Simple In/Out Supports Safari Push Notifications on your Mac

First, thanks a million to all our customers who have emailed us over the past week thanking us for Push Notifications.  It’s incredibly gratifying to hear from happy customers.  After using Push Notifications ourselves over the last month or two internally, we can attest to how amazing they are.  Combined with GeoFences and iBeacons, it just works in a way that feels like magic.

One of the features we also launched this weekend that was a bit overshadowed was support for Safari Push Notifications as well on Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9).  Just like our Push Notifications on the iPhone, you can receive notices that your users have updated their statuses right on your Mac desktop.  Just like other notices in Notification Center, they slide into view from the upper right of your screen.  Best of all, you don’t even need your web browser to be open for them to work.  Also, you can click on them and instantly be taken to a web browser with your entire Simple In/Out board right in front of you.

To enable these right now, just log into Simple In/Out using Safari on Mac OS X Mavericks, and then click Settings -> Safari Notifications.  From there, you’ll need to give us permission by clicking a button.  After that, you’re good to go.  You can, just like the iPhone, follow everyone in your organization or just particular users.  We even have a few shortcuts to make this easier to set up.

If you wish to follow/unfollow a user, simply click on their name on the main in/out board and in the dialog that comes up, there will be a button in the lower right for following/unfollowing.  It’s really that easy.

These Safari Push Notifications are available by the same rules as those for the iPhone.  By default, they are available to admin users only, but can be given to everyone or no one depending on how your organization chooses to have their preferences set.

We hope you enjoy this, we feel it’s a real game changer.

Safari Push Notifications

Simple In/Out Updates iOS App to 6.0

For the 6th time in 3 years, Simple In/Out has undergone a major revamp of the app. In the early days, it was to support Geofences. Then it was newer versions of iOS and icon changes. Today, Simple In/Out is proud to release 6.0 that brings with it another round of great new features and changes.

The biggest new feature for 6.0 is Push Notifications. We have been testing this feature for several months, and we couldn’t be happier to release it to our eligible users. Admin users can register to get notified when other users are updating their statuses. They are disabled by default so you aren’t getting app spammed with notifications right off the bat. Under Settings, you can enable notifications and select which users you’d like to get updates for.

In addition to push notifications, the app has undergone a complete makeover. We went back to our early roots and restored the colored nav bar, as well as made some great updates to take advantage of iOS 7. We think the look is a lot cleaner, and stands out against other apps that are flat and white. We missed the splash of color, and we hope you did too.

There are a lot of subtle changes throughout the app. We went through every page and made sure that everything was tinted correctly, and we didn’t miss a thing. Now that we are officially on iOS 7.1, we’ve officially stopped supporting iOS 6.x. If you are still an iOS 6 user (I’m sorry) your app will continue to work. Users looking for Simple In/Out that have 6.x should still be able to download an older version of the app that Apple stores on file, but won’t be privy to all of the great new features iOS 7 has to offer.

There are a lot of things we’d love to add to Simple In/Out, but just don’t have the time. If there is something you’d like to see, let us know. We are on Twitter, Facebook, or just old fashioned email. Tell us how we are doing and what you think. We hope you enjoy using Simple In/Out as much as we enjoy building it.

7.1 brings back Geofence behavior

Apple released a major update to iOS yesterday. This update brings a lot of new changes to iOS, mainly CarPlay. While this doesn’t mean much for users right now, it will in the coming months as vehicles come to market.

One unlisted feature of iOS 7.1, is the default behavior of Geofences and iBeacons has been restored to iOS 6 defaults. For those of you not aware, starting in iOS 7, if you force close an app (double-tap home, and swipe the app up) you are telling iOS that you don’t want this app to run anymore, and that the app should not be allowed to respond to background events. This is completely opposite of the behavior in iOS 6. If your app needs to respond to a Geofence update, it would get notified, woke up if you will, and be allowed to respond to the event. This new change has caused a lot of problems for our users that are used to closing apps from the app switcher and not getting updates to various background updates.

With 7.1, we have confirmed that force closing an app that is monitoring Geofences will respond to Geofence updates. This is great news for users (and developers) that want their apps to continue working in the background. We got word via a story about improvements to iBeacons in 7.1 that piqued our interest. We immediately confirmed their findings about iBeacons, and checked if this change applied to Geofences as well. We were very happy to find that this change applies to both.

While most users won’t notice anything different, that is great news for everyone. Developers don’t have to code around this change in behavior, as well as not being put in the position to train users how to use iOS differently. Users shouldn’t notice anything different because like Apple says, it just works.

You can download Simple In/Out and see for yourself. We are putting the finishing touches on a new 6.0 build that is just about ready to go live. We wanted to wait until 7.1 was released to make sure the update would work for everyone. A few last minute tweaks, and we’ll be out the door.

Simple In/Out Public API is now Live

Today, we’re excited to announce that Simple In/Out has an API accessible to the public.  In beta testing for several months, we’ve now unleashed this on the world and can’t wait to see what our users do with it.

When designing the API (known as APIv2 or Version 2), we relied heavily on industry standards like OAuth2 and JSON.  This means several off-the-shelf tools can be put to work to do wonderful things with your data.  For now, this is a read-only API that allows access to your users, statuses, groups, etc.

If you’d like access, just email me and we’ll provide you the tokens necessary.  My email is brandon [at] simplymadeapps [dot] com.

A New Look for Simple In/Out (and GeoFence Updates Too)

To kick off this weekend, we’ve shipped a new look for Simple In/Out.  You’ll find the website is a little brighter, a lot cleaner and contains a lot more details on our main pages.  We’re highlighting more features for our phone apps, iPad and Windows 8.  We hope you find the changes easy on the eyes.

Also, we’ve updated the GeoFence page on the website with three important improvements we’ve had requests for.  First, it’s responsive and provides a bigger map for bigger screens.  Second, we now support editing your GeoFences on the iPad web browser (including pinch zooming and dragging pins).  Finally, we’ve added an address lookup to make it easier to find locations.

We’re excited about these changes, but the best is coming soon.  6.0 is right around the corner.

Startups at work: Previous entrepreneurial events have lingering impact in Fargo

Report Upgrades Land for Simple In/Out

To start the new week, we’re happy to announce some great report upgrades we’ve just shipping for Simple In/Out.  Both the Time Card and Daily Timeline reports now take advantage of the screen size of your browser, making for larger reports on your desktop and smaller side-scroling reports on your phone’s web browser.  This is especially useful for the Daily Timeline, which loves that extra space.

We’ve also hidden the advanced settings in a dialog to lessen confusion for the vast majority of our users that don’t use them.  And, we’ve added an extra advanced option to the Time Card report that allows users to choose the length of the little time card bars (they default to 8 hours).

We’re nearing the finish line on our big new release.  Until then, thanks for reading.

More Control of Your Simple In/Out Board

It’s Friday night and we here at Simply Made Apps are shipping more features for Simple In/Out!  By popular request, we’ve worked to add more control to the presentation of the in/out board.  Many of our customers have wanted smaller text to fit more users on the screen, while others have wanted larger text so they can see their users’ statuses across the room.

To that end, we’ve added a gear menu in the upper-righthand corner of the board.  This menu provides text size controls as well as control over which data columns display.  You can remove columns, remove the avatars and add a new column for phone numbers.  When you go to fullscreen mode (we’ve moved the fullscreen button over to the left), you’ll see those same text controls and control over the number of columns.  Now, fullscreen mode users can use large text and two columns for a few users or up to 6 columns and small text for a whole mess of users.

In this update is one more big change, international date support.  This has been a big request amongst our international users and we’ve delivered over 60 different date localizations.  Every user has a language setting that will format the dates (month/day/year, day/month/year, etc), the times (3:20pm or 15:20) and any of the relative text (Today for example, in the language selected).  While we haven’t internationalized the entire website, dates were far and away the biggest request we’ve received.

As always, let us know what you think by shooting us an email.  Our big 6.0 iOS release is in beta testing now, we can’t wait to show you what we have in store.

Brandon Medenwald and Bill Burgess make things easier with Simply Made Apps

Everybody Out

It’s been a while since we’ve posted to the blog but rest assured that we are not dead.  We’ve been working feverishly on some new projects, one of which will see the light of day soon (and has been a big feature request).

Right now, we have just shipped a new feature that has the potential to make life better for a bunch of admin users.  It’s call Everybody Out, and it’s just that:   a simple way to change all the users in your company that are “in” to “out”.

Sounds easy, right?  We have some customers who would like to start fresh every so often, and this makes it super easy.  Simply navigate to your Settings, then Everybody Out (listed on the left).  Once there, you have two options:  Do It Now or Do It Everyday.

Do It Now allows you to move everyone to “out” immediately, with an optional comment.

Do It Everyday allows you to schedule this to happen once per day.  You can choose a time period (say, 1am – 2am), and within that time range Simple In/Out will move all your users “out” with a message that states “Automated Out”.  It’s a simple way to start fresh every morning.

We hope this makes life a little easier for some of our customers.