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Wandle and iOS 7

September 2013 Invitation

Tomorrow Apple are expected to announce a — or possibly more than one — new iPhone, likely along with the date that iOS 7 will be made available for the rest of us. I thought that made this a good time to talk about what can expect from Wandle Software.

Short version: updates are coming but probably not for day one.

Due to the changes that Apple have made with iOS 7 it’s difficult to make an app that is fully optimised for both iOS 7 and earlier. What we’re aiming for with each update is works with iOS 6, works and looks best with iOS 7.

I want to be clear about two points about this. Firstly, if you’re using iOS 4 or 5 then you’re most likely not going to get any further updates. With very few exceptions, devices that are still in use are capable of running iOS 6. If you’ve not updated yet for some reason, now is the time! Of course, older version of our apps won’t suddenly just stop working.

Secondly, “works best” in iOS 7 might mean some aspects might not look quite as good in iOS 6. Everything will be functional and I’m certainly not deliberately degrading the look.

Updates for all three apps, Rootn Tootn, Yummy and www.cut, will all be coming out over the next month or two. (For what it’s worth, Rootn Tootn is currently the closest to release, www.cut the furthest. I believe all current versions work in iOS 7 without further updates.)

More updates when new versions have been submitted to Apple for review.

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Yummy 2.7.6

Pull to refreshYes, just a couple of weeks after the last one, here is a new version of Yummy on its way to the App Store. Three changes:

  • Pull to refresh
  • Fix crash when there are bookmarks with empty tags
  • Fix crash when sharing a bookmark with no notes or a non-standard URL

Neither of the fixes affect very many users but I apologise if you were one of them.

As a thank you for your patience I have added “pull to refresh” in the “By date” view. This has been on my TODO for quite some time (and took more work than you might imagine under the hood!) but I think is a great new option.

You might ask: why add to the date view but not the “By tag” view? In short, I don’t think it makes sense. Pull to refresh works best when the list of items is ordered chronologically, such as a list of tweets or emails. Tags are ordered alphabetically so you don’t pull down at the top to get more items.

I could be persuaded that “consistency” trumps “chronology.” Let me know if you disagree.

Either way, I hope you like it.

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Yummy 2.7.5

Update: Yummy 2.7.5 was approved on May 8, 2013.

I just submitted another minor update for Yummy to Apple for review. Apple are taking about a week to approve new releases.

This version has the following changes:

  • Fixes duplicate tag issue (more accurately, tags with spaces at the end). You’ll need to log out and back in again if this affects you 
  • Remove post-to-Twitter functionality for iOS 4.x users
  • Use 1Password to get Delicious.com and pinboard.in passwords
  • Open URLs in 1Password
  • Only show Instapaper and Pocket icons if username has been added in Settings
  • Other bug fixes

Regarding the second point — the removal of Yummy’s custom post-to-Twitter functionality — this has been brought about because of changes in the Twitter API. If you are still using iOS 4 I would encourage you to upgrade. As far as I know there are no devices that can run Yummy that do not support iOS5.

The 1Password functionality isn’t quite as integrated as we all might like. Unfortunately this is due to limitations in iOS. Just as I can’t add a “Save to Yummy” button in Safari, I can’t add a “Get 1Password” button. Nevertheless, I think this is still useful in this form.

This update has been a long time coming but it’s very much worth having. Hope you like it.

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Rootn Tootn 1.1.1

Rootn Tootn History screen (v 1.1.1)
Rootn Tootn History screen (v 1.1.1)

I hadn’t intended to make this release. I made these changes back in December and planned to include them in the next major update (version 1.2) but the scope of that has increased somewhat and it’s taking longer to put together than I’d hoped. So, here are two nice, small improvements.

  • Edit a timer event, moving it before a previous timer
  • Date headings in the History view

The first is a fix for what, in hindsight, was a mistake in the original versions. I wanted to avoid the situation where you could have overlapping events. It seemed unlikely that anyone would want to do that. To keep the interface clean I made it so that you couldn’t update an event to clash with the next or previous one. Unfortunately this meant that if you missed a feed it became very difficult to add it back.

The solution? Simply relax the checks. 

The second change is to split the History view into dates. This breaks up the events so you can see what happened and when that little bit easier.

So, two small changes. But both, I think, make Rootn Tootn that little bit better.

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Yummy 2.7.4

Well, it’s taken more than a year to be available, but Delicious finally updated their API so that clients can use spaces in tags. And that’s what this new version of Yummy, submitted to the App Store yesterday, is all about.

In short, if you use Delicious tags are now delimited by commas, just like on the website, rather than spaces as has been the case in Yummy until now. If you use Pinboard, nothing should have changed.

Because it’s a change, I’ve also added a hint on the tag entry screen so you know what character to use.

If you have already downloaded bookmarks and Yummy has (incorrectly) split your tags into individual words, then I’m afraid that you’ll have to log out and back in again. This will download all your bookmarks again, but this time they should have the correct tags.

I apologise that this has taken so long to come about but, as I’ve said to everyone who has contacted me about this issue, this was a problem with the API and not strictly a problem in Yummy.

There are also a couple of other smaller changes in this release. Firstly, there’s a bug fix. Occasionally Yummy got the count of the number of tags wrong. Annoying but not disastrous. That should be fixed in this version.

Finally, until now when you logged out of Yummy, it kept all the old details up to the point where you start syncing with the new account. I felt that this was a fail-safe; an extra opportunity to cancel. But I’ve had a few emails from people saying that they like to log out to prevent other users from seeing and editing their bookmarks.

In 2.7.4, Yummy now allows this by wiping out all the previous account information when you confirm you want to log out.

At this stage I think it’s unlikely that Apple will approve the update this side of Christmas but it should hopefully be a nice New Year gift for everyone.

Update: Released on December 20.

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Yummy 2.7.3

I have just submitted a small update to Yummy that is currently with Apple and will, hopefully, be released some time in the next week.

It has a single bug fix: if you leave the app when you’re on the tags screen Yummy will sometimes crash. This should never have resulted in data loss so, while I never like to release crashing code, I would hazard that most people never noticed.

Update: Yummy was approved on the 4th December, pretty much in record time — thank you Apple!

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www.cut 3.1.2

Another day, another point update from Wandle Software… This time for for www.cut. As with the recent change for Rootn Tootn, www.cut 3.1.2 is all about the new iPhone and iPod touch. It features support for the new screen size and a couple of small bug fixes, including an update to the “get title” library that I use.

www.cut for iPhone 5

The bad news is that, as with all updates to iOS apps, you’ll have to wait until Apple have reviewed and approved it. At this stage I would guess that it won’t be for Day One of the iPhone 5 but, hopefully, it will be shortly afterwards. Keep an eye on your App Store app (or Twitter) to find when it makes it into the wild.

Update: As of the 20th September, it’s on the App Store.

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www.cut 3.1.1

A minor new release of www.cut is with Apple for review and should be in the App Store shortly.

If you recall, version 3.1 added the ability to find the title of a link before you post it to Twitter or Facebook. Version 3.1.1 refines that ability, trimming excess spaces and converting weird HTML characters into something that’s readable by humans.

Apple say that they’re review 94% of app updates in five business days so hopefully you’ll have it before the end of the week.

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Yummy 2.6.6

A week later than I had originally planned, but here is another app update that has been submitted to Apple for approval. In some ways it’s a bigger update than the 0.0.1 increment might lead you to believe. But let’s start with the user-visible changes:

  • Visual updates, including Retina graphics for the new iPad
  • Much faster “Get title” feature

The second item has pretty much the same caveats I mentioned in www.cut 3.1: it’s designed to be quicker than the functionality it replaces, though it is sometimes less accurate. That is, websites that do “clever” things with the title, such as using frames (1996 called…) or updating with Java Script after the initial load, may well fail. But overall I think the speed-gain is a net win.

The greater performance made one extra feature possible. Last month I mentioned a flaw in Delicious’ new “get links from Twitter” functionality. Namely, that those bookmarks when pulled into Yummy lack the website title. (As a quick aside, it’s only because of what’s arguably a bug in Yummy that these bookmarks could be saved at all. Normally the title is a mandatory field.)

In Yummy 2.6.6, if, when downloading a bookmark, it finds that the title is missing it uses the new “Get title” feature to populate the field as you’d expect.

Three small points: if the bookmark has already been downloaded then Yummy will not go back and get the title. You can do this manually (press ‘Edit’, then ‘Get title’ and finally ‘Done’) or, if you have a lot of them, as I did, then you can simply log out and log back in again.

Secondly, the title does not come from Delicious, so I can’t guarantee that it will be the same. It should be most of the time, but if they differ it’s (probably) not a bug.

Thirdly, Yummy gets the titles after finishing its normal sync process. There is (currently) no status update posted on the main screen but you can see that’s it’s working because the “network activity” spinner in the status bar will be going.

If you don’t like this functionality (or it causes problems for some reason) I added a setting to disable it.

Keep an eye on Twitter (or the available updates in the App Store) for when it makes it out of Cupertino.

 

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www.cut 3.1

I have just submitted www.cut 3.1 to Apple for approval, so hopefully it should be available for download some time in the next week.

It’s mainly bug fixes and cosmetic updates, including new Retina graphics for the new iPad, but there’s one new feature that I hope you’ll like.

Previously when you Tweeted a link or sent it to Facebook, it sent just the link with no information about it. In this new version, you should get the title too.

A couple of minor caveats:

  • Firstly, if the website is slow (or you’re very quick), you might press the “Twitter” or “Facebook” button faster than www.cut can figure out the title. This is deliberate. If you really do want the title, press cancel and try again. Unless…
  • Unless the website is a bit odd and www.cut can’t figure out the title. This might be because there are a lot of redirects, because the title is generated using JavaScript or some other mysterious reason. I’ll be trying to improve the algorithm as time goes on, but the objective is for it to be quick rather than 100% accurate

Still, I hope you find it useful.