The reception for Fin has been great, and I couldn’t be more pleased that people are out there using it for their talks, podcasts, etc. I have lots of plans for improvements over the coming months, and as always, your feedback has been invaluable in helping me shape those plans.
Today I’m announcing version 1.1 of Fin is available. There were two important additions for this version.
The first is local notifications. Fin has always had the ability to keep track of its timer, even when you put the app into the background or turn your screen off. If you start a timer, then need to bounce into another app for a few moments, Fin will know how long you’ve been out of the app and adjust the timer accordingly when you come back. This is accomplished not by continuously running while in the background, which would be wasteful, but rather by taking a time stamp when you leave, one when you return, and subtracting the difference.
Considering that Fin is a visual timer, meant to be giving you constant feedback on how much time you have left while you are performing, stepping away for longer periods of time is not a likely use case. But it did bother me that if you step away too long, the timer may run out while you are away and yet have no way to notify you.
If you put Fin 1.0 into the background long enough that that timer actually ran out, Fin would not notify you of this until you came back to the app at some later point. “Timer elapsed while asleep” would show on the screen when you brought Fin back to the foreground, and the timer would be reset. Helpful, but not ideal.
With Fin 1.1, a local notification will fire if the timer runs out while Fin is not in the foreground. This notification can take the form of an alert dialog or a banner, depending on your preferences in the Settings app, and it can even be set to show on the home screen notification center if you’ve turned your screen off. Or, if you prefer not to receive these notifications, you can turn them off entirely.
If you return to the app before the timer runs out, of course, the notification won’t fire.
The second improvement for 1.1 is specifically for the iPhone. It bugged me (and some of you) that the iPhone version didn’t have the same ability the iPad version has to see the running timer while on the settings screen. While the settings panel is semi-transparent on the iPad, it is opaque on the iPhone, because there isn’t enough room on the screen to show the timer and all of the settings at once. In 1.1 I solved this by simply adding the timer to the top of the settings panel. Now you can see how your settings changes effect the timer while you make adjustments.
Lastly, on the help page, I added a link to customer support and another to rate the app. I hope those of you who are enjoying Fin will take a moment to write up a quick review or give me a star rating. Your positive ratings will help others find Fin, and help me continue to improve it. Feedback via the support link is always welcome as well.
I have many good ideas for versions 1.2 and 1.3 already, thanks to feedback given to me from my customers. Expect to see some great new features over the next months.
Fin 1.1 is now available on the App Store.