Writing Sprint Updates - Landscape Mode, Starting Time, And More

Jul 10, 2021 - Justin Hunter

Write/Sprint technically "launched" on iOS last week. However, I didn't make a huge deal about it. I still haven't launched it on Product Hunt, I haven't posted about it on Hacker News, and I really haven't marketed it. Yet, I have some early paying users who have already provided great feedback. And that feedback has resulted in Write/Sprint's first ever update.

Today, Write/Sprint gets some new functionality and a slightly updated look. Let's start with the functionality and how it will help you as you are tracking your writing sprints.

Starting Word Count

One of the first requests I received after releasing Write/Sprint was for the ability to enter the starting word count before a writing sprint timer started. The reason behind this makes total sense. If you are working on a long piece of content, it becomes difficult to do the math to track how much you wrote in a given sprint. This is easy if you're writing something new with each sprint, but that's not what most people are doing.

So, now, when you go to start your timer, you'll be prompted to enter a starting word count. Don't worry, if you're starting something new, this has you covered. It defaults to 0 words.

Sprint Ordering

This piece of feedback came from me. It was bothering me that new writing sprints were added to the end of the list. To me, it made more sense to see my most recent sprints first. So, I updated the sprint tracker page to add sprints in reverse chronological order.

A big caveat here: This change does not update past sprints. This is literally just a change that updates position new sprints are added. Sorry about that! I wanted to just set ordering on the view of the sprints, but that was a bigger lift. Maybe on a future release, though.

Landscape Mode

Another piece of feedback I received from early users was the desire to see the sprint timer (and the whole app) in landscape view. When I built the app, I arbitrarily decided to lock it into portrait mode.

This was a simple update, thanks to XCode. Now, when you rotate the phone, the app's orientation will rotate as well.

Sprint Tracker Layout

You may have noticed in the last screenshot a change to the way the sprint tracker page looks. When I first built the app, I was focused on functionality over design. So, I went with the classic table layout.

But who needs labels for things like word count and date? Honestly, who needs a table layout for this type of view? Instead, I took a page out of my web app learnings and re-organized the information on the screen based on importance. The word count felt most important, so you can see that is the largest thing in the view.

The share icon and button are now located to the far right. I replaced the obnoxious blue link color for the share button to match the color of the rest of the content in the app.

How Long Was The Sprint

Another change on the sprint tracker page came from an early user's request. This person wanted to be able to look back and not only see how many words were written and on what date but how long the sprint was for.

When you set your writing sprint timers, that time will be used automatically when you store a sprint, and on the sprint tracker page, you can easily see how many words you wrote in what amount of time, and on what day.

Simple, but powerful stuff!


This update was powered by the redesigned sprint tracker page. Since we dumped the table view, we couldn't keep the old delete button could we? The thing that made the most sense here is an action you are all very familiar with on iOS.


Swipe right on a sprint to delete it. Again, simple but powerful.

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