TimeTune 4.4 includes new features and exciting improvements 😍
On the technical side, this version is important for us too. It removes internal complexity and makes our lives as developers a bit easier (more on that later in the article).
Keep reading to know more about the new changes:
DRAG & DROP IN TEMPLATES
When you edit a template in TimeTune 4.4, now you can reorder blocks by long-clicking on a block and dragging it to another place:
This simple gesture replaces the previous (and very inconvenient) ‘Swap up’ and ‘Swap down’ arrows that you had to press several times on the contextual menu.
👉 In future versions, we’d like to add this feature to the ‘Schedule’ section too.
SPLITTING BLOCKS IN TEMPLATES
Prior to version 4.4, in multi-day templates, when you created a block that started on a day an ended on the next one, that block was stored in the app as a single block. A block that was ‘anchored’ at the end of the day.
But that approach had some drawbacks:
- Blocks like that couldn’t be swapped up or down.
- They created problems when copying or importing days.
- They led to template days being longer or shorter than 24 hours.
In version 4.4, we made two things to avoid those problems:
First, we automatically split existing blocks like that in two smaller blocks. One at the end of one day and another one at the beginning of the next day. So now all your template days start and end correctly at midnight.
Second, we modified the ‘New block’ screen so that when you create a new block like that, the app automatically splits the block in two for you:
👉 And if you create a block like that at the end of the last day of the template, the app will automatically add the second part of the block to the beginning of the template (if there’s enough space there):
⚠ WARNING ⚠
If you had blocks like that in your templates, this change may have created some occasional overlaps in your schedule, as the templates have been re-applied.
Therefore, after you update to version 4.4 you will see a warning that recommends checking your schedule for possible overlaps:
EMPTY TIME DIVISION
In version 4.4 a new setting will allow you to divide empty time into smaller chunks:
The setting is located here: Settings / Interface / Empty time / Division.
The options are 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 1 hour (or not dividing empty time at all, like before). When you change it, empty time in your schedule and templates will automatically appear divided into chunks of that length.
In templates, a nice byproduct of this feature is that now you can select a group of gaps and click on the ‘New block’ button to automatically select the length for the new block:
GAP ACTIONS IN TEMPLATES
Prior to version 4.4, when you clicked on a gap in a template, the app showed a dialog with three options:
- New block
- Add gap to previous block
- Add gap to next block
In version 4.4, the ‘Add gap to previous block’ and ‘Add gap to next block’ options have been moved to the contextual long-click menu:
And if you are using the new ‘Empty time division’ setting, now you can select a group of gaps and add them to an adjacent block:
👉 In future versions we’d like to add this feature to the ‘Schedule’ section too.
GAPS ON THE WIDGET
In older versions, a setting allowed you to show gaps on the widget or not.
However, hiding gaps on the widget generated some problems:
- The ‘Scroll to current time’ button didn’t work correctly.
- Empty days did not appear on the widget at all.
So in version 4.4, we removed that setting and gaps will always appear on the widget:
Besides solving those problems, this approach is more consistent, because:
- It better reflects the ‘Schedule’ section.
- It better fits the purpose of the app.
TECHNICAL STUFF 🛠
This version removes a lot of internal complexity from the app 🙀
Prior to version 4.4, empty blocks existed in the app’s database in order to calculate statistics.
Unfortunately, that approach forced us to rebuild a lot of empty blocks in the database for every little modification you could make to your templates or schedule. That was complex and error-prone.
In version 4.4, empty blocks don’t exist in the database anymore. Those blocks and their related statistics are now built and shown on the fly. This is what enabled the new ‘Empty time division’ feature as well.
Additionally, as we removed empty blocks from the database, the database is a bit smaller now 😀
All in all, it’s a benefit for us and for users as well.
Other smaller changes and bug fixes in version 4.4 are:
- Templates: clicking on the times on the left now shows the normal time picker instead of the old dialog with increments/decrements.
- Template calendar: fixed a bug where clearing days on the calendar didn’t respect manual modifications made to the schedule.
- Blocks: when editing a block, changing the start time won’t shift the end time anymore (it created more problems than benefits).
THERE’S STILL WORK TO DO
Since the big change in version 4.0, the interface of the app is much more stable now.
Before version 4.0 the app had been growing without direction for too long, and version 4.0 put many things in order (although with some sacrifices too).
Subsequent versions (4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and now 4.4) have been improving on that design.
But there’s still work to do. We can still polish and improve many things in the app.
So stay tuned, there’s more to come! 😀
(Top illustration by Freepik)