It's been especially busy since early June, when Apple announced the features in iOS 11, Apple's newest version of iOS. This year I watched the keynote in the company of other developers in San Jose, CA. Everyone was excited about changes coming to the iPad, especially drag and drop.
I was also interested in the document scanner built into the new version of the Notes app. While there isn’t an API for the scanner itself, Apple have provided APIs for rectangle recognition and tracking. These make it easier to include a document scanner in third party apps. And it’s something I’ve been looking to add for a long time, plus it’s a feature some of you have asked for: see April 2017 Survey Results.
Both of these features inspired changes in the next version of Easy Books.
These new versions will be available on the following platforms:
- Easy Books for iOS: iOS 11 or later
- Easy Books for Mac: macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later
Customers using a previous version of the OS are still able to download and use the old versions of Easy Books. For Mac users, the old versions are available from the website as the Mac App Store does not provide previous versions to older hardware. Under iOS, the
Drag & Drop
Drag and drop is a new feature on the iPad. The iPhone has only limited support, allowing you to drag to re-order items in a list. Within Easy Books, you can now drag and re-order transactions that have the same date if you want to set the order manually. Note the more advanced drag and drop features are not available on the iPhone, only the iPad.
On the iPad, you can bring up another app side by side, allowing easier dragging from one app to another. But you don't need to: while dragging you can press the Home button and open another app as you would normally.
Drag sale transactions and estimates from lists to create PDF copies. If you have a number of invoices to send to the same customer, you can tap on other sales during the drag to add them to the collection.
Watch a demo...
You can drag invoices, estimates and statements into any app that supports PDFs.
You can also use drag and drop to create many customer accounts at once. Simply drag from the Contacts app into the Customers Screen in Easy Books.
I'm thrilled to be able to introduce a new feature in Easy Books called Attachments.
For years I stored all the paperwork for my business in a box file, one file per year. Then a few years ago - in 2012 - I started scanning or photographing my paperwork instead. I stored the scanned copies in another app I love, called Evernote. Now I have everything available in electronic format. All my accounts are in Easy Books and all my receipts, bank statements and so on are in Evernote.
But that's about to change. The next version of Easy Books allows documents to be linked to transactions, estimates and statements. Documents are copied and uploaded to the sync service and are available on all devices that sync the business. Now it's possible to store everything in one place.
If you share your business with another user, such as your accountant, he or she will also be able to view and add attachments.
The feature will be available to customers with a subscription to the Gold Plan. Existing customers can upgrade by signing in at sync.easybooksapp.com.
Watch a demo...
Here is a short screen recording from an iPhone 6 running iOS 11. At the start, the iPhone is running Easy Books and shows a list of transactions, one of which is an expense for some brown paper. I have the scanned receipt already contained as a file in my iCloud Drive. The video shows how to swipe from left to right to add a new attachment, pick the receipt from the list of files and link it to the transaction.
Easy Books for Mac has also been updated to support the same features. The following screen recording was made after the receipt was attached to the transaction on iPhone. It shows the same business, having already been updated via the sync service. The paperclip icon appears next to all transactions with attachments. The recording shows how to open the attachments window, and how to preview the file using the Space key. On the Mac as well as iPad, you can drag attachments already stored in Easy Books over to other apps.
How can this feature help me?
Attached files can be used to provide evidence of accurate entries, somewhere to store calculations or a space to store additional information.
When preparing an estimate, you might photograph your calculations of work involved and your costs. This can provide an aide-mémoire if your customer agrees to your estimate.
When reconciling your bank statements, you can attach a scanned copy of your paper statement, or a PDF if your bank offers paperless statements.
But perhaps the most obvious use is for recording the original receipts for expenses and other purchases. These provide evidence of accurate entries should you ever be asked to supply it.
Documents are copied, uploaded to the sync service and are made available to all devices that sync the business. If you share your business with another user, such as your accountant, he or she will also be able to view and add attachments.
What kind of documents are supported?
- Images (JPEG, TIFF & PNG)
- Text files (Plain Text, Rich Text, Markdown, CSV, HTML, XML)
- PDF files
Are there any limits on file size?
What happens if my subscription expires?
If your subscription expires, the system will backup all the files you uploaded into a single archive. Your data will be available to download for 30 days before being deleted. It is not currently possible to restore the links between documents and transactions once the files are deleted.
Can I download my files if I want to?
Yes. Sign in to your account at [sync.easybooksapp.com][sync] and find the Attachments tab. You can request a backup of all your files. Since this can take some time to prepare, you will receive an email once the archive is ready. Simply re-visit the page when the archive is ready and you can download it.
How does the system work on devices with limited free storage?
Easy Books stores copies of files on your device, but alters its behaviour when a device has less than 10% of its storage capacity available. In this case, older files are removed from the device in the order they were added. When you try to view an attachment that has been removed, it will be downloaded from the service, then remain on the device for at least a week.
I've made a few small changes to the UI. Nothing major, but following Apple's lead, I've moved the search bar into the navigation bar at the top of the screen.
I hope you like the changes.