Developer Blog #1: HANX WRITER FAQ
Hey! My name is Clint Waters and I’m the resident QA Tester for Hitcents in Bowling Green. You may have read my piece about my job here: (http://www.hitcents.com/blog/post/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-qa-tester), but I thought I’d take a stab at this writing thing again. I haven’t come up with a witty name for it just yet, but the idea is that this (hopefully weekly) article will be a little bit like a bulletin board posting: updates, tips and general behind-the-scenes goodness.
I wanted this first article to be about the Hanx Writer. Our little typewriterly bundle of joy expanded its single platform, iPad exclusiveness to include an iPhone app as well. However, this wasn’t as easy as snapping our fingers and telling Hanx Writer what to do. Our developers, artists and graphic designers worked hard to replicate the Hanx visuals for a smaller scale, essentially making a new app in and of itself. Through lots of design decisions, it was our ultimate goal to make sure first-time users could pick up the app and get to typing right away. Likewise, we wanted users that had used the iPad version from day 1 to feel the same exhilaration with each FITT FITT, as it were.
Another exciting addition was the ability to use our Hanx Writer keyboards outside of the Hanx Writer itself. Now users are able to type in Notes and many other apps with the Hanx 707 (my personal favorite) or either of the other two typewriters, while hearing those great sounds.
There’s no telling how the Hanx Writer will evolve from here, but we want to thank everyone who tries the app and enjoys it. As a reminder, you can submit comments or help requests here: http://www.hitcents.com/contact. We would love to hear from you guys, good or bad!
Speaking of submitting comments, we have a short week this week for good ol’ Turkey Day, so we will not be in the office to answer any questions or offer technical support. If those pesky in-laws are driving you up a wall and you just want to SHOOK SHOOK some of the stress away, but encounter a problem, never fear! I’m going to provide a quick FAQ that should help with most minor issues!
Frequently Asked Questions: Hanx Writer Edition
- Hanx Writer isn’t making any sounds. No SHOOK-SHOOKs or FITT-FITTs!
This is a common problem that users are encountering. If you have downloaded the app and no sound comes out when you press the keys, try these simple troubleshooting options:
- Make sure the “mute” switch located on the side of your iPad is turned off. Also, some users have reported that they must change the function of their mute switch for this to be helpful. Doing so is easy; just open your settings app and under general settings you should see “Use Side Switch To:” followed by “Lock Screen Rotation” and “Mute”. Select the mute option and then make sure the switch is in its off position.
- Use the buttons on the side of your iPad to ensure that the volume is turned all the way up. It is possible for your volume to be up and the mute still active.
- There is a menu on certain devices that every user should take advantage of. On your home screen, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access the control center. A grey menu will appear, where there are three options that can interfere with sound. The first is a bell icon that is used to toggle mute on and off. The second is a crescent moon that manages the “do not disturb” function. The third is a sliding bar which adjusts the volume. This should correspond with the buttons on the side of your device, but it is good to double-check!
- Make sure you have exited all other apps that may be using your speakers. For example, one cannot listen to music and hear the sounds from Hanx Writer at the same time. Double-tap your home button and swipe these applications up to completely stop them.
- If none of these options work, try plugging headphones into your iPad. If you can hear the Hanx Writer then, this is a sign that your app is fine, but some settings on your iPad are interfering with it.
- Reboot your iPad by holding the power button down. A slide-bar will appear at the top of your screen. Swipe this to the right, allow the iPad to completely shut down, then turn it back on again.
Here is a helpful video that we’ve found to show these troublesome settings:
- Are the optional typewriters necessary to hear sounds?
Not at all. The Hanx Prime Select (the default typewriter available via the free app) is fully capable of producing sounds.
- How do I retitle a document?
At the top of the typewriter screen on any new document, you will see the word “Untitled”. This is the title of your document. If you tap the word as it appears there at the top of the screen, you can delete “Untitled” and replace it with whatever you want! This will be the title of the document wherever it appears.
- How do I export a document? Can I export in .doc or .txt?
Exporting a document can be done in several ways. Wherever you see the export button (it resembles a square with an up arrow coming out of it), you can click it at any time to send your Hanx Writer productions via e-mail or to the Dropbox app.
Currently, the only supported format for these exports is in a PDF.
- How do I save a document?
Your documents are saved to the app as you type them. As long as you have the app, you will have your documents!
By selecting the file folder button on the typewriter page you can see a layout of your current document page by page. Press the “Documents” button in the top-left corner and you will see all of your documents in the Documents Carousel. Here they can be exported (as mentioned above) or deleted as you see fit.
- I can read my document, but the typewriter has disappeared!
If you are to open or use the app with your iPad in the “portrait” position, it will enter the read-only mode. In this mode, you cannot edit or change your document in any way. If you tilt it onto its side, into the “landscape” position, you will exit the read-only mode. It is important that your iPad’s screen rotation isn’t locked into the portrait position!
- The typewriter keyboard is covering my paper so I can’t see what I’m typing.
This is most likely caused by a conflict with your iPad’s keyboard set to the “split” mode. You can change this by going into your settings, selecting “keyboard” in general settings and then toggling “Split Keyboard” off.
- I have had to uninstall and reinstall. Where did my purchases go? Do I have to buy the upgrades again?
Luckily, should anything happen to your device or your version of the app, your purchases were made through the App Store, so you can retrieve them at any time. Inside the app, on the typewriter screen, select the in-app store (the shopping cart icon). In the top-right corner you will see “Restore Purchases”. Press this and voila! You will have the purchased typewriters back in your collection. In the case of the Writer’s Block Bundle, you will receive both the typewriters and all of their features.
- Does the Hanx Writer support different languages/international keyboards?
At this time, the Hanx Writer only supports English and its standard keyboard. However, with a recent update you have the ability to produce accented characters (such as those with acute and grave accent marks, umlauts, tildes, etc.) using a wireless keyboard and the mac keyboard shortcuts for these letters.
- What devices can the Hanx Writer run on?
Hanx Writer is currently available for the iPad and iPhone and any of their models (iPad Air, iPad Mini, etc.), unless they are running iOS 6 or below. Likwise, it will not work on any other platform or Apple devices (such as Apple desktops, laptops, etc.).
- I don’t see the option to buy the Hanx Keyboard Extensions.
The ability to purchase and use the Hanx Keyboard as a 3rd party keyboard was introduced in the most recent update. So it is likely that your version of Hanx is not quite up to date! An alternate problem could be your version of iOS. If you’ve been putting off that update to 8.0, get to it! Otherwise, you won’t be able to see the Hanx Keyboard item in the in-app store or use the Hanx Keyboards!
- Why do the Hanx Keyboards need full access?
The security warning that is provided by iOS when you allow the keyboards to have full access is admittedly sinister-sounding. However, this is a generic pop-up applied to all apps that ask for full access, and while well-intentioned, is not quite appropriate for our app. 3rd party keyboards do have the capability to track data on keystrokes and typing patterns. As you can imagine, it is severely illegal to do so with nefarious intentions. Instead, that data is used to improve the app, such as autocorrect and spellcheck features. Luckily, you can rest assured that Hanx Writer does not have these features and has no way of tracking what you type.
You can find more info about our policies here: http://www.hitcents.com/privacy-policy
So why does the Hanx Writer need full access? Simply put, iOS has made it so that this is the only way for the keyboard extensions to “talk” to the Hanx Writer app. Without this communication, it would not be able to play sound, recognize that you have paid for the keyboard extensions, or which typewriters you have collected.
Hopefully these have helped with any issues or answered any questions you had. If not, just shoot me an e-mail at Clint.Waters@hitcents.com or follow that contact link above.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! See you next week!