Bike Share Buddy 1.6 Update

I was able to sneak in a update for Bike Share Buddy mostly for iOS 12 fixes. First time I was able to pull off a release on the same day as iOS as well :)

`New Features

  • Added support for iOS 12. You now have to have iOS 12 in order to install this latest version of Bike Buddy. 
Bug Fixes
  • Updated (and removed some) third party dependencies to ensure better performance and a safer way of handling user data.
  • Change the default view of Stations from 5 to 15.
  • Fixed a bug where you could be prompted for “Always” location permission even though it wasn’t needed.
  • Fixed a crash for certain bike networks that didn’t give addresses for bike stations
  • Fixed a crash that would happen when searching for a new bike network.`

Bike Share Buddy 1.5 Update Released!

A quick update to Bike Share Buddy has now been published to the iOS App Store.

While as usual there are some minor fixes and changes there is actually one new feature supported, Siri Search Suggestions. This means that when you use Bike Share Buddy information, like what stations you are looking at, are being shared with Siri. This means that when you do a search in Siri this information can easily be surfaced even outside the Bike Share Buddy app.

Siri Search Suggestion with Bike Share Buddy
Siri Search Suggestion with Bike Share Buddy

While this is something that I had on the list of things to implement in the past it always fell down the list. But with iOS 12 being shown at WWDC and the huge focus on Siri it was time to jump in and get it done. How many people will actually use this? Who knows. But it’s nice to have a target to keep up with every year when Apple releases an iOS update.

Enforcing SSL with GitHub Pages

I have never gone through the trouble of making this website use SSL even though I know it’s the right thing to do. It’s an extra expense and I didn’t want to deal with setting it all up, renewals, etc. Lucky for me procrastination paid off.

GitHub has added support for SSL with Custom Domains! All it took was a quick DNS change and ticking a checkbox and it was complete. On top of that there is an “Enforce HTTPS” option now as well which makes it even easier for end users.

A Fresh iPhone with your Health/Activity Data

Don’t be suprised, I got an iPhone X.

It was always my policy when I got a new phone to start it fresh. No backups, no restores, just login and start downloading the apps and set the settings that I need. This allowed me to essentially clean up the junk that we all get on our devices after using them for a year or two.

The last few iPhone’s that I upgraded to I was forced to do a local iTunes backup and restore for one main item, keeping my Health and Activity data. With the release of the Apple Watch, and a plethora of 3rd party apps, which sends all of it’s data to Health app I have built up an immense amount of data that I dont want to loose. The problem is that with this comes all the old apps and settings from my previous device. A couple days before my iPhone X got delivered I decided to do some homework and see if there was a way around this. Keep my data and send it over to my new device but without the cruft of the old device.

My first option, do everything on the device. I found this writeup on MacStories on an iOS app called Health Data Importer. This seemed like the easy way out. A 3rd party app that just exports everything from the Health database, let’s you save it as a Zip file and then you import that on the new device. I bought the app and the export worked just fine but I could never get the import to work. During the import step it always crashed. My guess, too many data points and it was all trying to be written at once. When the export process was happening it was counting the data points and my count was well over 1,000,000. So with that being a bust I’m back to the drawing board.

The second option I found seemed a lot more promising right from the start. I found an old (2015) writeup on how to only transfer Activity and Health app data to a new iPhone and noticed right away that it was based off of an iTunes backup. What actually happens is that you install a utility, on your Mac or PC, from a company called Decipher Tools. While the sounds like a shady place I figured I would give it a shot. They have a tool called Activity Transfer which uses the iTunes backups on your local machine. Best part, it’s free :)

So with this Activity Transfer tool installed on my Mac the process looked like this.

  1. Do a local, encrypted backup of my iPhone 7 to my Mac. An encrypted backup is needed to make sure the Health and Activity data is there.
  2. Open Activity Transfer and walk through the steps to locate the backup and enter the password to get it unencrypted.
  3. Activity Transfer does its magic and essentially strips everyting about the backup file except the Health and Activity data.
  4. The new “clean” backup it saved back into the iTunes backup location
  5. Plug in the new iPhone and do a restore with the new “clean” backup

After the new iPhone restarts and I completed the setup process I had a brand new iPhone X that had all of the Health and Activity from my iPhone 7 with no other changes from a stock iPhone. Exactly what I was looking for.

Moving to GitHub Pages

Over the past few months I have used GitHub Pages more for other projects and have been pretty impressed. The main reason I didn’t use Pages for this site in the past was my reliance on plugins for Jekyll. Well I now come to find out that there is a whitelist for approved plugins that will run on Pages. Lucky for me everything I was using was already on the list :)

Long story short, I saved myself $5 a month and moved off of DigitalOcean and over to GitHub Pages.