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Tuesday
Jun052012

Update on new attendance app

I've been working on the new attendance app quite a bit now that my semester is over so here's an update. There are two major features remaining (spreadsheet report and the random features for individuals and random groups) that I was hoping to get into the initial release along with a bunch of finishing touches that must be completed. After spending about three months of full-time work on it, I think I want to make certain Apple will approve it before I invest too much more time in it so I will likely submit it to Apple in the second or third week of June whether or not those two features are completed by then. If they aren't completed, I'll plan to get those features in the first update. This will also allow me to see what Apple announces at WWDC so I'll know what changes I may need to make for the next major iOS release. The app will require iOS 5.x or higher.

I have not added the ability to import courses and attendance records from the existing Attendance app. You will be able to export your students (and their email, phone, etc.) from the existing Attendance app as a CSV file and then import that CSV file into the new app, but it won't import the existing attendance data for the students. I don't have time to get that feature implemented in the first release and I don't know how important it really is as I suspect most people that want to use the new app will be ok with doing it at the start of a new term/quarter/semester.

At least for now, the app will not support iCloud syncing as I'm very concerned about possible data corruption when data has been changed on multiple devices. There are two ways to copy, but not sync (i.e., you can't modify the data on a second device before copying the most recent version of the data to the device) the data in the new app. You can upload a data file to Dropbox from one device and then download the data file to another device or you can send the data file via email and then open it on the other device. After the initial release has been approved, I will look into iCloud support, but I don't want to promise it at this point.

As I announced in the previous post (that also has more information about the features), assuming Apple approves the app, I will have an introductory price of $3.99 for a week or so and then the app will be $4.99. I'll make a post both here and on Twitter (@davereed) when the app is released.

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