Weight

Weight is one of my oldest and most popular apps. Unfortunately it’s also one of the most neglected. Fortunately Apple, and some very kind, patient and understanding users have forced my hand; it is neglected no longer. I recently released version 3 of Weight with a new design and integration with modern iOS features such as Healthkit and Biometric identification. I’m looking to add loads of polish over the coming months. It’s still the unapologetically minimalist and the fastest way keep track of your Weight, BMI and body goals. You can download a copy from the App Store.

WWDC Predictions


Well, it’s that time of year again. Predictions seem to be the thing to do, so here are mine. iOS is splitting into many forms at the moment. I think the iPhone flavour of iOS won’t see too many big changes, but the iPad version will do. Also, you can think of Siri as a whole new ajunctive OS that’s available in the cloud, though all Apple devices. Here we go…

iPhone

  • UI Refresh in line with the music app. Nothing too major. You will see more bold fonts and more colours.
  • New music features. Because Apple has to keep driving this forward.
  • Dark mode. OLED is coming and a dark mode is a battery bonus for OLED screens. It also looks cool. The interesting question is how developers will be asked to go about implementing this.

iPad

This is where the big stuff is bound to happen. Nothing happened in iOS10 so there is two years worth of stuff ready to go.

  • Drag and drop has to be the number one most demanded feature. With split view this will solve so many of the iPads productivity whoes.
  • New split view app picker. Because the existing one is just awful.
  • A finder type app. 
  • Some Pro only feature to help differentiate the line up. Possibly pencil related.
  • No 10.5 inch iPad just yet. WWDC just doesn’t seem like the time

Mac

  • I think Apple knows that Devs are getting tired of waiting. So they need to show willing. They can do this by releasing new spec bumped MacBook Pros.
  • New version of MacOs with extended touchbar support. I’m not sure what else. macOS is a thing of beauty and I’m not sure what more they can really add without changes to the hardware.

Apple Watch

  • Sports focused refinements
  • A baby step away from the app model. Tres Vague.

tvOS

  • Amazon Instant Video.
  • TV app comes to more countries.
  • Lots of talk about Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karoke.

Siri

  • No Siri Speaker announced because the devs need to get to work first
  • New domains that heavily hint at the Siri Speakers imminent arrival
  • New AI smarts

Ok, that’s 18 predictions. Lets see how I do.

Things 3 by Cultured Code

Things 3 is coming

More than three years after its announcement, it finally looks like Cultured Code is about to release version 3 of its task manager, Things. Things is the most beautifully designed task manager I have ever used, and I used it and stuck with it for years. A lack of significant functionality updates finally made me switch to Omnifocus, then to Todoist. I have high hopes that Things 3 will bring up to par with its competition. I would switch back in a hot second if version 3 offered;

  • File uploads
  • An email address to send tasks too
  • An API to allow automation

Unfortunately, Cultured Code have not released any details about what version 3 will and will not do.

Todoist and Workflow and Checklists

Image Copied on 2017 03 10 at 11 19 am

I have a long history with todo list managers and iOS. I started off with a jail brake todo list written by Erica Sadun long before the app store. Later I started a multiyear love affair with Things by Cultured Code. Unfortunately, that ended poorly. The app was glorious as far as it went, but it never got updated. We have now been waiting 3+ years for version 3 of the app. I’m not sure what these guys are doing on a day to day basis. Eventually I got fed up and moved to the powerhouse that is Omnifocus. I still love this app. It’s native, stable and packed with features. Unfortunately it’s macOS / iOS only and it has no API and what I really wanted to do was automate.

To be fair, Omni are working hard on adding automation features, but the simple fact that Omnifocus is an app not a service means that what can be done will be limited and collaboration will always be problematic.

My latest move is to Todoist. So far I am very happy. The apps they provide are not native and they’re not as nice as Things or Omnifocus, but they are good enough. And it is everywhere, iOS, macOS, Android, Windows and the web. The functionality is great. I can tag, and filter to my hearts content in a manner similar to Things and far more easily that Omnifocus. And it has an API! This opens up all sorts of possibilities. For me it means I can create repeating checklists using Workflow for iOS. You should try this app.

My first step was to make this simple workflow. It lets you write a list in any text editor that supports the share sheet. An example list might be…

This is an item
This is another item
This is yet another item 

You then hit the extension button, select the workflow extension and then the “List to Todoist” option. The todos get pushed into you inbox, with each line a separate todo. The Todoist app is then opening in the correct location.

So far so good. This is perfect for brainstorming. You can also use a similar kind of workflow for creating checklists. Here’s an example workflow for a packing checklist. This one takes some pre-canned todos and adds them to an existing Todoist project, then opens the Todoist app at that project.

 

Location Alert

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 17.08.26.png

Back in iOS 8 Apple deprecated the beautifully simple and readily abusable UIAlertView. The replacement; Surprisingly, its replacement UIAlertController has some short comings the UIAlertView does not. One major limitation is the inability to simply add custom views.

Fortunately, it is possible to remedy that with a little hacking about. I’ve put up a demo on Github using a MapView as an example. You can get it here.