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Posts by Doug Fales:

Introducing Harvest for Mac 2.0

We’re very excited to announce the latest version of Harvest for Mac today! This version introduces a completely new Timesheet window, better Timestamps support, the Weekly Summary Bar (which you’ll recognize from our mobile and web apps), support for the new Harvest ID authentication system, a new Time Summary, and many other improvements. We’ll talk through a few of these enhancements here, but to see it for yourself, you should download the new version and see what you think!

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Introducing Favorites

We’re excited to introduce our new Favorites feature in Harvest for iPhone and Android. This simple improvement to our mobile time tracking lets you focus on just the projects and tasks you need while tracking time from your phone.

Favorites for Android and iPhone

To start using Favorites, simply tap the star next to the project and task field while creating or editing an entry. From that point on, when you tap the new + button, you’ll be presented with a short list of these favorited projects and tasks. You can start a timer instantly by tapping the play button, or tap the row to edit the timer before saving it.

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Harvest for iPhone 4.0: Faster Time Tracking

The Apps Team at Harvest is very proud of our latest work on Harvest for iPhone. One of our major goals this year has been to make your mobile time tracking experience faster by simplifying and streamlining the interactions required to do basic tasks.

In this release, we’ve focused heavily on how you get around the app. The new tab bar navigation gets you between Time, Expenses, and Invoices with a single tap. And it’s close to your thumbs, which is increasingly important as screen sizes continue to grow.

Harvest for iPhone 4.0

The Weekly Summary Bar allows you to see a full week’s worth of totals, plus it will let you jump between individual days with just one tap. You can quickly go back and forth by swiping: swipe on the bar itself to jump backwards and forwards by a whole week; swipe on the Timesheet to go backwards and forwards a day at a time. And if you need to get back to a specific date several weeks ago, you can now go directly there using the Jump to Date calendar. As part of this improved Timesheet navigation, we’ve also optimized the way we load Timesheet data. In general, we think you’ll notice a much snappier UI with significantly reduced load times.

We’ve also exposed start and stop buttons in timers directly in the Timesheet view. Need to re-start a timer quickly? Open Harvest for iPhone and in one tap that timer is running. Did you forget to stop a timer before you packed up your laptop? No problem, just open the app and tap the stop button.

There are many more updates in this version that we think you’ll enjoy: from miscellaneous bugfixes to a faster receipt chooser to an improved Account & Settings section. Rather than detail all of our updates here, we invite you to update your app today and see these great improvements for yourself. As always, if you have feedback on Harvest for iPhone, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Harvest for Apple Watch is here!

Update 11-14-2016: The Harvest for Apple Watch app has been discontinued as of Harvest for iPhone 4.4.1. This decision was tough, especially because we believe the Apple Watch has a lot of potential. But in the end, we thought it best to discontinue based on three lessons learned during our experience developing for the Apple Watch:

  1. Given the rapid pace and changing landscape of Apple Watch development, we simply cannot commit to bringing you an acceptable level of quality in our Apple Watch app.
  2. Usage of Harvest for Apple Watch has been low since we released it over a year ago.
  3. Considering the above two points, we believe our time is better spent on features that will benefit everyone who uses our mobile apps, not just those who use Apple Watch.

For those of you using the Harvest for Apple Watch app, we’re sorry. It wasn’t easy to decide to discontinue support for it, and we did it with a heavy heart. We’ve hit a fork in the road, though, and for now, we think it’s more beneficial to use our time improving our other mobile apps that are used more often.

We still hope to come back to the Apple Watch in the future. But for now, if you have any questions about our decision, please don’t hesitate to email us at support@getharvest.com.

That’s right, Harvest is now on the Apple Watch! With our latest release of Harvest for iPhone 3.1.5, all you Watch users will be able to access Harvest right from your wrist!

Harvest for iPhone 3.1.5 introduces our Apple Watch app.

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Harvest for Android 2.0: Invoice Management & Push Notifications

Today we’re delighted to announce Harvest for Android 2.0, the most exciting version of Harvest for Android to date!

If you’re a long-time Harvest for Android user, you may have noticed some nice improvements over the past nine months. Time and expenses sync more quickly, navigation is snappier, a persistent notification lets you view and stop timers from outside the app, and stability is greatly improved.

We decided to call this version 2.0 because we feel Harvest for Android has turned a corner. Slowly but surely, the app has transformed into a better, faster (stronger!) tool, and it’s on a path to keep improving.

 

android_side_by_side_small

Invoice Management Away from Your Desk

Let’s talk about the new features first. The Android app always supported Timesheets and Expenses, but Invoices were another story. They just weren’t available on the Android app.

With Android 2.0, those days are past! After you upgrade, you’ll notice a new Invoices section in your navigation drawer. Simply tap into it, and behold your full list of open and closed invoices!

We call this feature Invoice Management, and we think it’ll be an especially useful upgrade for our on-the-go users.

Ever left the office and wondered if you forgot to send your draft invoice? Harvest for Android 2.0 has you covered. Just tap and send!

And what about payments? Now you can get a push notification whenever a client makes an online payment. Tap that notification, view the invoice, and send a thank-you all from your phone!

Notifications for Payment and Submitting Your Time

In addition to invoice payment notifications, you’ll also receive reminders to submit your time. We’re looking forward to expanding our use of push notifications in ways that make tracking your time easier, simpler, and more accurate.

Of course, as we add more notifications, you are fully in control of which ones you receive. You can select the type of notifications you want to receive at any time in the app’s Settings.

The Road to 2.0: Nine Months of Harvest for Android Updates

Up until now, we’ve been pretty quiet about the many improvements that we’ve rolled out over the past nine months. To help give you a better idea of why we view this as a major milestone for the Android app, I’d like to take a moment to recap all that’s been done:

  • In version 1.6, we brought you better timesheet navigation and awareness of locked time/expenses.
  • In version 1.7, we updated our time and expense entry forms, made project/task lists filterable, added the ability to view attached receipts, and gave you a way to create clients, projects, and tasks from within the app.
  • In version 1.8, we introduced support for timestamp mode for tracking time. We also added the ability to start, stop, and restart timers directly from the timesheet view, billable expenses, and the persistent notification for your currently running timer. 1.8 was also the first release that allowed you to submit your timesheets for approval.
  • In version 1.9, we optimized the app for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) before it was available from most providers. We also improved the signup process.
  • Today, in version 2.0, we’re bringing you invoice management and push notifications.

And we’re nowhere near done. Thanks to the solid foundation that’s been established in these past five releases, we have a lot of great stuff planned for the rest of 2015.

If you’ve been using Harvest for Android recently, we’d like to thank you for your support. If you tried it before and haven’t been back in a while, we encourage you to give this new version ago! And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Just share your feedback in the comments, or get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com.

Harvest for iPhone Version 2.0!

We are very excited to announce version 2.0 of Harvest for iPhone today! This version is almost a complete re-write of the application with an eye towards speed, reliablity, and a better user experience.

The user interface is based on the beautiful design of our Mobile Timesheets page, which includes some powerful usability enhancements like slide-in navigation and the ability to stop a timer directly from the Timesheets view.

The new application internals have borrowed heavily from the lessons learned from our successful Harvest for Mac app. We believe you’ll notice this as a faster, more reliable experience in version 2.0. In addition, this new architecture lays the groundwork for future updates, meaning we’ll be able to incorporate new features and fixes that much faster.

We’ve got a long list of updates in this release, but here are a few highlights:

  • We’ve added support for logging in via Google Apps, for those of you who have linked your Harvest account to your Google Apps account.
  • The new Team Status view is a great screen for admins who want to know what their team is working on.
  • You can now create projects, clients, and tasks while offline.

Harvest iPhone App 2.0

(The full list of improvements in this version is included at the bottom of this post.)

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Upload Expense Receipts in Harvest

We’ve just added the ability to upload your receipts directly on the Harvest Expenses page. Until now, you needed to use the API or the iPhone app to attach receipt images to an expense, which was less than optimal for those of you who don’t use the iPhone app for your expense tracking.

This update to the Expenses page allows you to upload images or PDFs of your receipts, up to 10MB in size. We’ve also added a handy lightbox viewer for seeing your receipts quickly, as well as a link to print receipts right from your browser.

Coming soon, we will be implementing the ability to include receipts with invoices, but we thought we’d let you get first crack at this new development, so that you can get started in uploading your receipts!

We hope this is helpful, and please let us know if you have any feedback – we’re all ears!

Export All Invoices to PDF

If you’ve ever wanted to download all of your PDF invoices from Harvest, you’ll be happy to know that there’s now a way to do just that! To access this new feature, go to the Manage tab and click on Account Settings. Scroll to the bottom, where you’ll see a Download Zip of All Invoices button. Just click the button and grab a cup of coffee while Harvest generates a zip file containing all of your invoices in PDF format.

We hope you find this new feature useful, and let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

How to Fix Dropdown Problems on Internet Explorer

Lately we found ourselves caught in some nasty dropdown problems. Some of our customers who use Internet Explorer were unable to to read their full project and task names on the new timesheet. Apparently it’s a browser bug specific to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. All you need to do is Google “IE select box problem” and you’ll see the legions of disgruntled developers this control has left in its wake.  What follows is a recounting of our experience and our solution.

The Problem

Before the timesheet redesign, we did not specify a width on the Project and Task dropdowns.  For some users with really long project/task names, this meant their select boxes would extend past the right edge of their browser window.

The logical fix is to constrain the width of these select boxes. Well-behaved browsers have no problem with this approach. Internet Explorer, however, interprets a width on the select tag very literally.  The select box and all of the options are limited to the specified width, regardless of whether this truncates 90% of the option text.  For our users with long project/task names, this made the dropdown practically useless.

ie_select

The Solution

As with many of IE’s problems,  there are several workarounds out there, and unfortunately none of them are perfect.  We looked at three common approaches for solving this problem before we settled on the one we’re using now.

  1. Dynamically re-size the dropdown on mouseover.  The main problem with this approach is that (like anything triggered on mouse-over) the user experience can be very disruptive and seem “jumpy”.
  2. Custom select box, made from unordered lists and complex event handling.  Scott Darby’s stylish-select plugin for jQuery is a great example of this.  We gave this one a shot, but the custom select box does not retain browser’s default behavior with select, such as tabbing and using key stroke to jump to a certain selection.
  3. What ended up saving the day was this idea from Doug Boude.  It is surprisingly simple: re-size the select box on click, and set overflow: hidden on a containing div.  The hidden overflow will prevent the select from interfering with other controls to the right, while still allowing the full options to be displayed below.

Doug’s original solution required you to know the full width of your select box. Ours would need to compute this dynamically, so we wrote a simple Prototype.js class to encapsulate the event handling and to calculate the width of the select box.  You can check out a demo of the solution with code and some notes on how to use it for your problematic select boxes.  Disclaimer: this solution works best in IE7 and IE8. We do not recommend using it in IE6.

Hope you find this useful!