TempusCura V1.8.5 was released in the App Store a few hours ago, and to celebrate, all existing users has had their subscriptions extended with an additional free month 🙂
More New Features
I ended up adding quite a bit more features and changes compared to what I wrote about in my last post. During release testing I realized that some of the more “novel” UI concepts in the original app, while compact and quick to use, were not at all intuitive – in fact, several of my test users had never understood certain aspects of the app, but had not realised it because they only had one project or a “team” of one person.
Here are some of the things that changed on that account:
Filters and Tabs
In TempusCura you can filter your work on 3 properties: Time, Projects and People. These filters were set using the calendar, project and team tabs in the main UI, respectively.
However, these tabs also changed how data was visualized so that when you selected the project filter you got a list overview of work sorted by project, the team tab gave a list of work sorted by team members and the calendar presented work over time.
In addition to this, the “tab bar” had two buttons that were not tabs at all: Settings and Export, and the project list had an additional purpose in that it provided a way to add and edit projects and tasks.
In V1.8.5 this has changed completely. Now the buttons in the top are no longer tabs, but separate views.
The work button still shows work in a calendar by default, but it now has three sub-tabs to toggle between viewing work by time, project or people. Filtering is now hidden and only appears when relevant (I.e. when you have more than one project and a team of more than one person). To change project filter, you tap the project list at the bottom, and to change person filter, you tap the list of persons in the work table header.
The project button provides a list of projects and access to team and task management.
The team button is gone since its function is now handled by the work view
The calendar grid uses tap-and-hold to register new work items rather than just a single tap. The reason for this is that tap-and-drag is used to scroll the view and without the “hold” part, it was very easy to accidentally add a new work item. While most people eventually “got” this, the way you then dragged to size the work item caused more confusion still, only to be topped off with “surprise” when the work-item view appeared immediately on release.
In V1.8.5 this has changed so that it works more like it does in the native iOS calendar. Tap and hold creates a block of one hour. Moving around drags the whole block, releasing leaves the block at its current location, but does not open the work item view. In this state you can either tap-hold-and-drag the middle of the item to move it again, or the top or bottom to resize it.
Tapping the work item then opens the work item view and allow you to provide the final details before the item is created.
When I first started writing TempusCura, the center of attention was “Tasks” – planning, prioritizing and scheduling of tasks that would then be worked on. After testing this for a few months I realized that my daily business was mostly concerned with “work done”, and only rarely did I have time to sit down and create tasks, so I changed the focus of the app to be on “Work” instead.
Still, being able to plan ahead and keep track of what needs to be worked on is important, and the first version of TempusCura probably down prioritized this too far – to the point where it was only just usable. In particular, the task list, even when grouped by milestones, quickly got very long and hard to manage.
V1.8.5 takes a few steps in the right direction by automatically collapsing completed milestones and scrolling to the first relevant task. I have a few more changes coming up soon, but more of that in another post.
The calendar picker has changed so that you now drag across the calendar to select the time period you wish to view instead of tapping first and last day. This is slightly embarrassing as the tap/tap method of selecting was just a temporary hack I did while implementing the date picker – it was never meant to end up in the released app, but for some reason it did. It’s not that it did not work, it was just hopelessly counter intuitive.
Also, date selection has been limited to one month since I don’t really think it makes sense to see more than a month at a time, and if you selected a long period by accident (say, 10 years) you could potentially bog down both server and client with a massive data download.
I also added buttons to quickly go to next and previous months, though this did not turn out as well as I wanted it to – it will most likely be replaced with something more sensible in a future update.