Prowl 1.2 is now available

An iPhone client for Growl available on the App Store.
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zac
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Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:23 am

What do you all think? :)

Changelog is available here and on the App Store.

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VxJasonxV
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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby VxJasonxV » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:42 am

Prowl is Prowl. I can't underestimate how valuable it is in it's design and flexibility. Don't let me dissuade you that there's something wrong with the app overall.

But let's talk looks.

This diagonal gradient in the header? It's odd, and awkward. Basically, because of it's design, the header (Application, event title, time, etc.) grabs my attention and looks like it's the actual content you need to care about, when that's not true. Not to even mention that it looks "recessed", where the actual content of the message looks like it's on top. This opposite looking effect makes skimming/reading through notices rather difficult, because my eyes keep tracking to the header in order to read message content (example: Twitter @'s and DMs), but nothing's there, and I have to forcibly shift my focus to the white backed sections.

The shadow diving into the header also plays a very big role in making this worse.

This was not the case with the previous style, and the solid color (or did they have a slight gradient?) header bars. I think the two line header style might also have something to do with it, not 100% sure.

I'm not simply advocating that you change it back, I think there is a very attractive middle ground to find here, but I do suggest changing what it is currently. I don't know that you should flip it either, because putting the status color (or is that read state?) in the message obscures the ability to read it quickly, dark text on dark('ish) background = not ideal.

Let's talk about it :).

[edit]
It may be as simple as fixing that shadow to be outward instead of inward, and maybe picking a slightly brighter shade. The text is black, after all.


Something I just noticed over the course of writing this post too, scrolling rapidly causes a lag, and the bars separating all the content "float" while the interface stops. It's only for half a second or so, it looks like a dragging animation, but I can't reproduce it normally, so I'm sure the interface doesn't support that.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:54 am

VxJasonxV wrote:Prowl is Prowl. I can't underestimate how valuable it is in it's design and flexibility. Don't let me dissuade you that there's something wrong with the app overall.


But let's talk looks.

This diagonal gradient in the header? It's odd, and awkward. Basically, because of it's design, the header (Application, event title, time, etc.) grabs my attention and looks like it's the actual content you need to care about, when that's not true. Not to even mention that it looks "recessed", where the actual content of the message looks like it's on top. This opposite looking effect makes skimming/reading through notices rather difficult, because my eyes keep tracking to the header in order to read message content (example: Twitter @'s and DMs), but nothing's there, and I have to forcibly shift my focus to the white backed sections.


Is it the diagonals that's pulling you? I thought they were faint enough that they weren't too bad.

I can try experimenting with reducing the alpha of the striped background and see how well that plays. It might return the old "just glancing through"-ness.

The shadow diving into the header also plays a very big role in making this worse.

Howso? Perhaps the shadow's too dark as well.. Which device are you using? The colors look different on every device :/

This was not the case with the previous style, and the solid color (or did they have a slight gradient?) header bars. I think the two line header style might also have something to do with it, not 100% sure.


They had a little light/gradient effect on them, the 'candybar' style.

I'm not simply advocating that you change it back, I think there is a very attractive middle ground to find here, but I do suggest changing what it is currently. I don't know that you should flip it either, because putting the status color (or is that read state?) in the message obscures the ability to read it quickly, dark text on dark('ish) background = not ideal.


I'm going to be allowing the colors for the priority levels be customizable (or not, just choose a color for states as well) in the next update, now that the notification list is easier to program. It's all done in code now, which is why the font size and family being adjustable was easy to do, too.
Let's talk about it :).

[edit]
It may be as simple as fixing that shadow to be outward instead of inward, and maybe picking a slightly brighter shade. The text is black, after all.


There's some strong merit in this idea. I'll look into it!

Something I just noticed over the course of writing this post too, scrolling rapidly causes a lag, and the bars separating all the content "float" while the interface stops. It's only for half a second or so, it looks like a dragging animation, but I can't reproduce it normally, so I'm sure the interface doesn't support that.


Yeah, I've been trying to battle this one since I first added the shadows. I cannot reliably figure it out, but I have a good idea what's causing it. I plan to nail it down for 1.2.2, which will fix that and 1 or 2 other things (exiting editing mode, I think, and the app icon's black lines on the sides).

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby VxJasonxV » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:04 am

zac wrote:
VxJasonxV wrote:This diagonal gradient in the header? […] because of it's design, the header (Application, event title, time, etc.) grabs my attention and looks like it's the actual content you need to care about, […] Not to even mention that it looks "recessed", where the actual content of the message looks like it's on top.

Is it the diagonals that's pulling you? I thought they were faint enough that they weren't too bad.

I don't think it's the diagonals so much as it is the shadow, and the recessed look.

zac wrote:
VxJasonxV wrote:The shadow diving into the header also plays a very big role in making this worse.

Howso? Perhaps the shadow's too dark as well.. Which device are you using? The colors look different on every device :/

The simple fact of the shadow's existence gives it the depth, I'm sure of it. iPhone 4 BTW.

zac wrote:
VxJasonxV wrote:It may be as simple as fixing that shadow to be outward instead of inward, and maybe picking a slightly brighter shade. The text is black, after all.

There's some strong merit in this idea. I'll look into it!

I'm going to try and prove that I know what I'm talking about by (1) taking a screenshot currently, and (2) making a static image with what I think will be the answer. Otherwise, perhaps shadow-less might be the better way to go about it. I guess the better point is I want to put on (digital) paper what I see in my mind, and see if I'm barking up the wrong tree or not.

zac wrote:
VxJasonxV wrote:Something I just noticed over the course of writing this post too, scrolling rapidly causes a lag, and the bars separating all the content "float" while the interface stops. It's only for half a second or so, it looks like a dragging animation, but I can't reproduce it normally, so I'm sure the interface doesn't support that.

Yeah, I've been trying to battle this one since I first added the shadows. I cannot reliably figure it out, but I have a good idea what's causing it. I plan to nail it down for 1.2.2, which will fix that and 1 or 2 other things (exiting editing mode, I think, and the app icon's black lines on the sides).

Woot

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby tamaracks » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:09 am

I do kind of agree about the headers. Particularly the sunken shadow, which I think looks odd. I'm also on an iPhone 4.

Also, I don't know if it's just me, but my headers take up a lot of room. I don't know if that's because the particular service has lines that are longer, or if they'll all be two lines. It's a service I created.

There's a lot of cool stuff here, though! You've got me excited about Prowl again. I love the new icon!

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:11 am

They're all 2 lines; the earlier versions had major problems with not being able to see the full application name or notification name, and I didn't really like the idea of trying to sometimes mash them onto the same line - I wanted consistency in position.

You can try lowering the font size, and I'm also playing with lowering the padding inside the header.

And for the record, I have a local build here with the shadows inverted, and it looks great. :)

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby tamaracks » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:18 am

I get what you mean about consistency, but right now it seems disproportionately large to me. Reducing the padding might help.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:24 am

I'll see if I can't play and find a healthy medium. I do want to make the landscape layout shove them both on the same line. Have you tried the smallest font size? Honestly on the iPhone 4 it looks too big still, which may be an issue too.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby tamaracks » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:33 am

I did try the smallest size. The header text is bigger than the body text. It does seem like there's a lot of extra room in the header.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby madtbh » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:36 am

I love the new look! The only thing missing from this app now is the ability to use custom sounds. Last time I had to mod the .ipa file and change the sound file.

Also I've noticed a bug that was in the last version as well. When you get a new notification and you open the app and remove the message, the notification count on the bottom bar still says 1 new, when there are none.

Apart from the above the app is amazing, well done!

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:38 am

madtbh wrote:I love the new look! The only thing missing from this app now is the ability to use custom sounds. Last time I had to mod the .ipa file and change the sound file.


Yeah :( I wish this were possible. Unfortunately Apple won't let the push system play sounds that aren't inside the application bundle.

Also I've noticed a bug that was in the last version as well. When you get a new notification and you open the app and remove the message, the notification count on the bottom bar still says 1 new, when there are none.


I really need to just change how this works. It reports the number it last fetched, but I think it confuses more people than it helps.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:38 am

tamaracks wrote:I did try the smallest size. The header text is bigger than the body text. It does seem like there's a lot of extra room in the header.


I think it's the shadow space playing badly to the eyes. I'll see what I can do with the shadow outside, it may be helpful.

http://testflightapp.com/join/fd199fabf ... 4c98-OTgy/ is the beta signup URL, FYI. About 25 more slots before I gotta start being selective.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby madtbh » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:41 am

zac wrote:http://testflightapp.com/join/fd199fabfe5294449ad0f95057894c98-OTgy/ is the beta signup URL, FYI. About 25 more slots before I gotta start being selective.


I've just signed up :)

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby tamaracks » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:48 am

Me too!

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby Walrus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:32 am

I've signed up as well. I've been testing for Second Gear (Elements, Markdown Mail, Shareables) and tested for SimplyTweet in the past.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby sirbwolf » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:28 pm

I will have to agree, that I'm also not too fond of the new diagonal seperators. Just seems like it takes up too much screen real-estate... and it's
distracting to my eyes. I prefer the seperator style used in the previous version. Much cleaner, and direct to the point.

I also not sure why some of the headers are in different colors. I know you mentioned here that you'll be using these based on priority levels. But what's tiggering the different colors now?

Is it possible to add a toggle to suppress the application name as being part of the seperator? For example, I have it setup to send Growl/Prowl notifications from Tweetie. Right now the seperator has "Tweetie" on the first line with the age of the message, followed by "New Tweet from xxxx" on the second line. Seems a bit redundant - atleast in this example, and would definately cut back on the real-estate used for the seperators.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby Lazybones » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:14 pm

Let me first say I am VERY happy with the update to both the service functions such as the url add email features, and the new app features for redirect and background mode.

My two problems howerver are:

Look and feel:
- Everything is just TOO big regardless of font size... I just can't read multipule notifications quickly, also mail notifications are crazy big!

The Settings section of the website:
- I keep getting loging prompts and randomly it displays the setting after logging in serval times.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby zac » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:36 pm

Lazybones wrote:Let me first say I am VERY happy with the update to both the service functions such as the url add email features, and the new app features for redirect and background mode.

My two problems howerver are:

Look and feel:
- Everything is just TOO big regardless of font size... I just can't read multipule notifications quickly, also mail notifications are crazy big!


I'll be addressing this shortly. Smaller padding, my aim is going to be 5 notifications on the screen at once.

Are the mail notifications big because of content, or because of something else? Do you mind sharing an example so I can see what you mean?

The Settings section of the website:
- I keep getting loging prompts and randomly it displays the setting after logging in serval times.


Try closing your browser and restarting it. I had to fix a sessions issue this morning that I think you've got a stuck cookie for.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby Lazybones » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:49 pm

zac wrote:
Lazybones wrote:Let me first say I am VERY happy with the update to both the service functions such as the url add email features, and the new app features for redirect and background mode.

My two problems howerver are:

Look and feel:
- Everything is just TOO big regardless of font size... I just can't read multipule notifications quickly, also mail notifications are crazy big!


I'll be addressing this shortly. Smaller padding, my aim is going to be 5 notifications on the screen at once.

Are the mail notifications big because of content, or because of something else? Do you mind sharing an example so I can see what you mean?
.

The problem with email is that you are displaying both the subject and the message body in the main notification list, instead of doing something like what boxcar does where only the subject appears in the list then you slide over to view the detail..

A SINGLE email on the second smallest font With a subject of test and a body of one line with my standard email signature more than fills the screen on my 3GS (important since I suspect iPhone 4 gets more on the screen with its higher res).

Code: Select all

Subject: This is a test

This is a regular email.

---------------------------
Fake Name
Fake Jobtitle

Tel:000-0000 Fax: 000-0000
Address Line 1
Address Line 2

Company link info



Also If you slide to delete an email the delete button appears in the middle of the message, if the message is larger than one screen the delete button isn't even visible.

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Re: Prowl 1.2 is now available

Postby Lazybones » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:56 pm

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