What’s New in Simpletext 4


After months of development, I’m glad to finally be able to share what I’ve been working on. Here’s what’s new with the all-new Simpletext.

An Even Leaner Codebase

Every decent app, on its first release, started with a clean codebase. But as we began getting feedback from users, we started to make enhancements, adding new code on top of the initial architecture. This resulted in a less elegant codebase over time. By starting over, I get to redesign the architecture with these enhancements built-in rather than as an afterthought. On top of that, I’ve also adopted the latest APIs for iOS 15 and macOS Monterey wherever applicable to further improve the code efficiency.

Create Your Own Theme

Themes are a matter of personal preference. So instead of constantly adding new ones, I thought a better approach would be to let you set your own color palette. In Simpletext 4, you can customise the background, text and caret color for both light and dark mode using the familiar system color picker. Other elements, such as word count, will automatically adopt the same colors but in a subdued tone to match. Try it out and have fun! But if you’re fine with monotone (like me), you can continue using the app without ever touching this setting.

Redesigned Preferences (iOS)

In the previous version, the app preferences resides in the Settings app, so you actually have to leave Simpletext to get there. In Simpletext 4, I’ve built the preferences within the app so you can adjust the settings directly for a more seamless experience. And the text size setting is now the actual font size to allow for a more granular control.

Improved App Navigation (iOS)

In-app navigation used to be purely based on gestures, but I’ve received many feedbacks from new users that they are “stuck” at the editor. Thus, after much deliberation, I’ve implemented a navigation bar, but without the background material so it appears to fade into the editor. And it will be hidden automatically when you begin writing for a full-screen, immersive writing experience.

An All-New App Icon

This is perhaps the biggest change that will take some getting used to. For me at least, after having the previous icon on my Home Screen for so long. The previous design was a typewriter to represent the notion of going back to basics. While this will always be true, Simpletext is also a modern app built on the latest Apple’s frameworks. This new design, I believe, is a better representation of the concept of modern simplicity that Simpletext embodies.

As an app matures, it’s bound to have less groundbreaking updates. Instead, you’ll get subtle refinements that further enhance the premise of the app. And that pretty much sums up what this update is all about. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and will continue to write many words with Simpletext!