Announcing Hill88 3

This post was originally published on December 29th, 2014

Several months ago, actual some time before Apple announced the new iPhone 6 and iOS8 was officially released, we started to work on an update of Hill88’s current codebase to bring it up to date with all the news we got at WWDC 14.

A few months into the development, we recognised more and more that updating the current codebase to what we want Hill88 to be would not just be challenging, but would also not be the best and most efficient way of doing it.

Due to Asana’s public API and it’s limitations, Hill88 has always used lots of custom code to massively pre-process data in the background after fetching from Asana’s server and before displaying it to the user in the form of unified task lists, offline persisted task lists and more.

There is a good reason why Asana’s new “native” app doesn’t work offline and re-fetches all the data constantly when changing the displayed lists. It’s not the best user experience, but it is consistent to how Asana’s API has been designed.

However, the entire point of Hill88 is to offer not just offline support, but the best user experience possible and having all data immediately available and displaying it in a way that’s unique to Hill88. In the current version that would for example be an unified task list per user, however, for the next version we wanted to go far beyond that and offer a much broader way of displaying tasks and related data.

After the announcement of the iPhone 6 and especially 6+ (with it’s support for landscape iPad-like split screens) and the apple watch, we reached a point where things got a little messy and we had to make a decision to either finish off the new version with lots of compromises or to go back to the drawing board and to start over from scratch.

Yes, we decided to start from scratch (crazy, isn’t it) with a completely new, I believe ground-breaking, design and a new modern code base (written in Swift, Apple’s new programming language that I’ve fallen massively in love with) that shall be the foundation for an array of great new features that are designed to make you more productive. Hill88 3 is the most ambitious update we’ve ever undertaken, which wouldn’t be possible by just updating the existing code base. You might think that we are crazy (probably we are), but even that decision means that it will take much longer for the new version to be available, it will be well worth the wait and it will help us to move faster with new features in the future.

Hill88 3 will come with a complete redesigned user interface, a all new offline/sync data management and new features that many of our power users have been waiting for a while now. We can’t await to start sharing more about these new features in upcoming posts.

Now, we know that the question on everyone’s mind is when this will come. We had actually hoped to show you a preview around the end of this year, but we’re sorry to say that the app is just not ready yet.

While we understand the desire for a concrete time estimate, they are notoriously hard to get right (and we always get that one wrong). It is safe to say though that it will be released when it’s done, and there will be a private beta round for some time before the official release too.

We think you will love Hill88 3 — we have started using an early version internally, and we couldn’t be more excited. Please sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter so you’ll know once we’re ready and to not miss out on the limited number of beta tester tickets. Until then, we hope you’ll keep being as productive with Hill88 as you’ve always been.

Oh, there is one more question that we have got over and over since we started to share that a new major release is on it’s way. Will Hill88 3 be a paid update for existing Hill88 users? We are still in the discussion around the new pricing model for Hill88 3 and it will most likely be subscription-based as this seems to be the fairest pricing model for both, consumers and us as developers. Having said that, everyone purchasing the current Hill88 Pro before the release of Hill88 3 will receive a special treat as thank you for supporting us on our way to build the best mobile Asana experience. We haven’t decided on that special treat yet, as it’s dependant on the new pricing model. However, what we can promise is that this treat will save you money compared to waiting and purchasing Hill88 3.

That is all that we can say at this point. We truly appreciate your patience and support on this and know that it will be worth the wait!

Thanks again for all your support! Happy holidays, and see you again in 2015!