The Long Road to MyCntdwn 4.0

The Long Road to MyCntdwn 4.0

MyCntdwn 3.0 was released on the App Store on October, 13th 2013. That’s almost three years ago. That finally changed today. MyCntdwn 4.0 has been released. I’ve been working on MyCntdwn 4.0 for a long time. I’ve scrapped near final builds two or three times and started over from scratch.

I’ve finally got something that I’m mostly happy with. I’ll be happier once I implement some additional features on my list.

What’s Changed?

So much has changed since MyCntdwn 3.0. MyCntdwn has been completely rewritten (in Swift). I’ve added a bunch of new features. Below are some of the highlights.

UI Redesign

I’ve redesigned the UI. It’s not such a drastic change from MyCntdwn 3.0 that it’s unrecognizable. But I’d like to think that it’s a subtle/welcome improvement to the UI. A few of my other rewrites had much more drastic UI changes, but in the end, this approach won out.

Universal App

When the iPad originally launched, I developed and released an iPad-specific version of MyCntdwn. I removed this from the store about two years ago, knowing that MyCntdwn 4 would be a universal app. This is now as it should be.

In addition to being a universal app, MyCntdwn no longer looks a little silly (read: blown up) on larger phones (iPhone 6/6s and 6 plus/6s plus). Everytime I launched MyCntdwn on my iPhone 6s, I cringed a bit. Now it is properly sized to look good on all current devices.

Today Widget

I’ve had two items on my list of things I want to have in the app since iOS 8. A Today Widget and Actionable Notifications. The app has them both now.

The Today Widget will allow you to see the next three events from Notification Center. It’s just a quick and easy way to see how far out your next event is. I’m still not sold on Today Widgets, I think they need to be really well done in order for me to use them.

Actionable notifications give you a easy access to delete events that have started without launching the app. I really love actionable notifications. Being able to take action on an event from a notification comes in handy.

Where Are My Themes?

I took them out. Sorry. I really liked the themes, but I didn’t have enough to cover every scenario. One of my previous re-writes had a more and updated themes. Trying to maintain new and updated themes for various device sizes isn’t something I want to do. It just takes too much work for me. Instead, I think I’ve settled on a nice clean look to the app.

Instead of event based themes, I have added two app-based themes. A light and dark them. I am really happy with how these turned out. I’ve been a fan of dark modes for a while now and am happy to have included that option in MyCntdwn.

What About Sync?

It’s coming. I really hope so. It’s on my list. It’s been on my list for years now. It’s almost at the top of the list. I have two smaller features ahead of sync. I was originally going to hold this release so that I could include sync. But I needed to ship something. Now that I’ve done that, I can focus on what’s next.

What’s Next?

I have some updates that I’d like to make to my Beer Styles app before diving into sync for MyCntdwn. This could all change next week because of Apple’s WWDC. They could announce something that gets me interested in something new and exciting. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My goal was to finally ship MyCntdwn 4.0 before this year’s WWDC. I’m glad that I’ve been able to do that.