Happy New Year Update

Time for a quick update and a chance to wish everyone a happy new year! The good news is that both the iPhone and iPad versions of Auteureist 2.0 are on track for release in the first two weeks of January as I mentioned in the last post. Things are stable, and no new issues have arisen. I am just continuing to retest and clean up the code rather than debugging. NaNoWriMo showed me the weak spots as I had hoped it would and those have been pretty much addressed. Also, if you completed NaNoWriMo and buddies me, a reminder: please email me and let me know if you want the free upgrade to the iPad prize. If you don’t tell me I won’t know. Use the support email.

The bad news is…there is none really, except I need to scramble to update the website. So, have a happy new year, and “see” you on the other side.

Sent from Auteureist™ – http://auteureist.com/

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Happy Holidays!

This will probably be the last update of 2010; I may sneak one in before the New Year.
I just want to say happy holidays to all and a great new year. I am really pleased with 2.0, I am still tweaking and fixing it, however, it will be out in the first week or two of January. The problem with programming, art, and writing is that at some point you have to say “it’s good enough”. Perfection is a grand goal and something I strive for, but I know it is never achievable. We will leave the fixes, whatever comes up, for 2.01. The next major feature after 2.0 will either be grammar check, or a competition mode—I am still trying to decide. And of course a few surprises.

That’s it for 2010. Thank you all again.

Sent from Auteureist™ – http://auteureist.com/

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Status Of iPad and iPhone Version 2.0

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, and because I’ve been getting some questions and interest on Twitter, its time for a status update.
First, a reminder. If you finished NaNoWriMo, and you buddied me, please send me your info so that I make sure I get you your free upgrade to the iPad version—again check the rules on the auteureist.com site.
Next, if you were following my updates during NaNoWriMo, you know there were and still are some issues to be resolved, and yes I”m slowly resolving them. I could rush things out and the app would work, but it would still have some very rough edges I’m not happy with. One thing that still causing me headaches is skinning the UI in the iPad version. So I’m going to release the iPad version without the skinning option, and the iPhone version with it. Once I can resolve the skinning issue on the iPad I’ll release that. Here’s a picture of the problem:

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The blue-highlight on the left table view looks awful, and I can’t seem to get rid of it. If I could solve that I’d be able to release the iPad version with skinning—which otherwise looks great.

NaNoWriMo during the two years I’ve participated (once on the iPhone and now on the iPad) teaches me that just because there are no bug reports doesn’t mean things are correct. What works for writing a short paragraph or even a page, doesn’t work well when you are writing chapters that are about 2000 words long and a full length novel of over 50,000 words. That’s when ease of use and polish come in. What is “easy to use” for a paragraph becomes tedious or cumbersome for writing of any significant length. I can’t force my testers to write full novels, so that’s why I do it myself. That’s how I learn what needs to be adjusted and reworked. I keep saying this, I write apps I’d like to use—and Auteureist™ on the iPad is very very close.

Also, if you’re new to following me and my blogs, and a reminder to everyone else, this is not going to be a 1.3 release. This is a full 2.0 release for both the iiPhone and iPad. Its a major rewrite pretty much from the ground up. When I first started Auteureist it was my first attempt at developing for the iPhone. I was brand new to the iPhone, Cocoa, and Objective-C. I’ve learned a lot in the past year or so, and what seemed “good” I now see as pretty badly organized code. That’s why I wanted a rewrite. Also, Auteureist started life as an idea for allowing notes to be synchronized with Scrivener (a great writing application on the Mac). Obviously, it’s grown and evolved and is a full-fledged app in its own right. Evolution tends to be like building new rooms onto your house. It may work, but it usually doesn’t look good. That was another reason for a rewrite. It was time for a new foundation and design. I’m pretty proud of Auteureist 1.2 on the iPhone. It’s not perfect but it works and a lot of people use it and appreciate it. Auteureist 2.0 on the iPhone is another level better than 1.2 was. Auteureist on the iPad is 2.0 and takes advantage of the screen capabilities and is even better than the version on the iPhone. The iPhone version is done. The iPad version is close. I want to be as proud of the iPad version as I am of the iPhone version. So I don’t want to rush things. It will be released when its ready. So, too peak your interest, here are some new screenshots of the iPad version and some new capabilities that I haven’t talked about before, but were put in during the rewrite.

You may remember this teaser screenshot from the development blog a while back:

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And I asked “Gee What Could This Be?” Well I never got any guesses, so here’s the story on this screenshot from back in June. This is the main screen from Auteureist 2.0 on the iPad.

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Note the left vieiw….Auteureist 2.0 (both platforms) now supports poetry. This is free to everyone with 2.0. As with everything else on Auteureist™ you can have any number of poems you want. Here is the Poems section expanded showing one poem.

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Poems can be broken down into sections, stanzas, or other parts which are equivalent to Chapters or Scenes.

Here is a “made up” poem for testing purposes. The view on the left shows the sections. All the capabilities are available for poems: character, location, research tracking, etc.

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One feature of poems that is unique is that they can have rhyme. In the above screenshot I copy the word “joy”. You then tap the search button on the keyboard bar (the magnifying glass). That brings up a rhyming word list from an online rhyming dictionary.

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Tap a word from the rhyming list and it will replace the word you selected in your poem. So that screen shot from June was an example of the rhyming list on the iPhone version. The rhyming list works the same as the thesaurus for novels.

The other new feature in 2.0 that I’m going to mention here is only available on the iPad version (for now). Auteureist has a Lifestream ability which is tied to Journal diaries. It allows you to track your mood, how you’re feeling and the current weather. In 1.2 there is no real way to see how that information trends, so you don’t get a sense of how your mood changes over time for example. In 2.0 the Lifestream view now looks like:

(NOTE: This is a randomly generated set of data).

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The view now displays a graph of your mood (as set by tthe slider) over time. It’s pretty basic now, but this capability will be enhanced and added to the iPhone version in future versions.

One last thing for now, 2.0 has been fleshed out with various ways to backup/restore and import and export. Here’s a look at backup/restore (with skinning turned on):

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So that’s enough for now. So you can see there is a lot new. It takes time. I admit I underestimated the amount of time it would take. But I don’t want to rush things. I am considering releasing the 2.0 for the iPhone first—its pretty much done. But the app store approval process is shut down for the holidays.

Thank you all for your support, interest, and patience. I know its been a long wait—I haven’t forgotten, I haven’t given up. Hopefully, this extended peek has helped explain things a bit.

Happy holidays to all!

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