Dejal year in review: 2020

Happy New Year!

As we start a new year, let's review what happened with the Dejal apps in 2020:

My popular break reminder tool, Time Out, had a significant update in 2020, to version 2.7, adding support for macOS Big Sur, including a new app icon and other improvements, plus a much-requested option to ask to start a break, an improved break preview, several new themes, and much more. It finished the year at version 2.7.1.
My pro app to monitor websites and servers for changes and failures, Simon, had a couple of beta releases of a major upgrade, to version 5.0. This added support for syncing via iCloud, including editing on multiple Macs, performing checks on a specific Mac, and receiving notifications on different Macs. It also refined the web service, added a new Simon Status service, a new Link Checker filter, a new Server Result filter, an iMessage notifier, and many more improvements.
Pack, a simple iPhone app to make it easy to pack for trips, didn't have any updates in 2020. Not a great year for travel anyway.
Date Stamp, an iMessage app to provide customizable date stamp stickers, also didn't have any changes. Since few people seem to use iMessage stickers anymore, I'm unlikely to update this, though I still think it was a fun concept, and turned out really well.
Chicken GIFs was a sticker pack featuring many fun animated GIFs of my chickens. Apple removed it from the App Store in 2020.
I also have another couple of new apps in various stages of development. More about those in the future.

Consulting

Dejal also produces macOS and iOS apps for other companies, under the banner of Dejal Consulting.

I spent 2020 working on a big 2.0 update of SheetPlanner, a pro-level outliner, planner, todo, calendar, and more. Version 2.0 was just released, and the outlining features can be used for free forever; learn more on the SheetPlanner website. I'm really proud of how this update turned out. I'm continuing to work on this app, so stay tuned for more enhancements throughout the year.
I have continued to work on the iOS client for NewsBlur, a popular RSS reader, including some significant improvements in the works.
I've done some improvements on the iOS and macOS apps for the Turn Touch remote, a beautiful wooden remote for your smart home, though it has been mostly sidelined by the above two.
I've also worked on Client Folder Maker, a macOS tool to make custom hierarchies of folders, and will have more on that soon.

I am currently fully booked up for the next several months at least, but am always interested in talking with potential new clients. If you have a macOS or iOS project you'd like help with (or a custom Simon enhancement), check out my consulting page for more information.

So how'd the 2020 vision go?

Last year I published the pun-titled 2020 vision post, predicting plans for 2020. As everyone knows, 2020 didn't turn out quite as expected, with a COVID-19 pandemic affecting the entire world.

But while I was certainly impacted, the pandemic didn't cause any real change for my Dejal apps; I indicated that I expected to update Time Out to version 2.7, which I did (and 2.7.1), and I did the majority of the work the big Simon version 5 upgrade, which is currently in beta. And I made great progress on my consulting projects, too.

Non-development things didn't fare so well; I wrote about planning to attend WWDC (and even had a hotel room booked for the expected week), but it went virtual in 2020 — which I suggested would be better anyway back in 2012. I did take a week to participate in that; while I missed the meetups with other developers, attending from the comfort of home was indeed much better.

There weren't any other conferences last year. And my wife and I had to cancel a 3-week trip to New Zealand a week before we departed, as things started to lock down back in March. We'll get there in due course!

But considering how 2020 went for a lot of people, we survived better than most, especially thanks to living on five acres, and being used to working from home and stocking up supplies, since we're 25 minutes from the grocery store.

Thank you

Thank you and welcome to my new customers, and many thanks to the long-term customers who are still enjoying my apps, and of course my consulting clients. I really appreciate your support.