When I released the first version of Ohai a few months ago, it had a simple goal – to have a simple, beautiful place to keep track of memories. As with all first versions, it was limited; you could only capture location-based check ins with a comment and a photo. And as it was released shortly after iOS 7’s announcement, it quickly looked outdated and needed some visual touch-ups. Today I’ve released the first new set of features for Ohai to make it a better and more beautiful journal, with some of the most heavily requested features.
The most obvious change made is the refreshed design. Taking cues from iOS 7, the update has been cleaned up with a bigger emphasis on your entries. Photos are now shown full width with no frame wasting space. Lines and icons have been thinned out and reduced in size. The check-in screen has been cleaned up and simplified. Text is sized with the new Dynamic Type feature in iOS 7. All designs are a continual process of refinement, and this will continue.
The most significant structural change is the addition of new text and photo entry types in the journal. Locations are now optional everywhere. So if you want to jot down a few thoughts, or post a cool photo you took that day, you can put them and not worry about adding a location. You can even set custom times and dates for posts, letting you add journal entries even for events in the past. If you make a mistake and want to edit a post, or even delete it outright, you can tap-and-hold on any entry to do it.
The last of the new features is the new support for checking in to Foursquare. I will note that this is feature is still a little early, and there may be a couple issues using it, which I’ll be working on. The issues are solvable with real world data, and I invite you to contact me if you run into problems. To explain why this is tricky I’d like to talk a bit about how the Foursquare check-in process works.
When you want to check in to a location, Ohai gets your location, and searches a database of places provided by App.net to see what’s around you. Data returned for places includes name, address, city, and a pile of other data, including a unique identifier which is basically a random assortment of letters and numbers. There are many providers of places databases (one of them being Foursquare), which have many of the same places, but different identifiers. In order to check in, Ohai has to search Foursquare using App.net’s data, which may be subtly different, and this may not work all the time.
So that’s the new Ohai 1.1. I’m very excited to hear what you think about the new features and design, which reflect the most common and popular requests from people who use it. There are a couple bugs I’ve found since the update was submitted around the new Foursquare integration and how entries are categorized, which will be fixed in an update submitted to Apple today, although with the app review shutdown, it likely won’t be available until around New Year’s. But this new update is a lot of small things that add up to make your journal more useful and more beautiful. With the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time to get it. Start saving some memories while it’s on sale for the rest of the year for $2.99 on the App Store.