Where are my updates?
The last few months have been quiet for KeepTrack without a significant update to the app, but that does not mean development has stopped, quite the opposite. I have taken this time to write the app completely from scratch and I would like to explain the motives for that action, the timeline and what you might expect to see in the next major version.
A rewrite? Why??
The decision to re-write an app is one of the most dramatic ones a developer might take, it poses huge risks to the support of existing users as well as to the stability and availability of the new version so this decision was not taken lightly. In the last years KeepTrack has seen huge refactoring periods (like moving from Java to Kotlin) however this time the change was much bigger and the app is now being re-written in the new Flutter toolkit.
Flutter allows developers to write apps that are faster to build and maintain with a much nicer and fluent UI. It is also cross-platform, that means it will be able to run on both Android and iOS. But that is not all! in the near future it will also allow running the app from a web browser as well as running naively on most operating systems.
Every project such as this makes me re-think the app in general as it is a good point in which to assess what is working well and what needs to be improved in the app. Concepts such as multi value parameters, graph handling, tagging and more are being reconsidered and refined.
So the benefits are:
When should we expect all this?
The plan is to launch a new app with a somewhat reduced set of features in the first half of this year, basically in the next 2-3 months. This version will be available for iOS only as it will be missing features that are available in the Android version and so I will not be able to replace the existing Android version.
The full version which will be available for both Android and iOS will arrive towards the end of the year and will be a significant update for the existing Android users. A web version will follow that version.
How did we get here
KeepTrack started a long time ago.. in those days there were no in app purchases and so to support the app I have created a free regular version and a paid pro version which added more functionality.
With the introduction of in app purchases I have decided to cancel the pro version and introduce pro features as in app items so users would be able to pick whatever they wanted instead of buying the whole package.
With the introduction of cloud storage I have limited the amount of entries and added a subscription with the intention of supporting the server costs.
This situation has led to a confused pricing model of both in app items and a subscription, it also limited the number of entries which some users did not like. Still, I needed some way of supporting this project so a new pricing model is now in place.
The new pricing model offers no in app purchases, only two paid subscription plans. The basic (and free) plan removes the limit on entries but added a limit on parameter count. I believe the majority of users will feel comfortable with this limitation as it means a casual user can use the app with no limits.
The pro plan increases that limit and adds all previous in app items (widget, multi value, goals) and the ultimate plan removes all limits and will contain additional future features.
Important: Any user who has previously bought an in app feature still has that feature as it was a purchase for life, also previous subscribers will get the ultimate plan functionality with no additional cost.
Version 6.0 also introduces a couple of major enhancements: the entries list has been improved with a new look and more options for you to control. We have also added more options for you to choose on your card display and these options were also added to the widget.
Version 5.8 is here and its biggest feature is tags. Many of you have requested a "folders" feature that will allow you to sort your trackers and now you can use tags which are exactly that. Create tags for the categories of your trackers (e.g. Work, Sport, Home..) and then assign them to your trackers in the tracker's settings, you can assign more than one tag per tracker. After assigning the tags you will be able to filter your trackers by the tags, check out the screenshots.
Control graph color
Another highly requested feature is the ability to select the color of the graphs per tracker, you can do this now by selecting a color from the tracker's settings. The color will also appear on the main screen as small dot.
Additional period: Year
Some of you have asked to track entries over a period of a year and with this version I have added the option to aggregate entries by years. I have also added an option to set yearly goals.
The calendar view of the app has been revised and now you can see the values encapsulated in a ring that shows the value in proportion to the values range, this is clearer than the previous design and also lets you quickly view items with yes/no values or pre defined values.
There is also a new layout which shows three months instead of one, this gives a better overview over a longer period of time. Navigation has also changed and you can now easily swipe up or down to move through the months.
A new font is now used for the app and many elements of the app has been revised, the notable ones are:
A new version is upon us, version 5.6's has gone through a remarkable make over under the hood by switching most of the code to a new language - Kotlin! The switch was used to rewrite many parts of the implementation and will hopefully lead to shorter development cycles and improved stability.
Version 5.5 is rolling out and together with its predecessor (version 5.4) is focused on visiting existing features and polishing them according to user feedback.
One place for settings
Version 5.4 organized all of a tracker's settings in a single screen instead of being placed on tracker cards, entry dialogs and menu settings. Settings by their nature are not used very often and once you set them to your liking they hardly change so it made more sense to place them in one convenient spot.
Other changes included an improved appearance to the side drawer and some more ui touches.
Some users complained about the graph settings and I have used some of the feedback to do a total redesign of this feature. Now you can easily see what additional graphs are available and select them, I have also added some new ones like maximum and minimum and simplified others such as moving average.
Some settings were removed like labels display which is now being calculated automatically or settings the minimum and maximum values of the Y axis which can now be set by pinching and dragging the graph.
Many other small bits were added as well like showing a whole note when tapping on its flag, improved look for the buttons and easy selection of Y axis tracker.
More polish to come...
I am not done.. version 5.6 will focus on polishing both the widgets and the goals in the app. Got ideas about these features? Drop me a note :)
Backups are great, they give you the peace of mind that your data is safe and so KeepTrack has this option from the very beginning. Since then I have received a lot of feedback regarding backups and the repeating questions were:
I am happy to let you know that with version 5.2 these concerns are solved and now you can use any file manager app or any cloud storage app (Google Drive, Dropbox) to save your backups. This gives you full flexibility regarding the location in which the backups are stored. This also means that a feature which was previously required additional purchase (Google Drive backups) is now available to everybody without additional cost. Since KeepTrack is not saving the backups by itself it does not require permission to access your storage and since version 5.2 also uses a new Google mechanism for logging in which does not require special permissions, this brings KeepTrack to zero requested permissions.
Goals which were introduced in version 5.1 have been enhanced with more options and features like targeting repetition of entries as a goal or setting a goal of several entries in a sequence. Some of you felt uncomfortable with the switch to cloud, I am happy to introduce again the option to work offline again. It is not safe as the cloud option and disables some of the features, but hey, if that is what you want...
Putting your data on the cloud enables some great features: keeping your data safe at all times, synchronize it with all your devices and now with version 5.1 the ability to share it with your friends and view their shared data. Obviously nothing is shared without you explicitly sharing it, we value your privacy as always.
This version also showcases a new design for the main screen, it gives more weight to the visibility of the last value which in most cases is the interesting part. The new design is going to evolve in the upcoming versions and support more customization of the views so you will be able to see the most interesting data first.
As usuall with every new version there are small additions and fixes, we have a new language added - Japaneese (thanks to Masashi Hashimoto), the option to delete your account completely with all its data (be careful with that) and others.
Looking forward to your feedback and the next version which will arrive soon.
I am pleased to announce that version 5.0 of KeepTrack is out and should be available on Google Play very soon. Unfortunately, this also marks the end of KeepTrack Pro and you can read about it here.
So, what has changed? Here is the list :)
Welcome to our new blog in our updated web site!
It's been about three months since version 4.5 and version 4.6 is now out to all users. So, what have I been doing all this time? A lot. Version 4.6 introduces two major changes and a load of small ones, however most of the users will not be aware of the two major changes for reasons that will be explained.
The first major change is the introduction of in app purchases to the regular Google Play version. When KeepTrack was first created in app purchases were not available so I have created a free and a paid version, now it is time to move on. Using in app purchases allows much more flexibility in product billing options and users will now be able to pick whatever feature is required by them and only pay for that feature. The Pro version will not offer this option since all features are included in it by default. The regular Amazon version will not offer this as well because a different implementation is required to connect to Amazon's app store and I intend to add it in future versions.
The second major change is cloud synchronization. Although KeepTrack had a backups feature for a long time too many users did not use it frequently and so data was lost in cases in which the device was damaged or the app got deleted. Also, many users wanted the ability to sync data between devices and although this is possible with Google Drive backups it is not automatic. Version 4.6 saves data to a cloud service and so always keeps the data safe and synchronized. This feature is only available to new users of the non pro version for several reasons:
Other features in this version include a new drawer element with a settings page. The new settings add more options to sort trackers and control their display. I have also improved localization with much better Hebrew support and added Croatian language. Some bug fixes were introduced as well most notably regarding the dragging and dropping of trackers.
The cloud synchronization required a huge rewrite in the core of the app and unfortunately this made this release a bit unstable, I want to thank all the users who have helped fixing bugs by reporting them.
The next version is already gaining momentum with many UI improvements, more statistics and a new goals manager. Looks exciting :)