I’ve been working on Informant 5.0 for a long time – mostly as part of our Mac Desktop version and also designing new refreshed interfaces throughout. I try really hard not to provide any timelines on major releases like this because in all the wobbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff, things change as we move forward and we refocus from time to time. Right now, Informant 5 is something we’re focusing on after Informant for OS X is at 1.0.

So what about until then? I can’t let Informant for iOS flounder…not going to happen on my watch! I was working on some bug fixes for Informant 4.83, but after Release 7 for Desktop was done I decided to do some serious work on Informant for iOS – and now we have 4.9! So what’s new with 4.9?

I’m so very tempted to bring some of the Informant 5 work into 4.9…and I am doing a few things in 4.9 that were planned for 5. The biggest change is that we’re going to make some big changes to how we sell the app. Our focus has always been on trying to keep sales simple, but we know that people might be more interested in Informant if it was sold in more piecemeal fashion. So we are going to offer that – get just the major bits of Informant you need; or buy the whole thing outright. We also have a special twist we are going to offer as well that we hope will be really appealing to people. Ultimately the main thing to get out of this is that we’re offering more choices – but the existing choice will exist as well.

Other changes include the ability to take over Apple Calendar/Reminder alarms, a refreshed Days View, a refreshed Calendar interface,and other fairly significant improvements, weather detail, iPad Pro improvements, and a lot more. One thing I’m working really hard on is improving the startup performance. There is a lot we have to do when you startup: check for Apple Calendar/Reminder changes, setup sync, setup alarms, setup location monitoring, and so on…and this takes a serious toll on startup. But I’m finding ways to squeeze a few percentage points here and there.

The serious new features will be in Informant 5 – but Informant 4.9 will be a great update with a focus on keeping Informant a serious contender until its brother arrives later this year.