iOS5 throws us a curve ball

So it turns out our mobile web app is broken on iOS5. Errrrrrg. Oh, the timing… here we are relying on the web app to bridge us until our native iOS app is ready, and now we’re 0 for 2. Really didn’t want to invest any more time on the mobile web apps.

Technical: The N2 mobile web app was built with jQTouch as the underlying framework.  jQTouch breaks on iOS5.  Hence, N2 mobile is currently borked on iOS5. Looks like we might be able to port N2 mobile over to jQuery Mobile, now that that project has reached RC1 status. At first blush this looks to be the quickest/easiest path to restoring a mobile option. In theory this would also make N2 mobile available for  a plethora of other devices we have no resources to build native apps for at this time. Trying to find a silver lining here…

No firm ETA, but know that this is a big issue that needs to be addressed pronto.

UPDATE: we have resolved the iOS5 issue
Will be rolling out a new build over the weekend.


  1. Ryan

    Elbert – Thanks for the heads up.

    That’s a pain, we have had some iOS 5 issues with some clients apps as well, so I feel your pain.

    I spent a lot of time on mobile, so this is a challenge for me.

    I’ll just throw this out there – my gut tells me you guys are trying to make things TOO perfect for the productionk launch of N2.

    This may sound off, but I would much rather be a paying customer and know you were getting some more resources than wait for the perfect N2 to get released. The natives are restless, competitors are on the horizon and I think N2 is good enough to release. You have a loyal group of folks, many of whom would probably pay for 95% final in exchange for more resources.

  2. I don’t seem to have a problem on my iPhone 3GS or iPad 1 (both upgraded to iOS5).

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting native apps and I’d rather time was spent on developing this if possible. Having said that, if this work would means wider group of users would be able to use Nirvana on their mobiles, I fully appreciate the value in this.

  3. Alex Luso

    “Really didn’t want to invest any more time on the mobile web apps.”

    Then DON’T! Sorry to say it but not many of us even use the the mobile web apps – they are just too slow, unresponsive and buggy. Instead of wasting precious time on a temporary solution that satisfies few, just spend the time to develop the solution ALL of us really want – native Apps. What impact could iOS5 possibly have on your customer base right now?! (1%? 0.5%?). Of those who did get iOS5, how many even use the web app?! In the time that it takes for iOS5 to become a significant proportion of your customer base you can have the Native Apps ready – and that will make 100% of customer base happy. Every day you delay releasing Nirvana (with Apps), is another day you lose X number of customers.

  4. David Drake

    That IS a significant portion of the customer base! Elbert, how difficult will it be for you guys to port over the mobile site jQuery Mobile?

  5. Alex Luso

    (Elbert, please feel free to ignore what follows (don’t want to distract you from coding); just giving me POV and attempting to persuade you 🙂 but certainly don’t expect an answer. Just code away!!)

    I said customer base (i.e. ALL users of Nirvana). Are you telling me that 1/4 of your customer base has downloaded/ acquired iOS5 devices in the last 5 days AND are using mobile web apps?! You are probably talking about hits on the mobile web site by Apple devices…

    But my main point/question is: how much use does the mobile website get compared to the main server? If it’s low, as I suspect, then IMO you’d be far better served investing development time in releasing Nirvana (and Native Apps).

    Elbert, far be it for me to tell you how to run your business. I just wanted to tell you that as a long time user and potential customer the last 3 blog posts have me kind of worried… I wish you good luck but please don’t lose the sight of the sight of the forest for the trees. Nirvana is a great, great product as it stands right now. I just hope you’d release it, monetizing your considerable investment already so that you can address the bigger missing features compared to your competitors (i.e native apps, etc). IMO, mobile web access is probably never going to be worth the effort you invest in it (unless you find it’s a day’s work…)
    -My 2 cents. Hope it doesn’t come across as harsh. I am rooting for you guys! I want you to make money so that we can get the best GTD app money can buy!!

  6. Sid Bhatia

    Couldn’t agree more with what has been posted so far. It’s disappointing, you guys are on to something great, but your end users are paying unnecessarily.

    I was galled that a request for a personal port to N2 was rejected months ago – despite having read a promising blog post, but I held my tongue and waiting because I believe in your product, and new a ‘global’ N2 transition was coming.

    But the failed move to N2 (an app you built!) and now this? iOS5 wasn’t announced yesterday, it’s been months – weren’t one of you attending the developer conference and testing the beta?

    I keep flip-flopping between N1 and another product, but keep coming back to you for a supposedly superior product. Whilst not as feature-rich, the big difference is the competition provides something (a)stable (b)ubiquitous and (c)free. I moved from RTM pro, so don’t have a problem paying a premium for a solid product, but this is getting a bit silly, really.

    And whilst others try to remain nice, at some point everyone has to acknowledge that the writing is on the wall.

  7. ShadowXOR

    Isn’t this only in beta anyway and won’t be fully released for a few weeks, by which time you’ve implied the native app will be out? As they said, don’t waste time finishing it. I actually tried to use it in iOS 5 and it was broken but I didn’t really care, just get the app going.

  8. Olivier

    Maybe just finish the api and let someone write the native apps for you?

  9. Andrew

    Okay .. I am totally without Nirvana at work now.

    Because it is still impossible for me to log in via our Corporate firewall, and which was meant to be solved when Nirvana 2.0 went live … I have been getting by with Nirvana mobile.

    This sitiation isn’t going to be sustainable for for me for more than a week or so now …

  10. Andrew

    I agree that resources spent on fixing the web app would be largely wasted. I don’t think many people are actually using it, and if they do they have much more patience and discipline than most.

    I did my best to force myself to use the web app, but it is WAY to slow and limited to actually use in the real world.

    We are all desperately waiting for a native app. I hate to say it, but in absence of a good native mobile app in the very near future I’m going to give up. I’m currently looking to buy a mac so I can use omni…

    Best of luck!

  11. Ok, my 2 cents with the caveat that I don’t know lots of the variables that are going to determine your decision, but here goes. If you are already trying to get an iOS client out and you have limited resources, why not just devote all those resources to the iOS client? Unless of course you have resources that can only develop for the mobile web and not iOS. But if you have developers who can do both, I’d say put them all on iOS because once that’s done, iPhone users will be using that and not the mobile interface. In the mean time, could those users just use Firefox for iOS instead of Safari? Not the best answer, but given the deadlines (self-imposed) already missed and limited resources, that might be one way to go…

  12. Travis Kreikemeier

    Someone posted yesterday on GitHub for JQTouch the exact lines of code to fix in JQtouch to make it work on iOS 5. This should easily fix the issue with N2 mobile on iOS 5.
    This is the github URL that has the fix, I got the URL from your Blog post.

    Literally to fix this issue you change a word from “client” to “page” on two lines of code…

  13. @Travis – thanks for the headsup re: jqtouch.

    The html5 desktop and mobile web apps are built by yours truly. The native apps are being built by Mitch. So there is no impact between the two projects in trying to keep both moving forward.

    I actually managed to get most of the mobile web app ported to jquerymobile, but if the jqtouch fix works out then I’ll abandon the port for now. Long term I may come back to it as there are no current plans to build native apps other than iOS and Android. jQuerymobile would fill a void for Win7, BB and others.

    Appreciate the passion everyone here has for N2. We’re doing the best that we can with limited resources.

  14. Alex Luso

    “The native apps are being built by Mitch. So there is no impact between the two projects in trying to keep both moving forward.”

    Ah!! Why didn’t you say so?! Happy to hear it!


  15. David Drake

    Hi Elbert,

    Could you post an update now on the status of your plans? Frequent communication with your constituencies really is important now.


  16. I’d second David’s comment, except that really any communication is better than none, so I’m thankful for your response, Elbert.

    Someone in the forums posted a link to a competitor, Conqu, which looks to have a similar look to Nirvana, but isn’t available in a web version. However, they do something on their website that I’ve never seen before which I think is enormously helpful for consumers itching to know what kind of progress is being made – they have a “Roadmap” page where they detail the various features they are working on, and actually how done they are with each. This is of course very transparent and unexpected from a private company, but it’s refreshing because of that. I understand doing that has lots of potential risks, but it is really cool.

    In any case, hope things keep moving and we see another release soonish, as it’s been a while since the last build now. We want to see you guys speed up, but we also understand it’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing – you need to come out with an non-beta (or at least completely open beta) release, perhaps with at least one mobile client to really be competitive and get noticed and have some money starting to flow in so that you’ll have the resources to begin to ramp up a bit more.

    Good luck!

  17. David Drake

    I second Levi’s comments…did not mean to sound unappreciative of Elbert’s postings!

  18. We will be rolling out the fix over the weekend. This release will also include all of the polishing to the desktop app that we’ve been working on over the last few weeks. Thanks everyone for your patience!

  19. tmac

    I bought an iPhone specifically for the day when I could have a native Nirvana app. That was six months ago, but I knew it would get here eventually. I’ve been doing my very best to wait patiently. I would gladly pay $50 for this app the second it becomes available. It would greatly improve my life as I always seem to be mobile these days. Just some perspective. Thanks guys, good luck.

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