Skip to content

Warning: losing data when upgrading to iOS 5.1

I’ve received reports from several Troop Badges and Pack Badges users that after upgrading to iOS 5.1 the data is missing from the apps.

To those impacted by this, I am very sorry. I know how frustrating losing data like this can be. I’ll try to find a way to help you recover the lost data, but I don’t know if it will be possible. I do have a feature in the works that will allow importing completed award data from the official Internet Advancement application.

My top priority is to get an updated version out that will let you export and import your data. I hope to have it to Apple this weekend. This will also let you sync between devices. The update will also include the new merit badges for Troop Badges, but most of the other enhancements in progress are not yet ready for prime time.

In the mean time, please warn other users of the apps about the risk, and encourage them to wait on the iOS 5.1 upgrade and/or email the CSV data for each scout to themselves to be imported again later. (Menu | Spreadsheet Data Export | Send – choose your email address and send the email, then repeat for each scout). See below for a more complete backup option.

If you are technically inclined (or have a friend who is), you can also back up the data using the freeware iExplorer app from (download either the PC or Mac version). Connect your device via USB and run iExplorer. In iExplorer, navigate into your phone name/Apps/TroopBadges (or PackBadges)/Library/WebKit, then drag the ‘Databases’ folder to your desktop or another folder on your computer. If you’re already on iOS 5.1, the Databases directory is in Library/Caches.

I believe iOS 5.1 may be deleting the data when the device’s storage is full. If you have updated to 5.1 and have not lost data, I’d like to hear about it, and please backup your data and be careful not to fill your device completely.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Workaround: App stops responding on iOS 5

Several scouters have contacted me about an issue where the Badges apps appear to freeze or start ignoring clicks when trying to enter dates.

The workaround is to always close the keyboard by pressing Return or Done before moving to the next date field.

Also, if an app is not responding, you can close it via Apple’s task management: press [Home], then double-press [Home] to pull up recent apps, then tap-and-hold the app’s recent-apps icon, touch the [x] to force close it, then restart the app as usual.

The much-delayed next version will use resolve this issue by using the iOS spinning date selector.

I’ve redone way too much of the UI in this next version. I apologize that it’s taking this long. I should have just released a content update & then continued with the UI rework…


Posted in Uncategorized.

Finally, an update

In the first sign of new life in far too long, I’ve submitted a new app to the Apple/iOS app store. Square Knot Badges is a free app with the requirements for and images of the BSA “square knot” awards. It was the final item for my WoodBadge ticket, so my “discretionary scouting time” is now available for more improvements to the Troop Badges and Pack Badges apps.

My plan is to get updates out for Pack Badges and Troop Badges in the next couple of weeks (shooting for before Christmas). These should resolve issues with iOS 5 and backups, include some content updates (such as the National Outdoor Awards and Chess and Robotics Merit Badges), and some minor functionality updates (such as date entry). Web access will probably have to wait until after Christmas.

Sorry for the long hiatus – my full-time job has been all-consuming this year (a change of position a week after my last post ate up all my free time, and then some), but I’ve got a better work time structure now.

After I get those updates out, I’ll work to catch up on the backlog of emails and comments that have been building up.

Thanks so much for your patience and support!


Posted in iPhone.

Quick update

My apologies for the lack of updates recently – in February and March I got swamped with my full-time employment.

The badges apps are moving faster again, moving forward with syncing between devices and web access to advancement datad, and managing more profile information for each scout.

New Robotics Merit Badge. HandyApp is not affiliated with BSA.The next release of Troop Badges will also include tracking for the brand-new Robotics merit badge, Order of the Arrow, and the National Outdoor awards (which I should have released months ago!). It will also do some auto-filling of merit badges into the various requirements for rank advancements and so forth. Pack Badges adds the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity award and separate tracking for belt loops and pins.

I’m still defining enhancements for managing advancement for a group of boys. I agree with the requests for more high-level overviews, such as being able to see status for all scouts on a badge, and to see a scout’s status for all badges. The badges-to-be-awarded & shopping lists are also a great idea. And yes, the navigation for viewing/updating for multiple boys needs work (one reviewer called it “jarring”, which made me laugh and cringe at the same time). The evolution from supporting just one boy to supporting multiple boys is still way too much in evidence. Suggestions on formats and content of these views and the nav structure is welcome.

Thank you so much for your excitement about these applications – they started out as scratching my own itch, and it’s really exciting and motivating to me to see how they are helping you in your Scouting! I really appreciate the good reviews and great suggestions you’ve given (I even appreciate the bad reviews with great suggestions, but those don’t feel quite as good…)

Now to get them all implemented!

Happy Scouting!

Posted in Uncategorized.

TroopBadges updated with 2011 requirements changes

Troop Badges Premier Edition icon

Troop Badges Premier is now updated with the requirements changes for 2011 (as described in Scouting Magazine)

Due to technical difficulties, the Personal Edition (My Badges) is not yet updated with the 2011 requirements changes. The changes are currently waiting on Apple AppStore approval, and will hopefully be available in a day or two. The Troop Badges Premier update was approved by Apple in under 24 hours. Fastest…turnaround…ever!

The current update includes:

  • 2011 requirements updates for Astronomy, Horsemanship, and Nuclear Science Merit Badges, and minor updates to Archery, Sports, and the Life rank
  • National Medal for Outdoor Achievement and National Outdoor Awards
  • Official Geocaching Merit Badge image

I’m also working on some major new functionality to hopefully be available in a few weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized. Tagged with , .

Pack Badges is now available for iPhone and iPad!

My Pack Badges requirements tracking application for Cub Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America is now available in the iPhone/iPad AppStore!

Please take a look at the app and give me feedback! You can also see screenshots and more information here on my site.

(And Apple’s review process only took four days – nice!)


Posted in iPhone, iPhone Developer Program.

Busy time…

I’ve done some updates to the badges applications – adding the additional special awards, etc., but this summer has been hectic – especially the last two weeks, as I hiked Kings Peak (highest point in Utah!) with my son and his Varsity Team, then took the family to WoodBadge (with Family Odyssey – a new family program for the family while one parent goes to WoodBadge – excellent program!)

I’ve got a few more fun things in mind for the apps, and for some new apps to come…


Posted in Uncategorized.

Made it!

My iPhone development is officially no longer a money-losing hobby. I’ve earned enough on the App Store to cover my investment! (I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to reach ZERO dollars!)

On April 28th, I also received my first payment from Apple – for sales in February and March. (As I recall, Apple gives itself six weeks after the close of the month, so it came a little faster than I expected!).

First order of business with the payment is to take my very patient wife to dinner…

I’m also working on adding two very frequently requested features to the Troop Badges application: individual requirement tracking, and tracking for multiple scouts.

Then we can start thinking about investing more – the application and up-front fee to get BSA to decide whether I can publish the Guide to Safe Scouting application again, porting Troop Badges to other platforms, fwdMail development for iPad, and other application development.

Thanks so much for your excitement about the apps! I really appreciate it…

Posted in iPhone, iPhone Developer Program.

Halfway there

I’ve passed the halfway point in paying off my expenses incurred for iphone development ($660)!

However, that is before taxes and tithing… And I haven’t really been paid anything by Apple yet (45 days after the end of the month you hit $150). And Apple says that the daily sales reports should only be used to evaluate trends, not as financial statements of any kind…

Oh, and I’m already wondering about iPad development.

And of course, my “hourly wage” for this development is still negative…

Maybe I shouldn’t spend $500 for an iPad just yet, hmm?

Posted in iPhone, iPhone Developer Program.

Sales progress update

When I first registered with the iPhone Development program, I mentioned I had invested about $1000 between developer program registration, books, Macbook, business license, etc., and that I’d give updates as I reached various milestones.

Well, I have two apps “live” in the AppStore now, and have sold about $65 over the last 5 days. So, on my original milestones list:

  • First app published (done)
  • First sale (done, with each application, the first day it was available)
  • First compensation from Apple (OK, this won’t happen until 45 days after the end of the month in which I reach at least $150 in accumulated sales. I expect to reach that before the end of March, so I should get my first deposit from Apple by May 15th)
  • Pay for the iPhone development book I bought ($25) (done)
  • Take my very patient wife to dinner ($50) (have reached $50, but haven’t reached the accumulated $75 including that book. Hopefully by tomorrow…)

Still anticipating the following, updated slightly:

  • Pay for the cost of Developer program registration ($99). For two years, now ($198)
  • Pay the cost of business registration and “doing business as” name registration, 2 years, now $79
  • Pay Wells Fargo for my business account $6/month ($72)
  • Pay for my iPhone ($230 – used, with a cracked screen)
  • Pay for my MacBook ($600 used) and larger hard drive ($60)
  • Be self-employed (significant, ??? sustainable incomeā€¦)
  • Still got a ways to go.

Posted in iPhone, iPhone Developer Program.