Today, albeit late, we have a new build for PCs going out to Zet Universe Insiders - Build 5766.40220. I have to apologize for releasing it later than usual (hey, it's almost end of the work week, and we tend to ship builds each Monday). However, we've got stuck with a very serious bug that made touch scrolling in the Navigation Pane unusable, and as we've been trying to fix it, we've got another one related to Windows Shell APIs, and we've lost three days fighting these bugs. We believe it is super important to ship new builds in a predictable manner, and yet we believe that our builds shall pass our internal stability and reliability requirements, and until we're fine with them, we can't ship the new bits to you, and if it means we'll have to postpone the build, we'll do that.
Speaking of the new build, I hope you were able to read the blog post about the last build and our updated product plans we've published on Wednesday last week. If you missed it, I encourage you to re-read it again, as the changes to the product plan are big enough. In short, we postpone some of the exciting features like semantic steering and rules engine, in favor of solving your more immediate needs like being able to add notes, preview your documents and start conversations around them, and define tasks right in your project spaces in Zet Universe.
It's worth mentioning that we've got two separate requests for Notes Layer via our UserVoice Forum, and today, as it was teased in our Facebook Group, we are anxious to give you the first glimpse at one of these amazing features - Notes.
- If you are new to the Zet Universe Insider Program and haven't installed Zet Universe, yet, please visit the Set Up Your PC webpage to download the latest build's installer.
- Otherwise, as usual, the newest build is available via the magic of Zet Universe Update system, powered by Squirrel for Windows. To get it, you can go to Settings --> Update, and click on "Check Now" button to get it now.
- IMPORTANT: it turns out that if you have too many builds (think you skipped a week or two of updates), the "Update Now" button won't be available to you. Don't worry - you can simply install Zet Universe again by downloading its installer from the Set Up Your PC webpage. This won't break anything, but will give you the latest release available.
- Total download might range from a few hundred kilobytes up to 9MB, depending on the number of updates you've applied already to your copy of the Zet Universe Insider Preview.
- Once the build is downloaded, Zet Universe will begin the installation. Once it will finish, it will ask you to restart the app.
INTRODUCING STICKY NOTES
In 2015, we can see that Note Taking is a really important piece of our daily workflow. Notes are so important, that several amazing products have been born right around note taking, and they've got big audiences. Of course these are Evernote with its more than 300 millions of users, and OneNote (which, by some measures, has about 50 millions of users). Note taking is so important that you can find software trying to replicate physical notebooks everywhere. Original iPhone had a simple Notes app. Notepad is one of the most ubiquitous apps in Windows, and one of the most popular (oh my!). Google created its own version of the note taking app - Google Keep, and long before that Google Docs users used Docs and Spreadsheets to write down their notes, shopping lists, and many other things. At Microsoft there was a special team lately focused exclusively on re-thinking the whole concept of Note Taking - Courier. And when the project was axed, most of its team, being so dedicated to its legacy, left the company to create a stunning note taking experience for iPad, Paper.
And so for us at Zet Universe, Note Taking isn't a user experience we take lightly. We believe note taking should be a core part of the user experience. And here's why.
In short, you could classify notes into several kinds.
NOTES CREATED FROM SCRATCH
NOTES AS REMINDERS
Our product philosophy is based on the simple idea that you already keep your data in existing information systems (e.g., Dropbox for documents, Exchange for email, calendars and contacts, GitHub for source control and issue tracking, etc.), and you use Zet Universe as a cenral place to organize it together by your projects. We envisioned that one day Zet Universe will eventually start helping you to organize things automatically. Given the amazing popularity of Evernote and OneNote in the wild, this means we can't simply build our own user experience for Note taking, and miss notes you've already created in these apps.
There are some caveats, however. Integration with OneNote or Evernote usually is seen by its developers and product (program) managers as a way to create notes in their systems, and include your existing things (docs, emails, images, etc.) into those notes, either in a form of attached files (!), printouts (!), or simply links. With all of our appreciation for everything the teams behind these products have accomplished, we don't think that this is the best kind of Notes experience we could give within the boundaries of Zet Universe. After all, Zet Universe is built around the idea that you integrate your existing information in one place, visually, organize and work with it in a visual way. There are some workarounds, but in general this means, that new Notes experience will be delivered in stages, and in the first stage you won't get the integration with Evernote or OneNote.
STICKY NOTES IN ZET UNIVERSE
You can type rich text and you can write down things using pen in ink.
One of the big issues one could experience with physical Post-It notes was that once you wrote down things, you could easily forget what's on them unless you've put them onto your monitor or on the table, so that you could find them later. And if you've put there something important, you could simply lost those important facts by losing the containing them Sticky Notes.
But no longer. In Zet Universe, everything you've put is searchable (and if something is not yet searchable, you should know that we won't stop until we'll make it searchable!).
And so, our text Sticky Notes are searchable.
WHAT'S NOT WORKING, YET?
For instance, our brand new Sticky Notes are sticky - but they stick to the surface, not the visual clusters they are put nearby. At least for now, so please keep that in mind. We are working on making notes stick to existing docs, though, so please be patient ;)
You won't be able to change the Sticky Note's color in this release, but be rest assured, this functionality is coming.
Another thing is, right now Sticky Notes are a bit bigger than icons of documents in the project space, but that won't be always so. As we continue delivering on the updated roadmap, you'll see major changes related to the way the documents and other things are shown in Zet Universe, and Sticky Notes will be more tailored to the upcoming user experience.
OK, NOW, HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE'VE FIXED
Drag-n-drop items from the "Navigation Pane" to the project space using touch - starting today, you can use touch to select one or multiple items in the Navigation Pane (both items from the current project, and items found via search) to drag and drop them onto the zoomable space. We are sorry for taking that long to bring a fix to this issue, but we wanted to ensure that the user experience won't be inferior to the one you used to have before we've implemented support for multiple items drag-n-drop.
Changes (renames, etc.) to files stored in the folders located in the user profile will be now picked up while Zet Universe is running - we've found a few issues in the last build, and we are glad now to make new bug fixes generally available to you as part of the today's build.
WHAT'S STILL BROKEN?
- You can't drop items from other project spaces by using search results... Just yet. Instead, you'll get an error message.
- Zet Universe still doesn't re-connect after waking up if it had no internet connection before the computer went to hibernation.
- There is no UI to change the default file store when multiple file store data sources are added to the project space. Zet Universe will use the first added data source to save files you've added to the project space.
Other than that, we will continue working on the plan outlined in the last blog post:
- Document Previews
- Links to items in Zet Universe, and
THANKS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK - TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
We also want to say special thanks to Pavel Simakov, who's our top Insider, and Stanimir Stoyanov, whose work on the Sticky Notes Controller for Windows Longhorn became the source of inspiration for us.
As always please continue to give us feedback, suggestions, and problem reports via the Feedback Forum on the build as you see it, use the Facebook group to connect with other Insiders for help and tips on problems you hit.
Daniel and the team