New Release

Story Patch Version 1.1 is now available!

I am glad to announce that Story Patch version 1.1 is now available for download in the App Store. This release came in a bit behind schedule because of the birth of our first child, but I think it is worth the wait. Speaking of our child, fatherhood is great and I can’t believe how amazing our daughter is. :)

Here are all of the things that you will find in this version:

Image Search--With over 800 illustrations available in Story Patch, it was becoming a little overwhelming for kids and parents to find the illustrations they wanted quickly. Now when you click on an image category in the Tools menu you will see a search bar at the top of the menu. Search for images by name, category, and color. Hopefully this will make finding images a lot easier and your kids can spend time being creative and not scrolling through menus to find artwork in the application. I also took some time to get my process in place for adding new illustrations to the application as a result of adding the search feature. This means that in future versions it will be much easier to expand the graphics library included with Story Patch.

Interface Improvements--Some feedback I received from users was that the controls for scaling and rotating the illustrations were sometimes difficult for kids to use. I put in some new controls that allow much finer control of the scaling/rotating operations. To access these features, hold your finger on one of the illustrations. In addition to the Delete/Flip/Move To Front/Move To Back controls, you will now see two slider controls for scale and rotation. Use these sliders to get the illustration looking exactly the way you want it. My friends’ kids that I tested this with really seemed to like the new controls, so I hope you will too!

New Status Indicator--This was a minor addition, but when sharing a story there was no indication that Story Patch was “doing something” while it converted the story to a PDF file. With a very short story, this was not a big deal since the conversion was nearly instantaneous. However, as stories got longer, or had a lot of illustrations, the conversion could take a few seconds and during this time it appeared that the program had frozen. A new status indicator appears now to let users know that the PDF file is being created so they know what is going on.

Bug Fixes--I fixed some bugs I found that could cause Story Patch to crash in some instances. Also fixed an issue where repeated scaling of images would cause distortion of images. This is not something users will see, but I also did some clean up on code that I was not happy with and now be easier for me to maintain. One bug users will notice being fixed is that there were some spelling errors in a few of the story themes that come with Story Patch. These should all be fixed now, but if I missed something please let me know!


Here are the things that did not make it in to this release that I originally planned to do:

More Story Themes--I was not able to add more story themes to this release due to time constraints with our baby being born. Now that my wife and I are settling in to being parents of a newborn, we should be able to create some more themes for the next update of Story Patch.

More Illustrations--Version 1.2 should have more illustrations included with it. With some of the changes I made to version 1.1, it should be much easier to expand the image library in future releases. If there are certain illustrations you would like to see added to the application, let me know on our feedback form.


In general I am quite happy with this latest release of Story Patch, and I hope all of our users are too. Work is starting on version 1.2 now, so stay tuned for another release with more features very soon. As usual, thanks to everyone that has purchased Story Patch!

Story Patch Version 1.1 is in the works!

I am in the process of finalizing the features that will go into Version 1.1 of Story Patch. I should be sending this to apple in a couple of weeks so that it goes into review before our baby is born. Users can look forward to the following in this update:

-Search: Instead of scrolling through all of the image categories to find the perfect illustration, you will be able to search for items.
-More story themes: More themes that younger readers can use to help build stories with help.
-Interface improvements: Rotating and zooming will have some new controls to give users more control and make it easier for little fingers to configure illustrations.
-Some other minor tweaks and changes.

If there is something else you would like to see in an update, be sure to send email here so I know what kinds of features users would like to see. I have received some nice emails from folks using the application, but it would be great to hear from more of you!

Story Patch is now available!

Well, after months of work, Story Patch is now finally available. So, here are a few quick comments about this site, blog, and the application:

Why is there a website for Story Patch?
Right now Story Patch is a stand alone application, but the long term plan is to have content available online that customers can download to enhance their experience. I would like for folks to be able to share stories with each other so their children will have an ever expanding library of stories to read and play with in Story Patch. StoryPatch.com is where this will all happen. So after you purchase Story Patch, make sure to come back and see how things are going with adding new features to the application and the growing community that I hope to create.

Why do you have a blog on StoryPatch.com? Isn’t there already a developer blog on haywoodsoft.com?
The blog on the Haywoodsoft website will be focused more on general development issues and other products. The Story Patch blog will focus only on things related to Story Patch (like upcoming features, feedback from customers, etc.). Story Patch is my flagship application and I wanted it to have its own home.


About the application...

Now that Story Patch has been released “into the wild” I would like to say a few things about the app itself:
  • This was A LOT of fun--Developing Story Patch was a very enjoyable process for me. I found a lot of satisfaction developing something that allows kids to be creative and is very visually appealing. I learned some new stuff along the way too, so I always felt like my mind was engaged by this project. At my old job, our software was more like hammers (very useful, but not fun to use). It is still very refreshing for me to be able to create software now that brings people joy and is not just something they need for getting a job done.
  • The iPad platform--I really like developing for the iPad. The extra real estate on the screen made me rethink parts of the design, but the extra size opens up a lot of new possibilities as well. Some of the new technologies that Apple added to iOS 3.2 were really nice to work with and certainly made life easier.
  • Seeing users smile--When I was testing Story Patch, one of my good friends let me use his kids for beta testing the application. After writing code for months, it was great to finally see some kids playing with the app and having a great time. The kids of course gave some good feedback about things they would like in the app, but seeing them smile and having so much fun playing with Story Patch made me very happy and I felt like all the work was worth it.
  • People I need to thank--Story Patch would never have been possible without help from my wife. She gave me a lot of great ideas and encouragement, and turned out to be a great tester too. So a big “Thank You!” goes out to my wife for all of her support, encouragement and tolerance of me during the development of this application. I also need to thank Kevin Lane for the wonderful graphic design he did for the menus, icons and interfaces in Story Patch. He was wonderful to work with and I look forward to working with him more in the future.

I hope that my customers enjoy using Story Patch as much as I enjoyed creating it. I have a lot of features planned for the first update release so stay tuned for updates. Thanks for stopping by, and if you would like to send feedback, feel free to use the feedback form here. Thanks!