Introducing Codebook 1.5.1

2011-01-26 19:00:00 -0500

On January 22 we released Codebook 1.5.1 to the iTunes App Store. This is the best version of Codebook yet, with many bug fixes, interface enhancements, and a really cool new feature: Sync with Dropbox. Read on to find out what’s new in our secure notebook app.

Sync with Dropbox

Screen5 Sync

Codebook 1.5 has a new Sync tab that provides a means for you to upload and sync your data with an encrypted replica stored in your Dropbox account. Simply enter your Dropbox account information and start a sync, and when it’s all done you’ll see that you’ve got a new folder named “Codebook” in your Dropbox account, containing your encrypted database file.

This resolves a number of long-standing feature requests from our users. No longer do you need to rely on the unreliable iTunes to keep a backup of your most important data. Not only that, but with an encrypted copy up on Dropbox, you have an incredibly easy means of restoring your data if it is somehow lost. Sync often!

But we didn’t just stop there. Thanks to our Ditto replication technology, the Sync feature allows you to share your data across multiple devices. If you use Codebook on your iPhone and an iPad, you can use the sync feature to replicate your data across both of them (or any other iOS devices you’re rocking). Just run Sync and Codebook will take care of the rest.

Note: The Sync feature is only available to users who purchase the Unlimited Upgrade inside Codebook. More detailed information about how Sync works is available on our Codebook FAQ.

Edit Screen Updated

Screen3 Edit

This update to Codebook is all about details. If you remember what the edit screen looked like in Codebook 1.4 or 1.3, you’ll find this screen has seen some serious improvements, mostly to the effect of putting things where they ought to be and making it look and feel better. For instance, the background no longer squishes and resizes when the keyboard is revealed and hidden!

The new toolbar at the bottom of the screen provides a new trash-icon button to delete the current note—that’s an FAQ item we can remove. Power users figured out the swipe-to-delete thing on the list view screen, but it was still a nuisance to have to pop back to the previous screen to delete the current note — you’d have to then locate the note, which was be a real nuisance. And if you weren’t hip to swipe-to-delete, it just looked like you couldn’t delete a note in Codebook.

Also on the toolbar is a relocated forward-icon for that reveals a modal menu of Sharing Options (currently just the ability to e-mail the document somewhere, unencrypted, mind you). This just seems like a much better way of making the e-mail feature available without the user accidentally kicking it off (thereby dumping plain-text data into the Mail app and potentially mailing it by mistake). More handy little buttons will probably appear in this toolbar going forward.

And then there’s the add-icon, the big + button on the right side of the navigation bar. If you need to tap in a few notes, one after the next, now you can! It was getting really annoying to have to go back to the main list view just to create a new note.

Finally, we’ve started using the tear-off-page style animation to transition the view when you hit Add or Delete on the edit screen. Being able to seamlessly transition the views like this (whether you use animation or not) is what allows us to provide these two capabilities on the edit screen without forcing the user to go back to the list view first.

Graphics for Retina Display

We finally got all the icons and background graphics updated to support the hi-res display of the iPhone 4, and it’s such a huge improvement to the app. You’ve got to see it to understand the value here, but I’ll say that if you regularly use Codebook on an iPhone 4 it will be literally relieving to your eyes to interact with this new version. To be quite honest, does anyone like using apps on the iPhone 4 that don’t support Retina Display? I sure don’t.

Rotation and Landscape Orientation

Screen Sync Landscape

If you prefer to work in landscape mode, you’re really going to love this release of Codebook. All screens (except for the login and dropbox link screens) support landscape orientation. Codebook 1.4.7 supported landscape-orientation for note editing, but it needed some love (like stretching the text view to the expanded view to make more of the current note visible while editing!) Codebook 1.5 brings a ton of tweaks to the rotation behavior, and makes landscape orientation available on the Sync and Settings screens, too.


Version 1.5.0 had a mean little bug on the edit screen—if you switched to another application while editing, certain things happened to inaccurately re-draw the screen upon returning to Codebook that garbled the text and moved it off screen. No data was actually harmed, but it freaked people out and was obviously insanely annoying. We actually pulled the app from iTunes before more than a handful of people could install that one.

Codebook 1.4.7 suffered from a bug where the list view of notes would suddenly disappear, due to a bug in the code. The data was still there, but the app had to be restarted to work around the problem. The 1.5 series of Codebook fixes this issue.

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