I am happy to announce that Blueprint Lite 2.5, Blueprint 2.5 and Blueprint Pro 2.5 are available for download.
The initial plan was to release a version 3 but, as the release of High Sierra approached, I soon realised that the new features for the version 3 were not ready for release. As an update was urgently needed, I made the decision to remove the version 3 features and release an intermediate 2.5 version with the same features as the 2.4 version. The main goal for this new release is to give Blueprint users a workable version which fixes bugs and synchronization problems with the latest Apple macOS versions.
Blueprint is now a 64-bit application on macOS. This may not sound like big news, but moving to 64 bit enables Blueprint to access the newer 64-bit frameworks. This allows Blueprint to synchronize with Apple Calendar and Reminders once more, a capability which had been removed in the 2.4 version.
No new features? Nope, but a slightly revamped user interface. Because the 2.5 version is derived from the version 3, the user interface has evolved in some parts of the application.
Synchronization with Apple Contacts, Calendar and Reminders
Moving Blueprint to 64 bit enables it to access the latest frameworks maintained by Apple and bring back the synchronization with Apple Calendar and Reminders.
This time, the synchronization works a bit differently from before because the Apple EventKit framework works differently from the old Calendarstore framework. In a nutshell, the Blueprint synchronization has been rewritten from scratch and is now asynchronous. If you modified a task in Blueprint in the past, the changes were updated to the Calendarstore synchronously. From Blueprint 2.5, the synchronization can be set to run automatically every 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes. It can even be set to run manually if you want it to. This new asynchronous synchronization also applies to contacts and companies. The synchronization sends the Blueprint changes first and then receives changes from Apple ContactStore and EventKit.
Modernized User Interface
Version 3 included a major UI revamp. Version 2.5 keeps some of this revamp. You will notice that the modenized interface blends in with the latest macOS better than the previous versions. It is kinder on the eyes and feels a bit less outdated.
What does the future hold?
I will not hide the fact that an iOS version is long overdue. An iPhone version of Blueprint has actually been developed, but having an iPhone version without being able to synchronize it with the desktop application renders it, to be blunt, useless. Building synchronization is not an easy task and it became clear that the Blueprint architecture was not designed for it.
In summer 2015, I decided to take a break from Blueprint development to think about its future and where I wanted to take it. This led me to design a new data engine fit for cloud synchronization and for future major features. The development on this new engine started in October 2016 and is currently in its final stage.
Once the new data engine has been tested and found to be stable, development will be focused on cloud synchronization and iOS versions (iPhone and iPad). I will, of course, keep you all posted regarding cloud synchronization and iOS versions.