Sherlock Holmes 1.6 is back on the App Store

Sherlock Holmes fans rejoice: he’s back on the App Store with Version 1.6 of our app. Huzzah!

There have been several additions I’m excited to tell you about, and of course the story of how the update came to be on the App Store once again.

Here’s what’s new in Version 1.6:

  • expanded episode guide for SHERLOCK, Season 4 (BBC)
  • expanded episode guide for ELEMENTARY, Seasons 3-5 (CBS)
  • added MR. HOLMES (2016) with Ian McKellen
  • presentation improvements for larger screen iPhone and iPad devices
  • changed app title to SHERLOCK HOLMES TRACKER
  • the app now requires iOS 8 to run

Why the hiatus?

Perhaps you remember: Sherlock Holmes for iOS was removed from the App Store a few months ago because Apple’s automated system is periodically clearing out older apps to make sure the App Store is filled with “current” rather than stale 5yr old apps. This means that when an app has not seen an update in over two years, the developer gets a nudge to “do something” to the app, even if it’s just update to the latest iOS SDK. And if that doesn’t happen within 30 days, the app is removed automatically.

Due to my medical condition, I wasn’t in a condition to “do something” to this app, and hence, it got removed. I thought I had to re-write large portions of the app at first, which turned out to be impossible for me at the time. Only recently I found out that I am allowed to leave old code intact as long as it works and only focus on improvements, which was less of a big job than re-writing the search algorithms for example (that’ll be a much bigger undertaking for the future).

So I added the above new features and episodes and submitted the update, with which Apple was happy! Great news!

The only thing they objected against was the app title: they didn’t like “for iOS” anymore, something that was allowed several years ago, but no longer hip and cool, so I changed the title to Sherlock Holmes Tracker. Hence the name change.

Due to changes in the development tools, I had to raise the deployment target to iOS 8, the minimum iOS version we can currently write apps for.

What’s next?

I’m currently cooking up an update for the Poirot App (The Belgian Detective Guide). This will include the new Kenneth Branagh movie “Murder on the Orient Express” and a few feature improvements for larger screen devices, including the iPhone X when it comes out. This too proves much more difficult than it sounds, but you know me – I do like a challenge.

Updating Poirot also means that no “kick me off the App Store” mechanism shall kick in there… wish me luck!

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