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Eight Improvements for Glide Apps in iOS 13

September 2019
David Siegel

Today Apple released iOS 13, a major software update for the iPhone. Headline features include a system-wide Dark Mode, a new Photos app, a swipe keyboard, 2x faster app launches, and hundreds of other improvements.

We've tested beta versions of iOS 13 for the last couple of months, and we're excited to report that iOS 13 also brings many significant enhancements for Glide apps.

Improvements to Glide apps in iOS 13

Improved 'Add to Home Screen'

iOS 13 has a nicer share sheet, which makes it easier to add Glide apps to your home screen from Safari.

Quitting Apps

When you need to quit an app, you can toss it off the top of your screen with a satisfying flick. Previously, Glide apps had an uncanny immunity to this gesture. In iOS 13, Glide apps can be tossed away just like any other app and this will fully quit them.

Improved Multitasking

In iOS 12, Glide apps would flash white and show their splash screen when switching to them. Now when switching among Glide apps and other apps, Glide apps smoothly resume without any flash or splash screen, just like any other app.

Addresses open in the new Apple Maps

Tapping an address or map view in a Glide app opens the new Apple Maps app, with improved Look Around and more detailed maps.

Faster Tapping

iOS 13 optimizes tap detection in a way that makes every tap in a Glide app register faster. This is most noticeable when switching tabs in Glide apps—every tap feels snappier.

Improved Link Handling

Tapping a link in a Glide app will open an in-app browser. There are many fixes in iOS 13, as well as Glide itself, that make this experience more reliable.

Call Indicator

When a call is in-progress, a green indicator draws behind the clock in your status bar. In iOS 12, tapping this indicator within a Glide app had no effect. Now it returns you to the in-progress call as expected.

Visual Viewport API

Glide doesn't take advantage of this yet, but iOS 13 allows Glide apps to accurately measure the position of the keyboard, and precisely rearrange the app interface around it. This enables a better and more typical chat experience, where the message field rests above the keyboard and grows as you type (just like in iMessage), rather than the quirky behavior Glide apps have now, where a full-screen message composer opens when writing a chat or comment. This will allow us to create a much better Chat experience in the coming months.

Dear Apple: Our Wishlist for iOS 14

Push Notifications

On Android, Glide apps are able to receive push notifications but iOS doesn't allow this. Our dream is for iOS 14 to allow Glide apps to receive push notifications.

Open Glide Apps from Spotlight and Links

If you have a Glide app on your home screen, the only way to open it is to tap its icon. It will not open if you launch it from a Spotlight search, or tap its link in Twitter, iMessage, Safari, etc. We would love it if opening links already added to your home screen (Apple calls these 'Web Clips') would return you to that app, just as other apps resume when opening their associated links.

Camera Access

There's a Web API that allows live access to the camera (see demo), but this API is disabled for Glide apps once they've been added to your home screen. We'd love to be able to use this API on the home screen to create QR code scanners and other camera apps.

'Add to Home' from anywhere, not just Safari

You cannot add a link opened within an app (e.g. you've tapped a link in Twitter) to your home screen—first you must reopen the link in Safari, and only then can you 'Add to Home'. We'd love if users could add Glide apps to their home screen from Twitter, Chrome, Slack, etc., without opening in Safari first.

Create your own app from a Google Sheet with Glide, today.

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💐 Other updates & improvements

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