Story time!

A long time ago in this very App Store, now lost to the mists of time, there was an app update. A very small app update to a very small app. Version 1.0.4 of Scrawl, the villagers called it. In that update, there was a feature. This feature was a pleasant feature. This feature helped the villagers, easing their neck pain by shortening the width of text on large devices.

But hidden inside that feature was something lurking: a bug. And not just any bug. A user interface bug, who liked to hide text from the villagers. Now this bug, he was a clever bug. He knew that in order to continue his tricks, he had to hide from the app developer, who benevolently ruled the village and wouldn’t stand for bugs disturbing his favorite villagers. So he hid somewhere the app developer wouldn’t find him. He hid in the devices marked Plus, which the developer never used (#SEforlife).

This bug, he likely spent time tricking a number of the villagers, hiding their text whenever they rotated their devices. But all the villagers stayed silent, not wanting to anger the bug further. But one day, the bug crossed the wrong person. A nameless hero discovered the bug’s hiding spot and promptly wrote a letter to the developer, giving up all the secrets of the bug and his tricks.

Immediately (well, three weeks later), the developer struck forth! The developer delved deep into the feature, found the evil bug, and booted him right out of the village! And then everyone lived happily ever after, probably.




¯\_(ツ)_/¯, everyone else was doing it.

No, I’m not changing anything about what data Scrawl sends to my personal servers, third party advertisers, etc. That’s the same as always: absolutely nothing. The only data Scrawl sends anywhere is storing your notes in your own iCloud account, if you have one. I can’t look at that data, and neither can anyone else.

But maybe you don’t want anything out there. Or you’re done with Scrawl and you don’t want your old notes lingering in a warehouse somewhere. Or you want separate notes on separate devices. I get that.

In Scrawl 1.2.4, you can disable iCloud sync, if you so choose. Deleting everything you’ve ever sent to iCloud is easy: just “Select All”, and delete it. Then flip the “Sync to iCloud” switch and nothing goes there ever again. Well, at least until you flip the switch back. But, I mean… duh.


I once promised in these very release notes that I would never post a release that just said “bug fixes”. But I really do only have bug fixes this time. They aren’t even interesting bug fixes, like maybe we’ve had in the past, and I can’t fill up a whole post about how maybe it won’t duplicate text if you leave a blank line in your note anymore. So I’m just going to tell you a story about my commute.

There’s a kitten in the neighborhood that I see sometimes when I’m walking to the bus stop. I haven’t seen it for several months, because it was winter and I guess it was staying inside where it’s warm? Anyway, I saw it again today, and holy cow, it’s so much bigger! It’s a cat now! So, that was fun. It saw me and I guess it recognized me, because I walked by without talking to it, and it followed me and meowed at me until I acknowledged it.

One time I was talking to the kitten (back when it was still a kitten), and a kid came out of a house and yelled at me for doing so. “Hey, that’s my cat!” So I was hesitant to talk to the cat this time, but it was so insistent! So I turned around and asked it how it was doing, and then I took a picture of it to send to my office’s #cats Slack channel.

No one yelled at me.

Oh, hey! This is version 1.2.3! That’s pretty neat.


Bug fixes! Get your bug fixes here!

In some cases, right when you’re trying to edit your note, the cursor would jump to the very end. That’s useful if that’s where you want to type next, but REALLY FRICKIN' ANNOYING if it isn’t. Which, considering you weren’t already typing there… it’s probably not where you wanted to type.

Anyway, it doesn’t do that any more.

Today’s update is courtesy of Scrawl user Jonathan Hansford, who was a great help tracking down this bug.


In the last update, one of the features I promised was background updating of the lock screen widget. That turned out to be less true than anticipated in real-world cases. This version makes that more true.

In the last update, one of the features I promised was fun new bugs. That turned out to be more true than anticipated in real-world cases. This version makes that less true.

Also in this issue: minor visual tweaks!


Here’s one of those medium-sized updates I’ve been promising for a while: a complete overhaul of the syncing engine! YAY!

…okay, that was less exciting than I’d hoped. What does this new syncing actually DO?

  1. Background Updates: If you change your note on one device, the lock screen will update on all your other devices without having to re-launch the app.
  2. Better Merging: Rather than always overwriting what your note says, changes will merge intelligently, avoiding the case where notes you’ve taken disappear unintentionally.
  3. New Bugs: Hey, I didn’t say it was all sunshine and roses.
  4. Brighter Future: These new capabilities open up some pretty cool new doors…

Also in this version: I fixed a bug where the iPad version would crash if you tried to open the share sheet. Whoops.


Hi! Me again. Did you miss me?

Turns out the time around the holidays is surprisingly busy! As such, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to release an update. Someone even e-mailed me and was like “hey, I had an idea” and I replied “sounds good, I should have that done this weekend”. That was a month and a half ago.

Anyway, here’s that release! Now you can export your note from Scrawl Notes to other apps by way of the share sheet.

I think that’s the only new thing in this release. If you find anything else, that was DEFINITELY A SURPRISE and I didn’t just forget I added it.


Bug fixes and performance improvements.

…just kidding. You know I’d never do that to you, right? I love you too much for that.

Let’s get serious. I had a screenshot in that last update that looked real dumb. Turns out, if you put a bunch of text in the Scrawl note, it got cut off on the widget. There wasn’t any way to view the whole thing except to load up the full app! Terrible.

But now, you can just tap a little button that says “Show More”, and it (gasp) SHOWS MORE. Amazing.

Also I fixed a bug where if you’re typing in the middle of the note, the cursor kept jumping to the end. That was terrible, too. But not doing that is less “amazing” and more “works like it should”, so it doesn’t get top billing.

You’re probably wondering why this version is 1.1.1, if the last version was 1.0.6. Well, probably not. But I like to think people care about version numbers of random apps they download. ANYWAY, the answer is I decided that adding Siri support was sufficiently important enough to retroactively re-version 1.0.6 as 1.1. Mainly because I have another thing I’m working on that’s about as big that I want to make 1.2. Mainly because then I have an even bigger thing that I want to make 2.0, and I don’t want anyone going “why did you jump straight from 1.0.9 to 2.0, that’s unreasonable!”. Because, again, I pretend people are obsessively tracking my version number history, and will make fun of my arbitrary versioning decisions. WHICH THEY WILL.

So, yeah, I’ve just leaked that I’m working on a nice “medium” feature and then a “big” update in the conclusionary ramblings of my release notes. But you’ve read this far, so I want your input on something: what is your favorite color? Leave a review or send me an e-mail with that information, I need it for… reasons.


It’s the app update that will have everyone talking! Scrawl now supports editing and reading your note via Siri on iOS 11.

Just tell Siri to “add ~VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION~ to my note in Scrawl” and there it is. Or, say “read me my note in Scrawl” to have Siri verbally regurgitate your text droppings.

Along with the added Siri support, we’ve also got other super-exciting updates, such as:

  • Slightly increasing the margins on the widget!
  • Changing the URL that provides help content in a way invisible to most users!
  • Moving the clear button for reasons that are definitely not related to oddly-shaped phone displays!
  • Updating the App Store name to Scrawl Notes because… well, that’ll be obvious soon.

How’s that for a whirlwind update?

Talking, get it? I crack myself up.


Okay, get this. An iPhone and an iPad walk into a bar. Someone types a note into the iPhone. Hours go by. Nothing happens on the iPad.

…what a joke, right?

We’ve made Scrawl (slightly) less of a joke now by adding iCloud support! If you’re signed into iCloud on multiple devices, your latest note will be waiting for you the next time you launch Scrawl.


Also, there was a bug where the widget wouldn’t update if you typed too fast. Focus groups didn’t respond well to a “please type slower” banner, so we just fixed the bug instead.


Hey! There’s a new iPad out. If you’re running Scrawl on it, you’ll want this update.

- Switched to a more-readable text width on larger devices, so you won’t wear your neck out reading any notes you write in landscape.


- Fixed a bug where you could launch to a black screen by using the Clear Note 3D Touch Action. (Thanks to Scrawl user Adam McDonald!)

- Fixed a bug where the cursor could become stuck in the “dimmed” state.

- Recentered the app icon. (Thanks to Scrawl user Emily Stewart!)


So… I only made it about two weeks before deciding that the icon on my own app was too ugly to keep on my homescreen.

Then I figured, hey, I’m supposed to pretend to actually like this app; other people who don’t care probably HATE looking at this app icon.

Considering the app icon is a major point of entry for this app, that seems like a Bad Thing.

So I made a better icon.


Hey. Turns out I forgot a feature I wanted to include in 1.0. Now you can tap your note on the lock screen to quickly launch Scrawl and make edits.

Also in this release: a button and home screen quick action to quickly clear your notes, to begin again from a clean state.


Hooray! I did a thing!



Jeez, they said they were going to make the Mac more Metal three years ago, but it took them this long to let you make everything black and moody? Have these people ever been to a metal concert?

So, yeah, this release adds support for Mojave’s dark mode, to make your notes just a little more metal.

Personally, I’m still waiting for them to switch to illegible pointy scribbles for macOS code names.


This update is mainly to provide compatibility support with iOS version 1.2. It includes a newer syncing engine, which merges rather than overwrites your notes when you change them!

That’s all I have to say about that.


Made it easier to activate Scrawl in windowed mode by clicking the Dock icon. Special thanks to Scrawl user Rob Howard!


First release of the Mac app. Insert snark here.