When Apple announced the App Store in 2008, I started playing around with the developer kit but didn’t actually finish anything. But when the App Store launched in June I found a gap that I wanted filling: a bookmark manager.
I had a goal.
By the end of July I had something working well enough that I wanted to try running on a real device. To do that, I had to join Apple’s Developer Program.
To commemorate that milestone, made an incredible fourteen years ago now, I have made Yummy for iPhone, iPad and Mac free for the next couple of weeks.
If you download it and like it, please use the “Tip Jar” to show your appreciation!
A few weeks ago I said that there would be a new app, Yummy for Mac, coming along very shortly. What happened? Has the window for “very soon” not passed?
Well, yes, is the short answer. Those familiar with the Apple app ecosystem may well be able to predict what happened: App Review.
I did not expect Yummy to pass App Review on the first attempt, but since the iPhone and iPad versions have passed the same process many, many times over the years I did not anticipate what did happen. They said that they were unable to review the app since they can’t see what it does. As a third-party Pinboard client, I am not able to provide a sample username and password.
As App Rejections go… this is not entirely unreasonable. It does make me wonder how they’ve been reviewing the iPhone app. But it does present a problem. How can Apple see the app if I am unable to provide valid credentials?
The solution comes from the product’s history. Those with long memories may recall that Yummy used to be a client for a site called Delicious (hence the name). For a while after that, it supported both Delicious and Pinboard and, now that Delicious is defunct, it only allows Pinboard accounts.
With Yummy 3.6.0 for Mac, this changes again. The new version now also supports local accounts. You can now add bookmarks to your Mac and they won’t be uploaded to the cloud at all. I’ll be honest: the main motivation for this is to pass App Review. However, I have had requests for something like this in the past so hopefully, it will prove useful for some users rather than just Apple.
Since the Mac and iPhone apps both share a common code base, this feature will be coming to iOS in the next version, too.
With this additional account option, Yummy should be able to enter App Review proper and, with any luck, will actually be approved. There’s no guarantee that further obstacles will not be created, so please cross your fingers!
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.
If I said that there were no new features in the latest version of Yummy, you might very well get the wrong idea.
In fact, a lot has changed.
Rather than add new things, Yummy 3.5 concentrates on making existing things easier and faster, while also updating the core code to make it more maintainable and future proof.
In terms of things you’ll notice, three screens have been completely re-written. At the centre is one of the main screens in the whole app: the dialog used to create and edit bookmarks. There are also new screens to filter and sort bookmarks and tags.
The new screens are completely new, using Apple’s latest user interface framework, SwiftUI. Arguably they all have a cleaner, more modern look.
The bookmark editing view has had the most changes. New this time are the tag suggestions. In addition to the auto correct suggestions at the bottom of the screen, beneath the tags you’ll now see tag suggestions. It will show you three suggestions based on what you’ve typed so far. Hopefully that will save you some typing.
Additionally, as you type tags, they appear as tags rather than just as text. The visual representation is helpful, I think, but there’s also utility. You can quickly remove tags that you added by mistake just by tapping them. Again, saves some typing.
The funny thing, though, is that I never got many complaints about the bookmark entry screen. One of the most frequent requests was about the “Share Extension,” the screen that allows you to add new bookmarks in Safari and other applications. As a way of heading those off, in addition to rewriting the whole bookmark editing screen, I also ported the whole thing over to the “Share Extension.” There are a couple of minor differences, but, basically, the “new bookmark” screen is now the same whether you access it from Yummy itself or from another application.
Of course, there are the usual collection of “bug fixes and performance improvements.” It’s been “modernised,” uses more of Apple’s latest APIs and has more updated dependencies so that it operates as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Overall, while it is technically accurate to say that there are no new features, it’s not fair to say that Yummy 3.5 isn’t greatly improved. It’s currently with Apple for review and hopefully should be available for download shortly. Hope you like it.
If you’ve been following along to the earlier happenings in the world of Quick Calendar, this new version should not be a Big Sur-prise (sorry).
Earlier this year I migrated the Watch app from its old watchOS foundation to an entirely new SwiftUI base. I don’t normally talk much about the internals, but this time it’s important. I was able to use exactly the same code to build the widget for iOS and iPadOS 14. Again, I’ve been able to use exactly the same code to build a new widget for macOS 11.
There’s currently feature parity between the iOS and macOS versions of the widget (or will be when version 1.3.1 for iOS is released). So you get multiple sizes. You get the ability to change the “today” highlight colour. And you can change the week start day from your calendar default — this is probably the number one feature request.
What I’m talking about here is a completely new widget for macOS 11 (and above). You’ll need to update your Mac to the latest release to make use of this new widget. Quick Calendar still comes with the “old” widget, unchanged from the previous version.
The software is currently with Apple for review. I’m hoping that it will be available for download at the same time as Big Sur itself.
Quick Calendar 1.3.0 is currently with Apple for review. You can think of this as the iOS 14, ipadOS 14 and watchOS 7 release.
If you saw the tweet, you’ll realise that this release didn’t entirely go to plan. The whole Apple developer community were wrong-footed by the new versions of the operating systems launching with less than a day’s notice. Fortunately, this release was almost ready.
The “original” notification centre widget is largely unchanged, but there is additionally a new one that’s supported only in Apple’s newest operating systems. It’s based on the same foundation as the Watch app that arrived in version 1.2.
You can place your widgets on the left side of your iPad screen, alongside your app icons or on the very left screen of your iPhone. Quick Calendar’s widget comes in three sizes: one month, two months and four months.
One of the most popular requests I’ve had since launch has been for the ability to change the “today” highlight colour. The new widget has this ability. If you press-and-hold the widget, it flips over to reveal the available options.
I’ve been using this widget myself for over a month now and I like it! I hope you do too. I should be available to download in the App Store shortly.
The way that Yummy talks with Pinboard is using what’s called an API, an application programming interface. Pinboard’s API is based on the now-defunct Delicious bookmarking site, now also owned by Pinboard.
Why am I telling you all this? The funny thing is, the Pinboard API is not very good for syncing your whole collection of bookmarks with a third-party app. Of course, this is the whole raison d’être for Yummy.
Since 2008, Yummy has gone through a few iterations of its synchronisation code. In the very early days, it was limited by both the hardware and the software of the time. The slow, single-core CPU of early iPhones, plus the lack of memory, meant that some approaches just wouldn’t work reliably. Plus I had to make it sync with both Pinboard and Delicious.
Yummy 3.4.2 represents the latest update. It’s the fastest version yet and is more efficient, taking less of a toll on your battery life.
There are also a few bug fixes and minor improvements that most people won’t notice. I guess that’s the theme of this release!
It’s now with Apple for review and hopefully will be available to download very shortly.
This is a kind of embarrassing release for two reasons.
First, the bug that gets fixed should never have made it out of Wandle HQ: the Watch complication would never update. Apple changed the way background updates worked and… I didn’t spot it. Because I tend to have a new development version every day when I’m working on it, I didn’t notice that it didn’t update.
Second, while I fixed it pretty quickly and tested it, I actually forgot to submit it to Apple. Doh. This was mostly because it now worked on my own watch.
But, as an added bonus, I added a small update: the complication now works on more watch faces.
The iPhone and iPad versions are completely unchanged, except for the version number.
Anyway, it’s now with Apple and should be available to download shortly.
As the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system heads to iPhones around the world, you’ll be pleased to know that an update of Quick Calendar compatible with it is already available for download.
As you can gather from the version number, it’s a very small update. There are basically two changes.
First, it works with Dark Mode on the iPhone. And the iPad, but the public version of iPadOS won’t be out for another week or two.
Second, I enabled the “works without iPhone” option on the Watch app. Due to a lack of test hardware, I’ve not been able to test it but in theory it should work. Let me know if you try it successfully!
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.