Remembary 3 has been a long time in coming but it's finally here. It took extra long to arrive because it's almost a complete ground-up rewrite. Every UI element, every interaction, every theme has been redone from scratch. But it's not just a simple replacement: several new things have been added as well. Here are the details:

Redesigned Themes

The most obvious change is in the updated themes. All the favourite themes from Remembary 2 are still available in Remembary 3, but they've been streamlined for a more contemporary and cleaner look -  while also keeping the rich and subtle textures that make them so nice to write on. Remembary's themes now work on every screen size from the 3.5 inches of an iPhone4 all the way up to the almost 13 inches of an iPad Pro, and on iPad they work in portrait and landscape.  

Remembary 3 has five new themes, including a new default: "Bamboo". These have a blog post of their own.

Pick a Font - Any Font

Remembary 3 still has the collection of unique handwriting, calligraphy, and vintage typewriter fonts that were so much fun in Remembary 2, but now you can use any font available on your device. The fonts listing is now in three sections: Specialty, for the app-sepcific fonts like Royal Vogue and Jane Austen; Recommended, which includes a selection iOS fonts that work nicely with the themes in Remembary; and System, which includes every other available font, including multiple weights and even international fonts.

iCloud Photo Library

Remembary 2 scanned iOS6's Asset Library to find photos and videos that matched the currently displayed day. The downside was that it could only find photos that were stored on your device. Remembary 3 now uses Apple's powerful iCloud Photo library, which can search any photo, Live Photo, or video that you ever took - even if it's not local to your device. The popup listings just use the thumbnail versions of the photos already stored in your device. Tapping on a photo to bring it up in a full-screen browser will download the full version from iCloud if necessary.

The new iCloud photo library lookup is much more powerful than the old system, and it's super fast - so fast, in fact, that I've removed the progress spinners from the top of the page since they hardly ever show up anymore.

Word Count

Over the years, several users have requested a word count for each day's entry. Some people like to have a daily writing target - but of course others would rather not have a number assigned to their writing. It took me a lot of false starts to figure out the best place to put the word count. I finally settled on a very small number in the bottom right corner of the page, where it's obvious if you know to look for it, but easy to ignore if you'd rather not see it.

New Feed Popover

The feed items popover has been redesigned with a more compact look with the bar at the top of each entry colour-coded by type: red for calendars, light blue for Twitter, dark blue for Facebook, and orange for RSS feeds. Tapping on the info button on the right side of an RSS item or a Tweet will open it in Safari or Twitter. Tapping on the body of a feed item will copy the text directly into that day's diary entry, complete with a timestamp. This lets you quickly build up an overview of your day from your events, tweets, status updates, and blog posts. This feature was in Remembary 2, but you had to tap on a tiny button that was easy to miss. Now the whole entry is the button.


New Cover Screen

Remembary 2's cover screen was very 2012 skeueomorphic: leather texture, brass corners, a faded paper label. It looked pretty cool, but it didn't really match many of the themes besides Codex and maybe Notebook. The new cover is more contemporary: semi-opaque, blurring the page contents beneath it. This lets the cover better express the selected theme, especially the new ultra-dark "Nocturne" and the very bright "Morning" themes. The optional diary title now uses the currently selected font, too.

Remembary 3's new translucent cover page, showing a password hint.

Password Hint

Over the years, I've had unhappy Remembary users write in to say they've forgotten their passwords. Unfortunately, there was nothing that I could do - the diary and password lives exclusively on your device. Now when setting a password you can also set a password hint. If you guess the password incorrectly more than four times, the hint will slowly appear beneath the password field. Hopefully this will keep anyone from losing their old diaries.

Much faster export 

Another way to protect your diary is to export it to a file. Remembary 2 had a long-standing problem where saving files - especially large files like data exports of a year worth of diary entries and social feeds - would take a very long time, often many minutes, even on a modern high-speed device like an iPad Pro. I managed to find and fix the problem, and now you can export multiple years of diaries very quickly. 

There's a whole lot more changes and updates in Remembary 3 - but what's most important is that this is all on a new modern platform and I can now start adding new features to the app. Look for new updates in the coming months.

AuthorAndrew Burke