There is a particular type of dilemma when an app is already one of the best in its category, but it lives on a platform that requires constant improvement. Some apps in this situation continue to add feature after feature in a way that ends up detracting from what the users originally loved, while others pursue updates that may be less attention-colored, but they enhance the core business in meaningful ways. Journal, iOS calendar app from Moleskine, has chosen the latter version with version 3.0 available today. There are no headlines here, but this latest update shows that Moleskine has a strong understanding of how the app is used and how to do it better. It introduces significant improvements to the event, a new birthday feature, additional calendar views, and a design tweak inspired by Timepage's sister app, Actions.
Event is one of the most important jobs of any calendar app, and it is an area where the Journal was undoubtedly the weakest before now. Although I have always appreciated the app's handy pull-down movement to load the event creation screen, once on the screen. But that's no longer the case, for several different reasons. First, following the steps of Things & # 39; Magic Plus Button, Timepage now has a floating additional button that can be retrieved and released on a particular day to create a new event that day. The movement is both moody and practical, saving you extra steps to manually select a date for the new event.
The next key event has been improved, through the Recents Bar, which sits over the keyboard. The Recents Bar provides quick, easy access to recent events, locations, or people, which you can only press to copy the things to the new event you're making. When it comes to suggestions, Timepage now also shows relevant location and suggestions for people as you type, right below the title field of the event. So you can write something like "Meet Joe at Bryant Park" and you'll see suggestions float under the title that can be drained to add Joe as an event receiver and Bryant Park as the place.
Finally, there have been some tweaks to the time entry mechanism. If you prefer to enter the start and end times of the event, it is now an option. You can also swipe on either time or day to easily move it forward or back in time.
For many years, many people have outsourced the birthday management to Facebook, but with the latest gross patches on the social network, it is nice to see programs like Cardhop and now Timepage makes it easier to stay on birthdays. The journal's approach is to identify birthdays that are stored across all your different calendars and consolidate them into a single birthday group that acts as a particular calendar type. The advantage is that birthdays are automatically sorted separately from other calendar events, and if you have birthdays stored over multiple calendars, they will all be presented in a single-uniform journal.
Journal 3.0 adds a whole new Year View to both the iPad and iPhone, and for the first time, the app's monthly view is available on the iPhone. The annual view, which lives to the left of the Heat Map, shows an entire year's calendar on the screen at the same time. I'm glad Moleskine doesn't limit this to the iPad, because it works really well on the iPhone as well. And the monthly show, which was previously an iPad exclusive, can now be accessed on the iPhone by turning the phone into landscape view.
Calendar display handling. It's a small thing, but earlier when you wanted to switch certain calendars on or off, you had to dig some screens deep into the Journal's Settings page. Now you can do this by pressing the new list icon at the bottom left corner of the heat map.
Updated reminder screen. When you set time-based reminders for the events, the reminder screen has been simplified so it's easy to set the reminder you want with just a few cranes.
They may not be the most exciting or inspiring, but I love really strong iterative updates. When an app already has basic rights, my favorite type of update is one that identifies areas where improvement can still be made and does the hard work of implementing the finer changes.
While users who see the app's new version number can expect more striking changes, Timepage 3.0 provides meaningful enhancements without starting from the beginning, and in the process retains its status as one of the best calendar options on iOS. Sometimes self-restraint is one of the rarest but most valuable principles of an apps development, and the team at Moleskine understands it clearly.