Widgets – A Replacement for the macOS Dashboard 🎛

So, custom code / iFrames are cool?

I suppose it ultimately depends on what Apple says in the review. I contacted them – and they said exactly what I thought they’d say. :smile:

The plan – I only have a week left until launch. So, I’m in the process of finishing up the 10th widget and then I’m going to post up the update. Then, I can try another update with iFrames and/or custom code. If they reject it, at least it doesn’t nuke the launch update. If they approve it, then – wow – that opens up the door for Widgets / Apparatuses and Hype to play! :slightly_smiling_face:

(taking the app review talk to DM)

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I thought I’d have more to report right now, but there’s an issue with the iPadOS version of the app. Basically, the experience is totally like this…

…many times I thought about giving up, but I like Widgets / Apparatuses. I often find myself wanting to use the app. This keeps me motivated to make app better.

Here’s another motivational video…

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be playing one of the Sega Genesis Mini games or watching videos on YouTube. I can’t give up. Even if this is frustrating, it’s still pretty entertaining.

Meanwhile, the macOS version is online.

@gasspence – Thanks for the nice review! :smiley:

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@Photics Widgets looks really promising and when upgrading to 10.15, I’ll be in dire need of a Dashboard replacement. Any chance you could make it available for German App Store users too?

Hey, I’m glad that you like the app.

It looks like macOS Catalina is here. I just got an alert for a system update. I was like, really, another software update? Then it hits me with legalese. I’m like, didn’t I just read this? No… apparently I did not. Heh, it looks like Apple decided to launch macOS Catalina today.

(I got confused with the iOS launch, and then the iPadOS launch.)

Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans beyond the US store right now. Among other reasons, I only have weather data for the United States. Additionally, the app is only localized for the United States.


Also, welcome to the Tumult Hype forums. Heh, I’ve heard of hijacking threads – but a whole forum? I’ve been noticing that a lot of people are joining this forum just to ask about Widgets. That shows the popularity of the Dashboard. Well, hopefully Widgets and Tumult are not so unrelated very soon. I’m still working on that customization.

There have been two common requests for the app. Lots of people want to rearrange their widgets and lots of people want to add custom widgets – particularly old Dashboard widgets.

Hey @jonathan – What’s your plan for Widget exporting, now that Apple has gotten rid of the Dashboard?

I thought Apple would keep the cute icon for .wdgt files – but they even killed that.

57%20AM

They didn’t even keep it around for iBook Author? Wow!

No plans to remove it. It was originally added for iBooks Author support much more so than Dashboard. While Apple has also ceased development of that, I know a lot of folks still use it, and use it in conjunction with Hype.

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@Jonathan really happy to see someone is carrying the torch for dashboard. I use it many times a day for quick calculations. I usually have 3 or 4 calculators going at once. Is there the ability to have multiple instances of calculators (or weather for that matter) using your Widgets?

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Ha ha… awkward. Tumult doesn’t make the Widgets app. (I like the idea of being able to export content from Hype into the Widgets app, but I’m not sure how to do that safely yet… and in a way where I won’t lose the 4+ age rating.)

And the ability to have multiple copies of widgets is being considered – but not likely, certainly not at this time. People are asking for it, so I put it on the list.

(The Contacts widget issue still a big problem. That’s the main focus. I’m hoping to wrap that up today. Hopefully version 1.8 will be released soon.)

@Photics aha - is there a forum proper for the Widgets app and I’ll move the conversation over there (or it just the contact form over at Photics.com)? I found out about this App via a Google search–> this forum.

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Right now, there’s just the contact form. I suppose if the Widgets app gets really popular, I could open a forum.

Hi, I don’t care about US weather, I just care that this app is available to me so I can use all of the other features.

Please consider making this app available to all Apple Stores worldwide, and let us, the people, decide whether we want to buy it or not. Put up huge disclaimers that some features are US only, and that you’re sticking with miles and inches rather than centimetres and kilometres.

Refuse refunds.

Just make this app available to Mac users who want to buy it! Otherwise it’s a pain that only US users get the good stuff and the rest of the world doesn’t count. Mac users are global, and while you’ll then get people asking you to localise to their countries, well… that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it?

Anyway… I don’t care about the US limitations. I would buy this app but the dreaded “not available in your country” message appears, simply because you don’t want to let people around the world use it, despite whatever limitations are in place!

So… please reconsider it.

Thank you!

Alex in Australia

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I would like Widgets to go international. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. As an example, I can’t simply refuse refunds. Apple manages that. They decide if they want to issue a refund.

All I can do is make the app the best it can be, so that people don’t want to return the app. One of the reasons the app is not international is because it’s not localized. Lacking features like that could lead to higher return rates.

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On behalf of the 37.5 million people living North of you, please make it available in Canada. Pains me everyday to not have the dashboard. Can’t believe I didn’t see that it wasn’t part of Catalina…would never have updated.

Well, it’s almost official. This project is built with Hype again… sorta. There are some caveats. First, Hype is involved with “Apparatuses” — which is the iOS version of Widgets. Secondly, it’s not actually the app. Rather, and quite surprisingly, Hype was used as video editing software.

One doesn’t simply upload a video to App Store Connect. No, no, no… it depends on the platform. For traditional iPhones, with normal 16:9 ratio screens, a standard 1920x1080 video will do. But if you want to upload an iPad video… HA HA HA… you’ll have to go old school. That’s 4:3 ratio. Apple wants a 1600x1200 video.

That size totally screws up the theme I have for the video. It was made with iMovie, which only seems to support 16:9. (If the project size can be changed, I couldn’t figure out how to do it.) So, I used Hype to smart-crop the video. I placed the 16:9 video in the 4:3 scene and then I shifted the video around as appropriate. (In some spots, I added new screenshots.)

It was an almost perfect approach. Except for one little problem…

…Apple doesn’t accept silent videos. My video is intentionally silent though. So, I had to throw down a track of silence — in stereo. Thats where Hype was almost perfect. I used a different app to add the audio.

The same ratio issue applied to new iPhones with the notch. The promo video size requirement is still 1920 pixels wide. That’s nice… but… uh… what the… 886 pixels high?! I used the same smart-crop approach with Hype. Well, in this case I just centered it. I was really running out of gas at this point. This update to Apparatuses was supposed to take one day. Now I’m on day three.

That brings us to the third caveat. Apple actually has to approve the app for you to see the videos. I was extra careful to avoid any problematic issues. I even changed a thumbnail on my website because it had an emoji in it… https://photics.com/wired-mentions-widgets/ …if all goes well, Apparatuses should be available here…

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apparatuses/id1473426741?ls=1

…it’s set to launch on January 1, 2020 — HAPPY NEW YEAR! :tada:

(I don’t know if the review will be fast enough, but that’s the plan.)


UPDATE: Annnnnndddd… rejected. They’re so touchy on the iOS side.

SECOND UPDATE: Yeah, we had one update… but what about second update?! :crazy_face:

Apple approved the app. :slightly_smiling_face:

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It says not available in the US?

Soon! The launch is planned for January 1, 2020.
Sure, I could have launched it now, but I felt like doing something festive. :partying_face:


Happy New Year!

The link should work now.

The video looks great. Maybe Hype has a future as a non-linear editor? :thinking:

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Just a heads up…

If you already bought Widgets — but you didn’t buy Apparatuses yet — maybe wait about a month. I’m planning to link up the two apps.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the “Universal Purchase” feature to work, but that’s the plan. I’m going to try setting it up when Xcode 11.4 is out of beta.

Sadly, I don’t think I can merge this…

Multiple App Records. If your app is currently available on multiple platforms through separate app records, please note that app records can’t be merged.

https://developer.apple.com/support/universal-purchase/

The name “Widgets” isn’t available on iOS, and I don’t want to call the macOS version “Apparatuses”.

So, if you’re thinking about turning your Hype project into an app, having a name that’s available both on Mac and iOS might be a good thing.

In general though, Universal Purchase is a neat feature. Did Tumult get “Hype” on iOS? :thinking:

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If you’re working on apps, here’s some of what I learned with the latest update.

  1. WOW — Both app updates were approved without rejection. Surprising! It was fast too. It was less than a day for both. (I messed up the bundle ID for the macOS version. I think I was experimenting with Catalyst. If not for that problem, both apps probably would have launched on the same day.)
  2. There’s a lot going on in Apple land… https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2020/101/ …I was surprised to see Apple focusing on widgets again — and it was amongst the first technical features presented.
  3. I like how converting widgets to an app compressed the dictionary. I thought it was going to add about 10 MB to the file size. Instead, it only went from 4.8 MB to 8.6 MB. That’s less than half of what I expected — NICE!

So yeah, if you’re working on an app, Apple is clearly moving in the direction of making apps work across platform. Catalyst is likely to play a bigger role… https://developer.apple.com/mac-catalyst/ …but even if you don’t do that, Apple Silicon basically moves iPad / iPhone apps to the Mac anyway. The switch to Apple Silicon is a big change.

I ended up not using this, as I’m not sure if I could use it for this app. Instead, I used WordNet — https://wordnet.princeton.edu — If you’re looking to build a Hype project with a dictionary, that data might be helpful to you.