Informant 5.2 Release Notes [ Scheduled for release July 21, 2017]
OK folks, this is a big one. This release has MANY of the fixes that people have been wanting to see since the initial release of Informant 5.0.
We are expecting General Release to be this week. Release 5.2 has been through 5 separate beta versions and has
NEW & IMPROVED
• NEW! View Picker “Shortcut” Bar. In the “Enable Views” setting, you can now pick views that you would like shortcuts to. Those shortcuts will appear in a bar that comes out of the View Picker button. This gives you 1-tap access to your favorite views. On iPad, all view options show, but you can still choose which shortcuts to show when Informant is in “compact” mode on iPad (like when it’s presented in a slide-over view).
- In the “Enable Views” setting, you can now pick views that you would like shortcuts to. Those shortcuts will appear in a bar that comes out of the View Picker button. This gives you 1-tap access to your favorite views. On iPad, all view options show, but you can still choose which shortcuts to show when Informant is in “compact” mode on iPad (like when it’s presented in a slide-over view).
• NEW! You can now make a trigger out of an existing event or task
• NEW! You can now set the “All Day” flag in Event Triggers (it’s the first option in the Hour field)
• NEW! Informant for watchOS now supports Time Travel
• Improved! Faster navigation through the SmartBar button.
• Improved! We spent some time improving the color scheme for Dark Mode to improve readability
• Improved! Tasks on iPad now have a full swipe action set and doesn’t use the “force touch” menu
• Improved! On iPad, we no longer hide the master view controller in landscape
• Improved! When choosing to make a Trigger event-only or task-only, the opposing section is now hidden
• Improved! When viewing an event or task in the “Summary Popover”, we have added data detectors to make more things clickable (like tracking numbers, flight numbers, etc)
• Improved! The subtask & tag sections are larger in the Trigger Editor
• Added button in Advanced Settings to force-reset Apple Watch data
TRIGGER Fixes & Improvements:
• When in a event/task editor, only show triggers relevant to that type of calendar item
• If you were creating a keyword in the trigger editor and didn’t hit *Return* before saving the trigger, the new keyword would not have been saved
• When using a keyword to invoke a trigger in your event/task editor, we now remove the keyword from the title field
• In certain situations, triggers would incorrectly autofill the Trigger name into the title field of your calendar item if there was no title defined in the Trigger itself
• Fixed issue where the location address couldn’t be cleared from a Trigger in the Trigger Editor
• Triggers wouldn’t properly preserve task projects when syncing to another device
• Fixed issue where the duration picker would remain on screen if you didn’t close it before dismissing the Trigger Editor
Informant for watchOS Improvements:
• Fixed a few logic issues relating to what to show in the Apple Watch complication. Specifically some situations where events for “tomorrow” would show prior to 5pm “today”
• First time data initialization for the watch is more reliable
• Many improvements to how data is kept up-to-date on Apple Watch after the initial data load
• Apple Watch complications are updated a bit more aggressively now
• Deleting an event didn’t update Apple Watch complications
• The watch app & complication should be more aware of changes in Apple Calendar events
• Removed some non-functional editing buttons that shouldn’t have been visible within the watch app
• The title wasn’t being shown in the Overdue task list
• The Small complication on the Simple watch face is now available (simple calendar icon to launch the app)
• Resolved a handful of stability issues
OTHER Fixes & Improvements:
• Fixed “Stable Connection Error” when trying to log into certain mail servers
• Fixed issue with Google Task sync where clearing a due date or “un-completing” a task wouldn’t properly sync that change back to Google
• Contacts were not sorted properly if you had a mix of company and people contacts
• Sometimes a saved filter had to be selected twice before it would actually get applied
• The wrong saved filters were being offered if you were in a tasks or notes list
• Using an emoji as your search string to search for Apple Calendar events should now work properly
• Fixed issue where multi-day repeating events would show duplicate occurrences in certain situations
• Fixed issue where you couldn’t hit “Done” or “Cancel” when setting a due date on a project
• Fixed issue where alert dialogs were half cut off in Split Screen mode on iPad
• Improved date formatting in a few different ares of the app
• Fixed 5.1 regression that would cause crash when choosing an auto-suggestsd contact in the title field of a new event and choosing “Meet With”
• Fixed regression in 5.1 where force-touch-add-note was failing for Apple Events.
• In rare cases, the App Badge could be a day off when setting it to show “today’s date”
• Don’t include tasks that haven’t started yet in a location alarm
• Fixed issue where location alarms on Contexts might show “More…” even when there weren’t more tasks to show
• Fixed issue where only 1 alarm would fire even if you scheduled multiple alarms on an Apple Calendar event
• Fixed issue removing / cancelling Apple Calendar Event alarms
• Fixed issue with “Jump to Date” popover when using the Buddhist Calendar
• Fixed issue where the “show more/less” button on the widget wasn’t in sync with the state of the widget (tapping 2-3x typically fixed it)
• Fixed a situation where sometimes the “more…” indicator on Today Widget wouldn’t show when it should have
• Reduced memory use of Today Widget and it also now makes some attempts to handle low memory warnings before iOS quits it
• Various visual / UI improvements
• Several stability and performance improvements across the board
Please let us know what you think of these fixes in the comments section below.
“Please let us know what you think of these fixes in the comments section below.”
I think these fixes are fantastic! The View Picker “Shortcut” Bar appears to be an excellent solution. Though I am coming from the opinion of “keep the new view picker,” I will definitely use the shortcut bar to navigate between tasks and month view.
I must say: seeing all the improvements and fixes listed inspires confidence in the future of the app. Though for me as a user, it is “painfully” slow—I know you all are working hard to make it happen and it IS happening.
Thank you for the encouragement. It is good to hear that we are making a difference.
I’ve moved on to A+ List on the iPad because it supports Contacts. I wish that Informant would too.
Your proposed changes to the app seem to be on target for me too. So much so, that I recently renewed my subscription for another year. I still do not agree with the amount that is being charged (and I did take advantage of the coupon that was offered), so I will leave that for another forum. The app seems more stable and the list of changes provided should make me more productive. So I offer my congratulations on the good work.
I am so happy to hear that you like the recent changes. We have been working really (really) hard to get the biggest (and most valid) complaints resolved. We think this release is pretty close. So, we are beginning to work on the “price topic”. You can see in my previous reply on this thread what our thoughts are. I’d be very curious to get your thoughts on this strategy. Lets call it the “Give One- Get One” strategy. Do you think it will work? Would it work for you?
P.S. This is the type of thing that Dropbox did early on to promote growth and it seemed to work well for them.
I do not object to the “Give on-Get One” concept and might even use it. I did take advantage of the recent $4 coupon, although I had to send some emails to ensure that my account was extended at the lower rate. My objection is that I am paying for sync features that I will never use, at least for the time being. I use Informant Sync, and now Informant Sync for Outlook, and I don’t sync with Google, Evernote and others. So I don’t see the need for paying for all of those sync options, unless I plan to use them. I know I am not alone in this opinion, but it seems this was dismissed early on.
I will admit that PI is a lot more stable and there is more information available on how to use the product, so this helps justify the cost. So keep up that good work.
There was talk months ago about possibly reconsidering the price structure for Informant 5. I’m wondering if any final decisions have been made on that front.
You are right. We did make some comments a few months ago about that. And YES. We do have a plan. We will be rolling that plan out in a blog post in the next few days-weeks. You will see some “hints” of the plan if you download the new version 5.2 for iOS. In the settings area there is a button that says “Enjoying Informant?” If you click there, and then in to “Share Informant with a Friend” you will see we are experimenting with a “give one – get one” type of offer. Basically, if you refer a friend we will give you some free months on your subscription. The idea that we have right now is that if you refer 1 person per month, you could get Informant (full version) totally for free.
We are curious to get some feedback on this strategy and to develop some rules etc, (Like husband & wife can’t just refer each other every month and have it free)… Our overall objective is to grow the user base and reward (specifically) the people who can help us do that. We may also consider something as simple as “post to facebook, or post to twitter” for a free month”. But of course, all of these things take development efforts and our priority was on the functionality. We are felling pretty good about this recent release and think it “might” cover the majority of the issues that many people have been having complaints about.
We will continue to monitor the app ratings and try to drive those up, because at the end of the day, that is what makes the world turn in Apples Universe.
So.. If you love informant, PLEASE go to the app store & give us a [ good:) ] review.
The View Picker “Short Cut” bar still has bug, sometimes only the tick sign appears on the View Picker button but the “Short Cut” bar is not showing the calendar shortcut. Overall, this is quite an improved version compare to original Informant 5 when it first launched more than six months ago. Thanks for such improvement, keep up the good work.
Thank you for letting us know about that. Have you reported this to support? If not, what settings do you have for shortcut 1, shortcut2, shortcut 3. If there is a bug, we will fix it. That’s what we do…
This is disappointing. Over a month of testing, 6 (!) betas and the version released to the customers is absolutely full of bugs. All the menus screens are not positioned correctly – headers is blocking first few lines in the menu in each and every one of them, making it impossible to use, line with the switch for focused view in new tasks is disabled and blank. Seriously? Yes I submitted it to support. But for the money we are paying you, Keith, you ought to hire help for Chris and use better beta testers that you currently have. Alex was so many levels better in managing this company and it’s products…I miss him!
Can you confirm what device you are on and what screens you are seeing alignment problems? We haven’t had anything else like that reported (to my knowledge, just checked with support).
I love Alex too. He is a total stud. In fact, he is the one that did the initial work on the view picker stuff in 5.2, then Chris polished it up. They are awesome.
Alex is still here, I’ll ask him to say Hi to you.
I’m not sure I understand the issue you’re reporting – did you provide screenshots to support? I can ask them for a copy of the screenshots. I’ve been using 5.2 directly daily on my iPhone 6s and my iPad 10.5 – and I’m not sure I understand the report. Part of that is PI has no menus, so I’m not sure what specifically you may be referring to.
5.2 was a collaboration between myself and Chris – Chris focused on bug-fixes and I focused on many of the new features.
Chris is doing a quick 5.21 as well to fix a couple last minute bugs we’ve seen so if we can figure out what you’re seeing, we might be able to fix it in time. Its not uncommon in huge major updates (like this one) for there to be a few straggling bugs.
I did not know you are still around. This is refreshing. I sent you a link to screen recording to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can not upload it via support, or as file attachment, as the file is too big. Let me know if it makes sense.
And yes, I provided screen shots for several bugs I found to support previously.
So I think I got your emails. I’m going to respond privately – but for the public, my response is going to be that your issues are actually iOS 11 Beta issues. I’ve watched your videos and those are bugs I see in iOS 11 in Apple apps on my iPad, and are also in UI Controls that are provided by iOS and are not ones that PI itself customizes.
In general, we don’t support iOS betas for this very reason.
bremin001, (and for others who are reading this)
The word I am hearing from support is that you are running a beta version of iOS 11 and that is the root of your issues. We will be planning an iOS 11 compatible update by the time iOS 11 is “GA” General Availability.
Of course, we will do our best to fix bugs sooner than later, but I hope that at least explains why you are having some issues.
All the best,
I don’t see where you can save a task or event as a template/trigger. Where is it?
I see it. It’s in the 3D Touch pop up. I don’t like discovery.
But then where is it on iPad?
I see it for events, but not for tasks.
Hi Tom – the button to create a trigger from a task specifically on iPad is currently not available. This is already addressed in 5.21 (should be posted within the next week).
One other thing missing in tasks on the iPad is the “Change Start Date” button.
Shortcuts are a little improvement towards a usable UI (that is, towards PI4), but they are still not enough. In particular, when I tap on a shortcut, it’s icon swaps with the icon of the current view. This means that shortcuts buttons are never in the same position or in the same order. This is dreadful. Also, to change between different calendar views I’m still compelled to go through the useless annoying and irritating transition screen. For me this keeps being unacceptable.
Also, with iPad I want to be able to keep the master view controller always open not so ly in landscape but also in portrait mode.
I was looking forward PI 5.2, but after this further disappointment I finally took the time to write a short review and give the app one star. This means that I am really really really really fed up
Another problem with task view (iPad) is that whenever I change view from the “ribbon” (or whatever that ridiculous bar on top is called), the highlight in the “master view controller” is not updated. This means that if I’m seeing, say, “All Active” tasks and I switch to “In Progress” through the “ribbon” on top and after that I open the “master view controller”, this still has “All Active” highlighted, so that I think I’m viewing “All Active” rather than “In Progress”.
Furthermore, the first time I open the “master view controller”, nothing at all is highlighted.
Hopefully these are bugs that you are going to solve AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Hi Gennaro – I’m sorry you don’t seem to be enjoying any of the improvements in 5.20. That’s discouraging – but we’ll keep working on it.
As far as making sure we fix “these bugs” – the only bug I see that you mentioned is that the group selection in the sidebar on task/notes view doesn’t always reflect reality (specifically on first load and if you use the ribbon to change groups). We’ve got that one filed and will definitely get it resolved.
The master sidebar hiding in Portrait is a design decision for now – that’s not to say that it can’t change in the future. As you know, 5.0-5.1, the sidebar was always hidden. We all agreed that it should always show while in Landscape on iPad. We are honestly still evaluating what we think about it also being locked on in (iPad) Portrait. We’ve noted that you are definitely voting for it to stay on in portrait – we’ll keep gathering feedback and thinking through this one ourselves.
On the shortcut bar – it is updating each time to switch views so that you don’t see two of the same buttons and so that we save some space (if we constantly left the task button in the shortcut bar, for instance, we would have to make the shortcut bar 1 item wider AND when you would go to tasks view and see the task icon both in the main view picker AND in the shortcut bar). Wasting the screen real estate doesn’t make sense on iPhone…maybe it does for iPad since we have a little room to spare on the toolbar – we’re willing to consider a permanent unchanging line of shortcuts regardless of which view you’re on on iPad. That would require fairly different approaches between iPhone and iPad, so we didn’t want to just jump straight to that type of solution right away.
At the very least, I hope that you can see that we’ve been putting out a steady stream of updates since 5.0 and we’re carefully considering and addressing the feedback that you and others have been giving us. I get that it’s not precisely what you’re looking for yet – but I have to ask you honestly: given *all* that Informant does for you, given the support that we have offered to you and given how active we have been in putting out updates, does an imperfect view switcher really warrant a 1 star rating?
Hi Chris, thank you for your reply, good and informative as always!
Yes, the support I’m receiving here is pretty good, and if my review was based only on that PI would get 5 stars for me.
“These bugs” are indeed the bug you described better than me. You can add that on my iPhone SE mo group is ever highlighted, regardless of where I selected it.
The view picker is imperfect, and on iPhone SE when I set three shortcuts they partly superimpose the “add new task/event” button, that I suppose is always in the middle of the screen, so the part on the screen on the right is jammed with icons, the one on the left almost empty. Looks good on iPad.
Still, my rating is due to the fact that now that we are at 5.2, the user interface PI is nowhere as good as PI4 was. I would even spend an extra 5 gbp/year on your current subscription prices to be able to use PI4.
I described my issues in detail somewhere else in this blog, but for task view: (1) yes, I think that having the possibility to choose whether to “pin” or hide the master sidebar in portrait mode would be a good idea, (2) when it hides, i think it should actually auto-hide when I’ve made a selection, (3) I find the “ribbon” useless and redundant. Furthermore the presence of the ribbon has had the consequence of making the header disappear, so once the master sidebar is hidden and the ribbon has been rolled, I have no idea with view I have in front of me (all active? In progress? Etc); this is particularly bad on iPhone. (4) the task view icon used to have a count of overdue tasks. Not any longer.
It would also be good to have the possibility to change the calendar view from the shortcut bar (similar to PI4). You have the “new task/event/note” button that opens a menu when I tap it, I think the same could be done for the calendar view button.
Also, the date picker of 5.1 is in some ways better but in others worse than the one in 5.0, but they are both much worse than the date picker in 4.9
Also, I don’t like either of your colour schemes, I would enjoy a “PI 4” option.
Just to be clear: I find it very hard, annoying and time consuming to distinguish the different calendar icons. In PI4 there was icon and text, fast sand easy. Now I always to pause a moment to figure out which is the icon I want, and a lot of times I get it wrong.
Hang in there Gennaro,
You will figure it out. I have found that I use a few of the icons more than others & it took me a few days but now I am in a new groove.
Change is always hard. It takes a few repetitions for our brains to get the new patterns.
@chrismc: the implementation of the shortcut bar (where it updates as the view is switched) makes total sense. I see why y’all did that and the reasons are for it are good.
For me—since I only use 2 shortcuts—it works perfectly because it is always the OTHER view (calendar and tasks me).
For 3 shortcuts, however, I think I lean towards making the shortcut bar 1 wider. It is just too jarring to have the buttons change.
Though, I also think this is behaviour that should sit with users for a lengthy amount of time. I can see—even myself—might get used to the switching, especially since it is methodical.
My dark mode has changed to a funny sort of murky grey with this update ! How do I get proper dark mode back ?
You’ve also moved the jump to today button to the top right from the bottom which was one reason I was using informant 5 over the old 4 , how do I get that back down the bottom as welll ?
The color scheme for dark mode was refined after hearing lots of feedback and testing out different color schemes ourselves. The primary feedback we heard on dark mode was negative – it was “too dark”, not enough contrast between different elements, and more importantly it really affected readability of people’s calendar data. So far, we have heard from a few folks who like the darker theme – but most people that we’ve heard from are really enjoying the improved readability. You can always customize many of the colors in your Appearance settings to get your calendar views back to a more “pure black” color if you like. We’ll also keep listening to feedback.
The Jump to Today buttons moved to make way for the new view picker shortcuts. The predominant feedback we got on I5 was that people wanted 1-tap access to different calendar views. The consequence of that was that we needed to free up space in the toolbar…the “jump to date” buttons made the most sense to move up to the top since that’s where we have other date navigation (via the date ribbon or the left/right arrows on month view), so now all date navigation is grouped together.
Oh , I see ! That’s a pity as the new mucky grey looks a bit daft to me . I’m just trying to get 4 to work on my iPad mini 4 again but the trick of adding the text file with iTunes no longer works, it’s syncs fine but file doesn’t load so is there a new way to get it work as just goes to the 5 link ?
Hi, I’m really trying to like PI 5 but I just can’t get used to the navigation. I was one of the people that criticised the double tap and was hoping the shortcut bar would solve the problem. Unfortunately for me it is worse – menu options that change every time you select one in my opinion is a terrible idea. It might be fractionally faster than double tap but the fact I have an extra mental step to work out which button to tap makes it feel less intuitive even after using it for a while. The shortcut bar in its current form isn’t going to work for me, would you consider changing the home screen behaviour so that the buttons appear overlaying whatever screen you are in rather than taking you to another screen? Although not great as it would still include double tap this would be better in my opinion.
And now it doesn’t sync at all between devices on google calendar ! Was working perfectly so I decided to try a 3 month subscription and now you move the today button , say the dark mode was TOO dark and sync has stopped working after last update . You guys must just think things up to really piss off every user !!!
Keith, thanks for the information about the promotion. Unfortunately, that’s sounds a bit too effort-full and pyramid-scheme-ish to me. (although I should point out I’ve always been enthusiastic about recommending PI just because it was a fabulous app!)
What I would really like, is to be able to use PI 4 just as it is forever and ever, for which I would be happy to pay a modest subscription fee or occasional upgrade fee to keep it functional.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like that will be possible.
I regretfully think I will be exploring other options. Sigh
I found some bugs/issues which I submitted, so I won’t discuss here (except perhaps Dark Mode issues at a later time). I’ve just moved to I5, after seeing the encouraging improvements listed (to things I couldn’t live with, so haven’t migrated till now). Thanks for the hard work and listening to feedback. It’s obvious good progress has been made (and more to come). Over and above the bugs/issues, there are still some navigation related items I’d really want addressed, to return Informant to be as smooth/efficient/fast as it once was.
On most views, I can see 4 shortcut buttons fit (3 extra plus the 1 current). This occurs when choosing a view that’s not a nominated ‘shortcut bar’ favourite (from settings). So under “View settings > enable views > Shortcut bar”, can you provide 4 shortcut options please, not 3. So when we select one of the shortcut buttons, the shortcut bar will show 4 buttons (3 extra plus the 1 current), and not shrink to 3. Of course, I understand if we choose a view that’s not a nominated favourite, one of those favourites will disappear off the list. But that’s fine. Always having 4 available buttons is worth it (and I know it fits, as I can make it happen, as described above).
I have no need for it and don’t want it. It interferes with navigation, it’s a distraction, it’s jarring and takes your attention from your tasks/calendar needlessly. The shortcut buttons are great, but for the times I need all the navigation buttons and/or settings button and/or search box, please just overlay these on the existing calendar (or whatever is showing), and NOT show the home screen. This would provide seamless navigation (with all buttons in a consistent place), without interrupting/jarring the screen. The existence of the home screen should be an option under “View settings > Enable view”. Given how controversial it has been, I would think this would satisfy a lot of people.
I don’t use it not want it. Can we turn it off entirely, and get rid of the button on the bottom toolbar in Focus view?
I agree: get rid of the home screen and have the navigation panel appear overlayed what the current view is!
Has my comment on Home Screen (especially), Shortcut Buttons, and Travel Assist, been considered? I know others have also commented, especially the Home Screen. This would make such a difference to the navigation issues/complaints of Informant 5 (which Shortcut buttons have partly addressed).
These are all good thoughts. The biggest reason for 3 buttons and not 4 is the limited screen space on smaller devices. Remember, we are building an app that must work on iPhone SE, 5,6, 6+, 7, 7+, iPad, iPad mini, iPad pro… It is really quite complicated as a developer to deal with all these devices & all the sizes.
Hide Home screen: Maybe. Chris (lead dev) is in favor of doing that. It might happen.
Focus View / Travel assist: I am not sure where you see travel assist. Are you referring to the map button?
thanks for the suggestions.
Hide Home screen:
Thank you! This would go a LONG way to improving the experience.
As I’ve described before, 4 buttons are already displayed in certain situations. And they fit. So why not just always show 4 buttons, rather than shrinking back to 3 buttons, given 4 are sometimes shown and can be shown.
Focus view / travel assist:
Yes, I was talking about the map button. It’d be nice to be able to get rid of it, if not wanting the feature. It is cool and potentially useful to show all your event locations on a map, and then branch off to Google Maps or iOS maps from there. But not everyone wants that. Anyway, the other two requests are more important to me, not so mug this one.
I massively agree with Ren, boydston01 and CHRIS: get rid of the obnoxious home screen and overlay buttons on existing views. This would be the next best thing second only to revive the PI 4 view picker
Getting rid of the home screen is an idea that has been submitted.
You can vote for it here:
We are taking the top suggestions & acting on them so if it gets traction, it will likely get done.
Thank you for that, Keith, I voted.
Scott seems to have exactly the same view of things as me. I hope many more will be aware that they can vote for that idea
I’ve use up my votes on other things a very much need/want, like
(specifically tag based sorting)
And other things like Triggers, and numeric time selection
Rightly or wrongly, I didn’t think this NEEDED a vote as it’s such a no brainer. And it’s not a ‘feature’ being requested here, but a fix to a very annoying behaviour (for some of us) that many have complained about. So I’m kind of assuming it will get done, without me needing to vote for it. Is that a bad assumption? Perhaps…
Thanks for your input & votes. The time selector will be getting attention soon. Right after we get Informant for mac0S 1.0 out. The other items will be taken from top vote-getting items as well.
I almost forgot that another reason I gave one star, the reason that actually prompted me to beat the laziness and go ahead, was the “Enjoying Informant?” button in the middle of settings. I honestly think we are paying more than enough to be granted an ad-free experience, and I am really annoyed and disgusted by this slimy intrusion of advertisements and promotion in an overly damn expensive subscription app. This is not the style of the Fanatic Software I know and should never never ever be there. I understand this might be the influence of Keith “the marketing guy” so we might never be able to escape this fall of style to all time lows but, for God’s sake, development time should be dedicated to more worthy goals.
and what are my options? Either “I love it” or “I need help”. How smug, patronising and outright offensive!
After using 5.2 for a few days, I’d say this was the version I’ve been waiting for since December–much easier and more efficient to work with. That doesn’t mean issue-free, but the areas I saw as show-stoppers (at least on the iPad) are vastly improved. I’m happy the left-hand panels are back (but I have a bias–I always have my iPad in landscape). And I like the shortcut bar. I don’t have a problem with shortcuts jumping positions, once I realized they always appear in the same order (1,2,3, or 2,3, but never 3,2). So I can find them and jump to the view I need quickly. Thanks for listening, and for acting on our complaints.
Unfortunately there are no TEMPLATES in 5.2
This was the only reason I used Pocket Informant.
I’m using 4.94.44 and it’s fantastic.
I’d pay $100 to have Version 4 updated for IOS 11.
You can keep Triggers, give me TEMPLATES.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have “Re-named” the Templates as Triggers, but essentially, that is all we did. You should have all the same functionality.
I read a Developer Response to a review in the App store and it says:
“The subscription brings much more than syncing, it is your insurance that you will always have the latest version of Informant that your device will support plus the free unlimited support….”
Does this mean updates and support are only available to users who continue to pay every year?
At this point we are not discriminating between customers who pay & customers who don’t pay. (I know some will read this & say “well you should”). Our opinion is that we want to do our best to support everyone who wants to use our app. We would REALLY like it if our customers would “support us” by paying for the $25/year fee in the subscription. We realize that some people who are using the free versions, or getting “free support” are future paying customers who just haven’t experienced enough value to justify paying.
I hope that clarifies your question. Thanks for asking it.
This is very disappointing. First we’re told we can pay $25 and own the full app forever, and if we need sync services it’s $25 each year. Now you’re saying, after a year I’m using the app “for free”, and the $25 fee is to support the company and not to pay out of pocket costs for servers.
As of now you aren’t making a distinction, but by that response I see that you mean you reserve the right to change your mind in the future and I will possibly (probably?) have to pay to get support or upgrades at some point in the future.
I feel like you are just trying to twist my words and find something to be upset about. Is that your intention? I’m not trying to make you mad or upset you. None of the decisions that we make are ever to try to frustrate or hurt our customers. Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we make decisions with unintended consequences, but please feel free to give us the benefit of the doubt. I assure you that we do deserve it and we will be accountable when we make mistakes.
If I need to clarify:
1) The option to purchase for $25 and “own it” is still available. (You won’t have Informant sync services, but you would still have native data options)
2) If you pay $25 next year you will have the sync services (aka connect bundle).
3) If you do choose to pay the $25 next year (or the $3/month or $25 this year, anything really) we DO appreciate it, and we do love you for it. We consider that a form of “supporting” our company.
As I mentioned before, we currently provide in-app support for anyone using the app, (old, new, paid, not paid). We don’t have any intention of changing that.)
I’m absolutely not trying to twist your words, and in fact, if you spoke more clearly I wouldn’t have to interpret. Instead you always seem to answer questions with sales pitches.
I asked a simple question based on something I read. My question was, are updates and support available to customers who don’t need sync services. There are 3 answers. Yes, no and maybe. Instead of choosing any of those you wrote a paragraph where you talked about people using the app for free.
If I’ve misinterpreted your response, can you please clarify with yes, no or maybe? Since I’ve paid $25.00 to own the app, will I continue to have access to support and updates until Informant 6 is launched? That’s what I understood when I purchased it.
Now it is really frustrating. Informant 4 is still better than 5.2. I still use it even I payed for version 5. And now I have to read that there is no price change. I have to find other user to pay for features they do not need to get them for free. I just want to have a good calendar with Toodledo sync like informant 4 is it. I don’t think I will pay again after the first year if there is no price change. And please make the basics of informant 5 as good as informant 4 (slide in of day calendar in focus view on iPhone and fix on iPad. Informant today still not showing fullbday events and todos. And is on)
Not only frustrating but sad. I wonder how many development hours were spent changing /fixing things that didn’t need to be changed or fixed. I get the impression that all this is only a forced way to differenciate from PI4 at any cost in order to justify the new pricing and subscription schema.
If apple would stop coming out with new phones and new OS’s (iOS7,8,9 10,11, etc) we might be able to leave things alone. But every time apple comes out with a new OS, it gets harder and harder to maintain apps that were built on old versions of XCODE. We don’t even have a computer with a version of XCode old enough to build the project that 4.94 was made with. There are a whole list of reasons why developers upgrade apps and why we needed to move to V5. That is why we are getting ready for iOS 11 in a few months. Technology just keeps getting better. I agree that it can be frustrating, but it is the way the world works.
Yesterday, a new version of OmniFocus 2 was released, with a new business model. Surprise, NO subscription!
But what is more important, you can switch from OF1 to OF2! WITH DISCOUNT! And since Fanatic software claims, actually, Apple that would not allow.
We have never claimed (or at least we should’t have ever claimed) that Apple didn’t “allow” it. The issue is that the App Store itself doesn’t support it (and based on Apple’s recent statement – all appearances are that they won’t ever support it) – so we would have to jump through hoops to work around the app store to pull it off. What Omni is doing is this: OF 1 was a paid-up-front app. They released OF 2 as a new free-to-download app. They require that OF1 is installed on your device so that OF2 can detect it and offer a (hidden) discounted in-app purchase. So my guess is that OF1 is writing something to the keychain or to a shared file that allows them to validate that you actually own OF1 (because apple doesn’t give us a way to officially test for the purchase of another app). For OF3, they will have to put out another new app and do the same sort of thing. So they are basically creating their own mechanism to detect past purchases and offer discounts. There are some positives to that model…a couple downsides though:
1. Suppose a customer gets to version 3 and then has to restore it onto a new phone. More than likely, they will have to re-install Omnifocus 1 and launch it, then install OF 2 and launch it and restore purchases and then install OF 3 and launch it and restore purchases before they can get back up and running. Doable – but a really annoying experience.
2. Each major upgrade will be a brand new app to discover, download and migrate data to.
3. Because they will be putting out a new app for each major upgrade, they will remove the older versions of their app from the store which means no more updates at all for those older versions (security or otherwise)…and it’s very possible that people will be forced into upgrading anyway if an OS update breaks older versions of OF.
So their model is viable – though it’s not perfect and they are jumping through hoops on the development side to manually implement a solution that the App Store does not provide. Apple is publicly pushing subscription as what they think the future is, so I don’t expect that Apple will be giving us tools to “officially” handle paid upgrades anytime in the future.
As an aside, Omni charges $40-$60 for their iPhone app (they have a standard and pro version)…their DISCOUNTED rate if you owned v1 is $20-$30 (so their upgrade pricing is roughly one year of informant). And they only manage tasks. So…Informant is cheaper than OF until *year 3* assuming you NEVER upgrade to the newer versions of Omnifocus….and again, that’s just for task management.
“We have never claimed (or at least we should’t have ever claimed) that Apple didn’t “allow”.
Keith, all you have to do is to look back at your posts, perhaps dating back to when we were told you were the new publicity guy for Fanatic, another deception.
First off let me say that it is entirely possible that I made a mistake in my communication in the blog replies. My comments here (especially my early ones, may not have been as informed as they are now, and even now I run the important technical communications and actual blog posts past Chris & Alex before posting. I do not run every single comment reply past them…
So let me quote from one of Chris’s posts back in February on this particular topic:
Quoting Chris: “If we go down the road of releasing a completely separate new app each year, that means we subject everyone to annual app migration headaches. Plus it creates a ton of sideways energy into communication/logistics/marketing/etc – time that we could spend planning and delivering new features to I5. And worse, we amplify the problems that this entire blog post is talking about in the first place….the confines of the App Store make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to properly maintain past releases. The other option of free updates for life is simply not sustainable – and if we go out of business, that’s the end of Informant for everyone.”
(taken from this post: http://staging.pocketinformant.com/possible-issue-google-sync-users/ )
So, if I summarized that by saying “it is not possible” then perhaps I should have been more clear and said “It is not justified” or “It is not reasonable” or “It is not worth the headache involved for us or the customer when apple is guiding us in a different direction”.
I hope that clarifies things for you.
TomTom is now discontinuing their “classic” app and focusing on TomTom GO, which I personally find dreadful and disgusting but eventually I will be compelled to switch to it.
TomTom GO is, as it happens so often, subscription based. Anyway current users of TomTom get FOR FREE a **THREE YEARS** subscription. Three years for free to move to their new crap app.
Now, unlike Fanatic Software who started charging a high subscription before their new app was even acceptable, that’s some respect towards your existing customers. (even, if, I find it offensive to be compelled to leave an app I like and start using a new one I loathe)
My comments are:
1. I love Pocket Informant. In the years I’ve used it and all through the different versions, I think I’ve had two issues with it, one was a bug that Chris fixed promptly and the other was a process that my brain couldn’t wrap itself around, but again, Chris came through and explained to me what was happening.
2. I have tried so many different apps, paid and unpaid, simple and complex, that for me, I believe that PI is the best out there. If fits my needs very well, but it’s because PI is flexible enough where I can manipulate it to my system of organization. PI has bells and whistles that I don’t need, so I choose not to use them (like Travel Assist). My point being, PI may not be for everyone, and if it’s not for you, you can choose to find something else.
3. The subscription price does not bother me in the slightest. If I was still using my Franklin planner, I would be paying $50 a year for paper. PI is less expensive, faster, and I use it with the Franklin Covey planning processes. It’s great.
All that said, Alec, Keith, and especially Chris, keep up the good work, separate the constructive feedback from everything else. And if you need any free beta testers, let me know. I can break just about anything. 😉