As you’re probably aware, today is the day that iOS 11 comes out! Apart from ARKit, CoreML and the like, it brings one huge change: a completely redesigned App Store.
How it used to be
For the past 9 years, ever since the first App Store launched on iPhoneOS 2.0 in the summer of 2008, the App Store was evolving very slowly. Developers kept asking for changes but most of us were losing hope that anything will happen. But we did eventually get a lot of what we asked for, such as video App Previews in iOS 8 or the ability to respond to reviews earlier this year. That being said, the App Store remained mostly the same in terms of layout and the overall concept.
With auto-playing App Preview videos in iOS 11 App Store, it is now more important than ever to make your videos shine and stand out. If your app is heavy on interactive transitions and gestures, you might find it difficult to capture that in the video without resorting to some complex post-processing tools like Final Cut Pro and re-creating the interaction touches on a frame-to-frame basis.
It seems like a forever ago since I released my last open source code, and, it is. Today, I’m happy to finally change that. I built a small UIPickerView subclass that lets users pick time the same way as UIDatePicker in countDownTimer mode does, but allows you as a developer to limit the input. It wasn’t terribly hard to implement but it did take some time, and since I believe that limiting the input is something a lot of people need, I decided to share it. I’ve been itching to open source something for a long time, and this seemed like a good fit. You can find the code on GitHub here.
Just a few hours ago, Apple launched Search Ads. I was looking forward to them ever since they were announced shortly before this year’s WWDC. I think they will be a great way to get our apps in front of customers in the best moment – when they are actively looking for a specific app.
Since Apple has yet to send out official announcement email, it’s still very early to take out any learnings from it. I want this blog post to be a documentary of my experiments with Search Ads, and hopefully to bring something valuable to our app developer’s community.
I couldn’t sleep well today. I don’t know why, but I had a terrible dream that I still remember vividly. I woke up at 4AM, and after getting up, I went back to bed and checked the App Store. And there it was: my new app, Timelines, featured in the New Apps We Love section.
Obviously, I had difficulty falling asleep after seeing it. At first, I was shocked. “Is this real, or am I dreaming?” Is this even possible. I was contacted by App Store team a few days earlier about providing banner artwork in case they decided to feature it somewhere, but from what I’ve read, that is still no guarantee that it will actually get featured. I checked again. Yes, it’s there. It’s happening!
Today, I am delighted to announce that Timelines is launching on the App Store! It’s a tool for tracking and visualizing time. Its development has been a long road with lots of bumps along the way. I poured my heart into it. That’s why it’s exciting to achieve this milestone of finally shipping version 1.0.
I know this blog has been quiet for quite some time, but it’s mostly because I’ve been busy building a new app. Now that I am in the very final phase of releasing it, I wanted to do a small pre-announcement here:
The app is called Timelines. It’s a tool for tracking and visualizing time. At the time when I was looking for a time tracking app, none of the available options seemed particularly appealing. So I eventually decided to build one on my own.
My main concern about the existing solutions was that they don’t put much emphasis on displaying the tracked data in any meaningful way. What’s the point of tracking time when I can’t get any useful insights out of it? That’s what Timelines focuses on – it makes seeing time an obvious, insightful and fun experience.
It achieves that goal by using a unique interactive timeline which can be overlaid with the tracked time. While some custom UI had to be built to facilitate this, it still feels familiar and easy to use.
I will be sharing more info about it prior to launch on its Twitter and Facebook, so make sure to follow it there.
It will be launching on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, and there will be a 40 percent-off sale during the first couple of days – it will cost $4.99 instead of the regular $7.99. To make sure you don’t miss it, you can subscribe to be notified on the launch day on the app’s website: timelinesapp.io.
I am glad to announce that Routie 2.11 is here! If you have an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, you will be especially pleased by the new 3D Touch Quick Actions. Just force-press on the icon and you will be presented with options to Start (or Stop) Tracking, Take Photo, View Statistics or View latest track. I’ve been using it myself the past few days and it’s really handy, especially the last option.
On the right screenshot, you can see enhanced Route details screen. It now has blurred background, and the value displays span over the whole width even on larger devices.
Bug fixes in 2.11
This update also brings some important bug fixes:
Fixed crash when trying to sign in with Facebook.
Fixed occasional server login issue.
Fixed positioning of export buttons in Sharing screen.
Various smaller improvements.
As always, I hope you’ll like the update. And if you do, it would be really nice if you left a positive review on the App Store. You can download it here. Enjoy!
Edit (17.3.’16) – Version 2.11.1 which fixed critical bug on iOS 8 devices is now also approved and live! Thank you Apple for granting it expedited review.
Routie update 2.10 just became available on the App Store, and it brings some exciting features. Most importantly, it’s the watchOS 2 app that runs on your ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ. The main improvements over watchOS 1 app are:
You can measure heart rate using the watch, and the data are stored with the track.
Thanks to Workout API, your activity is counted towards the activity rings.
With new complication, you can launch Routie directly from your watch face.
Just a side note: due to technical limitations, in order for the features above to work, you need to both start and stop tracking on the watch itself.
Routie 2.10 also brings full compatibility with iOS 9. You can get the update here. Enjoy!