There have been a large number of changes to The Hub over the last few months and now that I've caught up on a lot of the coding, it's good to take stock and list the major changes there have been to the apps since the last update.

New Fact Check Areas

Brexit remains a very strong argument for Scottish Independence. As we have seen over the last few months with a shortage of lorry drivers causing a shortage of food in shops, leaving the EU has impacted us far more severely than we were told it would. The Brexit section of the Fact Check area concentrated more on the lead-up to Brexit and I felt there was no point going over those same arguments (things like the Withdrawal Agreement for example).

So Brexit has been replaced by other areas such as Food Security (something that Brexit has shone a light on) and Defence (what would defence look like in an independent Scotland, the folly of Nuclear weapons and ensuring we remove them, the supposed "risk" to defence jobs independence would bring).

Revamped Messages Area (*Android only)

The web and iOS versions of The Hub have a custom made messages area, coded by myself. However the Android version uses a third-party plugin to generate the view that we all see when we are messaging someone. This plugin is no longer maintained and so I coded the messages area from the ground-up, improving on how it works and how it looks (you can now tap a members avatar to view their profile, for example). All messages sent previously have been retained.

Improved image uploading & ratio sizes

The Hub now handles image uploading better across all devices and ensures that images maintain their aspect ratio on screen. Previously, some images were ever so slightly "squashed" to make them fit into their areas. Standard aspect ratios are now used throughout all apps: 16:9 for event image uploads, 3:1 for group/member header images. All other attachments to posts now show in their natural aspect ratio (instead of 16:9 as we had previously).

Add an event end date

This sounds like such a silly update, like the ability to add an end date to event should have already existed. However, The Hub is a platform for Scottish Independence and the assumption is that almost ALL events would be hustings, marches, zoom meetings etc. and so would only last a few hours. This is true, but I have noticed some events on The Hub span multiple days (like party conferences, or workshops). The Hub now caters for these and if an event spans over a few days it'll show the end date in the app.

Dark Mode (*Android only)

Something that has been requested many, many, MANY times is Dark Mode and it is finally here, although only on Android (for now). I spent a bit of time consolidating colours (and tweaking many of them) so the Light/Dark themes work as well as they could and I hope everyone is pleased with the result. To activate, simply head to your device settings (usually under Display) you should see an option for Dark Mode. The Hub will automatically change once you have selected it.

Tweaks to embed scripts

I'm very proud that The Hub does many things that others do not. One of those is providing a couple of lines of codes anyone can copy/paste to show The Hub's information pre-formatted for you. The Hub will then update it for you. The code to embed Livestreams has been tweaked slightly so you now have the option of showing streams by grassroots only, filtering out things from groups such as Tax Research UK for example.

As ever, if anyone has ideas on how to improve The Hub, drop me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

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