Tuesday, September 28, 2010

iPhone app update - less conflict, no zombies, more stealth

I'm pleased to announce that version 1.8.3 of the iPhone/iPod app hit the App Store this evening. It's chock-full of enhancement goodness, just in time for NaNoWriMo. My Writing Nook continues to be the best novel writing app for the iPhone/iPod touch.

Dark & Stormy night mode just might turn you into a plot ninja
Turn on dark & stormy night mode for the ultimate in stealth writing. This feature has been brought over from the iPad version of the app, and switches the interface to display white text on a black background. The ultimate in distraction-free writing, or just spooky? You be the judge.

There were a few rougher edges that existed in the previous versions of the app, and with the 1.8.3 release, those edges have been polished and made smooth.

Kills zombie documents dead!
The first enhancement is delete synchronization. If you wanted to delete a document in previous versions of the app, you would need to delete it on both the device and the web app. This was awkward, and led to many questions about documents "coming back from the dead."

With delete synchronization, you need only delete a document in one place. There are no more zombies in My Writing Nook. If you want zombies in your app, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Conflict resolved
When you make changes to a document in the app and on the web without synching, you create a document conflict. This means that since both versions of a document are changed, the app doesn't know which one to keep.

Previous versions of the app would simply do nothing, since I believed that this was better than possibly choosing the wrong version to keep. But while this protected your data, it was admittedly a bit clumsy.

With the 1.8.3 release, My Writing Nook will now detect a document conflict and will inform you of the fact by adding an alert icon to the appropriate row in the document list. Tapping on this alert icon will bring you to the conflict resolution screen, which will allow you to view both versions of the conflicted document and decide which one to keep. You no longer need to go to the web app to resolve doc conflicts - you can do everything from your iPhone/iPod touch.

While this update is all about smoothing out the rougher edges, it's also about sharpening. I've gone through and updated all the graphics for the retina display on the iPhone 4 and latest-generation iPod touches. Now the icons and graphics are really sharp. Handle with care, lest you hurt yourself. You've been warned.

With this update, My Writing Nook becomes even easier to use. They said that it couldn't be done, but when have we ever listened to them?

iPad users - don't fret! A similar update for the iPad version of the app should be hitting the App Store in the next few days.

Enjoy the update, and if you have a moment or two to spare, please leave a review in the App Store.