Introducing uTime 5

After over a year of hard work and dedication I am so happy I can finally introduce the next major update to uTime: uTime 5. Starting a year ago the entire backend structure has been redone, iOS 14 specific features, SwiftUI, CloudKit, and more make up just part of this massive update. While I will post the changelog below I want to highlight some of the more major features of this release.

A New Backend

uTime’s original back end was made when I was a freshman starting college and has stuck around ever since (well until now). It was very sloppy but migrating it was not really possible in the way I wanted to do it until iOS 13 allowed for CoreData (saved data) to syncronize into iCloud without a lot of extra work. This means the data you put into uTime automatically gets saved and transfered to iCloud (or if you don’t have iCloud it will stay on device). By moving uTime’s data to a database instead of my own system of functions (what a mess), I can push updates even faster that has to do with timers and most importantly – less bugs. The downside to this is anything before iOS 13 (and macOS Catalina) does not work with this structure so uTime 5 has to be on iOS 13 (and 14 now) to run. Another downside is all previous versions will not sync data after transfering. If you choose not to upgrade to uTime 5 syncing will still work as expected. Version 5 needs other app versions to be on 5 to sync your data.

First Time Setup

Something new that has not been done before is first time setup. First time setup will open when you first open uTime 5 and in the background migrate your old data to the new dataset that uTime will use from now on. While this is happening you can also scroll through and see some new features of the app. After the first setup you will not see these screens again.

A New Modification Screen

uTime 5’s Modiciation Screen

The new modification screen is simply incredible. It allows you to select the date from a calendar instead of scrolling through. The time is right below so you can set it to the exact time of your event.

iOS 14 Widget

uTime 5 iOS 14 Widget

With iOS 14 Apple has started allowing widgets to be on the homescreen of the iPhone. I am so happy to say uTime 5 has a widget for iOS 14 ready to be on the homescreen of your iPhone (or sidebar of your iPad). The iOS 14 widget updates every 5 minutes (or when you open the app, this is Apple’s limit not mine) and will show you the time to the closest timer that has time left. For iOS 13 friends the Today widget still exists and can be used to cycle through.

Feedback Submission

Feedback Tools

One of the big new features within uTime 5 is feedback submission in app. Using your iCloud account within any screen in app, you can now shake your device (or hit command+F on macOS) to bring up a feedback form. From here you can submit a bug or just general feedback in the app. What is important to know: I cannot see any personal data even though you need to be signed into iCloud (because Apple does not allow me to write to CloudKit without authentication). The only information I can see is what you provide to me.

Those are just some of the major features coming with uTime 5. Others include the Info screen being completely redone, theme improvements, and much more. uTime 5 is the biggest release I have ever done as a developer and I am so excited for you all to use it. To see the entire changelog you can open the info section of the app or find it below.

Changelog:

  • A New Data Set: uTime 5 uses an entirely new data set. This new set lives in iCloud just like the last but allows for more features to be developed much much quicker. If you do not use iCloud then the data will live on your device just like before. With this change it is important to note that uTime 4 cannot sync with this set so if you want to have continuity between devices both will need uTime 5 to sync. This also means uTime 3 on desktop will not be able to sync with uTime 5 for macOS or iOS.
  • iOS 14 Widget – You can now have uTime on the home-screen of your device! Just add the widget by activating jiggle mode. The iOS 14 widget will show the aproximate time you have left to your closest expiring timer!
  • Modify Timer Screen – The modify timer screen has been COMPLETELY redone. You will now be able to choose dates with a calendar and then the time with a date picker for a much better experience than just one scroller. (Not available on iPhone SE Gen 1 running iOS 13)
  • Feedback Screen – You can now submit feedback right through the app: Simply shake your iPhone or iPad to submit either a bug report or generic feedback in the app! Mac users can use the menu option to access on home screen! Please make sure you are signed into iCloud to use!
  • Info Screen – Info screen has been completely re-written in SwiftUI. This makes for a more consistent experience throughout all devices along with being able to add and change things quicker for future updates.
  • Theme improvements: The operating system will now fully take care of dark/light theme. This also allows it when you switch themes in control center the app will fully change without the need to restart.
  • First time setup: Upon entry you will be welcomed with a new set of screens while we transfer your data. This will explain new features!
  • – New Icon: A new version means a new icon! This update is a little pinkish!
  • – Added support for iOS 14.
  • – iOS 13 Dependent: uTime 5 is only available for iOS 13 and onwards.
  • – Changed checkmark image for selecting timers on iPhone.
  • – Fixed an issue on iPad where the color would not return to normal after deselecting a timer.
  • – Fixed an issue where the launch screen would present an oversized logo image.
  • – Fixed an issue where the launch screen would present no image at all…
  • Fixed an issue on iPhone SE (Gen 1) where the image on modify timer wouldn’t completely fill the view. 

A Note on uTime for Mac and macOS Sierra

uTime App Icon

Back when uTime for OS X (now refered to as macOS) first came out I wrote about how iCloud syncing did not work with macOS Sierra. Shortly after this discovery I filed a bug report with Apple and now that the official release of Sierra is upon us and the feature is still broken I thought it was time for an update on the situation.

The problem is how uTime syncs arrays between devices. Without going into complex details the feature was noted by Apple as being broken and was being looked into. They did not fix it with the release of macOS Sierra which is very disappointing as it renders uTime useless if not being used alongside an iOS device.

However, with the second beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.1 the issue is fixed and iCloud syncs between devices yet again. What this means is that Apple has figured out the problem and the next update to macOS should solve the problem.

I appreciate the patience and I know this is a big problem but it is out of my control unless I want to change both the way the iOS app and macOS app work. If this problem wasn’t fixed with 10.12.1 then I would have probably start to have done.

Thank you for the patience and keep your eye out for macOS updates.

Download uTime for macOS

 

uTime 2 Now Available!

utime-icon-launch

With the arrival of iOS 10 tomorrow I thought it was time to step uTime up a notch! So I am very happy to announce that uTime 2 is now available on the iOS App Store!

One of the biggest things which you can find from this post is that the icon has changed a little bit. Of course it has our little stopwatch and name but the color has changed and it still is a perfect design.

However, if that was the only thing that came with version 2 than that would be a little disapointing so there are a lot of features baked into this update.

What’s New:
2 (Current):
-iOS 10 Support
-Today Widget! Now you can see how much time is left by using the today section of notification center! This keeps up to date with iCloud so everything is always up to date!
-If you have a device with 3D Touch Running iOS 10 if you force touch the uTime Icon on the home screen the widget will appear!
-Dark Mode: You can now select if you want UI Elements to be darker.
-Added animations to “change timer” sheet.
-Multiple timer deletion: You can now select multiple timers to delete all at once instead of having to swipe each one individually. Few!
-New Icon!
-Info Screen Text Improvements.

That’s right for the first time a uApps app has a widget for notification center (and if you’re running iOS 10 (which you should) on the homescreen itself).

The widget does allow you to move throughout iCloud timers and will be self updating with iCloud Timers.

I am so happy to be able to roll this out the same day iOS 10 launches and I hope all of you enjoy it.

Download uTime for iOS

uTime 1.0.1/1.0.2 Is Now Available

uTime App Icon

uTime 1.0.1/1.0.2 is now available… If that seems odd it is because it is. I accidentally put the current version label as 1.0.2 because Apple said I coouldn’t upload the binary with 1.0.1 but would allow the app store version to be 1.0.1 and blah blah yeah I messed that one up. However there is some bug fixes for you all!

What’s New:
Version 1.0.1/1.0.2:
-Fixed support crashing (iPhone)
-Fixed issue with iPhone 6 not showing the entire textField…
-Fixed Logo not being on the launch screen
-Fixed issue with iPhone where the text box would be blocked by the suggestions on the keyboard.
-Fixed issue with iPhone 4S and changing the time.

That’s all for right now!

Download uTime for iOS

Introducing uTime!

uTime App Icon

After releasing our newest app uSurf a little over a year ago I thought it was time to bring out something new. I am happy to announce that today (also the iPhone’s 9th birthday!) our brand new app uTime is officialy on the App Store waiting for download!

uTime allows you to have a multitude of count down timers that will tell you the exact time that is left towards a specific date in the future. uTime also uses iCloud to sync so all the dates on your iPhone will sync with your iPad as well (yes it is universal)!

uTime’s official App Store description:

Welcome to uTime!
uTime is a brand new App that will allow you to see how much time there is left until an event in the future.
uTime syncs between devices so the timers on your iPhone are the same as they are on your iPad!
Support can be found by hitting the support button in the information section. It is the best way to keep up to get support with either problems or upcoming features.
To add another timer hit timers and then the plus button OR hit the add timer button on the main screen. The current time and date will be added to the list and then you can change it from the home-screen!

uTime will be updated on a regular basis along with uSurf. The information page can be found here and the support page here. Of course there is also a contact sheet for both this post, information page, and support page with any questions or bug reports.

Information about updates can always be found on this homepage along with my twitter (@matthewjagiela)  and of course both information and support pages.

Download uTime for free only on the iOS App Store

Gallery (iPhone 6/iPad)

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Why the iPad Mini makes sense [Opinion]

 

I will be the first to admit I thought the idea of a smaller iPad with around a 7 inch screen was remarkably stupid on Apple’s part. Then after the keynote I thought about some things and the idea kind of grew on me and now I am setting an alarm to go and pre-order one. The thing is the iPad mini makes perfect sense and it took me some time to realize it. You see I am a high school student and I am the tech person and of course I am a fanboy but here is the thing: I would rather have an iPad mini even though some of the specs are worse than competitors and is more expensive. The reason is simple: All my amazing iPad apps and iPhone Apps will run on it.

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MobileMe users getting an extra year of iCloud Storage

When you moved your MobileMe account to iCloud, we provided you with a complimentary storage upgrade beyond the standard 5GB that comes with an iCloud account to help you with the transition. Originally, this storage upgrade was set to expire on September 30, 2012.
As a thank you to our former MobileMe members, we will continue to provide you with this complimentary storage upgrade at no charge, for an additional year, until September 30, 2013. No action is required on your part. For complete details, please read this article.
Thank you again for using iCloud,
iCloud Team

 

Apple has decided to help all of us who bought MobileMe back in the day out by giving us another full year of complimentary storage. Apple originally supposed to cut the MobileMe extra storage September 30th 2012 but the offer is now till September 30th 2013. So all of us former MobileMe users will get to keep our extra iCloud storage for no extra cost for one more year.

Apple Launches iCloud Beta to developers with improved Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Find My iPhone

Today Apple launched a beta site for iCloud.com where developers can test the new web features. The new features include Calendar improvements, the addition of notes and reminders, and improvements to the Find my iPhone application. To be able to get in you must have an iOS iCloud account running on iOS 6 beta or I believe an iCloud account running on OS X Mountain Lion. If you have an iCloud account with those then head to beta.icloud.com and sign in!

How to Clear iCloud Photo Stream [Tips]

I want to help everyone find out all the things they can do with their technology so here we go with some tips! Right now I am going to be showing you how to reset your iCloud library in case you have some photos you aren’t proud of say or you just want to start over. So To find out how to reset Photo Stream hit the break!

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