Simpletext for iOS 16 and macOS Ventura Now Available


This post is updated on October 26, 2022 following the release of macOS Ventura.

It’s that time of the year again when Apple releases major updates to their software platforms. And every year, as I go through the WWDC sessions, I’d look for two things: (1) Are there any new system features that can make Simpletext better? (2) Are there any new technologies that can improve the app’s performance or simplify the codebase?

For this year’s update, I’ve adopted the following enhancements for Simpletext.

File Menu

Screenshot of Simpletext’s file menu on iOS 16

iOS 16 introduced a “File menu”, which provides a convenient way to perform quick actions like move, duplicate and export right within the editor. You can also rename the file directly without having to go back to the file management screen. This feature is available in Simpletext as a setting, so you have the option to hide it if you don’t use any of the actions.

Find & Replace

Screenshot of Simpletext’s search function on iOS 16

Even before this release, you can search for a specific word or phrase in Simpletext. It was built with custom code as there was no native search capability at the time. But in iOS 16, Apple introduced native support for search, so I immediately removed my custom implementation and adopted it. The resulting experience is similar to the find and replace feature in Apple’s own apps. But more importantly, this is another step towards having less code and better overall performance.

UI Update

As with all major OS updates, there will be some refinements to the user interface. You may come across subtle updates here and there as you use the app, such as the new colour well in macOS Ventura. One of the more apparent changes is the More button on iPhone and iPad, which is moved from the keyboard bar to the upper-right corner. The intent is to provide a more consistent experience as the More button in Apple’s own apps is also located on the upper-right corner. This change will also give the app a cleaner, lighter look without the additional button on the keyboard bar.

To sum it up, Simpletext V4.4 for iPhone and iPad adopts the enhancements of iOS 16 to provide a better user experience with less code, where as Simpletext V4.4 for Mac is more of a stability update. Echoing the words of acclaimed Australian chef Marco Pierre White, “We live in a world of refinement, not invention.” This update, both for Apple and for Simpletext, is an example of continuous refinement. Simpletext is here for the long term, and will continue to evolve alongside iOS and macOS.

Happy writing!

P.S. iOS 16 has a new feature called “Keyboard Feedback” that provides a satisfying tactile experience when typing on your iPhone. You can switch it on in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Keyboard Feedback > Haptic. Give it a try, it goes really well with Simpletext 🙂