iOS13 (unlucky for some)

OK, so I’m tempting fate here. I’ve just released 4 bug fix updates in 3 weeks - but I believe I’m finally on top of the issues now.

iOS13 has 'been ‘challenging’ for everyone involved. It required me to make massive architectural changes to iThoughts - and iOS itself has had 4 bug fix releases in the same period. More haste, less speed?

Anyhow, in order, this is a quick summary of my iOS13 ‘journey’

  • 26th Sept, iOS13 and iThoughts7.0 were released:

    • Dark Mode Support

    • Multiple (iThoughts) Windows - side by side on iPadOS

    • Drag and drop FROM iThoughts

    • Full page screenshots

    • Improved search (no longer indexes all maps if just searching current map.)

    • Transition to the (built in) iOS Document Picker.

      • This has caused the most issues. I am now at the mercy of the various cloud providers and the quality of their integrations with the built in iOS Document Picker. There is also an issue in iOS where the documents appear greyed out if you have the original app (orange and blue icon) still installed.

  • v7.1

    • Crash for Chinese users. When using an external keyboard and editing a map in split screen (using Chinese) then it would crash regularly. I tracked this down to the small toolbar that sits above the keyboard which enables you to format text and move the cursor. The ‘fix’ is to disable the toolbar - which is now the default. If you are not Chinese or don’t use an external keyboard then you can re-enable it in the iThoughts System Settings (Keyboard Tools = ON.) I have since had this confirmed (by Apple) to be a bug in iOS - which has now been logged. I suspect they have a lot on their plate with other iOS13 issues - so I wouldn’t hold your breath…

  • v7.2

    • Screen mirroring is now re-enabled. This is something that didn’t work in the later iOS13 betas and so I pulled the feature. You pre-select (in the iThoughts System Preferences) whether you want the connected screen to be ‘mirrored’ or ‘presenting’. Mirroring means that everything you see on the iPad is reflected on the screen. Presenting means that you only see the mind map on the screen (no toolbars etc.) The downside with presenting is that any (non-image) attachments will not be presented on the external screen. To switch between modes, disconnect from the screen, change the setting and reconnect.

    • New topics whizzing off to the left. Another iOS13 weird one - it attempted to move content out the way when the on-screen keyboard was presented. The result was that it shoved the active topic off to the left.

    • Keyboard shortcuts not displayed correctly (when you long press CMD button on an external keyboard.)

  • v7.3

    • Superscript/Subscript not displayed. Another breaking change in iOS13 - fixed after discussions with Apple tech support.

    • BIU Menu Improved Because I needed to disable the toolbar above the keyboard (see v7.1 above) I needed a way to enable Markdown formatting - so I beefed up the BIU popup menu that appears when you select text.

  • v7.4

    • Crash when UNDO Another change in iOS that highlighted a hole in my code. If you edited a topic then double tapped text to select it then hit UNDO it would crash.

    • Double tap text to select not working. Related to the above - double tapping text would not always select the text.

    • Keyboard suggestions not inserted. When selecting a suggestion from above the keyboard it would not be inserted properly - nor would it be saved sometimes.

There you go - I’ve come clean. That’s what I’ve been firefighting over the past few weeks - and the reason you’ve had a constant stream of app updates. Hopefully we can now get back to a more controlled release schedule (looking forward to delivering the next big feature.)

This year I attempted to have iThoughts7 ready on the same day as iOS13 was released. I thought this might provide some kind of marketing advantage. It didn’t - all it did was expose users to my bugs AND Apple’s bugs simultaneously. Foolish, with hindsight.

Thanks for your patience - especially if you’ve been affected by any of the above.

Craig

Posted on October 16, 2019 .

Obligatory bug fix release

Just pushed out v7.2 to the AppStore. This fixes a number of iOS13 related issues as follows:

  • Screen mirroring is now re-enabled. This is something that didn’t work in the later iOS13 betas and so I pulled the feature. Anyway, it now works in iOS13.1 so I’ve reintroduced the feature. The difference is that you must now pre-select (in the iThoughts System Preferences) whether you want the connected screen to be ‘mirrored’ or ‘presenting’. Mirroring means that everything you see on the iPad is reflected on the screen. Presenting means that you only see the mind map on the screen (no toolbars etc.) The downside with presenting is that any (non-image) attachments will not be presented on the external screen. To switch between modes, disconnect from the screen, change the setting and reconnect.

  • New topics whizzing off to the left. This was another iOS13 weird one. iOS now attempts to move content out the way when the on-screen keyboard is presented. The result was that it shoved the active topic off to the left !!? Anyway - this is addressed in the latest update.

  • Keyboard shortcuts now displayed correctly (when you long press CMD button on an external keyboard.)

  • Crash for Chinese users. When using an external keyboard and editing a map in split screen (using Chinese) then it would crash regularly. I tracked this down to the small toolbar that sits above the keyboard which enables you to format text and move the cursor. The ‘fix’ is to disable the toolbar - which is now the default. If you are not Chinese or don’t use an external keyboard then you can re-enable it in the iThoughts System Settings (Keyboard Tools = ON.) I have since had this confirmed (by Apple) to be a bug in iOS - which has now been logged. I suspect they have a lot on their plate with other iOS13 issues - so I wouldn’t hold your breath…

Posted on October 8, 2019 .

Version 7 (for iOS13) is now out

I’m pleased to announce that iThoughts v7 (iOS) is now available for download from the AppStore.

Been working on this all summer - and the highlight features are:

  • Dark Mode Support

  • Multiple (iThoughts) Windows - side by side on iPadOS

  • Drag and drop FROM iThoughts

  • Full pages screenshots

  • Improved search (no longer indexes all maps if just searching current map.)

  • Transition to the (built in) iOS Document Picker

This version required iOS12 as a minimum (the earliest version that the built in iOS Document Picker became ‘reliable’)

Dark Mode

iOS 13 supports dark mode. iThoughts fully integrates with this - see below for an example.


Multiple Windows (with drag/drop)

See below for 2 maps side by side whilst dragging a branch from left to right.


Full page screenshot

When taking a screenshot you can now (in iOS13) select the Full Page option (centre of the toolbar.) This will generate a PDF of the entire map (not just what is visible on screen.) This means the resultant file can be printed/distributed/zoomed without any loss of clarity. You can even annotate the map using the built in tools.


Built in iOS Document Picker

iThoughts will now use the built in iOS document picker to manage map files (just like the iWork apps - and most other modern document based apps.)

There is an explanation of why this is a good thing here.


As always - any questions, suggestions or issues - just contact me direct.

NB: As of September 2019, iOS13.1 is still very new (and ‘allegedly’ still quite buggy.)



Posted on September 26, 2019 .

What's in a number?

The auto numbering engine is undergoing a major overhaul. Previously you had 5 numbering styles to choose from - in future you will be able to customise almost everything - see below:

…coming soon!

Posted on June 12, 2019 .

Latest update now available

Pleased to announce that the latest update to iThoughts (on iOS, Mac and Windows) is now available for download.

There are 3 significant new features and a whole bunch of tweaks and bug fixes.

New Feature1 (Custom Link Color)

Ordinarily the link line color is the same as the topic color. Now you can configure a single link line color that will apply to all topics (in the Style settings.) See below for some examples:

New Feature2 (2 new layouts)

There are 2 new layouts based on the existing Horizontal layout scheme. Horizontal UP and Horizontal DOWN as can be seen in the following examples.

New Feature3 (Groups)

Groups have been a popular request over the years - and I’ve finally got round to implementing support. Previously you could use ‘boundaries’ to group together all the topics on a branch. Now you can group together any old topics - not only that but you can change the shape and color of the group. See below for some examples:

To group together topics, select them then click/tap on the boundary toolbar button. To change the group characteristics, right click or tap on the edge of the group. You can change the Z order so that the group appears above/below other groups and boundaries. See here for more info.


Tweaks

Some of the more interesting tweaks in this update.

  • New system style (called Monarch) - see the layout feature above for an example.

  • Click on the notes icon on the edge of a topic to open/close the notes window.

  • [iOS] The doodle view will remember your pen settings.

  • [iOS] Create a new doodle by long press on the canvas using an Apple Pencil.

  • Much improved CSV import/export

As always - any questions, suggestions of issues - just let me know.

Posted on June 2, 2019 .

Quick update

Just a quick update on some features I’m working on now. First up is custom colors for link lines. See below for some examples. It will be possible to define a link line color that applies regardless of the topic color. Along with this is a new template style called Monarch

There are also a couple of new layouts (albeit similar) as below:

As you can see, the layouts are based on the current horizontal layout but rather than centering each branch below its parent I now justify the branch (top or bottom) below the parent topic.

More to come…

Posted on March 28, 2019 .

More compactedy...

By popular request, I’ve been playing with the compact layout - trying to make it even more ‘data dense’. Below is an animated GIF showing the normal layout, the current compact layout and finally my new even more compact layout (for a future update - possibly.)

Will keep tinkering. It’s getting quite addictive now - trying to shave off the odd pixel here and there…

Posted on February 7, 2019 .

v6 of the iOS app is now live - with Files support

I’m pleased to announce that iThoughts v6 (for iOS) is now fully live. The big change here is that it now uses the Files app to manage access to your mind map files (assuming you have iOS12.) This is the same as used in the iWork apps.

This means that there is no longer any need for ‘syncing’ to be implemented/configured within iThoughts. You simply enable the appropriate cloud provider in the ‘Locations’ section of the file picker side bar and then open the map as you might a map stored locally on the device.

If you want to store your maps on a WebDAV server or Amazon S3 (or a whole bunch of other places) then you can always install FileBrowser which integrates with the Files app and allows you to connect to those services. Indeed, this is one way to integrate with Google Drive (who’s app doesn’t integrate with the Files app properly!!)

Other benefits are:

  • Consistent/modern look and feel

  • Tag maps (but only those stored ‘On Device’ or ‘in iCloud’.)

  • Favourite Folders (but only those stored ‘On Device’ or ‘in iCloud’.)

  • Drag/drop maps into folders.

  • Sort by date, name etc.

  • Search by map name

NB: The downside is that you can no longer ‘sync’ multiple formats (via Dropbox) as you could previously. You can currently disable the Files interface and return to the original way of working (in the System Settings) but this will not always be the case.

Posted on January 30, 2019 .

Files and all that stuff

Just a quick update to let you know what’s going on in development. Perhaps the biggest change coming down the line is in the iOS app where you will soon have the option to use the built in Files UI to manage your maps. See below for a screenshot:

The big upside is that you’ll be able to better access maps in Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive.

Watch this space…

Posted on December 10, 2018 .

Hand Drawn Maps - a Balanced View

There are two features that have been on my list for more years than I care to admit. One is something I thought might look cool - the other is something that people have actually been asking for:

  • Hand Drawn Maps

  • Balanced Maps

So the latest release implements both. The hand drawn map effect has actually turned out better than I’d hoped. All my personal maps now use this effect. See below for a before and after animation. The shapes are literally hand drawn (by me using an Apple Pencil on an iPad) and then ‘coded up’ into the app. I did tweak them with TouchDraw (on iPad) since my handwriting is actually pretty bad.

NB: Above you can also see one of the new system styles (‘Spearmint’)

The balanced map feature is something people have been asking for, for years. There is a new auto layout option (called Balanced) where the app ensures that there are an equal number of topics either side of the main ‘root’ topic. There is also a manual ‘balance’ option that will perform a one time balance on maps that have manual (or partial) auto layout. See below to see it in action.

In addition to the above I’ve also added 5 new canvas options as below:

As always, any questions, suggestions or issues - just let me know.

If you like the app, a review on the AppStore is alway most welcome :-)

Thanks

Craig



Posted on October 29, 2018 .