This feature-packed release of Basecamp for iPhone and iPad is available in the App Store today. Here’s a look at what’s new.
Improved attachments and sketching
It all starts with a redesigned file picker. Tap the paperclip button anywhere in Basecamp to see clear buttons for each kind of thing you can attach. They’re all first-class — especially Sketch which got a big boost in this release. Now, before you upload an image to Basecamp you’ll have the option to draw on it first. It’s great for highlighting and making notes — or just having fun.
In addition to sketching on images, we’ve also beefed-up the drawing tools. You can now choose the from 3 line weights and 5 colors to add variety and interest to your sketches. Also new: save your Basecamp sketches or share them to other apps.
Drag and Drop Files on iPad
One of the coolest new features on iOS 11 is drag and drop and it’s now supported in Basecamp. You can now select one (or more) images from the Photos app, for example, and simply drop them into Basecamp! Here’s how it looks:
Awhile back, inviting people to your projects got easier with the introduction of special links you could send to people that would automatically invite them to the project — no need to enter their name and email. On iOS we took that a step further. With one tap you can now share the URL with others via Messages, Email, Airdrop — or any other apps you use on iOS. It’s the easiest way to get people into your projects yet!
iOS 11 updates
Finally this release includes several fixes and improvements for iOS 11. The most notable one is for people who were unable to upload images to Basecamp because they were using iOS 11’s new space-saving HEIC format. Now when you upload an HEIC image, Basecamp will automatically convert it to a compatible format (jpg). It all happens automatically and behind-the-scenes so you won’t have to do a thing—it just works!
That’s all for now. We’re cooking up more for the next release. Stay tuned!
As always, please keep your suggestions, feedback, and bug reports coming our way. We’ve got some neat stuff coming in the next version so if you’re interesting in seeing it before everyone else, we have a few openings in our private beta. Send us an email and we’ll invite you.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve told you about what we’ve been working on in Basecamp 3. The entire team has been plugging away at making it the best it can be. Here’s the latest features available for all Basecamp 3 accounts:
Before, searching in Basecamp was a bit like making your bed with a cat around. Yes, the job will get done, but it probably could have been faster and your assistant wasn’t as helpful as it thought it was. Today, we announce the new search feature in Basecamp 3, faster and better than ever! This is a huge update to our search feature, brought to you by designer Conor and programmer Pratik.
Now you don’t have to go to a separate page to search. Click ‘Find’ in your toolbar and you’ll see our new search tool, right in place. You can filter by type of item, who posted it and the project or team it’s in. Basecamp will start displaying your results right away. You can also filter away Pings and Campfires, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.
You can see the new searching feature in action below. Sometimes support has to share whitelisting information with customers who have tighter security at their company. In this example, I just searched for whitelist and filtered by Documents and our support’s project.
Applause for To-do Completions
Applause is a lovely feature that was previously only available for individual items like comments, messages, and documents. Basecamp designer Kris and programmers Jeffrey and Flora have now brought Applause to to-do completions. Now, when someone completes a to-do, you can let them know you appreciate their hard work by giving them applause.
That applause will also appear in their Applause Report, every morning around 9am.
Filter Messages By Category
By popular demand, Kris and Flora also brought us filtering messages by category. Now when you’re viewing messages in your teams or projects, you can narrow them down by category.
Until next time!
That’s it for now. The whole team is working on great ideas as always, and we’d love to hear what you think about the new features. You can contact us on Twitter or share your thoughts via our Support form.
The Android Team has been on a roll, steadily improving the Basecamp 3 app these past few months. We’ve even added some new features specifically for Android 8.0 Oreo devices. Here’s a summary of all the good stuff we’ve added since summer.
Vastly improved image, media, and document handling
Easier to share links, text, images, and more from other apps and across Basecamp
Automatic links to invite people to your Projects and Teams
The ability to sign-up for a new account with a 30-day free trial
Introducing the new File Browser.
A brand new File Browser shows you a gallery view of the last 100 images, videos, and GIFs stored on your device. Tap a thumbnail in the gallery to attach a file to a comment, check-in answer, Campfire, or Ping.
With the Sketch tool you can draw on and annotate images. This is particularly handy if you need to add notes to a screenshot. You can even give the file a more descriptive name before uploading the drawing to Basecamp.
The Sketch tool can also be used to create a standalone drawing. Draw a diagram using up to 4 colors. Make a mistake? No worries, you can undo multiple times. A copy of your sketch is also saved in your device’s photo gallery.
Camera and Video Tools
You can now directly access your device’s built-in camera from the app. Capture your surroundings with the Camera tool. Or record an update for your team with the Video tool.
The Browse tool integrates with your device’s file browser. You can access PDFs from Dropbox, spreadsheets from Google Drive, photos from Google Photos, etc. Your preferred cloud storage service will be at your fingertips.
Look back at a discussion
Now you can look back at the discussion as you’re adding a comment. Start writing—flip back to reference the original Message—then continue writing.
See an overview of your upcoming events in My Schedule. This lists all the events you’re involved in across all Projects and Teams in Basecamp.
Invite your team with a text
Get people working with you in Basecamp by sharing an invite via Messenger, WhatsApp, Email, etc.
Post to a Ping
Send files, YouTube videos, Tweets, websites and more directly to your Ping conversations.
Improved media file handling.
Inline PDF viewer
Tired of downloading PDFs then searching for them in your Downloads folder just to read them? Now you can open and read your PDFs directly inside of Basecamp. Pan, zoom, and swipe through multi-page documents.
Note: password-protected PDFs must be downloaded to preserve security.
New audio file support
Previously our Media player only supported videos. You had to download audio files to your device to listen to them. Now you can listen to audio files such as MP3s, AIFs, and WAVs directly in the Media player.
GIFs in Campfires and Pings
Hooray! We added GIF browsing and searching to Campfires and Pings! A favorite feature of ours: perfect for those times when a reaction GIF is needed.
Additionally you can now change your profile picture and company logo (admins only) in the app.
Updated for Android O.
Support for Android 8.0 Oreo is complete with under the hood optimizations, a new adaptive icon, and finer control over Basecamp notifications. Turn off specific notifications, and set custom sounds for others. Lucky to have Android O on your device? Long-press the app icon to access the Quick Add menu. This new notification control is in App Settings (the “i” icon).
No Basecamp? No worries.
Create a new Basecamp account right from the login screen
Sign up for a 30-day free trial right after you install the app. Setting up a new company account on Android also gives your team access to Basecamp on the web, iOS, as well as on Mac and Windows computers.
🍂 Fall is here, there’s a new version of iOS, and with it comes a new release to Basecamp for iPhone and iPad. It’s available in the App Store today. Here’s a brief look at what’s new:
Quick jump is one of our favorite new things in Basecamp this year and we’re excited to bring it to iOS. It works exactly like the desktop version, especially on iPads with a keyboard attached (either 3rd party keyboards or iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard). Command + J to start. Arrow up/down. Enter to select. Type to filter. It’s just the same.
It’s also available on as an experimental feature on iPhone.That’s an atypical approach for us so let me explain. As of today you can quick jump by swiping from the top edge of your iOS device with two fingers. It works pretty well but the gesture makes this feature hard to find on your own, it can be difficult to execute reliably, it gets overridden by a system gesture used by iOS’s Voice Over, and until we hold one in our hands, we’re unsure how well this gesture will hold up on the iPhone X.
That said we’ve been using it internally for weeks so we know it’s useful. Rather than hold it back until we have a better idea, until we get it perfect, we made the decision to ship it and see how it fares in the wild. To be successful this feature needs to be quickly and easily available anywhere you are in the app and today the best means to accomplish that is with a gesture which can be triggered anytime. We hope with daily use and your feedback, new solutions will present themselves. We’ll continue to evaluate and evolve in upcoming releases.
Rich text editing
In our previous release we added support for the new rich Color tool. This time we’ve kept pace by adding support for the new Horizontal Rule tool. We also reversed our decision to match the Basecamp desktop and remove the indent/outdent tools. While normally it makes sense to offer the same tools on all platforms, it’s the tab key that made indent/outdent expendable on desktop. Without a tab key on iOS (unless you have an external keyboard) we left users with no way to indent. This update brings them back.
In addition to command + J to quick jump we’ve added shortcuts for quickly opening the Home, Hey!, Activity and Find tabs on iPad.
Finally we included a few fixes for issues with iOS 11.
As always, please keep your suggestions, feedback, and found bugs coming our way. We’ve got some neat stuff coming in the next version so if you’re interesting in seeing them before everyone else, we have a few openings in our private beta. Send us an email for details.
We’ve writtenquiteabit in the past about our approach to building hybrid mobile apps. Basecamp 3 represents the latest generation of this architecture, taking everything we’ve learned from previous versions.
The first app for Basecamp 2 app was iPhone only, written in RubyMotion as a thin wrapper around UIWebView. Next, we did a new universal app for Basecamp 2, written in Xcode + Objective-C, still a using UIWebView, but with a bit more native code thrown in. For Basecamp 3, we’ve replaced Objective-C with Swift, UIWebView with WKWebView and added Turbolinks, with even more native code, and a deeper integration between native and web.
First, it helps to be clear about what we mean by “hybrid”. That term is used in so many different contexts, that it’s almost meaningless. In our use, we’re referring to standard native apps where a significant portion of the content is rendered using web technology. I explicitly say content there because it is an important distinction. We’re not using a framework that attempts to mimic native controls using HTML/CSS. We’re not using a framework that tries to compile another language to native code, or make a cross-platform app from a single codebase.
For us, it means using Xcode + Swift, and conforming to all the platforms conventions regarding navigation/presentation. The building blocks of our app are composed of UINavigationController, UITabViewController, UISplitViewController, UIViewController, etc. Within those containers, we have many screens where the content is built using UITableView or UICollectionView, we have even more where that role is filled by a WKWebView.
Under the hood
Basecamp 3 for iOS is written 100% in Swift 3.1 (soon to be 4), using the latest version of Xcode. We only have a few dependencies, but the ones we do have we manage with Carthage. The core library for enabling this hybrid architecture is Turbolinks. We use Turbolinks on the web, and our companion frameworks for iOS and Android let us use it in our native apps as well. The framework handles communicating with Turbolinks.js and allowing the use of a single WKWebView, shared across multiple different screens.
Router/Navigator In addition to Turbolinks, we have a number of other components to support it. Most of our navigation in the iOS app is URL-driven. A url can come from a number of sources (web link, push notification, universal link from another app, native action, etc), and they all go through the Router. This router is responsible for figuring out exactly what action to take for a given url. The router may open the url in Safari if it’s for another domain, display a media viewer if it’s an image/video, or in the common case, create a new view controller to display. The router hands off a view controller off to the Navigator which handles the presentation. Most view controllers are pushed on the current navigation stack, but we also support presenting certain screens (like new/edit views) modally, or replacing the current screen when appropriate.
Above is one example of the bridge in action. We use it to hide many elements that are normally displayed on the mobile web that don’t make sense in the app. Since we provide a tab bar for top-level navigation, we don’t need that displayed here. Since we have a navigation controller, we don’t need the breadcrumbs for navigation. Finally, we hide the web edit/bookmark/actions menu and instead provide a native version.
This is easier to visualize what this looks like in practice with a few examples. In the images below, I’ll use a purple overlay to indicate web view, and a green overlay to indicate native UI.
Main Tabs Basecamp 3 for iOS has 4 main tabs (Home, Hey!, Activity, and Find). Each one of these tabs are 100% native. These are the primary points of interaction in the app, and we wanted them to be as fast as possible. We also wanted to provide a different experience from the desktop that we thought made more sense on mobile, such as a unified Hey! for all notifications that also included recent Pings.
Message When you tap a notification in Hey!, say for a new message, then we push a new TurbolinksViewController on the navigation stack:
This is a typical screen where all the content is a web view. Through our bridge, we pulled data out of the page to display in the navigation bar. Similarly, we used data from the DOM to populate a native actions menu popover displayed when you tap the “…” button. Since this dynamic and provided by the page, we can change it server-side at any time. Finally, if you tap the nav bar title, we show a native “tools menu” that provides quick access for navigating around a project.
Campfire We also have screens where the content is a mix of both native and web. This is the case for Campfires:
The main chat content here is web, but we decided to use a native view for the input. This fixes a number of issues with the web input like maintaining the correct position when scrolling, and we can also have better control over things like interactive keyboard dismissal. When typing someone’s name, we use a native mention auto-completer. Tapping the paperclip button shows the attachment picker, which is a native element that we use throughout the app with some nice touches, like quickly picking recently taken photos. All these components can work seamlessly together on the same screen.
Those are just a few examples, but demonstrates the flexibility of this approach. The key to this architecture is that we’re not locked into one method or framework. Native or web isn’t a binary choice, but instead a spectrum:
For each screen of the app, we can adjust where we sit on that spectrum. We can decide a native screen gets little use and isn’t worth the maintenance, so we change it to web. We can decide a web screen isn’t providing the best experience, and convert it to native. We could decide to try React Native and mix that in as well. Whenever Apple releases a new API, we can immediately support it since we’re not depending on a 3rd-party framework to be updated.
One thing we deeply value at Basecamp is independence of teams. If we had to coordinate the development and release of every feature with the web, iOS, and Android teams all working in lockstep, we’d never ship anything. This architecture allows our web team to build a new feature and ship it simultaneously across all platforms. By default, we have a view controller that can display any url in Basecamp 3, so any new urls will just work in the app. We can iterate and experiment on the web, ship immediately on all platforms, and later make it native if feel we can improve the experience.
This also lets us the mobile teams focus on how to best serve the platform. One of our goals is 100% coverage in the mobile apps, you should never have to go to the desktop because the apps don’t support something. With our solid foundation provided by the web, we can deliver on that goal, and then focus our efforts on platform-specific improvements. These include features like rich content push notifications, universal links, hand-off support, iCloud Keychain support, share extension, today widget, and more. Some of those things would be impossible or non-trivial if we didn’t have full native support at our disposal.
Ever since Basecamp 3 launched in 2016, the inside of a project has looked like this, with little cards for jumping between the tools in the project.
That worked well, but there are a couple things that weren’t so great:
It took up a lot of space and visual attention, which meant less space for the work you’re doing.
It didn’t include much information about where you are or what you’re looking at, which can be confusing when you arrive somewhere after clicking on a notification.
Starting today, we’ve made this better! Now you’ll see simple, old school breadcrumbs. Nothing revolutionary here–just very clear.
You’ll know exactly where you are inside a project, and can easily jump back a level or two. Here’s how it looks:
This new navigation helps you focus on your work, and it makes pages load faster too. Now you’ll have consistent way to move around, no matter which tool you’re in — you’ll see breadcrumbs in Messages, To-dos, Docs & Files, and everywhere else inside your projects.
We also kept the ability to jump between tools in a project. Just click the project’s name for a quick menu to hop where you need to go — exactly like our iOS and Android apps.
You’ll see this change right now on the desktop version of Basecamp 3.
We hope you like it. Happy navigating!
I’m a design intern at Basecamp, and this was my first project during the summer. Say hi to me on twitter🙋
Big update today! Starting right now, Basecamp 3 customers will see an entirely new design when they flip over to the Schedule screen in any team, project, or HQ.
The schedule used to look like this…
It was colorful, and it provided a nice overview if you only had a few events, but it quickly got out of hand if you had a lot of events or to-dos mixed in. And when you wanted to get in there and see exactly what was happening next week, or if there was anything on the schedule this Friday, it fell down pretty hard.
So we fixed it. And more!
And here’s the new schedule…
At the top you have a grid showing the current month + the next month. You can page through the months using the arrows top left and right. Every event or to-do that’s due on a given day is represented by a dot. Three events, three dots. If there are no dots, there’s nothing on the schedule for that day. Now you can see gaps and openings and weekly overviews — something that wasn’t possible with the previous design.
Below the grid is a straightforward agenda view. Events are clearly grouped by days (if there’s anything on a given day). And you can jump around the agenda view by clicking around in the calendar above. Want to see what’s happening next Wednesday? One click and it pops right to the top of the agenda view. This was something you couldn’t do before.
Events (or to-dos) that span multiple days are shown in a couple ways. First, if they’re on the current day, they show an “Until” right under the event. And then, they’re shown in light grey at the top of subsequent days. They’re also repeated on every future day so you can get a very direct sense of what’s happening on a given day. You couldn’t see this in the previous design because they were only shown at the top of a month, and not on individual days where the event occurred.
One of the really nice benefits of this is that you can see overlapping long-running events. In the example below, you’ll see Tom is out on sabbatical, and then “SU” starts his sabbatical on the 23rd. Now from June 24th — 30th you’ll see they are both on sabbatical. This was non-obvious in the previous design. Now it’s clear as day.
Here’s another before and after. Before on the left, after on the right…
You’ll notice the previous design (on the left) doesn’t show that KA, JS, AB, and CJ are even out on the 24th— you’d have to go back up to the top of that month to figure that out. Forget to do that, or not even realize you have to, and you’re missing out on important information. This is fixed in the new design.
Lastly, we’ve pulled this design over to two more places: “My Schedule” and the “What’s coming up” report. An example:
Summarizing the improvements on the new schedule design:
Jump to any day to see exactly what’s happening that day. Just click a cell in the grid at the top of the schedule and the agenda below updates instantly with the selected day right at the top.
Now you can see gaps in time. Looking for an empty day to schedule something? Now it just takes a quick glance at the grid at the top to spot openings.
See busy days or weeks at a glance. Lots of dots tells you there’s a lot going on on a specific day or week. Just click into a cell to see exactly what’s up.
See long-running events on every day they occur. You no longer have to scroll back up to earlier in the month to see if there’s something happening on a given day.
Jump back in time using the same interface. Previously, if you wanted to see past events you had to flip to a separate tab called “Looking back”. This wiped the screen clean and listed old events. It was cumbersome to see something that happened yesterday. Now you just navigate using the grid at the top and jump between future days and past days the exact same way.
Plus a variety of smaller improvements, specifically around speed and performance.
One more thing… Now that you have a calendar view up top with dots that represent events, you may be wishing for a way to assign colors to different kinds of events. We agree! While we haven’t built this into this first revision of the schedule, it’s something we’d like to do down the road.
So there you have it. An all-new and improved schedule, available today in your Basecamp 3 account. You’ll see the same design in the iOS and Android apps as well!
We hope you find the new design useful, and thanks again for your continued support.
If you’re a Basecamp customer, thanks so much! And if you aren’t, but you find yourself struggling with messy email chains, overwhelmed by chats and txts, finding stuff slipping through the cracks, and generally feeling like your process is breaking down, it’s time to give Basecamp 3 a shot. It’s free to try.
We’ve been plugging away this summer on a wide variety of improvements on Basecamp 3. While there have been a ton of improvements on the iOS and Android side as well, this post will focus on some of the larger improvements to the web/desktop version.
Need to do some deep work? Go into Focus Mode. This will turn off all notifications, and hide all unread badges.
Color and highlight your text
Lots of requests for this one. Now you can color and highlight your text in messages, automatic check-in answers, comments, to-dos, etc. Basically anywhere you can turn text bold, italic, etc, you can now also color it up.
Quick jump to projects, teams, recently visited pages, and people
Big one. No matter where you are, hit COMMAND-J (Mac) or CONTROL-J (windows) and you’ll pull up the quick switcher. Just start typing to filter down and jump to another project, team, recently visited page (a to-do list, a message, a file/document, etc), your HQ, your assignments, your drafts, or other people.
No more duplicated notifications on @mentions
Prior to this update, if you were @mentioned on a thread where a new message or comment was posted, you might get two notifications: One for the posting itself, and another letting you know you were mentioned in the posting. We’ve collapsed those two notifications into a single one. Now you’ll only get the @mention. This is better.
Automatic titles for Basecamp 3 links
Now, when you copy a Basecamp 3 URL and paste it into a Basecamp 3 message, comment, or document, we’ll automatically link it up using the title of the page as the link text.
There’s a new link on the home page below My Assignments and My Bookmarks called My Schedule. Click on that and you’ll see every upcoming event that you’re associated with.
Bulk to-do move and copy
Major workflow improvement: Now you can shift-select multiple to-dos on a list and move or copy them together to another list.
Added list view to the home page
When we launched Basecamp 3, all teams and projects were shown as cards. We recently pushed an update which allows you to view teams and projects in a list format. You can control teams and projects independently — teams can remain cards while projects can be shown as a list, etc.
Add a personal note to invitations
Now when you invite people to Basecamp, you can include a personal note. It’s a great way to explain why you’re inviting someone, or give them a short introduction to Basecamp itself.
This one’s really useful: Now you can specify what kind of message you’re posting. You’ll see a series of options at the top of the “New Message” screen. If you pick one, the emoji will precede the message subject, making it more obvious from the start what kind of thing you’re publishing.
All-new emoji picker for Campfires and Pings
Just click the little smiley on the right side of the Campfire or Ping text entry box and you’ll see a panel with common emojis you can pop right into your message. You can always use any emoji you’d like — even ones not represented here — but this provides quick access to the most common ones.
Flexible scheduling for Automatic Check-ins
Basecamp 3’s Automatic Check-ins feature has been a game changer for so many of our customers. Automatic Check-ins prompt people, on a regular basis, to share specific kinds of information. Things like “What did you work on today?” “What are you planning on working on this week?” “How do you think this project is going so far?” “What’s inspired you lately?” etc. Originally we only provided a few recurring options — every Monday, every Friday, every other week, etc. But with this update you have far more flexibility in how often they’re asked, and when.
…And many more subtle tweaks, adjustments, and improvements.
Every day we’re improving Basecamp 3, and every 6–8 weeks we tend to ship significant improvements. We’re working on some great stuff now — we look forward to rolling it out when it’s ready.
If you’re a customer, thanks so much! And if you aren’t, but you find yourself struggling with messy email chains, overwhelmed by chats and txts, finding stuff slipping through the cracks, and generally feeling like your process is falling apart, it’s time to give Basecamp 3 a shot. It’s free to try, and there are no limits during your 30 day trial.
Summer brings 4 day work weeks at Basecamp, but that doesn’t mean the Android team takes a break. They just launched a new version of Basecamp 3 for Android, with an updated file browser to make attaching files to your Basecamp faster and easier.
With the new file browser, you can attach an image directly from the camera (Android 5 and above), or file from Dropbox or Google Drive:
Check out the new camera and file picking features in action:
Get it Today!
Basecamp 3 for Android 3.5.4 with the new file browsing and uploading is available today in the Google Play Store. The new file browsing feature is available in Android 4.4 and above (the camera option is in Android 5.0 and above only). Try it out and leave Jay, Dan and Jamie a review in the Play Store.
You know that with the Android app getting updated so recently, that an update to the iOS app was not far behind. In fact, the iOS team (Jason Z, Tara, Dylan and Zach) launched the latest version last week! It’s got a sweet set of new features I’m excited to share with you.
Hey! Who Moved My Pings?
In previous versions of the app, Pings were a little harder to find and challenging to start. Now Pings are smartly located in the Hey section, right at the top. You’ll see a row of avatars for your most recent pings. You can quickly start a new one or swipe through previous Pings.
You can also quick swipe on items in the Hey menu to mark them as read:
Docs and Files List View
The team also added a list view for Docs & Files, with new file icons, smoother re-ordering, tap to preview images, and swipe to move and archive.
These updates, along with a batch of the usual speed enhancement fixes, have made the iOS app better than ever! You can get the latest version of Basecamp for iPhone and iPad on the App store. If you like it, please leave a review! If you don’t have Basecamp 3 yet, get started with a 30 day free trial now.