Making the tea run a bit easier

Picture the scene. You say “anyone want a tea” while in the office and half a dozen people all shout “yes please” or “I’ll have a coffee”.

They all want something different. Some want tea, others coffee, you might get a cold water or a milk and the odd hot water.

They all seem to like their hot drinks done in different ways. So you get out a notebook and try to write it all down.

It’s that scenario that prompted me to create Office Break. It was inspired by an idea from Alison Moss in the BBC Jersey newsroom. She said it would help to have a note of everyones tea.

So this is how it work.

You start by clicking the add a cup button on the top right, then enter a name, type of drink and if it is tea or coffee enter how many sugars and what shade the drink should be. That takes care of how much milk you need to enter as well.

It then adds it to a quick view list with the name, drink type, sugar count and the shade shown as a colour block on the right. Just swipe to delete if they change their mind or when you’ve finished.

What’s next

It is iOS 11 only right now as I decided to make use of the new named colour feature that’s available in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

It uses Core Data to store the drink details but a future version will work with Firebase or another remote database to allow people to create a ‘team’. Then when someone is going on a tea run they just hit — new tea run — in the app and anyone in the tea will get a notification.

They can then enter what they want and it will automatically appear on the phone of the person doing the run.

It will be available on Android soon and there will be a web version so you can just do it from your desk.

This current version is on the Apple App Store‬ for free. There are no ads, it is completely free (although you may get charged data and that’s not in my control).

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