I am excited to talk a bit about what we have been working on over the last few months. I know we’ve be very quiet especially on Informant for OS X and so I want to get my head up, take a breath, look around and share with you what’s going on.About a month ago we released Informant for OS X Release 7 and that’s been going great and about 2-3 months ago we started on a small bug-fix for Informant for IOS version 4.83. Since then a few things have changed – for the better.
A little background first: as you know, Informant for iOS and OS X share a code-base though internally we actually have two code-bases: NextGen and “Current”. The “Current” codebase is what 4.x is built on while Informant 5 for iOS and Desktop are using the NextGen codebase. The improvements in NextGen are numerous, but only Desktop users have been able to enjoy them.
With our work on Release 8 for Desktop, Chris has been focused on getting Week View to support all the options iOS supports, getting the Smart Filter editor working, and much more. His focus at the beginning of a project is mostly architectural though so usually you don’t really see a lot of user-facing changes, but he’s at the point where he is now focusing on more of the user-facing stuff. I have written a rich text notes editor for OS X and will be merging it into the R8 codebase soon.
One of the things we are considering doing is taking some of the bug-fixes we have in Release 8 and applying them to Release 7 and doing a mid-cycle update to get those to users quicker. We will be deciding that in the next week or so. Some of the bug-fixes we’ve made were done in Informant 4.9 as well, so the ability to merge all of this together is also a factor in our decision. If we can get a Release 8 beta to customers faster than we could a Release 7.x – then that will be done instead.
Informant for iOS
Originally we were planning a simple iOS update with just bug-fixes and not doing much more. However as it became apparent that Informant 5 would be delayed further to co-incide with the iOS 10 release (all the pieces just fit better that way), I decided that 4.x needed some love. There are some things I could not do because the architecture in Informant 5 was so radically different from 4 and that code depended on it – but there was a ton I could do and did. This meant that the 4.x release took much longer as we were now doing a dramatically more challenging update than originally scheduled and it also required massive more testing.
Informant for iOS was re-versioned to 4.9 – and includes many long-requested feature additions, a vastly refreshed interface with most of the changes in Focus View and Day View. We’ve also been able to squash many bugs and more importantly – we were able to bring a lot of “NextGen” code to Informant 4.9 that has improved performance greatly – especially “come back to app” performance.
When Informant 4.9 ships it will be a light-jump from 4.8 before it, but not quite to Informant 5: its a perfect refresh of new features, refreshed UI, reliability, and performance.
So what’s next?
Next is the submission of 4.9 to Apple. Then after that we will make the decision of focusing on a Release 7.x update or a Release 8 beta with all the fixes. In the long run it would be better to focus on the Release 8 beta, but the short term customer satisfaction is also important to us. And as always – I am available to talk/answer questions on anything you want to ask me on Twitter or here as a comment.