iPhone + iOS4 experience

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  • Problem
  • Updated 8 years ago
  • Solved
Hey guys, just a quick background: Current CE user for my macs (work + home) for at least 2 years. Love it -- keep up the good work.

Recently, I got an iPod Touch (with iOS4 installed), and am thinking about getting an iPhone 4. So, I don't know what the CE browser is like in previous versions, but after using Safari, I have a few gripes. Now, I recognize there may be things that you're limited by (the biggest example is the inability to do checking the background, even after this "multitasking" release of iOS4), but I think there might be some you can do. Anyways, I looked around for a forum of sorts, but this is probably the best way to reach you guys..

* USABILITY: Opening browser: after it auto-logs in, virtual keyboard remains on screen. Annoying to have to do 2 taps each and every time to see the rest of screen.
* USABILITY: Please remove info icon from bottom-right. Adds to clutter. (And on the iPhone, clutter equates to decreasing the chances of hitting the intended icon, which leads to frustration.)
* BUG: Google search (top-right) doesn't work. It just goes to Google's home page, but doesn't activate the search.
* FEATURE REQUEST: Hitting the plus sign in Safari also shows "add to home screen". Not so with CE.
* USABILITY: The tabs menu doesn't feel as Apple-esque (I now have Safari disabled, so I can't currently explain the differences).
* BUG: Let's say my first tab is on cnn.com. I open a second tab, go somewhere. If I go back to my first tab, it changes to my google.calendar page. Not sure why (sometimes it goes to my google.voice page). Maybe it's b/c I have "Google Mobile" saved in my bookmark, but either way, this is NOT the desired effect.
* FEATURE REQUEST: Holding on a link should also prompt "Open to new tab" menu.

Ideally, CE should just run in the background or as a Safari extension, but I understand the extreme limitations you have. All the more, therefore, the closer you guys can get the CE browser to the Safari experience, the better.

Thanks for hearing me out!
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abeyang

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  • frustrated by the iPhone experience

Posted 10 years ago

  • 4
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Alaina

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This information has been passed along to our developers and they are checking into what they will be able to do based upon the limitations of being an app vs. a built in program.

Work on the app is planned and updates will begin appearing within the next 6 months. We do plan to post updates here as specifics become available.
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Luke Gilkerson

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We've been able to fix some of the quirky things about our browser for the iPhone® and iPod touch®. Aside from some stability fixes and a few visual elements, the two major changes are:

1. The Keyboard - Remember the little keyboard that wouldn't go away? We made it go away. Now you won't have it crowding your screen.

2. Google Search - Before if you used the Google search bar, it would just take you to Google's homepage. Now, it actually runs the searches you ask for (imagine that).

In the near future we plan to make a few more updates, including a fresh look for the iPhone 4 and a larger app for the iPad.
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eggzandham

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Thanks, Luke! It's been much better since I last reported (four months ago).

However, I now have another issue -- CE for the iPhone hangs. Anytime I try to go to a website (via either the url bar or from the bookmarks) or try to google something, it just freezes -- then crashes. I can't browse the internet at all.

This started happening about a day or two ago, but back then, I was able to still hit some pages. Can't do any of that right now. Haven't tried restarting the phone yet; running the latest CE app (now using iPhone4).
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Alaina

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We are aware of this problem and have a developer whose priority is to fix the memory issues that have arisen for those whose devices have multi-tasking capabilities. Unfortunately, the problem did not become apparent until after release despite doing extensive QA testing on multi-task hardware and software combinations.

We are close to having an updated version of the app that solves this problem ready for testing. In the interim, this may be helped by periodically closing the app from the dock instead of with the home button.

To do this simply close our app with the home button, then double press the home button to reveal the dock of suspended multi-tasked applications on your phone. Scroll through the dock and locate Covenant Eyes. Tap and hold on the CovenantEyes icon until it starts to shake and shows a close icon in the upper corner. Tap the close icon to completely close our app. I recommend waiting 30 - 60 seconds before attempting to re-open to make sure that our app has released any memory it may be using to save or send data in the background.

We are sorry for the difficulties that the update has caused. Our primary iPhone developer will be getting in touch with you directly to help you with this problem and, if you are willing, add you to our beta list for the next update.
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bhilliardga

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What's the status of this update? My CE will open but as soon as I click on anything it hangs for about 1 minute, then crashes. I've tried your instructions above and it still crashes.

I have sent an email to your support and I get this response back:

"I agree that Covenant Eyes for iPhone/iTouch does need improvement in some areas. This is mainly due to a few bugs that we are aware of.

Our development team is currently working to develop several updates that will fix these bugs and improve the functionality of the Covenant Eyes App. Please expect these updates to be released over the next 6 months through the App Store. "
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Alaina

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I spoke with the developer working on this bug and we are hoping that the fix will go to Apple for review within the next week, which means it should be released in the next few weeks depending upon how long the approval process takes.
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bhilliardga

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What is the status? I still can't use this software. It's been 3 weeks and you said it would take about 2 weeks.
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Alaina

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As the work was being finished up for this release Apple pushed out a new version of iOS and the Development tools that required us to do additional work to to even be able to submit the update to them. This work has been completed and is getting the final look-over for submission.

If you would like to be considered for the beta program you can contact Dave Caswell (http://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/peo....
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Alaina

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As the work was being finished up for this release Apple pushed out a new version of iOS and the Development tools that required us to do additional work to to even be able to submit the update to them. This work has been completed and is getting the final look-over for submission.

If you would like to be considered for the beta program you can contact Dave Caswell (http://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/peo....
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bhilliardga

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Thanks for the quick response.
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Chris Sterner

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I'm also having similar issues where the application is freeing on startup. If users are needed to help test, I'd be happy to do so. I have a 32 GB iPhone 3Gs running iOS v4.3 and a knack for finding things for the developers to resolve at my day job :)
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Alaina

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The release is now at Apple getting reviewed and they've marked it as a critical bug fix. I'll post an update as soon as I hear from our developer that it's gone live.

P.S. Chris, I love that description of your knack ;)
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Alaina

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The new release is live as of today and should fix the freezing problem. There's a bit more on it in our company update - http://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/cov...
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john.patton

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Is there any plans for a voice recognition search, like the Google app for iPhones? Or are there any other safe search engine apps with voice recognition?
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Luke Gilkerson

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There are no plans for anything like this from us. We do not know of any from anyone else either.
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Kyle Walker

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What about the ability to clear entire browsing history at once, instead of site by site?
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Nam

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I'm curious to know if CE is still investigating the option of simply running their monitoring software in the background while you still use Safari like normal (just like when using a desktop computer)... opposed to creating/perfecting their own independent browser.

Is this even possible? Or is there something uniquely/drastically different in how operating systems work on mobile devices than on regular computers?

It just seems a tall order to ask of CE to create a browser that rivals the form/style/function of Safari... or heck, even Firefox or IE. After all, Apple (and the like) has been perfecting Safari for a long time and CE's specialty is monitoring software.

Either way, I've been a CE user for years and I can't sing enough praises about what you do for those desiring purity online! :)
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Chance

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From what I understand about iOS (the iPhone operating system) is that background services, in essence, don't exist; everything has to be done through apps.
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Alaina

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Official Response
While there are still several of these that remain at large, with the release of today's update (http://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/cov...) it seems like a good time to pull together the information in several of the replies above for an overall update on the iPhone/iPad/iPodTouch app.

There have been 4 releases between August 26, 2010 and today. Here are the issues that have been addressed:

• The Keyboard – Remember the little keyboard that wouldn’t go away? We made it go away. Now you won’t have it crowding your screen.

• Google Search – Before if you used the Google search bar, it would just take you to Google’s homepage. Now, it actually runs the searches you ask for (imagine that).

• Saving bookmarks – You can now save your bookmarks like normal. For those who have an iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, or a fourth-generation iPod touch, this may have been a problem for you before. No longer!

• iPad size – The app now runs at full size on the iPad and it will be compatible with any new screen sizes that might be released in the future.

• Improved tabbed browsing – As you swipe through your open tabs, pages move in a much smoother fashion than before.

• Improved landscape view – Some screens had a problem resizing to fit the landscape mode. That has been fixed in this update.

• Improved overall stability

• The Google search box to use the mobile optimized search results page.

• Fixed a bug preventing the search box from accepting an “&” character.

• Improved the app memory features.

• Some reported the browser was crashing often. We found the weak link in the technical chain and repaired it.

• Some username and passwords were being labeled as invalid. This was actually related to the crashing issue and has been fixed.

• The browser history now shows one entry per page.

Thank you all for your patience as we've been sorting through these bugs. We've heard your pain and are all excited that this latest release will hopefully be able to stop the worst of it.
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Chris Sterner

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Friends,

I've been using the new version (v1.4.6) since the day it was released, and I am happy to report that it has been very stable and overall pleasure to use now. I've had only one minor lockup which was resolved by restarting the app (compared with previously needing to reinstall the app several times a week). Also, auto-login works like a charm once again.

Many thanks to all involved in resolving these issues!
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Alaina

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I've marked this as solved, but if you have feature requests for the iPhone app we'd love to hear about them under the 'Ideas' section.
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ewlaing

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I've updated the software, but it still freezes once I sign in. It won't progress past the first "touch" once signed in. In other words, I can hit the bookmarks and select a site, or type in a website, but they won't load. It remains a blank screen. Another time I hit the little "i" at the bottom right, but it now just has the white light on the icon, indicating that it's frozen at the point of it being selected.

Very frustrating. Any help would be appreciated.
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Dave Caswell, Developer

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I'm sorry to hear about your continued difficulties with our iPhone app. The issue that you are having is fixed in the latest version, however, simply updating the app does not work in every case. Those customers who have continued to have issues after updating are able to return to full functionality by completely uninstalling the app from their device and then reinstalling the latest version.

Although we did include code in this update to clean up the previous version's issues, we have found that some of our user's installations were in such a state that the app crashes nearly immediately and doesn't even progress far enough to allow this clean up code to execute. In our review section on iTunes, you can find users who have successfully returned to functionality with the uninstall - reinstall fix.

If you have any further trouble, please let me know.

Dave Caswell
Covenant Eyes
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Cr@ig

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Dave: "Please *don't* let me know?" Typo I suppose.
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Dave Caswell, Developer

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Oh my goodness - definitely a typo maybe from editing multiple things at the same time. Corrected - and many, many apologies! I believe I got criss-crossed between don't hesitate to contact me and please let me know.
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bhilliardga

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If the uninstall, reinstall doesn't work for you. Try uninstalling, rebooting the iphone, then reinstalling. That is what got it working for me!

Thanks Dave for helping!
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ewlaing

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The uninstall, reinstall worked for me...glad to finally have (monitored) internet back on the iPhone. Thanks for the help, Dave.
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Dave Caswell, Developer

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Glad to hear that you're up and running. Please let me know if I can help further.

Dave Caswell
Covenant Eyes
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lifelinesguide

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I'm using an ipod touch with WiFi and am wondering if I could still somehow use the Google Calender app with the CE browser? It seems like the google calender app was somehow using safari specifically and is confused on this new browser. Ideas?
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lifelinesguide

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Additionally, if I click on a link in the ipod's "Mail" app, it similarly gets confused (pardon the non-technical language). I can't open links in my mail now :(
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Dave Caswell, Developer

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Unfortunately it is the limitations of the iOS environment that prevent us from being able to become the default browser on an iOS device and gaining the ability to handle hyperlinks from email and other applications. If the ability to do so were to become available, I am sure it would quickly become a priority to make that functionality available.

In the meantime, many of our users have reported that they use copy and paste as a workaround for opening links from their email or other apps.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dave Caswell
Covenant Eyes
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David Skau

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While it sounds like the experience has greatly improved, there's still room for growth. Tabs have to fully reload, rather than being cached as in Safari. The address bar does not support autocomplete or suggest sites from browsing history.