NetSnips 3.0 – Ready for the future

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NetSnips feels finally right at home on iOS 7. NetSnips 3.0, which was released today on the App Store, introduces a revised user interface and many modernizations. Moreover, thanks to Ivan Ladurner, this release introduces a greatly simplified app icon. This is another completely free update for all existing users!

The full change list is as follows:

  • New and cleaner app icon and a fresh new app design
  • The number of parallel snippet updates depends now on the current network speed and device performance (ex: on iPhone 5s up to 5 snippets update in parallel)
  • Snippets are updated on idle activity while reading a web page in full screen (requires iPhone 4S/iPad 2 or newer)
  • Launch Center Pro support with custom actions
  • More reliable snippet updating engine for complex web pages
  • When leaving fullscreen mode, snippets don’t reload automatically and keep the last visited web page open
  • Memory usage optimizations
  • Many other improvements and under the hood changes that are the basis for upcoming features

The new design language and under the hood changes in iOS 7 are substantial, which make it difficult to support older iOS versions. Therefore I had to increase the minimal system requirements, which means that this new update requires iOS 7.0 or higher.

You can find a visual comparison between version 2.1.1 and 3.0 in the following image gallery:

The announced landscape mode support did not made it in this release. I’m sorry for this, but back in June when I was knee-deep in the development of a new feature that repositions snippets for landscape mode, Apple announced iOS 7. I did not want to release something half-baked, therefore I had to change my roadmap and focus on other things first. But never mind, landscape mode will be made available as soon as possible.

For all of you that are using Launch Center Pro app: I have submitted two custom actions and I’m currently waiting that they add them to their action composer. I will update this post as soon as the actions are approved. In the mean time you can add the actions manually with the following two URLs:

  • Add a snippet for the URL address in your clipboard:
    netsnips://add?url=[clipboard]
  • Open NetSnips on page 2 (or any other page):
    netsnips://show?page=2

I hope you enjoy the revised version of NetSnips as much as I do. Don’t forget to leave a review on the App Store!

Update January 18, 2014: NetSnips is now in the list of officially supported Launch Center Pro apps. You should find it in the Action Composer. Creating web snippets is now even easier.

Coming soon… fresh & tasty

update_3.0_preview_mediumSome of you were worried about the future of NetSnips, because the last update was published about 3 months ago. I know you are waiting hard for a fresh new iOS 7 user interface. In the last month I finished my MSc degree and could not spend as much time as I liked on improving NetSnips, but I can assure you that now I’m working hard on the next major version of NetSnips. It will be a free update for all existing users and I hope to publish it before Christmas holidays.

So… stay tuned!

Update January 9, 2014: It’s finally done! Just submitted NetSnips 3.0 to Apple for review, including a brand new design and many improvements.

NetSnips needs YOUR help!

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Today I’m asking you for help. As part of my MSc thesis in Computer Science I’m working on an addition for NetSnips that automatically repositions snippets when you rotate your device in landscape mode. The system analyzes the layout of your snippets in portrait screen orientation and generates a similar landscape layout.

Now I need actual NetSnips users that would like to participate in a study for evaluating the automatically generated landscape layout. No worries, you just have to rate some example snippet layouts and it won’t take you more than 10 minutes.

Update September 12, 2013This study is now closed. Thanks a lot for your investigated time and for participating! You can have a look a the average results with 31 participants:

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Привет! Greetings to Russia

update_2.1.1_mediumUsage statistics tell me that Russians are one of the most loyal NetSnips user group. Therefore I’m very happy to tell you that as of now the app is localized in Russian too. Simply download the new update and enjoy also this other improvements:

  • NetSnips speaks now Russian too. Thanks a lot to @77Shurik for the translation!
  • Added some missing Italian texts
  • Added a demo video for new user on first app start
  • Fixed an rare issue that could lead to crashs on app start
  • Fixed a layouting problem for iOS 5 users
  • Other minor changes & improvements

Thank you all for being a web snipper! More great new features are in development…

More space is what we need!

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In the last months I’ve received a lot of requests for adding more than 4 pages in NetSnips. Here you go: NetSnips 2.1 was released today and gives you the possibility for creating unlimited snippets on up to 20 pages! Now nothing prevents you from creating web snippets for all your favorite web pages, no matter whether you’re interested in news pages, daily cartoons, upcoming movies, sport team standings/scores, social network updates, stock changes, weather forecast or anything else you can find on the web!

Moreover beginning from today NetSnips is a completely free download! The free versions allows up to 2 web snippets, thus everybody can try & use NetSnips without any costs. Please tell your friends to give NetSnips a try! You can activate “Unlimited Snippets” via an one-time in-app purchase. All of you than have previously purchased NetSnips receive this upgrade for free!

Take a look at the complete release notes:

  • NetSnips is now a FREE download that includes in-app upgrades
  • You can now place your web snippets on up to 20 pages
  • Dramatically reduced app startup time (on iPhone 4: ~2 seconds; on iPhone 5: ~0.5 seconds)
  • All pages are loaded dynamically on demand in order that the app remains responsive even with a lot of snippets on many different pages
  • General performance improvements and optimizations for newer devices with multicore processors
  • New animations on snippets and advices on first app launch
  • Improved French translation (thanks to Marc Aubert)
  • Many other minor improvements and tweaks

Enjoy the new update and please share your NetSnips experience! Please tweet or write me how do you use NetSnips and what do you think about the new update. I love to hear from you!

Apples WWDC 2013 Opening Keynote

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Yesterday was the big day. Apple showed us the future of iOS and OSX. The signature of Apple designer Jonathan Ive could be seen through the complete new look of iOS 7, the tweaks on OSX “Mavericks” and even on developer tools with cleaner and more minimalistic user interfaces.

The new possibilities in iOS 7 for app developers are just amazing! Some of my hopes were fulfilled and Apple finally allows all apps performing certain tasks in background. This are great news for NetSnips. I will immediately experiment with these new possibilities and discuss with Apple engineers how to best implement background snippet auto-updating in an energy-efficient way.

We’ve had enough of words, let’s see some impressions of today:

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NetSnips goes San Francisco!

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This years WWDC is somehow special. The product and feature wish list from users and developers is very long and expectations are not just enormous as previous years but even a bit higher. 2013 Apple finds itself in markets that are contested more than ever. They are under fire in every single market segment, weather it’s mobile (Android improves fast), home entertainment (XBox One), cloud services and personal assistants (Google Now) or product categories that are promising but not even well defined, like wearable devices (Google Glass).

Personally I don’t think Apple has to change iOS that much. The basis of iOS is solid and well thought till details. I’m convinced that Steve Jobs was 2007 right by claiming that the “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone“. But today we have 2013. The head start is no longer there. High-end Android and Windows Phone devices provide a similar intuitive experience as iOS devices and new competitors (Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch) are ready to take off… I hope Apple improves iOS in core functionalities rather than changing things just because users want a “fresh look” or “something new“. For instance I would love to see better cross-app data sharing, developer access to the lockscreen, notification center widgets and new (limited) possibilities to perform background tasks in certain time intervals. The last would allow awesome possibilities for NetSnips! Just imagine… without opening the app, all your snippets could be updated from time to time. Moreover you could be informed with a notification as soon as a web snippet changed…

Having said that, I’m very excited to see what Apple has prepared for us. Especially because this year I was selected to attend WWDC on a student scholarship, based on my work on NetSnips. So I’m very happy for having the possibility to learn the latest improvements and changes to iOS and OSX directly from Apple engineers. If you’re using NetSnips and attending this years WWDC I would love to meet you in San Francisco! Don’t hesitate to get in touch; it should be easy to recognize me. Just look for the guy with the NetSnips T-shirt…

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