November 3, 2010
Apple just approved Math Touch 1.0.3, which is up on the store now. I can verify the text fields are being drawn in the correct location on iPad’s, which is the bug I took the app off the store for.
There are two known bugs in this version:
• A memory leak associated with scrolling or zooming a graph, which will cause a crash after a while. (Which happens way faster on the iPad because it uses a lot more memory than the iPhone but has less.)
• A bug in the unit database in which units which resolve to a base dimension are not visible in the list.
I have fixed both of these bugs and am uploading 1.0.4 to Apple as I type. I also incorporated support for the tab key into the unit editor.
I have submitted yet another attempt at a bug fix to Apple, though it is becoming increasingly obvious that the bug which plagues the layout of the text area never happens with a development build, only with the app as distributed by iTunes. I spent several hours last night and tonight reviewing the details of the build settings, and one thing I am sure of: the previous standard GCC compiler has bugs in it which may write code into the application which differ from what I write. When I started two years ago, GCC was all we had for iPhone, but Apple has since introduced a new LLVM compiler which is supposed to be faster and better. We’ll see…
There also seems to be a bug in Xcode’s snapshots feature which sometimes removes updates to my code. So every now and then, I have to fix bugs twice.
I got the confirmation from Apple less than an hour ago that version 1.0.2 had been approved for sale, fixing the bugs many users have been reporting with the incorrectly displayed text. However, upon installing it on my iPad, I discovered the problems with the text fields have gotten far worse. I installed it on my iPhone and it worked fine. I was quite dismayed, so I installed my development version on the iPad – the same one I uploaded to Apple – and the text displayed correctly.
Having these errors upsets me greatly, especially considering that these bugs exist in the purchased binaries but not in the ones I send to Apple.
Thus, until I can discover why the app as downloaded from Apple does not function as it does when I send it to them, I have removed the app from the app store.
As an example, I’ve attached screenshots from the version Apple is selling (left) and the way it looks during development & testing (right). Why is the app behaving incorrectly on iPad’s only when coming from Apple? I don’t know. Fixing this is my top priority.
I have been able to confirm from three users that there is a bug in version 1.0.1 which causes text to display vertically along the right edge of a pop-up for a variable. This is obviously not the designed functionality. Although I have been unsuccessful at reproducing this bug on my devices, the fact that three users have experienced it means fixing it is my top priority.
There is also a bug in some iPad OS’s in which Apple snuck Grand Central Dispatch in to the iPad OS in 3.2.2, however, not all of the other functionality of iOS 4 which Math Touch leverages is present. Since Math Touch finds Grand Central Dispatch, it will ask the iPad to perform some other Grand-Central-Dispatch-related, but iOS 4-only functionality which the iPad cannot do, and the result is a crash. I have a partial work-around for this bug and am testing it to ensure completeness.
It may take me several days before the bug fix is uploaded, as I am traveling to my grandfather’s funeral for the next three days.
I know some of y’all heard about Math Touch from Google, because I can see you clicking through. Once you’ve found it, please bookmark me and tell your friends (’cause I pay for every time you click the ad). I’m glad y’all are getting through, but my best ads haven’t even been approved — the ones that tell you the app is for iPhone and iPad. Here are some of them. Personally I think they’re hilarious and quite to the point, but Google says they contain a “trademark term” so they are disapproved. Why did they approve that first one? Chalk it up to corporate bureaucracy.
A user has found a bug in which using the equation C = 2 π r, and entering C and inquiring for the value ‘r’ results in Math Touch hanging. The bug has been found and fixed in the next free update. It appears to involve computations in which constant dimensionless values are converted into any dimension multiplied by the angle or dimensionless dimensions.
I will be updating Math Touch with new features for the forseeable future. Some features may warrant a price increase. Which feature do you want me to work on the most?
September 15, 2010, 11 AM: Apple has approved Math Touch, version 1.0
The app will go live in the iTunes App Store sometime today. At that time, the link from the App Store button will work.
It’s been two years and three months in development. I’ve seen two iPhone operating systems come and go, and the introduction of the iPad, which makes the app an absolute dream.
I have finished beta-testing. I am now writing up help text and web-marketing. I am also writing the script for the tutorial videos.
The first beta-version has gone out to select beta-testers. In the mean time, I’m working on improving the built-in equation database, a couple of usability features and the website.