Category Archives: Birdsoft

Here comes 2019!

For being dialed back on Birdsoft in 2018, we have still managed to sneak in several enhancements to our product line and keep the ball rolling.

We released our first Mac OS app into the App Store!! PokerTimer for Mac has been very well received. We had so much fun creating it based on our iOS PokerTimer, that itself is quickly approaching 250,000 users, we definitely want to do more for Mac OS.

UtiliForms has been upgraded substantially and now contains a very cool Web/Server component that can help track data via the web and an integrated map. We’d love to show you how flexible it is for data collection and what all it can do…

Extreme Agenda got a pretty nice update this year. More importantly, that codebase has gotten some much needed love in a bunch of other directions to use well in to the future. Watch for improvements in 2019 to make this powerhouse of an app even more versatile.

And finally, a ton of work has been done on a new project(s) that we hope to show you in 2019. This will play a key part in the future of Birdsoft. In fact, with all the work that has went into this, ‘dialed back’ isn’t really correct for us in 2018. We are very excited to take the cover off of everything soon and show you that we still are passionate about making great apps.

Thank you all!   Happy 2019!

 

 

P.S. There’s now an Apple Watch or two in the house, not sure what that means yet for our software, but it can’t be bad.

Using Extreme Agenda 5.0 features to create EA 5.0

So I’m in the rather cool position of working on Extreme Agenda 5.0 and also using the evolving product to plan the work to be done.

So let this be a little preview of what is coming in Extreme Agenda 5.0 as well as the power it will provide. We have decided to double down on power features, and have some that only a handful of other apps may have, but you won’t find them all in one place like this. Our direction is now defining EA to be the premium app for organization with power and flexibility. It always has, but we want to make that a more solid position in the premium space.

So a lot of this feature planning falls into our already powerful Reminder List, using a Getting Things Done(GTD) like system on the iPhone. Check out our older blog post on GTD in Extreme Agenda for more help.

 

The first big thing is that we have made this list have 3 levels of sorting(effectively 4 as name is used as the last one if not used before). So our setup is to sort by Status( Actions like “Next Action“, “Planning”, and “Active“), then Completed, and then Priority. So as we move features we are adding in to groups like the Next Action group, we can have a few in the group and then use the tap-n-hold popup toolbar to change the priority to move them up and down the list. And with this setup the completed reminders drop down to the bottom of the current group.

The second, and arguably one of the biggest new game changing features of EA 5.0, is that you can add lists to reminders and events. So now each feature reminder can have a sub-list built right in that I can access and check off as I complete the smaller pieces that make up the feature. We can’t begin to explain how handy this feature is. Wait until you see it’s implementation and uses. And best of all they are embedded into your notes, so they appear anywhere you look at the event or reminder.

We also have added color to the flat icon set, and are using that to our advantage. Another way of grouping our new features is that we added several categories to the system based on size of the feature(approximately how many hours or how much effort). We set all of these categories to the same flat ruler icon(denotes size) but gave them all different colors. Now at a glance when looking at the reminder list I can tell by color whether this feature is Large, Medium, or Small. I can also re-sort based on category, status, completed, and see what is left for big chunks of time.

And finally we are taking advantage of updates to the template system, so we can tap n hold the + button, select the template choice and then select a template from the list for say a “Small, Next Action, High Priority” reminder and fill in the name only, and we have a filled in reminder.

So with Extreme Agenda 5.0, get ready to be even more organized. This is just the start of what new features are going in to version 5.0 to make it the best planner on iOS.

 

 

Where we are at 2016…

Just a little update on where Birdsoft is….

We are very proud of our two brand new products launched in 2015.

The Dog Ate It is a great full featured student planner that is built to feel simple and easy to use, but has as many if not more features than the current student planners that are established in the App Store. Unfortunately with the current problems in today’s Apple’s App Store, we can’t quickly bubble to the top and really prove that is true. So we could use your help to get people trying it, for FREE, and realize what a great tool it is for students in the classroom.

Swim Track is an app that I just had to write personally, so I could use it for my own swimmer. I knew I wanted to see a graph of her progress in events in both her club and summer swim teams, and be able to handle all the conversions from yards to meters seamlessly. I started out writing it for myself, but then put enough polish on it, that it is pretty much the top solution on the App Store for doing just that.

We hope to expand on our great UtiliForms offering in 2016 as well. We have some great ideas to really make it what every utility or service that serves utilities needs to quickly handle reporting in the field with super simple customizable forms that any of the crew can handle.

Now Im had at work adding some great new features that will refine the Extreme Agenda experience. I have it updated for iPad Pro, have a couple bug fixes in there, and am now starting on 4-6 new features that at least in my main work flows, will make it infinitely more useable. A few of which are multiple sort levels in Reminders, adjustments to make templates even easier, and additions to the filtering to make that way more powerful. And a really cool feature that can make any reminder or event into a list…. We are bouncing around a couple other features like printing and notes on the calendar, to make it the most powerful Extreme Agenda yet….

So watch for Extreme Agenda to get even better soon, we think with the changes we will have by far the most flexible Reminder List for Getting Things Done on iOS, and yeah, the top calendar too!

Extreme Agenda on the App Store

And as mentioned earlier, today’s App Store is kind of a mess. And with the problems and all the competition out there, it has become very important that if you want to see continued advancements on a product you love, you need to help out us developers by spreading the word and adding positive reviews in the AppStore. It all helps so much and we really appreciate it. Birdsoft is  happy to have some of the most loyal and outstanding customers and we thank you, and want to continue to find more great people to enjoy the time and quality we put into each App.

Thanks!

The Dog Ate It – The iPhone Student Planner

Just in time for back to school….

We are pleased to announce the release of our new Student Planner for iPhone, The Dog Ate It. Having had a version of this app dating back to 2002 on Windows Mobile and later on Windows desktop, we always had it in our mind that we would bring a really cool new version of this to iOS at some point.

We have watched this market since the start of the AppStore and while we liked what the one leader in this field was doing, we just felt it was always an app that was not quite organized correctly and had pieces ‘strapped’ to it in confusing ways in order to say they were there. There aren’t any other really good alternatives that do about everything you want(grading is essential for students, otherwise why not just use a good organizer), or aren’t dependent on online accounts.

So this app has been in development for a long time. It was actually mostly done before last school year, but with our situation, we ended up taking a full extra year to polish it. We went in thinking we needed to strip the idea of the planner down and build it back up. We know students are going to be using it, for the most part, in the few minutes at the end of class or in between classes, so we wanted things to be right there, really clear, and really really easy to add and update quickly.

We think students will love the design. Colors and icons play a prominent part in allowing you to quickly identify classes and see what you have going. Shortcuts are built in to allow you to quickly add, reschedule, or finish assignments. There are only a few main screens involved so you don’t sit and wonder which way the app was meant to be used. Jump to the schedule tab to see your week or month, or just look at your classes individually.

And with our design we do have it ready to expand in several ways. Under the hood it uses Core Data, and actually has all the code in there to sync to iCloud. We just ran into some problems in testing and wanted to put out the most solid app possible at launch so pulled that temporarily, but allow you to email a backup of all your data. And we have plans that if enough students love it, we can quickly move to the iPad as well… And then sync will be more important…. And what about a notification widget and the watch and….

We do believe in features. Lots of them. And flexibility. So we think we have ways to accommodate some of the more advanced things that you might need for your school. Flexible class time scheduling(Lecture/Labs, period naming, etc…) and custom grading scales including weighted grading. And we put in features that are the only basis for other apps. Want to know what you need on a test to keep a certain class grade? We have a screen for that….

And we love the idea of free trials. We want you to see what the app can do to know if you like it. Unfortunately we are not yet allowed to do that the traditional way of having a time trial on the AppStore. So we had to set some limits. Please take a FREE look at the app and remember what we intended, that if you like it, you buy the full product at a more than fair price. Sorry, we were forced to do this in a less than stellar way…

Thanks and as always if you have ways to improve the app in any way, drop us an email…

Download from the AppStore

Birdsoft

 

Midnight Grid vs. Fantastical 2 (Revisited)

So we thought we’d follow up on our comparison with the Midnight version of our minimal calendar App “The Grid” as compared to Fantastical. Fantastical 2 has come out with a few new features so we’ll try to update our table to show new features that have come along since we wrote this… (And we won’t even think about showing a table like this against Extreme Agenda, needless to say it has all of the Midnight Grid features and SO MANY MORE).

Midnight

 

So here is a breakdown of what we see as benefits of each:

The Grid Midnight Fantastical
Month View X X
Week Strip View X X
Search X X
Copy/Move Events X X
Week Numbers X X
Day Badge X X
Attendees X X
Natural Language Entry X (in v.1.5) X
Time Zone Support X (in v.1.5) X
Drag-n-Drop X
Templates X
Text on Calendar X
One Touch Filtering X
Multiple Event Alarms X
Advanced Repeating Events X  F2
Email and Share Events X  F2(only email)
Multiple Themes X  Two in F2
Dated Reminders X  F2
Universal X
Weather X

Thanks for considering ‘The Grid’, and if you aren’t convinced try out the FREE version and give it a try before upgrading or buying Midnight. Or go all out and explore Extreme Agenda for new levels of productivity.

Midnight “The Grid” on AppStore

Wow!

Well last week was a fun week for us. You showed us that we did build a stellar product in ‘The Grid’ It obviously had not been doing that well as a product, as it got lost in the vast black hole that is the AppStore. So to try to draw some attention to it, we set it to free for the weekend. Well, the app was featured on Sunday (Jan 27th) by AppAdvice’s AppsGoneFree promotion and picked up by others, and with that it ratcheted up the AppStore Top Apps List. It eventually made it up to around #220 for iPhone and #130 for iPad in the whole store, with a top 10 in the Productivity category. We loved the exposure so left it free for the next few days where it got a ton of new reviews and maintained over a 4 star rating, and over 120,000 new downloads.

We happen to be super busy here at Birdsoft, cranking on Extreme Agenda 4.0 and about to tackle our enterprise solution development and a consulting contract, but we decided it would be worth it to try to use that traction in a positive way. So we are looking into finally giving our site a much needed facelift. And more importantly, we are tweaking ‘The Grid’ to include most of the most asked for features and changes from the reviews(iPad Landscape is done), and adding two big new features to ‘The Grid’ that will be available as an InApp purchase. One is a new view and one is Reminder Support. Both should be done for the new version to go out at the end of the week. We’re excited to hopefully find a way to regain that momentum and get people using what we consider the best lightweight calendar app on the AppStore. And hopefully we get Apple to notice so they help us along to bigger and better things…

And yes, Reminder support and this new view are going in Extreme Agenda 4.0 too.. And doing this has already helped the progress of that tremendously. Extreme Agenda’s scope is on a level way higher than this, so when that comes out, its going to be a whole new ballgame for full on organizers. We just want to get everything right!

So watch for a new site and new ‘The Grid’ version soon, and Extreme Agenda 4.0 by the spring… FUN!!

2013 and beyond

Well, we didn’t make the big splash that we wanted to with our new “The Grid” products. But we feel good about them anyway and hope they find some traction. A big plus and one of the reasons we felt comfortable doing them was that building both Apps was like a big R&D project for our Extreme Agenda line of products. So watch for great new features and ideas incorporated over in our upcoming versions(some already have). And we learned a bunch of valuable information about the App release process that should help in the future.

So while we ran into an “Apple Favorite” in the Fantastical release at the exact same time, we still believe that The Grid calendar is a superior product once you get by thinking you like the gimmicks. Ok, so that product has some good design in it and is well done for what it is, but the two main features of it, one was borrowed from another bigger PIM app(week ribbon), and the other feature of typing in your event in real world terms just isn’t that practical on a device, and can be done with Siri if you are using voice(which works with all compatible apps). Their success lies mostly in the connections they have, something we desperately need to work on this year. Its overpriced for what it is, try “The Grid” for much cheaper and its main features, drag-n-drop, templates, and one touch calendar filtering really do change the way you interact with a calendar.

But enough with that, we are moving on to what could be our biggest release ever. We are working on a huge new update to Extreme Agenda, version 4.0. Some things we know will make it in that are coming over from ‘The Grid’ are Drag-n-Drop, adding calendars, new interactive windows, better template inclusion, one touch calendar filtering, group text/emails… And then Reminder support! Beyond that there are a bunch more cool features, and we have really done some work on the interface so it it will be so much more customizable and so much more clean and great to use. Make sure you join the “Extreme Agenda” Facebook group to see sneak peeks. And if you are interested in Beta Testing, we are looking for a few more people that will really give us their opinions and help us make the product even better.

And then we have an Enterprise based project going as well that goes back to our utility company mapping roots. So we hope that with these 2 things and whatever else the year may bring, we can keep bringing you quality iOS apps that you love.

Sorry about that…

We have really been trying hard to not stumble into what some of our competition have been dealing with lately… namely making an app unstable and buggy or completely changing our app, and forcing you to like our changes. And I think for the most part we’ve been successful! And we keep trying to correct the bugs we hear about as quickly as possible.. And as a side note, it wasn’t mandatory to go to the new Tabbed UI, we still let you turn back on the older one if that is what you prefer, though some people in reviews didn’t quite catch that…

But we did just make a little screwup for our users outside of the US when we went to add some translations for other countries and at the same time tried to make it friendly even for countries who’s language isn’t fully supported. Basically we went to using the global settings app’s “Region Format” for things like day and month names, but didn’t quite catch on that that can mess up the week day order. We get it now and we’ve been quickly submitting updates to try to clear up the problems that that caused as fast as Apple allows us, and throwing a few other bug fixes in as we get them taken care of(it affected some repeating event stuff as well). So hopefully with version 3.13 those problems are all taken care of (as well as the added bonus of starting a month or week on any day), and the long awaited “ToodleDo Task Syncing” update can be finished up and put out there for you soon after…

So for those who it affected, sorry about that…!!

Thanks.

And if you are a native or fluent speaker of one of the new languages, we’d love a little help with anything you see translated poorly as it was a first attempt and depended a lot on Google Translate (namely Portugese, French, and German) . Just contact us and we can let you know how to help…

If you want more information on the status of Extreme Agenda development, consider joining the Facebook User Group for XA

Sneak Peek.. Version 3.1 Tabbed UI

We have submitted version 3.1 to Apple of Extreme Agenda. Its huge new feature, a 2nd UI choice where the whole thing can use a tabbed interface. Check it out, and see how we just keep trying to innovate and make the best Organizer for iOS. (You should see it on the iPad – remember its Universal).

Thanks

November 2011 Plans

Well things are moving fast and furious here and we are really excited. We’re in our new office and are more productive than ever. Extreme Agenda 3.0 has been very well received, and we are proud to say we did not stumble with our testing and quality assurance and this release went off with out any major issues. So what’s next.

Well we are wrapping up a whole new product based off the Extreme Agenda(XA) code. It will be a tabbed based calendar app that is designed to target the minimalist/pretty cheap apps that have a lot of popularity on the App Store(Calvetica,Agenda,Week Cal). Extreme Calendar does this pretty well too, but is a little more high end and has the XA upgrade. And with this product, all the code will be complete for a ton of new features that can go right into XA and XCal. Features like showing and contacting event participants/organizer, emailing events, a popup to change the start time minutes from timeline day (:00 | :15 | :30 | :45 | All), tutorial/tip system, swiping working in week view and maybe timeline day(no swipe bar), word wrapping location, new calendar drawing choices, marking favorite days, jump to date, only work hour time bars, and more…

And writing this new app, has had a huge benefit of getting the UI code on the road to be ready for a 2nd UI choice on iPad and on iPhone.

And our plan is to turn out this XA update and then attack an update with the 2 things we really feel we have left to put XA over the top, the 2nd iPad specific UI and Toodledoo sync. We’ll see what we cant do in the next couple weeks to get all of this out to you early December or at least by the holidays, if all goes well….

And that is when we get started. We have some major things planned for the product line in 2012 too…

Go Extreme!

You can join the Facebook Extreme Agenda group for a sneak peek screenshot of the new product. It’s clean and hopefully pretty enough!!

Update, here it is: Watch for it Thanksgiving Day!!!