Vincent Ritter

Projects

Follow along as I build out product ideas with regular updates on progress, screenshots, thoughts on a particular way of doing things and so much more. This is at the heart of what I do and I love it.

Currently active projects:

These are my active development projects at this time. You can click/tap through any of them for more info and see specific posts for the project.

Gluon for Micro.blog

A journey through space and time as I build a cross platform app for Micro.blog. My first personal app for both iOS and Android.

Status for updown.io

A simple app to display monitored sites from updown.io, with current status and other stats.

Launched projects:

These projects have been launched and are live 🚀

Simple Schedule

A new and simple way to manage bookings, appointments and gatherings on the web

Recent posts from active projects:

Gluon - Added basic posting

Today I worked on getting some sort of posting into the app. So, if you’re hosting on Micro.blog, you can now post a short post.

It’s still very much a work in progress but I wanted to get it off my chest.

So, if you have a site on Micro.blog you’ll be presented with a “New Post” button at the top bar on the main timeline screen. This will use your “default” site and post to it.

You cannot set a title just yet, but I’ll get to it after the weekend. Image uploads are also not yet present. It’s all coming.

I’m going to take some time and work on both the Reply and Posting screen to allow you to preview the post and also add markdown shortcuts for those that are new to it all. Also I have other features planned for those screens, but I’ll sit on it until I have something to show.

What about self-hosted sites? It’s coming! I’ve built the groundwork so any Micropub based site can be used, however it also requires me to set up new screens with options and other logic, so bear with me on this. It’s certainly coming! My own site is self-hosted, so it’s something I want to do for sure!

Anyway, still a way to go and I’m happy with the way it’s going so far.

Started work on Posting from Gluon. On login, or when you reload your feed, it will check if you have a hosted site on Micro.blog. If so, the button will show. Will continue tonight with adding the actual posting screen and logic.

Pushed out a small update to Gluon. I’ve added the Micro Monday link on the "Discover more” section, tweaked Wordpress emoji image handling (now real emoji), and you can open images in a browser which is the first step before I add the modal.

Gluon - Update to Discover section. Android tweaks. Plan.

Happy Sunday everyone.

I just pushed out and update (20190512.2) to both Android and iOS.

Changes

In this update I concentrated on adding the Discover More sections, which allows you to select sub categories by their emoji tag. Here are a few screenshots for both iOS and Android:

I’ll probably add the Micro Monday link too and something else that I’ll pop in as a surprise release at some point.

Android fixes

There were a few Android fixes in this release too. Namely:

  • Fixes layout issues on the reply screen.
  • Reply screen can now be closed (I added an icon).
  • App icon will only show once on the home screen (Thank you Paolo - @amoroso)

Next steps/Plan

I’ll probably be working on posting next, as that’s a pretty big feature that is missing! I’m also planning to bring back the photo viewer soon. There are also loads more things I want to add, but I’m putting it on a list at the moment as I want to look at launching the app. I want to also re-integrate Push notifications before I do that.

Also need to give some TLC to the Settings screen.

In terms of launch date… I don’t know.

Hope you enjoy this update, and please let me know any feedback: gluon@vincentritter.com

Gluon - New iOS build (20190510.1)

It’s been some time, but here are the release notes for the latest build (20190510.1).

— — —

This is more of a tidy up build, with one big piece of bad news. So bad news first:

  • Local Push Notifications: This has been removed from this build. I had too many problems with unreliable app crashes. This was not acceptable to me, so I removed it. Push notifications will come before launch, but in a different form. TBC.


Now the other bits:

  • Removed the bog loading bar in favour of a spinning loader. Keeping it simple.
  • Tweaked some icons.
  • Removed “Following” count on your profile screen. One less number to worry about. Might do the same with other profiles.
  • Your feed should update more regularly as you browse the app.

— — —

I’ll be writing another lengthier post about Push Notifications and the replacement.

Gluon - First new Android build rolling out

I’m happy to announce that I just enabled the Alpha version for Gluon on Android. If you’ve emailed me and asked to be on the list, you should start seeing the app. There will be an email, from me, with a bit more info (for opting in).

Some notes and bugs:

This build is the exact same version as the iOS one, with a few exceptions. The exceptions being mainly bugs on Android, but here they are:

  • Profile image for your logged in/active user is currently an icon only.
  • Theme - switching back to another theme, after switching, is buggy. So don’t press that RED button 😏 I know you want to! If you do… well I warned you.
  • Some black text is the default Android version of black. Mainly visible on profiles.
  • Replying - it works but you can’t cancel out of it unless you get rid of the keyboard and press the hardware/software back button. Also, the UI is pretty weird here.
  • The loading spinner is quite far up the screen.
  • You get TWO app icons for the price of one. Yep, two icons on your home screen! Why? I don’t know.

There is probably something else, but those are the main points that I thought were important to touch on. So now to the really IMPORTANT point:

The app, may fail to launch no matter what you do. This is the issue that kept me back for months as I really didn’t know why the release build would crash instantly. So if it happens to you let me know. I’m confident it was just some bad configuration, on my part, on the device.

Pushed out an update to Gluon before heading to bed. Wanted to get into it again after just over a month away from it (gonna explain why soon). I have many things planned - all to be revealed soon. Also need to give Android some loving too.

I have two questions for anyone using Gluon.

  • I’m planning on removing “Favorites” as a prominent tab item and replace it with “Photos”, which will be a specific timeline just with photos (and some other cool photo things). Favs will live under your profile instead. Good idea? Bad?
  • ”Your Feed” - I’m planning to rename this to either “My Feed”, “Feed” or “Timeline”. Which one do you prefer?

Gluon - Experimental Local Push Notifications Update

I spent Friday writing the code to enable local push notifications and the weekend to see how well it worked. Whilst results vary depending on the device and the amount of times you use the app, it has been pretty solid and I’m super happy with these early results.

Here is a fun look at the things I do:

I pushed out a notification every single time I did a “background” update, so I would know if it would run the job in the background. Certain to say it did just that. I had hundreds.

The interesting thing is that I set a 30 minute interval for the background check, which on my main device turned out to be every 10 minutes. I presume this has to do with the “blackbox” code that Apple use to determine how often you use the app amongst other things . So the more you use it, the more frequently it checks (although I think 10 mins is the lowest it goes). For example my test device, the other iPhone, was running this every 1 - 3 hours, instead of every 10 minutes or 30. This is totally fine with me and is actually much better than an “instant” notification because it takes into account how much you use the app. Love that.

This morning, I turned on my phone, put it out of Airplane mode, walked to the shop and:

Very cool! It took roughly 30 mins after I turned the phone on, but that was totally fine with me. I don’t need anything real time.

In terms of battery life… I haven’t noticed anything that causes me to pull the feature in horror. Seems to be same as before.

TestFlight

Saying this, it still needs testing is not by any means finished yet. However, I will push this out in an update for everyone to try out. As I said, results will vary.

There is a small bug where you may launch the app and be presented with a login screen, I do believe I fixed that though. If it does happen… for now… just force close the app and launch it again (yup, I just said that). The joys of Alpha/Beta versions. More a beta than an alpha atm.

To enable notifications, just head to the “Mentions” tab and select the option at the top. I’ll be moving this to settings at some stage.

Anyway, I would love to have feedback from everyone that is giving it a try. Ideally I’d like to know how reliable it is. Personally it works pretty great and I don’t have a need for real time updates.

Also note that tapping on the notification doesn’t actually take you to the mention just yet. The mentions feed should be updated though.

This week

This week will be a little slower on the Gluon development front as I’m catching up with client work.

The main areas I want to concentrate on until the end of the month are:

  • Posting to a micro.blog hosted blog
  • Picture viewer
  • Personal profile view

Anyway, Happy Monday and I hope you enjoy this update.

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