Today we’re delighted to announce a new revision of Spot Specific Apps a la Carte, version 0.85. We’re still in a beta phase, but are pretty excited about what this release brings – in particular, a completely revamped device simulator, and a slew of usability improvements.
The simulator is a key part of the experience of building an app: it’s your real-time preview of how your application will look and work on a real device. In this release we’ve made several important improvements to it:
- Drag and drop. This is huge. It’s now possible to drag new widgets straight from the widget picker into the simulator, exactly where you want them to go. Need a ‘Forward’ button? Just drag it right where you want it. While dragging a widget into place, you’ll notice that a ‘ghosted’ preview appears under the mouse.Drag and drop also works for editing existing objects. If you need to move something around, just click and drag it and the object’s edit form will appear to update its settings in real-time.
- Integration into the main window. While the previous pop-up window had its charms, we felt that it could benefit from being more closely tied to the current status of the main Spot Specific window. This makes it clearer which screen the simulator is simulating at any given time. This also also a necessary prerequisite for drag-and-drop editing.
We’ve spent some time thinking about how to make Spot Specific easier to navigate and spend time in. Other than the simulator’s new location, the most noticeable visual change is the pinstriped background against which the toolbar icons now sit. However, the more significant change is the ‘breadcrumb trail’, which indicates at all times where in your account you currently are. The breadcrumb bar sits right above the workspace area, and gives you an easy way to navigate back up the ‘tree’ of your account, starting at your desktop.
We have also improved a number of other details which enhance the user interface:
- Assets are now listed in alphabetical order in the My Assets list
- Multi-line text fields now behave more as you would expect
- It’s now possible to ‘tab’ between fields in all forms
- The integrated documentation is now easier to navigate, and takes up less space in the browser window
These are just the highlights, so why not have a go and see what you can make?
A full change-log will follow as an addendum to this post tomorrow.