We hope you like our new products…

So we had these ideas. We have seen some cool productivity applications come out that were heavy in design, did one thing and did it well, looked good, and grabbed everyone’s attention. And they are popular. Apps like Clear and Launch Center Pro come to mind. So we decided to make a couple of apps that try to fit this mold. We borrowed from our powerhouse app Extreme Agenda, but relied on that for the backbone, and really stripped it down and started almost completely from scratch UI wise. And not only do we think we succeeded in making some really cool apps, but creating these apps turned out to be like advanced R&D for our big app. Some of the results have already been rolled back in, making that app and code cleaner, more refined, and adding some cool new features.

One of the Apps is a Contact App that uses a grid system to display your contacts and makes it very fast and efficient to contact any of your contacts. This grid view has already been rolled back into XA, but the new app is a light, fast loading app with its own beautiful look and some interesting twists that make everything so easy. It has been approved and will be out soon but we have decided to hold it and release both apps together.

The other app is a calendar app that we hope to redefine how you calendar on your iOS device. We stripped down our calendar to its core, and built it back up with a couple of unique ideas in place. We’re not quite ready to share everything about it yet, but we did put drag-n-drop of events which is a game changer(and will come to XA soon as well). It is also built to be light and super fast loading and is one of the best looking calendars in existence.

We hope you keep your eye out here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the apps as we want to make as big a splash as we can.

And for the press, promo codes are available now for Contacts and will be available soon for Calendar.

Come see if we have redefined calendar and contacts on your iOS device…

Watch for The Grid!

and go check out a sneak peek screenshot on our company Twitter page.. Birdsoft on Twitter

Where the calendar app will live socially:

The Grid – Calendar on Facebook

The Grid – Calendar on Twitter

Extreme Agenda features walk thru… (#1)

I thought it would be a good idea to start doing little tricks and tips features in the blog to show people just some of the many features in Extreme Agenda. I know by watching some new users and some of the technical support that we get, that people don’t quite wrap their head around what all the app offers. So here are a few key features(some are also shown off in our product YouTube videos) and ways I personally use the App.

Wildcard Templates

One feature that will really speed up your adding new events is to effectively use the template system in the App. To create a template you simply go into adding an event. Then fill out all the fields that you know you will want to use in every future event that looks like this, then simply hit the “Save to Template” button on the bottom of the list. Now this template will appear in the template list (button next to done) whenever you go to create a new event. Go in, select the template you want, and ‘boom’ all the fields that can be saved are then filled in including time(not date).

To make this more powerful you can use the wildcard ‘**’ in the subject. What this means is when creating the subject for your template use ** and it will get filled in with whatever is already in the subject. For example, if you have a template with the subject ‘Meeting with **’ and you create an event by using the contact to event button (clock with plus in the individual contact toolbar), it will initially come in with the contacts name, like “Bob Jones”. Now select the template ‘Meeting with **’ template and your event will now have a subject of “Meeting with Bob Jones”.

These wildcards are pre-loaded and work in the text select screen attached to subject(blue arrow) as well. So if you dont want to have a full template but want to use the phrase ‘Bring ** to Dentist’ you can enter it in here to make re-entry just a matter of picking it…

Move/Copy/Paste

Another very powerful feature is being able to cut and paste events in our App. To do this you just have to remember that like in the desktop OS, once you select an item to Move or Copy, it is remembered in memory(clipboard) until you decide to paste it.

To move or copy in the app you must look for the 2 buttons. They appear in Tap-n-Hold toolbars on events such as in the tabbed calendar at the bottom if you hold down on a specific event a blue toolbar will appear. The first button with arrows pointing in 4 different directions is ‘move’, the second button with a clock and dotted clock behind it is ‘copy’. These can also be found in the toolbar when looking at a full event or in timeline day if you bring up the event toolbar by hitting the toolbar button(gray button with 3 squares).

Just hit ‘copy’ or ‘move’ on the event you are looking to move. Now with the system remembering this, just move to the spot you want to ‘paste’ it. So if you want to move it to another day, you can tap-n-hold on a day in the calendar or week and a day toolbar will appear with the first button being ‘paste'(arrow pointing at a clock). Hit this button and the event will be moved or copy to this day at its original time. You can also use it to move an event in the same day to a different time, so in the timeline day view if you tap-n-hold at a specific time, like the 4:00 row, a similar toolbar will appear to place the event here.

Timeline Day Inline Editing

You will notice in the Timeline Day view that you can quickly add an event by holding down a time row for the tap-n-hold toolbar and then hitting ‘+’. Using this view, instead of going into a full event edit screen you are just dropped inline to enter the subject of the event. It will use the default length, alarm, and calendar(in system settings) to create this event. This view also allows you click on the time and a toolbar will appear that you can then set the time at 15 minute intervals or ‘all day’ without going into the full edit. So if your appointment is at 4:15 just enter it inline at 4:00 and then click the time and choose :15. We hope this allows you to quickly enter an event, and you have the event toolbar button if you need to view it or do more advanced editing.

Emailing Events and the advanced toolbar

When viewing a full event item, the toolbar contains a tool (wrench) button that contains other great choices you may want to do quickly with this event including converting it to a task, email or text the event, or post it to your Facebook timeline.

The email event is designed to add what is called an .ics file as an attachment to the email when sending. So not only will the body of the email show you important information on the event, but on a lot of systems(including other iOS devices) the receiver can then use this file to automatically schedule it into their calendar.

Categories in Contacts

The App uses categories to make everything much more powerful including filtering, colors, and icons. But the contacts categories actually go a bit further as they are implemented with the actual Apple ‘groups’ system for contacts. So if your contacts can use these, it will actually add categories as groups, so they can be sorted by this in other applications that use ‘Groups’. There are actually popular full apps to implement this feature alone out there.

To add categories in the App, simply use the toolbar button with 3 stacked cubes on it. We use the default contact editing screen, so have to do this externally in its own screen.

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Hope this helps you discover just some of the power that is already built into Extreme Agenda. And as always if you think of ways to improve the app, we always appreciate an email or join the Facebook group and tell us there.

Thanks and Enjoy…

End of Summer Status…

It has come to the end of the summer, and just one more small vacation for the Labor Day weekend lies between us and really putting our noses down and grinding out more new code for you. Version 3.2 of the Extreme product line finally made it out this month and we are excited about what we turned out. We are very happy with the lack of too many real bug reports having to do with ToodleDo sync, and a couple of the ones that did have problems don’t seem to understand the concept of technical support and just posted a bad review and moved on instead of letting us try to help and improve what we have.

We are now finishing up a new sub-product in that Extreme line to hopefully bring in even more sales and attention, and then we have a few updates in mind to add to Extreme Agenda, a long needed update to PokerTimer (now with over 80K downloads) and a whole new product(well new to iOS). So we are hoping that with the new and upcoming additions we make we can be ready for all the great new users getting iPhone 5s and iPad Minis this fall…

It should be a very interesting rest of the year.

Thanks

Birdsoft

And please remember to update or add new reviews if you like our products, or at least hit the 4-5 star rating for the current version….We really do appreciate it!

Spring Status

So…. we have been grinding away here at Birdsoft. Some consulting and prototypes have taken up a bit of our time so the promised version 3.15 with ToodleDo sync has been delayed longer than we thought. Well we are pleased to tell you that we have it syncing tasks. Now we just want to build up the failsafes and error handling around it and do a bunch more testing before we release it to you.

Along with that, in order to keep us excited and not burnt out on the ToodleDo stuff, which it somehow had that affect, we have started to add a bunch of new options and features to go in the release. So version 3.15(if it stays with that #) might actually feel like a full point release. A lot of the new stuff will be UI and cosmetic related, mostly allowing you even more options to make it look like you want it to. And then a bunch of smaller but hugely helpful features. And then one other big thing we are fairly certain will also be included is the initial “Notes” view.

So we are shooting for 2-4 weeks to get the whole thing wrapped up and out to you. And by switching focus for a bit we think that not only will it get you task syncing, but a whole bunch of new functionality to go with it..

We’re excited for you to see it…

Thanks

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

2012…

So 2012 we have big plans for Birdsoft and mainly our Flagship product line, Extreme Agenda. We are pumped about how much support we have received and how much we were able to accomplish with this app in such a short time. And we are planning to keep going. The last piece of the “you have to have this” requests is being worked on now, task syncing (to Toodledo). And we are really grinding to get a 2nd User Interface in the app for both iPad and iPhone. Yep, we wont take away the first, as it does free up a lot of screen real estate, but we are digging the benefits of what having a tabbed interface brings to the table too. So we’ll let the customer decide! Something we always live by.

This 3.1 version also offers quite a few other things, but just getting everything just right in both UIs is proving tricky, so with that and the complexities of sync, we aren’t quite done. But once we get there we have some awesome ideas to keep moving forward, Id love to show you the ‘war bulletin boards’ but that would let a little too much information out too soon. There is some security stuff, some project stuff and a lot of other stuff being shuffled around for inclusion.

So hope you have a great 2012…

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!!!

Extreme Agenda 3.0

Version 3.0 of Extreme Agenda has been submitted to Apple. It took a lot longer than expected, but it finally opens up a few doors with the product line that we’ve wanted to take advantage of, in the next couple months. So what is in it:

  • Search View – Allows you to search Contacts, Tasks and Events.
  • Task Templates – save often used tasks for easy creation, just like event templates.
  • Task Alarms – Set an alarm for each task x days before(or day of) at a certain time.
  • Repeating Tasks – Work just like recurring events but the new task is only created when last one was completed.
  • Contact Sorting – Sort by Company, Name, or Categories.
  • Contact Categories – Save as Apple’s Groups so will see them from other Apps. Assign color/icon and sort and filter by them.
  • Note Linking – If you have emails, websites, or phone numbers in the notes of a task/event you can now click on the notes field and a list of those items will show up to allow you to interact with them.
  • Subject Wrapping – In viewing an event or task, the subject will now wrap to show it all, and in two line table cells if there is room it will also show more of the subject.
  • New Visual Styles – We added 8 more colors and a new way to draw title bars and separators in lists.
  • A whole bunch of other fixes and enhancements. Things like a ‘contact to event’ button, putting more buttons in where they will help, making things more uniform, and added a ton of high res versions of icons we use to make everything look clearer.

So we think you’ll agree XA 3 is a real step in the right direction of taking over the Organizer world on iOS. And it positions us to do even more…

If you are curious to see some screenshots of XA 3.0, join our Facebook Group.

Coming up on October…

We are just about complete with Extreme Agenda 3.0. It is looking really good with a bunch of new high res icons and changes. And the features that are getting in there are the last few that we really think are needed soon to allow us to do some other bigger things with the product line. Tasks alarms and Templates, a search view, Subject wrapping on Task and Event View, Contact Sorting and a few more things are all feature complete. Just wrapping up Repeating Tasks, Contact Categories, and a couple smaller things, and then we just have QA and Beta Testing… So we are shooting for Mid October release, might fall right around when the famed iPhone 5 makes its appearance(and just in time to welcome in all the TMobile and Sprint users?!). Should be a very interesting next couple months… And to top it all off I move into the new Birdsoft Corporate Headquarters right at the middle of the month too… We’re very excited for all of it.

And a big thanks to all of our customers over the years. Yesterday was Birdsoft’s 10th Birthday, and we celebrated with a massive sale that was highly successful and really got me pumped up to try and go for another 10 years.

Thanks!

Update: If you are itching to know what is going on with XA 3.0 and if you are on Facebook be sure you join the Extreme Agenda User Group. I have posted a number of screenshots and more information on the upcoming version.