Identicode V1.7 update

Good things come in threes!

This update is purely to make the app much more Dark Mode friendly as Apple urge us developers to do. It’s the right thing too.

Dark Mode adoption on my other two apps has been fairly standard, but given the frivolous and retro fun side to Identicode I’ve gone a bit further and Dark Mode is quite a bit more playful. I hope you enjoy it – let me know either way.

Bargain – Dark Mode

Bargain icon

I’m going a bit update crazy! Version 2.7 of Bargain is now available with support for Dark Mode – no other changes. Sorry for skipping 2.6, that was a mistake on my part!

Pink Plaques V3 released

OK – big surprise time! An update to Pink Plaques.

It’s been almost five years since I’ve updated this app and I’m really happy to say that I’ve finally rectified that; it’s had a considerable makeover to keep it running nicely for a good few years to come.

The finer details of the changes are in the release notes, but some points stand out:

There is no longer a free version, just the one version containing all 73 plaques which means that this is not a free update. It also requires iOS 13.

Every screen in the app has been refreshed.

It now plays properly on all iPhones from the SE 1st generation onwards and will continue to do so with any future sizes as it now uses Apple’s Auto Layout (like my other two apps). It still works fine in landscape too though that’s only really of benefit for the map and landscape photos.

The map has had quite an update! It now offers Satellite view as well as the Standard view. Plaques can be filtered to any tour directly from the map screen. Each plaque now has a subheading when tapped that gives a clue or teaser about that location which adds a bit of fun and interest.

Each detailed plaque page now has a “map button” that will open Apple Maps and give you walking directions from your current location to the plaque.

Every plaque has been checked and the web site and/or location updated where possible. Some plaque texts have been updated to work better with VoiceOver.

It is now a native iPad app as well! It’s not as good as it could be (sorry) in that it basically behaves as a stretched iPhone app, but I felt it was worth it for the big improvement regarding the image and, especially, map views. It can be used in both split screen and slide over on iPad too.

I’m very fond of this app and even after reading them so many times, I still love Rose’s descriptions of so many colourful, moving or hilarious anecdotes from Brighton’s past and I still feel just as strongly about the idea and meaning of the app as when I first conceived it back in 2012.

In these times of lockdown, using the app for a virtual tour through Brighton’s LGBT past makes more sense than ever, preparing you for your own exploration on foot when the opportunity arises.

Pink Plaques to be removed

App icon

I will be removing Brighton Pink Plaques from the App Store today, for reasons that will hopefully become clear very soon!

“Stay tuned”, as they say.

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’!