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Introducing7

Introducing Roastmaster for iOS 7

Version 7 for iOS 7 is here! Version 7, you might say… but where did the other versions go? Well, from here on out I plan to align the app version with the iOS version it’s targeted for, so we’re jumping ahead here to catch up. Apple has recently begun to allow downloads of older versions, and I think this type of versioning scheme will be the easiest to understand as iOS moves forward.

I want to take a moment to offer a very heartfelt thanks to everyone I’ve worked so closely with over the past few months while implementing and refining features, as well as the beta testers who offered invaluable input. This update, code-wise, was probably the biggest one to date. iOS 7 is very different than iOS 6 and earlier with respect to how screens are drawn and displayed – something Roastmaster draws a lot of. When the GM seeds of iOS 7 were released, I realized development time was going to run long. Since I also wanted to hold out for testing on the new iPad, I took the chance to concentrate heavily on both form and function – a very big undertaking to say the least, but one that was definitely due.

Form

I’ve overhauled the UI – in part to help Roastmaster blend with iOS 7’s minimalistic design theme, and integrate seamlessly with its new features. More importantly, though, I felt the new version of Roastmaster should have an interface that is familiar, but much more content-oriented – one that takes a back seat to your data – complementing it, and eschewing unnecessary elements that compete with it.

In line with this, I’ve paid very close attention to typography, colors and iconography in this update. In an app as comprehensive as Roastmaster, running on a platform that is limited to one visible screen at a time, these items are critical in helping you to navigate your data, and also in serving as mnemonic cues – helping you mentally retain your place in the app as you browse. I really hope you enjoy the new look, and find the UI enahncements helpful in presenting and navigating your data.

Function

My ever-present goal is to equip Roastmaster with the tools to help you put your data to work for you. I strive to help you easily and intuitively build on past successes – either by direct comparison of current roasts to past roasts and their cupping data, or by using this data in tandem with your ever-evolving custom profiles. This is the means to the end goal of the best tasting cup of coffee possible. In addition to this, it’s important to be able to perform tasks in Roastmaster easily – with minimal effort and thought on your part. Most of the new features are geared toward one of these two goals.

So many amazing folks have come forward with ideas and suggestions – some I’d already planned, some I’d never even thought of. Thanks to you all! Believe me, I listen to and evaluate every single suggestion. As always, majority rules – so if you see your suggestion on this list, you’re in good company.

New Features

User Interface

  • Full iOS 7 compatibility
  • A more simple, open and content-oriented design
  • Improved typography and iconography
  • Support for iOS 7 dynamic text sizing
  • Easily recognizable activity icons now replace the old text-based activity choices
  • All buttons are easier to tap

Support for two new probes for Data Logging Users

  • Support for the BlueTherm Duo Probe – a wireless Bluetooth probe that supports 2 K Style thermocouples
  • Support for the iCelsius BBQ Probe – a wired probe that attaches to the dock connector, or to a Lightning port via a Dock to Lightning adapter.

Productivity

  • New inventory report type
  • Analyze recent roasts to quickly view your most recent roast activity
  • Easily turn a completed roast into a profile or program
  • Notes for all items are now edited via a spacious full-screen editor
  • Dedicated numeric keypad for editing node values and times
  • Faster database operations
  • Copying a roast now includes the profile and program, and applies the appropriate curve templates
  • Roast alarms can now be set by tapping on the alarm marker and entering a specific time in addition to dragging on the gauge or graph
  • Several of the past-roast matching algorithms have been shifted to the database side, speeding up queries and greatly reducing memory consumption
  • Roaster setup assistant. Behmor users will find this particularly helpful, as it will automatically configure a Behmor roaster for using and displaying Behmor curves.
  • Better curve comparison for past roast matching
  • Rested age since roasting in days and hours for cuppings
  • Ability to condense or expand an existing curve by intervals of 15 seconds
  • Roasts, blends and cuppings now show the countries of their items in the header
  • Roasts, blends and cuppings can now be filtered by country in the main list views
  • Ability to two-finger tap on the main roast console graph to select a curve from a list of all curves
  • Ability to have roast timers display inverted Behmor time when a Behmor curve is selected
  • Ability to enter cracks for 30 seconds after the roast has ended

Roast Analyzer

  • Faster scrolling and more responsive navigation
  • Curve targeting mode enables you choose which curves are displayed for targeting:
    1. Profile/Program Mode: Current roast curves are displayed as solid, profile/program curves are displayed as dotted, all other curves hidden
    2. Past Roast Mode: Current roast curves are displayed as solid, past roast curves are displayed as dotted, all other curves hidden
    3. All (The legacy mode): Current roast and current profile/program curves are displayed as solid, other past roast curves displayed as dotted
    4. None: Current roast and current profile/program curves are displayed as solid, all other curves are hidden
  • Live differential temperature projection markers. Select a curve, and create a draggable target with the predicted temperature based on the recent differential energy of the curve.
  • Floating labels for curve levels, crack times and duration milestones
  • Define up to three separate custom deltas to report for the selected curve or node
  • Ability to plot control curves with a reduced height at the bottom of the screen – leaving the top area free for reading curve analysis
  • More intuitive crack buttons: tap once to set the begin time – subsequent taps extend the duration. To clear times, tap and hold.
  • Analyzer now remembers the selected curve, focus past roast and projection markers between views
  • Customizable opacities for graph elements, like current curves, target curves and background
  • More accurate delta times for data logging users (deltas are calculated from recent probe readings – accurate to 1/2 second)
  • Easier curve selection by tapping directly on a curve, or two-finger tapping to invoke a chooser list
  • Preference for alerts to remind you to enter temperature nodes at a customizable interval while in the Analyzer
  • Ability to show a margin around the graph for easier selection of nodes that lie at 0 on the X or Y axis
  • Preference settings to independently set the opacity for X or Y axis grid line markers.
  • Selected curve remains selected when swiping through past roasts
  • Analyzer display is calibrated to minutes, and remembers the last used setting between views

Looking Ahead

I’m going to be concentrating heavily on a series of screencast “shorts” – videos geared toward educating users on some of the features and how to perform standard and more complex workflow operations in Roastmaster. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on things you’d like to see showcased, or if you have any specific questions or comments on using Roastmaster.

I really hope you enjoy the new features in this update, and find them helpful in your roasting workflow. For folks celebrating Thanksgiving – enjoy your turkey, your time off and all we have to be thankful for. For those, and everyone else… as always, Happy Roasting!

Danny

About the Author

Danny HallHome Coffee Roaster and App DeveloperView all posts by Danny Hall »

  1. Aaron Kiley
    Aaron KileyNov 27, 2013

    Awesome! Amazing upgrade and the two data logging options are super good news! … Aaron

    • Danny Hall
      Danny HallNov 29, 2013

      Thanks Aaron – and for your tireless help with beta testing as well! It was honestly a lifesaver, or at least a sanity-saver.

      Hope you enjoyed your holiday. I was going to roast Sumatra for our family’s traditional post-Thanksgiving dinner french-press coffee, but popular demand was Ethiopian this year. I think I went through 6 presses in the jumbo press before everyone had their coffee. 🙂

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