Pedometer++ 2.5.2 Release Diary

I just pushed out version 2.5.2 of Pedometer++. This includes a number of interesting updates that seemed worth expanding on.

Data Changing in the Past

One of the more insidiously difficult technical problems I’ve had to deal with for Pedometer++ is handing data from multiple sources. Pedometer++ has a mechanism for integrating your step data from an Apple Watch (explained in detail here). This feature generally works great but has exposed a number of difficult situations to navigate from the data processing side. The hardest deals with knowing when data reported from your iPhone to the app is actually new.

If you put your Apple Watch in airplane mode for a while then reconnect, Pedometer++ now has access to data that appears old in terms of date but is new in terms of Pedometer++’s data integration scheme.

So since the start of data merging I’ve had to look back at past history to detect when new data is available. The tricky part became knowing when that data is truly new.

My initial attempt at this worked correctly most of the time but would occasionally get fooled by either a bug in iOS (#27823135) or by a privacy feature in Core Motion. In either case users would see their old step counts slowly creeping up by a few steps a day.

In this update I’ve re-written the integration logic to now be robust against both of the previous areas for error. This involved keeping much closer record of exactly which steps have been counted and where they were counted from. The new method has so far been incredibly reliable in my testing regime. It will result in a one-time adjustment the first time the new algorithm is run, but after that should be much better.

New Icon

The original icon for Pedometer++ was something that I threw together myself in a hurry back when the app was first made. I felt it was high time for it to finally get a proper icon. The newly updated one was made by the incomparable @forgottentowel. He did a great job of keeping the original feel of the icon but making it much more clean and nice.

Alternate Icon

This update also makes use of the new in iOS 10.3 ability for apps to have alternative icons to provide a different icon for use when the app is in Wheelchair Mode. Since watchOS 3 introduced the ability of the Apple Watch to count a user’s wheelchair pushes Pedometer++ has had the ability to use these as an alternative to steps within the app.

When in this mode it seemed like having a more consistent icon made a lot more sense. I really like the resulting icon, I think it captures a great sense of movement.

David Smith