v2.0: Sharing is here!

Posted by Davide 

The summer has come and gone, and Menu Plan is now a 1 year old app.

With this release, Menu Plan graduates to version 2.
I know, it’s quite the version bump, but this version adds a new fundamental feature:

Plan Sharing

Yes, it’s now possible to share your meal plan with another iOS user.

You can invite other users to share your plan.
As soon as your invitation is accepted, you’ll use the very same data.
Each recipe and Menu will be synced, as well as shopping lists.
You can also invite a user as a read-only sharee: this way he will see you data, but won’t be able to modify it.

Is this an instant sync?

Yes and no.

Menu Plan sync is based on Apple’s iCloud sync.

It is generally fast, sometimes near instanteneuos.
Yet, some other time, sync pauses, due to iOS internal policies, and might stay paused for minutes. You could assume it completely stopped working, but this is not the case. Sync always restarts after a while, and catches up with any changes performed by the various devices.

Note that this applies both the sync between the same user devices and the new shared sync etween different users.

Is there any limit?

Due to Apple’s server side constraints, sync is not guaranteed to work with more than 5000 records; this is the sum of menus, recipes, ingredients, recipe ingredient lines, shopping lists, shopping list lines, food group and aisles. If you have a lot of imported recipes the number of records can grow quite easily.

For this reason I added an automatic “cleanup” to Menu Plan data.

Older shopping lists are automatically deleted, since they already served their purpose.

On your shared plan, menus older than 6 months will be read-only: you will still see them on your calendar, but you won’t be able to change them.
This seems a nice compromise to me: I never had to go back and change a past menu, and 6 months seems wide-enough interval.

Sounds great, so how do I start sharing my plan?

Go to the Settings, tap “Share” and then, on the following screen, select “Share my private plan”; a wizard will guide you in the sharing process. Your invitation will be sent as an email, or as a message, depending on your choice.

Anything else new?

Since I was working on sharing, I did some heavy debug of “same user” sync scenarios. I made a lot of cleanup; this should make the database much lighter, and sync much faster.

I revamped the Settings screen adding icons to make it more legible.

And then of course I fixed a few bugs here and there.

Phew, this is the greatest release after 1.0, and it comes after a month of hard work and some very serious testing.
I hope you guys will enjoy it!

Categories: menuplan