Archive for category apps

Introducing Artwork Tracker for PC

Track your artwork collection on your Windows PC – Now Available!

Artwork Tracker

Today I’m pleased to announce the release of my new Windows PC app, Artwork Tracker. This is my artwork tracking tool already available for iOS and Mac.

The PC version is similar to the Mac version and has many of the same features as the iOS version, with the addition of printing, enhanced search capabilities, and data transfer to and from the iOS version over WiFi. I’ve also included some other features like duplicating entries, right-click context menus, and a host of other tweaks and improvements. Artwork Tracker for PC also has a built-in crash-reporting mechanism and software update notifications.

To run Artwork Tracker on your PC, you’ll need either Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, or Windows 10. The app also requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 with the KB2468871 update patch. These are already included with Windows 8 or higher.

The download version initially runs in an unregistered trial mode, limited to 5 artworks with 5 photos each, 5 clients, and 5 submissions. It will also only allow a single database window, and database import is disabled. The full feature-set can be unlocked via purchase, either within the app or via my Web Store.

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You can learn more about all the features of Artwork Tracker here, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page, or like Artwork Tracker on Facebook.

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Artwork Tracker for PC – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Artwork Tracker for PC

The following should address any questions or concerns you may have about Artwork Tracker for PC. I’ll be updating this post as new questions arise. Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

1. When will Artwork Tracker be available?

Artwork Tracker for PC is now available for download from my website here. You can learn more about Artwork Tracker for PC here.

2. What operating system do I need to be able to run Artwork Tracker for PC?

The app works on Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10. It requires the .NET Framework 4, which will be installed automatically if your computer does not already have it. It also requires the .NET KB2468871 update patch.

3. I already have Artwork Tracker on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Do I have to buy it again for the PC?

Yes, if you would like to run Artwork Tracker on your PC, you’ll need to purchase it direct from my site. The PC version includes some additional features over and above the iOS version, including enhanced search and printing capabilities. While it does re-use some code from the iOS version, the app had to be substantially re-designed and re-written for the PC platform. Unfortunately porting the app to the PC wasn’t as simple as you might think!

4. I’m not sure if Artwork Tracker for PC will suit my needs. Is there a free trial version available?

Yes, it is available for download from my website here. The app is initially in an unregistered trial mode, limited to 5 artworks with 5 photos each, 5 clients, and 5 submissions. It will also only allow a single database window, and database import is disabled. That should be enough to give you some idea of whether the app will work for you. Purchasing a license either within the app or via my website unlocks full functionality.

5. Is it possible to sort the artworks by artist, rather than title?

Click Preferences… on the Tools menu and select the “Sort artworks by artist” checkbox under Sort Options. Close the window and you’ll find all artworks are now sorted by artist. Repeat these steps to sort by title again.

6. How do I re-order the photos on the Artwork Info screen?

After the artwork entry has been saved, double-click on it and then click on the All Photos section. This will show all the photos associated with the Artwork. Click and hold the mouse button on the photo (or photos) you’d like to organize on the Info screen, and move the mouse to where you’d like the photos to be arranged. Release the mouse button when you’re done.

To move a photo into one of the primary photo slots on the Artwork Info screen, arrange the photos in the All Photos section. The primary photo slots will now reflect the new order.

7. How do I add text captions to my photos? How can I hide them to take a closer look at the photo?

Double-click on the photo you’d like to add a caption to in the All Photos section of the Artwork Info window. Click the word balloon icon at the top of the window, then in the text box that appears, type in the text caption you’d like to associate with that photo. Click on the photo to end editing the caption. The new or modified text caption will now be displayed. Note that only the first few lines of the caption will be superimposed over the photo. To hide the caption, click once on the photo. You can scroll between the photos by clicking the left and right arrow buttons, and zoom-in by resizing the photo window.

8. I have an Artwork Tracker database on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. How do I transfer it to Artwork Tracker for PC?

You’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your PC. Then follow these steps:

(1) Tap the Backup Database button on the Tools screen within the app on your device.
(2) Create a new database within Artwork Tracker for PC and save it to your Documents folder.
(3) Click the Import Database button in the document window toolbar within Artwork Tracker for PC. This is the button next to the printer button. The button has an arrow pointing to the right, away from the device icon. You can also select the Import from -> Artwork Tracker Mobile App item in the File menu.
(4) The Import Database window will appear. You should see your device shown in the Devices section. If it isn’t there, double-check that you’ve selected Backup Database (or Export Database) on the Tools screen within Artwork Tracker on your device. Check the Messages box in Artwork Tracker for PC for helpful information.
(5) Select the device you want to import from, then select Restore Complete Database in the Import Options section. You may also choose to Import Artworks and Clients, Import Artworks, or Import Clients.
(6) Once you’re satisfied with the selected device and import options, click the Import button.
(7) After the progress bar completes, an alert will appear indicating whether the import was successful. Click OK.
(8) The database in Artwork Tracker for PC should now match the database on your device.

Note that the above steps will completely replace the contents of the database within Artwork Tracker for PC, unless you’ve chosen not to restore the complete database. In that case, you may see duplicate entries in your database after the import is complete.

9. I have a database in Artwork Tracker for PC I’d like to transfer to Artwork Tracker on my iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. How do I accomplish this?

The steps are similar to question 8 above, except you must select either Restore Database or Import Database on your device, and click the Export Database button in the document window toolbar within Artwork Tracker for PC. This is the toolbar button with the arrow pointing toward the device icon. When the export is complete, you should consult the pop-up alert on your device for further instructions.

10. I have an iPad, an iPhone, and a PC. How do I keep the databases in sync between all of these devices?

Artwork Tracker currently doesn’t have a simple means of keeping databases synchronized on separate devices. However, it is still possible to transfer the database between devices manually. You first need to backup the database from the device with the most current copy to your computer (or from your computer to the device). The steps for achieving this are shown above in questions 8 and 9. A good workflow is to use your PC as a hub for the database, updating that after you’ve made changes on your device.

11. I have the Artwork Tracker trial version and just bought the full version. How do I transfer my data from the trial version?

When you purchase the full version you’ll be provided with license details to unlock the app. The trial version and the full version are the same app – there is nothing further to download. All of your data will be accessible the next time you run the app.

12. I have a whole spreadsheet of data I’d like to import into the app. How can I do that?

Provided your spreadsheet program can export to CSV format and allows you to specify comma separators and dates in a particular format, you should be able to import it into the app. Artwork Tracker expects to receive CSV data according to the CSV template file, available in the Downloads section of this site.

13. Can you incorporate some new fields into the app? Can I change the names of any of the data fields?

Incorporating new fields may be possible, but keep in mind that any changes will also need to be made to the iOS app version, where screen real estate is very limited. I’ve tried to select fields that would be useful for most people using the app, and have tried to minimize clutter as much as possible. The Notes field may be used to log information that isn’t captured by any other field. Sorry, the names of the data fields cannot be changed.

14. What is the X icon in the toolbar used for?

The ‘X’ icon (next to the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar) is used to delete a particular artwork, client, or submission. It has no effect until you select an item from the list. Clicking on one of the rows in the table will select that row and highlight it. To delete the highlighted artwork, client, or submission, click the X icon in the toolbar. Alternatively you may select Remove Item from the Edit menu.

15. How do I use the artwork report feature? How do I view the artwork report?

The artwork report shows a summary of your collection, followed by the data and photos for every artwork in your collection. This report can be useful for inventory or insurance purposes, and may be printed from within your web browser.

Click the Export To -> HTML Report lines on the File menu.

(1) Select the Report Folder where you’d like to store the report and the corresponding photos.
(2) Enter a filename in the Report File field. Note that the photos will be stored in a sub-folder of the same name with a _photos suffix.
(3) Select whether you’d like to export a report with Small photos, Medium photos, Large photos, or Extra-Large photos then click the Export button.
(4) A progress bar window will appear, followed by a popup when the export is complete.

To view the report, locate the Report Folder you specified in (1) and double-click on the Report File you specified in (2). Your web browser will load the artwork report.

16. I have questions, feature requests, or concerns that aren’t listed above. How can I contact you?

You can reach me via email (ArtworkTracker@andrewnicolle.com), on the Artwork Tracker Facebook page, or on Twitter (I’m @andrewnicolle). I can usually respond to queries within 24 hours. If you like Artwork Tracker for PC, please spread the word. Thanks!

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2017 Retrospective

Now that 2018 has finally arrived, it’s time to take a look back at 2017 with my annual year-in-review post.

2017 was a tough year in many respects, as I’m sure it was for many other people. The health issues I mentioned in last year’s entry continue to linger, though all testing indicates I’m apparently as fit as a fiddle. It all no doubt comes down to the joys of ageing. Oh well!

I was pretty happy with my fitness level last year. Thanks to some goading by my Apple Watch’s New Year’s challenge, I ended up running 3-4 miles on the treadmill every day from January 1st through late April. I lost 20lbs in the process! This tapered off thereafter once the weather improved and I spent more time in the garden. Unfortunately once I’d slacked off with the exercise habit, I did very little for the rest of the year. I finished the year down 10lbs from when I started, which is quite a feat considering the gastronomic journey that was 2017!

We had some sad losses in the family during the year. Earlier in the year we lost our old cat after a long battle with various health issues. It was a sad and strange time after her passing, and even our other cat seemed to notice her absence. We have since adopted two new cats from a local animal shelter, one of which is fairly young and the other is middle-aged. They all seem to get on fairly well after their initial settling-in period. Three cats seems to be a good amount, aside from the problem of frequently tripping over cats resting in the hallway! With all of this, our vet bills were through the roof in 2017.

Later in the year we lost two grandparents on opposite sides of the world in the space of 2 weeks. This was a sad time for both sides of our family. Both grandparents lived long, full lives, and we’ll all dearly miss them.

I picked up a new hobby after watching lots of gaming videos while running on the treadmill. In April I bought a box of Magic: The Gathering cards, and soon thereafter found myself playing tournaments at a local card store. This was great fun, as well as being a good way to unwind, exercise the old brain cells, and socialize. That first store closed down in late July, leaving me without a good local game store. Luckily I found an even better one a further 10 minute drive away, and I’ve been heading there most weekends ever since.

Related to the new hobby, I also started a YouTube channel with card unboxings. That became a new hobby in itself! My previous YouTube channel has a single video showcasing my old iOS game, so it was quite a change going from that to a new channel that actually gets some views. I passed the 10k view mark back in late November, which in theory should make it eligible for monetization (i.e. ads). Monetization reviews are apparently severely backed-up at YouTube right now, so it’s anyone’s guess when (if?) it’ll be approved. In any case it’s a fairly small niche, so I don’t expect ads will bring in much revenue.

Surprising no one, my writing goals weren’t met last year. This seems to be an ongoing theme. I submitted a bunch of stories, but wrote very little new fiction. Most of my spare time went toward working on my apps and growing the new YouTube channel.

I entered two flash fiction competitions during the year, this time for PodCastle and Pseudopod. My Podcastle entry made it to the semi-final round, but the other one was knocked out in the first round. I wrote both stories at the last minute, and had a blast writing and reading all the other entrants in each contest.

Last year I read a decent amount, taking part again in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. My reading was exclusively in eBook form. Here are my reads for 2017:

Shadow Play by Domino Finn
Black Spark by Al K. Line
Android for iOS Developers : A Step by Step Guide by Adrian Kosmaczewski
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic: The Gathering by Titus Chalk
Magic: The Gathering Drafting Guide for Beginners by Alexander Norland
Magic: The Gathering Rules and Getting Started, Strategy Guide, Deck Building for Beginners by Alexander Norland
Unidentified Funny Objects 5 by Alex Shvartsman
Productivity for Indie Authors: A Book about Doing Less and Making More by David Lee Martin
Relaunch your Novel: Breathe Life into your Backlist by Chris Fox
Deviant (Karma Police #4) by Sean Platt & David W. Wright
The Fall (Karma Police #5) by Sean Platt & David W. Wright
Homecoming (Karma Police #6) by Sean Platt & David W. Wright
Story Pitch: The How To Guide for Using a Pitch to Create your Story by Scott King
Destroyer by Chris Fox
Exiled By Chris Fox
Void Wraith by Chris Fox
Resist Them by Scott King
Magic Life: My Story of Becoming a Pro Player by Travis Woo
Eradication by Chris Fox

I still listen to some great short fiction podcasts on my daily commute, including Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and PodCastle. I highly recommend all of them, even to people who might not be short fiction readers. The podcasts are free, but please donate or subscribe if you enjoy listening.

Now for some stats:

2017 Stats:

New apps released: 0
App updates released: 53 (includes Lite and Paid versions)
2017 Word count: 1,037
Stories written: 2
Stories published: 0
Total submissions: 11
Total acceptances: 0
Total rejections: 11
Waiting for response: 0
YouTube videos released: 227
YouTube channel subscribers: 221
Books read: 21
Comics read: 12

My iOS, Mac and PC app sales have mostly remained flat, despite releasing a record number of updates (53!) throughout the year. The Bonsai Album updates alone took over 6 months to complete, starting in 2016. Revenue is slightly higher than last year, and I managed to keep expenses much lower. Even though sales of the new apps from 2016 improved early in the year, they still didn’t come close to meeting my low expectations. I also have a lot of work ahead of me to update all my iOS apps for the iPhone X! The simulator for this device was very clunky and I’ve had a great deal of trouble getting my apps updated to cope with the new screen requirements. I ended up purchasing one just before Christmas, so hopefully that will smooth development of these updates from now on.

In August I announced I’d begun working on a new PC app, Artwork Tracker. This is getting close to completion, so I’ll hopefully be able to release it later this month. I hope it does well, since people have been asking for it for years!

I’ve decided to shelve development of Bonsai Album for Android. There simply wasn’t enough time in the year to learn a new platform and develop an app from scratch for it, while still updating all my other apps. I’ll re-evaluate this again once I’m done with the iPhone X app updates, but I doubt I’ll have the bandwidth to work on an Android version.

I didn’t do much with my bonsai this year, other than keep them alive. There were no bonsai shows or botanic garden visits, and thankfully I don’t think I lost any more trees in 2017. I still spent a lot of time in the garden this year, expanding the flower garden in our front yard, restoring the back garden to its former glory, and growing the usual selection of veggies (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, peas, beans, and cucumbers). We had a decent crop this year, although I was disappointed the zucchini didn’t grow.

Last year was fantastic travel-wise. In addition to the usual trips back and forth to Michigan, we went on epic road trip out west with my parents in our Dodge Charger, passing through 6 states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota) along the way. We visited Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and the Badlands, along with stopping at various weird and wonderful roadside attractions (giant otter, bison, Jackalopes, dinosaur, cow, and more!) and seeing the sights in South Dakota. We also spent some time in the Wisconsin Dells, and again made the pilgrimage to House on the Rock.

So that was 2017. Normally I’d spend a few paragraphs on my goals and grand plans for 2018, but since this seems to be a great way to ensure none of it ever happens, I’ll be keeping everything under my hat this year. Having said that, it’s pretty clear I definitely didn’t slack off in 2017!

I hope everyone had a good year, and best wishes for a great 2018. Happy New Year!

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Announcing Artwork Tracker for PC

Artwork Tracker

Way back in the early days of the App Store (circa 2010) I released Artwork Tracker, an artwork tracking app for artists and collectors. This was eventually followed by a companion Mac app in 2013. I’ve had requests for a PC version since then, but until now couldn’t dedicate the time to it. Well, the wait for a PC version will soon be over!

Today I can announce I’m working on a Windows PC version of Artwork Tracker. I’ve reached the point where I’m fairly comfortable developing apps for the PC, and earlier this year I completed several major updates of my other apps. That frees up some spare time for me to work on Artwork Tracker for PC.

Artwork Tracker for PC will support Windows versions from XP SP3 through to Windows 10. The app will contain many of the features of the iOS version, with the addition of some new features like enhanced search and printing capabilities. You’ll be able to transfer your database to and from the iOS version via WiFi, too. A free trial version will be available direct from my website, with the full feature-set unlocked with purchase of a license.

What might Artwork Tracker look like on the PC? Take a look at a few screenshots from the Mac version. The PC version will have a similar look and feel:

If you’re interested in learning more about Artwork Tracker for PC, visit the Artwork Tracker Facebook page or the Artwork Tracker for PC page on my site.

Want to be notified as soon as the app arrives? Sign-up for the Artwork Tracker for PC newsletter below:



Please Note: I won’t give away or sell your email address to anyone. Your email address will be used only for my app newsletter. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

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Plant Album v1.2 update now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

The Plant Album v1.2 update is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Plant Album makes keeping track of your plants easy. Whether you just have a few houseplants, or you’re an experienced gardener, Plant Album is the ideal tool for organizing your gardens, plants, watering schedules, and notes.

Plant Album

Download on the App Store

This update contains the following changes:

  • Renamed ‘Plants In Garden’ button on the Garden Info screen to ‘View Plants’.
  • Added ‘Wire Basket’ and ‘Other’ Pot Materials.
  • Bug fixes.

If you’re enjoying the app, please take a moment to rate or review it on the App Store!

You can learn more about Plant Album at my website or on the Plant Album Facebook group.

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Orchid Album for PC v1.2.0.0 update now available

Orchid Album

Orchid Album makes keeping track of your orchids easy, whether you’re new to orchids, or an experienced collector. It’s the ideal tool for organizing your plants, watering schedules, and notes.

The Orchid Album for PC v1.2.0.0 update is now available.

For existing customers, click ‘Check for Updates…’ in the Help menu within the app and follow the prompts to update.

This update contains the following changes:

  • Increased photo resolution when adding new photos.
  • Added Extra-Large photos option for the Orchid Report feature.
  • Bug fixes.

You can learn more about Orchid Album at my website or on the Orchid Album Facebook group.

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Orchid Album for Mac v1.4 update now available

The Orchid Album for Mac v1.4 update is now available on the Mac App Store.

Orchid Album makes keeping track of your orchids easy, whether you’re new to orchids, or an experienced collector. It’s the ideal tool for organizing your plants, watering schedules, and notes.

Orchid Album

For direct purchase customers, click ‘Check for Updates…’ in the Orchid Album menu within the app and follow the prompts to update.

This update contains the following changes:

  • Increased photo resolution when adding new photos.
  • Added Extra-Large photos option for the Orchid Report feature.
  • Increased photo caption font size.
  • Bug fixes.

If you’re enjoying the app, please take a moment to rate or review it on the Mac App Store!

You can learn more about Orchid Album at my website or on the Orchid Album Facebook group.

Bonsai Album for PC v2.0.0.0 update now available

Bonsai Album for PC

Bonsai Album makes keeping track of your bonsai or penjing collection easy, whether you’re new to bonsai, a collector, a dealer, or even a bonsai master.

The Bonsai Album for PC v2.0.0.0 update is now available.

For existing customers, click ‘Check for Updates…’ in the Help menu within the app and follow the prompts to update.

This update contains the following changes:

  • Increased photo resolution when adding new photos.
  • Added Extra-Large photos option for the Bonsai Report feature.
  • Log photos are now automatically added to the associated Bonsai and Pot.
  • New Bonsai fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Fertilizer, Location, Weight, Light, Temperature, Medium.
  • Bonsai Source field is now an editable text field.
  • New Pot fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Weight, Location.
  • Added Semi-Cascade Pot shape.
  • Pots can now be sorted by shape.
  • Bonsai and Pot lists now show ID field and In Collection state.
  • Bonsai and Pots can now be hidden if not in your collection.
  • Added barred snowflake icon for Bonsai with Winter Indoors set to Yes.
  • Bonsai search can now filter trees needing Winter Indoors by starting to search for “Winter Indoors”.
  • Value statistic now takes the new Value fields into account.
  • Added Apply button to Info windows.
  • Increased photo caption font size.
  • Added table right-click context menu.
  • Added Duplicate Item feature.
  • Bug fixes.

You can learn more about Bonsai Album at my website or on the Bonsai Album Facebook group.

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Bonsai Album for Mac v2.0 update now available

Bonsai Album for Mac

Bonsai Album makes keeping track of your bonsai or penjing collection easy, whether you’re new to bonsai, a collector, a dealer, or even a bonsai master.

The Bonsai Album for Mac v2.0 update is now available on the Mac App Store.

For direct purchase customers, click ‘Check for Updates…’ in the Bonsai Album menu within the app and follow the prompts to update.

This update contains the following changes:

This update requires Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or higher!

  • Increased photo resolution when adding new photos.
  • Added Extra-Large photos option for the Bonsai Report feature.
  • Log photos are now automatically added to the associated Bonsai and Pot.
  • New Bonsai fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Fertilizer, Location, Weight, Light, Temperature, Medium.
  • Bonsai Source field is now an editable text field.
  • New Pot fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Weight, Location.
  • Added Semi-Cascade Pot shape.
  • Pots can now be sorted by shape.
  • Bonsai and Pot lists now show ID field and In Collection state.
  • Bonsai and Pots can now be hidden if not in your collection.
  • Added barred snowflake icon for Bonsai with Winter Indoors set to Yes.
  • Bonsai search can now filter trees needing Winter Indoors by starting to search for “Winter Indoors”.
  • Value statistic now takes the new Value fields into account.
  • Added Apply button to Info windows.
  • Increased photo caption font size.
  • Added table right-click context menu.
  • Added Duplicate Item feature.
  • Bug fixes.

If you’re enjoying the app, please take a moment to rate or review it on the Mac App Store!

You can learn more about Bonsai Album at my website or on the Bonsai Album Facebook group.

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Bonsai Album v3.0 update now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

The Bonsai Album v3.0 update is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Bonsai Album makes keeping track of your bonsai or penjing collection easy, whether you’re new to bonsai, a collector, a dealer, or even a bonsai master.

Bonsai Album

This update contains the following changes:

Note: This update requires iOS 8 or higher!

  • Added iOS 10 support.
  • Add multiple photos at a time from your photo library.
  • Increased the photo size on the Bonsai, Pots, and Logs lists.
  • Increased photo resolution when adding new photos.
  • Added Extra-Large photos option for the Bonsai Report feature.
  • Log photos are now automatically added to the associated Bonsai and Pot.
  • Increased photo caption font size.
  • Added photo sharing feature.
  • New Bonsai fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Fertilizer, Location, Weight, Light, Temperature, Medium.
  • Bonsai Source field is now an editable text field.
  • New Pot fields: ID, In Collection, Value, Sell Price, Weight, Location.
  • Added Semi-Cascade Pot shape.
  • Pots can now be sorted by shape.
  • Bonsai and Pot lists now show ID field and In Collection state.
  • Bonsai and Pots can now be hidden if not in your collection.
  • Added barred snowflake icon for Bonsai with Winter Indoors set to Yes.
  • Bonsai search can now filter trees needing Winter Indoors by starting to search for “Winter Indoors”.
  • Value statistic now takes the new Value fields into account.
  • New CSV templates for the new fields.
  • Bug fixes.

If you’re enjoying the app, please take a moment to rate or review it on the App Store!

You can learn more about Bonsai Album at my website or on the Bonsai Album Facebook group.

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