s really not very much you can do with them as no apps support them yet!

Overall, the announcements made don’t have a huge impact on Wandle’s apps. I’m looking into Siri Shortcuts to see if they can add any value and, obviously, I’m testing on the iOS 12 to make sure that everything still works as intended.