Mind Vault 1.5

Mind Vault 1.5 is now on the App Store. The biggest feature of 1.5 is now it is optimized for use on the iPad. I am very excited for more people to find and use it. It was actually quite a process to build the iPad version.

I always knew that I wanted Mind Vault on the iPad because students are who I have envisioned using it. Students are big iPad users and I anticipate that will continue as the iPad Mini’s sales increase. The iPad is a great device for learning and I think Mind Vault will fit in nicely.

I decided to make Mind Vault for iPad a Universal binary for a few reasons;

  1. As a reward for my current customers, who can now download Mind Vault on their iPads at no extra cost.
  2. To keep everything in a single codebase. I know that this is not an issue for many developers, but implementing new features across two different projects seems like a recipe for mistakes to me.
  3. Cost. I think I charge a fair price for Mind Vault (in fact I often feel like I should charge more), but am aware that some people think it is ridiculous to pay any more than 99 cents for any app. With Mind Vault, $2.99 gets you two apps in one. The race to the bottom on the App Store has made it necessary to ensure that people feel like they are gaining extra value when you charge more than the cost of a Snickers bar.

I was able to leverage a lot of pre-existing code to make Mind Vault work on the iPad, but had to start over for much of the interface. For a relatively new iOS developer wrapping my head around the SplitViewController was surprisingly tricky. Two things saved me from much frustration:

The first was the developer community. I went to CocoaConf in Portland at the end of October and met a lot of very helpful generous people. Jonathan Penn, in particular, helped me get things moving. From there it was the same process as working on the the iPhone version; make something work, celebrate, fix something, celebrate, tackle a frustrating problem, celebrate, and so on until things were finished.

The second breakthrough was NSNotificationCenter. Updating various parts of the visible UI in realtime without performance killing reloads required a middleman that I found in NSNotificationCenter. This is the kind of thing that you find once you get to know Cocoa a little bit. I can’t wait to learn what other technology I should have known about sooner.

Now that Mind Vault for iPad is here I am eager to move on to the new optimizations and features I have in mind. In order to ship in a timely manner my main goal was to give the iPad feature parity with the current iPhone version. Now that there is a solid base to work from I cannot wait to make it more feature-rich, performant, and elegant.

Check out Mind Vault in the App Store, give it a try or gift it to someone you think would use it, and then leave a review.