1.1 update has been submitted for approval

I added a Preferences button with the following options:

Private Browsing: URLs are hidden, tapping a tab toggles hiding of the current loaded page in that tab, no automatically launched tab group on next launch of Tabulous

Save Changes on Exit: Automatically saves changes to the currently loaded tab group when the app exits.  This will NOT save anything if you Create New Tab Group, then start creating tabs, then exit the app without first saving the tab group with a name.  This is intentional for privacy reasons. It allows you to just surf without committing anything permanently, or having these tabs show up next time you launch.  You have to explicitly save the tab group the first time.

Also, if you change an existing tab group, you will prompted to save those changes if you try to load a new tab group, clear the tabs, or launch a URL in Safari.

This will probably be the last update for a few weeks.  I want to do a code review, and some refactoring as well as trying to decide where to go from here.

Enjoy the update!

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Features?

Ok, I have one update on the store, and another update ready for submission. The next update will include private browsing support. This means that the tabs will have no titles, the text field will not retain URLs, and tapping a selected tab will hide the current page (by showing the default Tabulous page). Also, private mode clears the apps memory of the most recently launched tab group.

What features should I do next?

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Password protected tab groups

I’m currently working on this feature.  It’s more difficult than it sounds.  What happens if the user sets a password, then forgets it?  Should I somehow autogenerate one and send it to an email address?  What if I do THAT, then the users changes emails? Then I would need to allow the user to assign both an email and a password to each individual tab group.  Then, how do I allow only that user to edit that tab information?  Do they need the password to change their email? If so, what then if they forget the password?  They will have a permanently inaccessible tab group.

So for now, I am just going to have a “one-way” password.  You set it once, you can’t change it, and if you forget it, thats all she wrote.  Also, anyone can Delete a tab group, that wont require a password.  This prevents any way of “orphaning” a tab group and having to way to delete it.  Plus, I figure a tab group is not really a critical piece of data, so en elaborate protection scheme is overkill.  What it’s really for is for if maybe you share your iPad with your family, and want to have some sites in your groups that maybe you dont want your kids to see by accident.

Hm, maybe then I should be able to export a tab group as a list of URLs that you can email to yourself for safe keeping.  Then if you for some reason forget the password for the tab group, you can delete it, recreated it, and set another password.

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User Feedback

User feedback is always interesting.  As a developer, theres really no way to know what the user expected to get when they purchased your application.  My first user response with a feature request came in today.  This user would like “an email feature”.  Not sure what this means.  Email what?  The current page?  The tab group? Not sure.  Hopefully this person will find their way here and let me know.

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Whats coming up

Ok, Tabulous has “gone green”!  You can get it now on the App Store!  The approval process was pretty arduous (I will write about that later), but it’s finally out there.  I have already posted an update which add a busy indicator to each tab.

I have several thoughts for what’s next.  I don’t want Tabulous to try to be a full-fledged web browser, but something between a news reader and web browser.  You CAN do pretty much all your browsing with it for the most part, but it’s real intended use is to quickly check frequently visited sites, and do some light browsing within those sites.  So with that in mind, here is what I want to do next:

1. Be able to re-order the tabs in a tab group

2. Be able to flag a tab group as Private, and require a password to

load that tab group

3. Be able to create tab groups from existing Safari bookmarks.

Comments?

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Welcome!

This is my little spot on the web to chronicle the process of developing Tabulous, an application I wrote for the iPad, as well as other thoughts on software development and probably life in general. Have you ever wondered what is going on the head of programmer as he’s creating software? Follow this blog to find out.

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