We intend to make FSP 7 the best food storage planning app in existence. To reach that goal we still have some work to do. There are features we know are missing, and then there are features that we aren't sure if our users want. Lets start with the missing that are on the immediate roadmap.
The Next Bend
Completed Affiliate system[in 7.0.80 / Nov 27] Group discount codes[in 7.0.80 / Nov 27] Accept larger images[in 7.0.81 - Dec 5] Item details screen[in 7.0.81 - Dec 5] Location Tracking[in 7.0.81 - Dec 5] Grouping/Categories/Aisles[in 7.0.82, Dec 25]
- Additional tracking and entry fields
- Net Weight
- Purchase date
- Allow for custom barcode generation in the item edit screen
- Import tools for FSP5 data and CSV data
- Rebuild print system for the lists/reports [Partially completed - bugs]
- Export data to CSV
- Optional stock items lists ala FSP5 ("Standard" "Luxury" etc) with recommendations, priorities, and adjusted for the modern world.
- Product data submissions
Some additional status is present on some items that are in-process. Most of these, if not all of them, will be done in the next month or two. These will be prioritized before any of the potentials below. There is no fixed schedule for releases or for the work to actually be complete.
The Unseen Trail
There are other features we are uncertain of how users feel about them. We'll make a feedback form to address this and obtain user feedback [Link Pending]. Priorities will depend on user feedback, please let us know what is important to you!
Currently we do several things to ensure your data isn't compromised. We use strong encryption between your app and our servers. Every communication is encrypted. Nobody can intercept data en route.
You may logout (Settings -> Account -> Logout) if you wish for another device user to not have access to your data. This is not done on sign out for convenience, but the option is there for you.
This leaves the potential issue that we, at Sharp Software, have access to your data. We wouldn't dream of doing anything you haven't specifically authorized with this data. With your data conveniently in the cloud, you will never lose it and we can fix any issues or clear it out or otherwise help you use our system. However, we are also subject to subpoenas and similar requests by law enforcement. There are two options to prevent even us from seeing your data.
1) Encrypt the data in the app
2) Use a "home cloud" instead of our servers
There are advantages and drawbacks to both methods. With the first, the advantage is we can't read the cloud copy of your data and everything still works. It is rather transparent except for your local passphrase. The downside is, if you lose your passphrase we cannot restore your data. We can clear it out for your to start over, but it would be locked away and unreadable by us. Your pass phrase would need to be entered into every device that you wish to have access to your pantry.
With the second, the data would potentially never even be on our servers (unless you choose an online backup). You would own the whole stack from top to bottom. It additionally has the feature that even if your internet service provider goes down, or there is regional or total outages, the inter-app sync feature would still work. The downside is, this would be a separate product with a separate, potentially higher, cost. The schedule to produce this item is longer.
Currently we are primarily a Web App, or sometimes called a Progressive Web App (PWA). This is a relatively new standard that installs to a native like experience on most devices. This is discussed in greater detail in our previous post on the topic. So, while this is a great way to produce a system that is widely usable and convenient, it has some drawbacks.
iOS is the first culprit (iPhones, iPads). As a Web App there are two known drawbacks. iOS can purge the data whenever it feels like it to free up space. iOS subsequently assumes that the assets can be refreshed from the network if you click on the icon. This makes for a very poor offline experience, in good times you may not even notice and the only sign is a slow startup. In bad times, this is unacceptable as both the app and the pantry could potentially be gone. This app is built for those bad times. The other is merely inconvenient, as a Web App it won't save the camera permissions and you have to click "allow" ever time you load the app and use the scanner or camera. Annoying high-friction user experiences are undesirable.
We plan to build an Apple App Store iOS app to remedy these shortcomings, but requires investment in equipment and licensing above our current budget.
There are no other major platforms with significant drawbacks that we are aware of. You have to have a PWA capable browser to install on the Desktop (Windows, OS X, Linux). We recommend Brave as a privacy focused browser with full PWA support.
We can do a native Android which would principally allow for install through the Google Play Store rather than our website. The experience would be, as far as we can tell, identical to the standard Web App install. Launch would likely be slightly slower and won't be updated as frequently as the PWA.
FSP5 had a recipe viewer. FSP6 took this a step further and integrated it into the pantry, allowing for items to be removed and recipe recommendations based on items that should be rotated. These are nice-to-haves, and we will likely implement it into the new system when we have bandwidth to do so.
How-to and other informational items
It's on our radar to curate some content for distribution through the app or on our site. It will primarily be along the lines of how to store, prepare, and eat food. But there are many other tangentially related topics. Gardening, Emergency supply packs and lists.
Paper based management systems
We could produce companion print outs to assist in checking food into and out of the pantry so a device isn't needed at these touch points. Then the papers could be collected and input into the pantry when the user wishes to do so.
Do you have a great idea you think would work? Please let us know.