Timeline - The Future of the Past!
If you’ve been living under a rock, or have just been sunning yourself on the beach for the past week, you might have missed the launch of Pebble OS 4.0. This new version introduced some fantastic new features, such as the updated health app, timeline quick view, app glances, Rocky.js and a new system launcher.
The Past and the Furious
However, there was one change which was met with mixed feedback from both users and developers alike, the removal of timeline past. Previously accessible via the UP button, timeline past was removed as part of the new 4.0 user experience (UX). In 4.0 we introduced new APIs to give developers more options to improve their application’s UX and potentially shift away from using the past for interactions
Unfortunately, this change prevented users from accessing any timeline pin which wasn’t in the present or future, negatively affecting a number of apps and their use cases for the timeline.
We carefully listened to feedback and suggestions from our developer community via the forums, Reddit, Twitter and Discord, and we are happy to announce that timeline past has returned in the v4.0.1 update. Users who need to access the timeline past can now assign it to one of their quick launch buttons.
And so, with the reintroduction of timeline past, balanced was restored, and that was the end of the story. Or was it?
Back to the Future!
If you’re the developer of an application which relies upon timeline past, you will probably want to inform your users about how they can access timeline past, as it will not be enabled by default. Fortunately, there are multiple ways in which you can do this easily.
1. App Store Description
Use the app store description of your app to explain that your application utilizes timeline past and that users will need to assign it to quick launch. For example:
This application utilizes pins in the timeline past. On your Pebble, go to ‘Settings’, ‘Quick Launch’, ‘Up Button’, then select ‘Timeline Past’. You can then access timeline past by long pressing UP.
2. Display a Splash Screen
Add a splash screen to your application which only runs once, and display a message informing users how to enable timeline past. You could use the ‘about-window’ Pebble package for a really quick and easy solution.
3. Display a One-Time Notification
Display a system notification which only fires once, and display a message informing users how to enable timeline past.
4. Display a Timeline Notification
Display a timeline notification, and display a message informing users how to enable timeline past.
The Future of the Past
For now, developers can continue to utilize timeline past, but over time we would like to provide a more diverse set of functionality that allows developers to surface information to their users. For example, some use cases of timeline past may be more appropriate as using an app glance, or timeline quick view instead.
Your feedback is incredibly important to us, it’s how we keep making awesome things. We love to receive your product and feature suggestions too.
- The Past and the Furious
- Back to the Future!
- 1. App Store Description
- 2. Display a Splash Screen
- 3. Display a One-Time Notification
- 4. Display a Timeline Notification
- The Future of the Past
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