The iOS password field is a mess of bad design

img_0028For such a simple element, Apple has really fallen behind when it comes to password fields in iOS 10.

First of all there is no option to show/hide the password that is being entered. With a virtual keyboard this is important to avoid mistakes in a complex password. This has been implemented by Android, Windows, and BlackBerry but is still lacking in iOS.

Additionally the keyboard ignores the “Character Preview” setting whenever you are entering a password. Furthermore the keyboard does not use the BlackBerry 10 trick of showing an additional row of numerical keys on password fields. Making the number keys easier to access encourages the use of stronger passwords by making it possible to quickly enter more complex passwords.

None of these are major problems by themselves, but overall you would really have hoped that Apple would be able to put to together a better UX by the tenth version of their operating system.

New York State Canal apps released for iOS

shapeitappApps for the Erie Canal, Cayuga-Seneca Canal, Oswego Canal, and Champlain Canal have been released in the iOS app store. These apps give you the ability to see the locations of all locks, boat launches, lift bridges, and guard gates along the canals.

The primary view of the apps shows a list of all the landmarks along the canal, with their distance along the canal along with a phone number that the app can dial in order to contact the marinas, and locks on the route. In addition to this, there is also a map view that precisely shows the location of everything along the canal’s path. An options page allows you to filter out the types of landmarks that the app shows (on both the list and the map).

Links & Information

Erie Canal


Cayuga-Seneca Canal


Oswego Canal


Champlain Canal


Buffalo Metro Rail app updated

iphoneThe Buffalo Metro Rail app has been updated to version 1.3. This update makes use of the new data format that is being used by the NFTA, and also adds support for iphones and iPads.

About the Buffalo Metro Rail app

This app shows the departure times for trains along Buffalo’s Metro route. The app automatically selects the proper schedule for the day, allows for sorting options, and also shows a map of the full light rail line. Additionally the app only needs to be synced once a month, and can otherwise be used without an active internet connection.

Links & Information


Division of BlackBerry 10 OS versions unchanged

September has once again seen almost no change in the distribution of BlackBerry 10 OS versions. Roughly 90% of all BlackBerry 10 users are running a variation of OS 10.3 on their phones.



This data was collected by BlackBerry World for downloads of the free strategy game Pixelated and the free checklist app Stuff I Need. Data shown on the chart is from the beginning of September 2015 through the end of September 2016.

Projectile Physics Calculator released for iPhones

img_0012The Projectile Physics app has been released for iOS. This app makes it easy to solve two dimensional projectile motion equations by entering the measurements you do have, and seeing the rest get automatically calculated.

About Projectile Physics

This app is a projectile physics calculator designed to solve for all of the components of a typical projectile motion problem. The app solves for both the vertical and horizontal components of the distance traveled, the constant acceleration, the initial and final velocity, as well as the time. These factors are solved for in real time in order to help you get back the factors of the equation quicker.

Links & Information


Update for the Hockey Scores app

Z10The Hockey Scores app has been updated to version 4.1 for the upcoming NHL season. This update also adjusts the start times for games by always showing them in the local time zone.

About Hockey Scores

This application provides the day’s hockey scores is an intuitive and easy to use format. It also includes additional game statistics such as start times, goal scorers, shots on net, hits, faceoff percentage, and a list of the goal scorers. The application supports all phones running BlackBerry OS6, BlackBerry OS7, and BlackBerry 10.

Links & Information


Weather Beautiful app released for iOS

shapeitappThe Weather Beautiful app has been released for iOS in the Apple app store. This release of the weather app is on par with the Android and BlackBerry versions.

About Weather Beautiful

Weather Beautiful is a simple weather app that displays stunning photography of your surrounding area. In addition to the current temperature and weather conditions, the app also allows you to scroll for a full weekly forecast. While temperatures are shown in Fahrenheit by default, there is an option to switch to Celsius.

Links & Information


Niagara Border Crossing app released for iPhone

img_20160927_172242The Niagara Border Crossing app has been released for iPhones in the iTunes app store This app shows wait times for border crossings over the Niagara River between the United States and Canada, and is also available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows users.

Wait times are shown for all four of the bridges between Western New York and Southern Ontario. These include the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Peace Bridge. Separate times are shown for cars, trucks, and also for those using the Nexus lanes.

Links & Information


Update for Weather Beautiful app

Z10cropThe Weather Beautiful app has been updated for Android and BlackBerry phones. Now at version 2.3, the Weather Beautiful is more efficient, and also includes a two percent reduction to the file size of the app.

About Weather Beautiful

This is a simple weather app that displays stunning photography of your surrounding area. In addition to the current temperature and weather conditions, the app also allows you to scroll for a full weekly forecast.

Links & Information


Getting website text in Swift 3

Last month I noted that Swift 2 had not yet dropped its Objective-C origins when it came to retrieving website text. Fortunately, Swift 3 has great advances in this area. Getting source of a webpage is now a simple and straightforwards process…

let url:NSURL = NSURL(string: "")!
    let responseText:String = try String(contentsOf:url,
catch let error
    print("Error: \(error)")

Update for 10,000 Farkle game

Z1010,000 Farkle has been updated to version 2.6 in BlackBerry AppWorld. This update smooths out some of the animations and improves the responsiveness of the game. Additionally the app now uses a custom accent color throughout all of the menus.

How to Play Farkle

Farkle gives you six dice to roll and awards points for a straight, three pairs or three or more of the same number. Fewer points ares also awarded for each individual 1 and 5. Any dice that do not score can be re-rolled for additional points. If all 6 dice can be scored, then all of the dice can be re-rolled on the same turn.

The skill in this game comes from knowing how far to push your luck, and which scoring combinations to take, and when to re-roll.

The default game mode gives you 10 turns to score as many points as you can. The 10,000 point mode gives you unlimited turns to reach 10,000 points. The two competitive game modes both use the traditional format of racing to 10,000 points.

Links & Information