Since the beginning, Pennant/Race to the Pennant has had pretty much the same user interface: a bar chart of teams working their way to the top of the view as the season progresses, indicating their relative position, and detail views to provide more in-depth data. Somewhere around last fall (a decade or two ago, it seems), I thought about what I could do to advance that to something new and useful.
In recent years, users have been able to select a favorite team (per sport, once expanding to multiple sports last year) and see a bit of detail for that team from the home screen of the app. What if a user could select multiple teams? Or multiple sports? Or display different types of data? All in one customizable screen? This seemed to be an idea, so I started building out some proofs of concept and planning out what the backend would need to provide to support such a feature. Fortunately SwiftUI makes prototyping and playing with custom UI elements really straightforward. I had a plan and some "widgets" in mind and started working toward this new idea in the early summer.
In June, Apple held WWDC and introduced a fairly amazing new system feature in the form of widgets. This, I thought, played extremely well with what I was planning on bringing to the app itself, but it also had the potential to reuse this UI and data in a system widget (or many), giving users the ability to add completely customized team stats and standings data directly to their home screen. Though I was still deep in building the in-app functionality, I transitioned to embedding the same content in system widgets as quickly as possible. This is what I've been working on consistently for the last few weeks.
Today, I'm excited to announce that this version of Pennant, version 10.0, is now live on the App Store. Primary new features include:
Pennant Premium has been revamped a little: while it's still possible to subscribe to one sport, the All Sports version gives you the best set of features, specifically all previous features but with the ability to add an unlimited number of blocks on the My Pennant view and use any type of block as a system widget. (Non-Premium users can add two blocks in the app and the standard league standings view for the current year as a system widget.) I've hidden the older one-sport subscription and will revamp the upgrade view in the coming versions to emphasize why Pennant Premium (All Sports) is the best option.
Additionally, the backend changes needed to support the new views also have a benefit of substantially improving performance and flexibility for all the views in the app. I also have a lot more in the works: better Shortcuts support, adding new sports and leagues, many new widget/customizable block styles, an Apple Watch app, and more. We're just getting started and this big leap is just the first step to the future of Pennant.
Pennant is available to download today for free. Please consider subscribing to Pennant Premium to show your support and make the most of the app.