iTookOff's Accounting Methods, I Need Your Help!

I've received a lot of emails lately asking about how iTookOff handles it's internal accounting. When it was originally developed, iTookOff was a much simpler app and used a (what I call) "zero-sum" style of accounting. Time would be added and deducted up front at the time of entry so that at the end of the year, you'd end up with zero. This means your time would sometimes appear as negative if you borrow against your accrual. This is obviously not always the reality and many people are confused by how it works. I'd like to remedy this to handle everyone's needs but I'd like to find out the majority of user's expectations. I need your help figuring out the best way to proceed with this. So here's where you come in. Would you prefer that future time can be added but not deducted until it actually passes? Would you prefer it to stay the same? Or would you prefer to have the option to account both ways? My immediate impression is that there will be support on either side but one side may come out on top. In either case I'd like to accommodate both types of accounting somehow. It's just a matter of which side should I center my development efforts around. Please let me know your feelings either in the comments below or by responding on the poll. If there are no votes, feelings, or comments either way, I'll just continue in the direction that I believe accommodates both sides equally. Also, if there are actual names for the types of accounting I mentioned above, or if I'm wrong about any labels I used, please feel free to correct me. Thanks everyone!

Big apology to Verizon iPhone Users

Sorry VZW iPhone users! The latest version won't work for you guys. If you update it through iTunes, it may get removed from your device. I've been assured that your "user data" is still on the device and when the iOS is updated or if I can find a way to resolve it, you'll be back to where you were. Sorry again, I'm working on a solution! Update: 1.6.3 compiled for iOS 4.2 has been uploaded to Apple.

1.6.2 for iOS 4.3 submitted for review

1.6.2 is a small update to address some small bug fixes and some user interface feedback. Noticeable changes include:
  • I've finally fixed the time predicting so that all eight categories can be included and ones you have disabled won't show up.
  • Notifications are now deletable. You can swipe them off the table to get rid of them.
  • I added a "Done" button to the accrual period selector. I received emails objecting to the auto-select that was currently on it.
Backup your data and email me with any bugs! I'm looking to make 1.6.3 a much more featureful update. Stay tuned.

Bug found in 1.6, 1.6.1 pushed to Apple

When adding time, you may get double references in the table under the calendar. This is just a display bug and closing the app and re-opening will set the tables up properly. If you try to delete a doubled row, the application will crash. A fix in a new version 1.6.1 has been sent for review by Apple. Thanks Russ M! Update: 1.6.1 has been approved by Apple. Please backup your data before updating! Sorry for the version churn.

Thank you Mr. Yankellow

Just noticed this blog post Hidden Gems: iPhone Apps You've Never Heard Of on brighthub by Donny Yankellow calling iTookOff a hidden gem. Its been a few months since this was published but we appreciate the publicity. Hopefully one day iTookOff won't be so hidden... Thanks Donny!

Final Screenshots of 1.6

These are, in all likelihood, final 1.6 screenshots. 1.6 is in extended beta test right now. I'm going to submit it to Apple as soon as 1.5.7 is approved or rejected. I'm still open to feedback. Below is the new home screen, the new notification system, and the holidays screen.
The homescreen was modified so the rows are larger, there are disclosure indicators on the categories, the wonky buttons are removed to make use of the tab bar.  
Holidays will gray out days in your calendar. These holidays will only appear if your phone is set for the US country code. If you don't live in the US and would like holidays to appear on your calendar, contact me and let me know.  
iTookOff now maintains a database of your notifications. Any leave accrual you get will be in here for future reference. I plan on adding a lot more functionality to this. OH! And weekly accrual has been added.

Online Backup/Restore Feature

We're doing a little research on whether or not users would want a feature to backup and restore data to this website. Since it would require some significant development time and some cost to secure the infrastructure for it, we just want to know if it's a feature users are interested in. While this website doesn't get that much traffic, we'd appreciate any responses on the following poll. Thanks!

1.5.7 released to Apple, here's 1.6 alpha screenshot

1.5.7 has been sent to Apple. Preliminary reports from beta testers and some thorough unit testing seem to confirm the bi-weekly accrual is fixed. We're hoping for a release date early next week, but that depends on Apple. As you may have guessed, IA and UI design is not my forte. I like to experiment with things and they tend to get out of hand sometimes. As a result of subjecting everyone to a terrible UI for so long, I've started moving a lot of stuff around for 1.6. The immediate goal is to logically separate everything and get back in line with people's expectations. I may release 1.6 as just a UI update and then merge the next feature set into it for 1.6.1. The main reason is that 1.6 is going to require another CoreData lightweight migration to add the new notification storage system. Any feedback on the direction? Icons may or may not be final (probably not).

Releasing next update to beta testers

Amongst some other bug fixes and performance enhancements, here is the major changes for 1.5.7:
  • Bi-weekly accrual bug where time is doubled should be resolved.
  • Adjustable Precision (8.0, 8.01, 8.014, etc.)
  • Time in icon badge is now cumulative instead of exclusive.
I will be doing a short beta test period and then a release to Apple. I'll update this post when I release it to Apple. While the majority of my development time on the 1.5 branch has been isolating and fixing the accrual bug, the 1.5.8/1.6 branch has been receiving some large feature updates. More on that soon! I've been receiving a  lot of email from customers recently and I am trying to answer everyone individually. I have to prioritize the email queue to support requests first, feature requests second, and all other inquiries last. If I don't respond to comments and suggestions, please know that I appreciate your feedback and I do read everything. Due to the volume, I may not respond to emails requesting ETA's on features or updates. Please refer to this website for any development news. Thanks everyone! Update 2/16: Added a few more features for 1.5.7. If all looks good on Friday, I will upload it to Apple and hope for late next week for approval. New Features include:
  • Report/Request time from a supervisor
  • Share iTookOff by Email
  • I added a delete button to the edit day screen. This is in addition to swiping on the day in the table, but it's not always obvious.
  • Next paycheck and yearly anniversary are now highlighted in green on the Calendar
  • Maximum time added to the settings for a leave category.
I've resolved to do a major UI update really soon, not this version though.

1.5.7 now in development

I'm working on a few small things for 1.5.7. First is the fix for the email bug. The next is a way to import email backups and possibly import/export to this website. Finally, I'm going to try to get the site 100% localizable and possibly add a language or two. I've released it in the Netherlands app store by user request so hopefully Dutch will be available soon. Also, today and tomorrow, iTookOff will be free! Tell your friends and family to scoop it up now!