Bargain 2.5 released

Bargain icon

It’s like waiting for a bus – none for ages then two come along at once! (See previous post).

Originally, I wrote Bargain to explicitly throw away any entries in the text fields when closing the app because there were only four and they could quickly be re-entered … well, it was my first app and I didn’t want to make extra work for myself! Lazy I know.

Now though, Apple no longer permit updated apps to do this as I discovered when my recent plan to change the way the information panel animated onto the screen (a nice quick update) suddenly required me to add code to keep all the entered values when closing the app! However, Apple are right and I was being a bit of a cheapskate so now I’ve done it correctly to the benefit of you, my lovely users.

The original information panel flip was the way do do it back in 2010 (Yikes!) when I wrote Bargain, but it’s now a bit passé so I’ve replaced it with a more contemporary vertical slide. Nice.

The final change is that Bargain now requires iOS 11. In August 2019 88% of iOS users were using iOS 12 whilst 7% were using iOS 11; Bargain will run on the current version and two prior to that so the chances are you will be just fine. If not, sorry; your existing version should work fine for a while yet. 🙂

Identicode V1.6 released

Identicode app

Hello everyone – an update to Identicode with a few small tweaks is now available. These changes include the removal of the name and link on the main screen as they’ve now been moved to a new Help menu, a small punctuation fix and a minimum requirement of iOS 12.

Dicewords removal

Regrettably, I will be removing Dicewords and Dicewords-X from the App Store later today.

A lot has changed since the day I wrote them in terms of device screen sizes, even for iPads, and iOS internals. Due to the way they were written they weren’t expecting all those different sizes and Apple now require all apps to be able to handle them correctly.

I am updating Pink Plaques to deal with the larger screens correctly, but for Dicewords it’s just so much work that it’s not worth it. The upshot of this is that I will never update Dicewords and so I cannot offer any bug fixes or enhancements for it; it’s time for me to bid it farewell.

For those of you still using it, it will continue working as before (although no guarantees for future iOS versions) though you will still be able download the latest available version Apple keep or restore the app to a new device.

Thank you to all of you who bought it or tried it and Graham and I hope you enjoyed playing it. Needless to say, the ‘real’ physical version of the game that inspired the app is still available from Graham at Graham’s Games.

This web site will be updated very soon to remove Dicewords and move it to a ‘retired’ page, or whatever it’s going to be called!

New app released!

1000 Words logo

Hello everyone,

I’ve just had my first ever macOS app approved and it’s now available on the Mac App Store. It’s a writing tool and it’s called 1000 Words.

Free-writing is a technique to help getting you writing instead of thinking about writing by just sitting down and typing anything that comes into your head without stopping to censor yourself. The problem is that it’s our nature to procrastinate by correcting, rearranging and generally twiddling rather than typing!

1000 Words helps by removing just about every distraction from the app; editing is severely restricted and you can’t save any text until you reach your target or decide to Quit the app. If you Quit you will be back to square one as 1000 Words does not open any documents – it only lets you create them.

It is not a text editor. It is a tool to help you write 1000 Words. Have a look – it’s available to download on the Mac App Store now.

WordPress 5.0

Version 5.0 of WordPress (I use it to create this blog) has been released along with a new theme, cunningly named Twenty Nineteen. I thought, let’s live on the bleeding edge shall we, so now we are!

A Podcast mention for Identicode

Gerry Anderson Podcast imageI was surprised and thrilled the other week when Jamie Anderson (son of Gerry) and Richard James, co-hosts of the brilliant Gerry Anderson Podcast read out my email about Identicode in Pod 25. I didn’t know if it might be considered an inappropriate ‘plug’ given that it’s a third-party product (as in, not available at the Gerry Anderson shop) but they were brilliant and very encouraging.

Thanks so much to you both.

If you haven’t been listening to the Gerry Anderson Podcast then where have you been hiding? You only have 25 episodes to catch up on so the sooner you start the sooner you’ll catch up! It’s informative, nostalgic, up-to-the-minute, fun and downright weird at times, and that’s before even mentioning the varied and fascinating interviews and Chris Dale’s ‘Randomiser’!

Shiny new website

Thanks to my lovely and talented partner I now have a revamped and redecorated web site. I’ve had the previous design for about 5 years I think so it’s great to give it a facelift.

It is a flexible layout that adjusts gracefully from the screen of an iPod touch to a Macintosh. It also has some nice high resolution images for my two just updated apps, Bargain and Identicode and the others will be enhanced when I update my other two.

Another thing that’s been updated is the photo of me which was somewhat overdue!

I hope you like it. 😊

A new podcast for all you Identicode fans

If you’ve downloaded Identicode already, or are thinking of buying it (go ahead, I’ll wait 😀), then you’re probably a Gerry Anderson fan, as am I. After all, it was my love of the TV Century 21 comic back in the 1960s that inspired me to write the app when I got hold of some old copies, spotted the codes at the bottom of the pages and realised I had no way of decoding them.

I recently bought a rather excellent Thunderbird 2 hoodie from the Gerry Anderson web site, though sadly it’s been so ridiculously hot since I bought it that I’ve just tried it on once and then popped it in a drawer! Because of my order, I was alerted to their new podcast which is just great. It’s hosted by Jamie Anderson (Gerry’s youngest son) and Richard James (actor and enthusiast for all things Anderson) who have a gleeful repartee which makes for a wonderful listen. There is general banter, Gerry Anderson news, some great interviews and the chuckle-inducing Randomiser operated by Chris Dale. It’s made my journey to work a whole lot more fun and I’d encourage you to subscribe. Free fun – what’s not to like?

Bargain and Identicode now updated on the App Store

Two years after the last Bargain update, and one after that for Identicode, they have been tweaked, enhanced, freshly polished and ready for you to download.

You can see what’s changed on my website, in the Release Notes or on Apple’s App Store.

Note that both now require at least an iPhone 4S, rather than an iPhone 4 as previously.


Finally, some updates on their way to Apple!

Apologies for the delay, but I’ve started a new day job and it’s five days a week! That means less time available for apps, but have no fear – I plan to keep my apps available for the latest devices for as long as seems feasible.

Because I haven’t updated some apps for at least a year they may not play well with iPhone X – certainly, Pink Plaques does not look good on Apple’s latest device. The good news though is that I’ve just submitted both an updated Bargain and Identicode which work nicely on Apple’s latest – I’ll let you know when they’ve been approved for sale.

To get Pink Plaques ready to look its best on anything from iPod touch to iPhone X will need some significant changes, but I’m on the case. After that, comes Dicewords. There will be some other changes to Pink Plaques which I’ll detail nearer the time.

After that (whew!) it’s my first app for Macintosh – quite simple but hopefully very handy for those it’s aimed at.