Automatic Updates, iCloud Drive and backing up your data

After a major OS release, you can typically count on application updates from developers. With iOS 8, there was also the launching of iCloud Drive which involved major changes to the structure of the data we store and access in iCloud. Most of these updates happened in the background, and don’t require our attention.

But some apps do require our attention. I tend to read the release notes [1] with app updates on my Mac and devices. I find them interesting/useful. I’ve been finding an alarming trend with developers warning users to take actions before updating their apps. They range from problems with an update crashing on launch and recommending to skip the version and wait for the next update to telling users to make a backup of their data before updating.

App developers cautioning users to make a backup of your iCloud data before updating the app doesn’t work.

 Typical App Store Updates view.

Typical App Store Updates view.

Like this one:

Important Note for iCloud users: if you sync Contacts Journal with iCloud, please backup your data before updating the app. You can create a backup from More -> Manage Data > Backup iCloud Data.

If I’m reading your warning, it’s probably already too late.

There’s a fundamental problem with these types of warnings. In most cases, 1) assume your users don’t read release notes. Cause they don’t. 2) With Automatic Updates turned on in iOS, chances are good, they’ll be unable to stop the update.

One could argue that developers should issue ample warning in the previous versions, allowing users to plan ahead. However, that doesn’t help with users who don’t read release notes.


But the reality is, the iOS App Store needs a delayed download and update feature like the Mac App Store. In addition, developers could request to Apple that users have to initiate the update manually after highlighting where to read the release notes. Users would launch the App Store and see a separate notice, saying something like, “there were a few updates that require your attention”.


Pending Updates view concept 


Users can choose to take appropriate precautions, or just manually start the download. The action wouldn’t add much time to the whole workflow, and the users would have a chance to backup important data.

The example above includes:

  1. A separate section above 'Pending Updates' for updates that need review.
  2. A header containing the number of updates that need review.
  3. A unique badge that grabs the users eye and attention, in this case I used an orange Info icon (i).

  1. That “What’s New” text below the version number. ↩

Site & Portfolio Updated, Redesigned

This site and the content of my portfolio have been updated to show my most recent work as well as older work. The list includes work that I did at SpiderOak for the web, mobile and desktop. At Ark, for the web and mobile; then some other projects.

The last two months have been filled with updating this site.

  1. The content
  2. The backend
  3. The SEO

I needed to update the content of my portfolio, as well as move from Squarespace software version 5 to 6.

The projects include the following:

Web Projects

File Browsing

List View, View Files, ShareRoom File Upload

Administration Management

New User Authentication, Service Signup Process


Ark Site, Web Forms

Other Projects

Wikipedia, Social TV, User Management

Mobile Projects

SpiderOak for iOS, SpiderOak for Android, Mobile Web, Ark Mobile

Desktop Projects

SpiderOak Mac Desktop, SpiderOak Mac Installer, Mac OS Removable Drive & Folder Icons, Windows MSI Installer

SpiderOak for iOS 2.0

Well, I'm excited to announce after working on this project for over a year now, the app is done. The SpiderOak 2.0 mobile app for iOS is now designed, developed and available for download on the iOS App Store.

Some takeaways I've learned from redesigning an app from the ground up over a year-long process.

  • Operating systems update and change
    • Two OS updates - iOS 5-6 (iOS 6 changed many UI elements)
  • Design trends change
    • We called an audible, changing the entire menu structure a couple of times.
  • Screen sizes change
    • Designing for Android made this less of an issue for me.
  • Minimum requirements change
    • SpiderOak's feature set and mobile API has updated many times in a year, and our feature set has grown substantially.
    • Many of them have come in the last month, so be adaptable (not just be willing to adapt - but actually adapt).
    • Make sure your designs and specs are scalable to include last minute changes that make sense to everyone involved in writing and testing.
 SpiderOak Mobile

Now to work on some updates...

You can check the app out here - SpiderOak for iOS:

SpiderOak - SpiderOak, Inc.

Re: Your annoying Fwd:

This tip comes from How to Quote Text in an Email Reply on the iPhone Download Blog.

Do you get annoyed with people that just forward emails without asking themselves, why am I forwarding this? Well I don’t like getting emails that are a mile long, and the actual message 3/4 down buried in the message. Typically, if I see more than 3 or 4 lines down the left side of the email, I won’t even start to read it. If it’s not reworded, reformatted or explained, it’s obviously not important enough for me to read. It’s really a pet peeve of mine.

I love reading articles on email etiquette and learning new methods that improve readability. It’s not often I learn a new shortcut or tip for the iPhone. But I found this yesterday, and think it’s pretty nice.

So you have an email that needs repeating. Before you go on and forward it half of the country, ask yourself what you’re sending. If it’s a part of the email, then let me know and quote it.


So here’s the email


Here’s what it looks like when you forward it.



But I know you just want a line or two. So, find the line and select it as if you were going to copy it. — Now that the text is selected, you can go ahead and hit the reply or forward button.


Now doesn’t that look better? If there ends up being 2 or 3 back-and-forths, it’s going to be easier to read and reference back to…

for both of us.


Read the original article here.