Pinbook 1.1: Polish and Speed

Pinbook 1.1 is out on the App Store now, so I thought I’d take a moment and go over a couple of the things that have changed in the new version.

Enhancements

This release is more about polish and getting things working even better, but I also managed to add some new features I think you’ll really like. There’s also preferences for disabling the automatic refresh and having new bookmarks be private by default.

Faster Sync

One of the things people really liked about 1.0 is that it could handle large accounts pretty quickly. I’m really excited to say that 1.1 is several times faster for both initial loading and subsequent syncing. My 20,000 bookmark test account does its initial load in about 40 seconds or so, and subsequent syncing (picking up changes from the website) takes just a few seconds. It’s hard to even notice it happening on my personal account.

Improvements When Adding

I made a couple of improvements to the adding interface that I really like. The first one is tag autocompletion when adding, and the other is a URL scheme bar that lets you switch between available options when adding a new bookmark.

Tag Autocomplete Bar

I really like this feature. One of the things that made Pinbook 1.0 a little hard for me to use was that when adding new bookmarks, I had to guess what I had called my tags (was it, “election2012, or election-2012”). Now when you type in the tags field, a bar will appear above the keyboard and suggest tags you’ve already used. Just tap one and it will get added. If you want to add a new tag, just type in. You can even go back and edit previous words in the field and Pinbook will do the right thing.

Tag autocomplete bar

URL Scheme Bar

When you add a URL to Pinboard, you need to give it a URL scheme (http://, ftp://, etc). When typing in the URL field you’ll get a list with all of the options Pinboard supports and you can switch between them. If you also just paste or type in a complete URL with the scheme, Pinboard will figure that out and show the right one as being selected.

URL scheme bar

Polish

In Pinbook 1.1 I’ve switched to using custom navigation/toolbar button images. One of the major inspirations for the overall aesthetic and design of Pinbook is the font Futura, and the slightly less than standard corner radius of the new bar buttons is meant to help evoke some of the same feeling. It’s really interesting to me how subtle changes like this can really affect the feel of something without drawing too much attention to the change itself.

Bar Button Background

Bug Fixes

If you submitted a bug report for Pinbook 1.0, it should be fixed now. The two biggest ones I took care of are:

  • Some people’s passwords were not working when logging in. I emailed with the developer of Pinboard, and it turns out to be an API bug. As a workround, I give you an option to enter in your Pinboard authentication token directly, which can be gotten from your Pinboard settings page. It’s pretty easy, and there’s a post about it on the Pinboard blog.
  • The save button would sometimes not become enabled when adding a bookmark from the clipboard or through Pinbook’s URL scheme.

The Future

I’m really happy with how this release came out, and really proud of what I was able to get into this release. I feel like I’ve got a great foundation, and I’m really excited about 1.2.