We've made some improvements to the text tool. We now support languages other than English. You can now use accents and special characters in what you type and enter into your text box editor and it will display properly on the middlespot desktop.
Updates To The Text Tool
We've implemented chat support to help you get the most out of middlespot. Let us know how we can help you out.
UI update and Inline Google Docs
We've made some updates, based on how user's work with their desktop content. The biggest change is how your desktop handles new and existing docs, spreadsheets and presentations.
In the Add/Edit mode, we've moved the new document button to be the second button. Tapping on it will allow you to create a new doc, sheet, or presentation on your desktop. This will display a blank page on your desktop which is your new file. Double tap on that file and it will open in a new slide out window with full editing capabilities.
This makes it much faster to work with new or existing documents on your desktop. You can still open the documents in a new tab from the button in the top corner of the slide out window.
We've also cleaned up the UI further, reducing a few more buttons and subduing the color scheme even more to keep the focus on your desktop content.
As always, we appreciate feedback and any feature suggestions you would like to see.
We've added a whole bunch of new stickers to our library. Add these to your desktop to highlight and draw attention to specific content. Or use them on a desktop you contribute to as a way to show your input.
You'll find them in the sticker button under the add toolbar.
you can select from over 100 new stickers. Check out this public desktop showcasing all of the stickers available on middlespot.
Stickers can be resized, rotated, and layered on your desktop.
We also added 8 new desktop backgrounds you can use as well. You'll find backgrounds in the settings menu of your desktop.
New Invite Process and UI Improvements
We've been working very hard over the last three months on a number of new features. These include a new invitation process for both public and private desktops, new security features to protect your data and privacy, and improved UI to make accessing and using the features of your desktop more intuitive.
A big effort was made on our new and improved workflow for inviting others to become a follower or a contributor to desktops. Because security and privacy is our highest concern, this has been done with a dedicated focus to ensuring only those you want to give access are those who get access to your desktop.
To invite a person to your public or private desktop, simply tap the INVITE button found in the bottom left corner of your desktop or tap the INVITE button found in the FOLLOWERS button on your desktop control panel. Invites can only be sent by the owner of a desktop.
PUBLIC DESKTOP INVITES
Since public desktops are by their nature accessible to everyone, we don't require a stringent validation system. You can send an email to the person you'd like to view your desktop from the invite tool or simply share the URL of your desktop. The person can then open your desktop, and if they choose, tap the heart button to start following this desktop. Anyone can view a public desktop, even if they do not have an account with middlespot.
PRIVATE DESKTOP INVITES
A private desktop requires a more robust validation system to ensure that only the people you invite are able to access your desktop. Any invitee to a private desktop will require a middlespot account. This is so we can validate their permissions to access and possibly contribute to your desktop.
As the owner, you can send an invite to any email address. The invitee has the possibility of getting one of two messages: A request to sign up to view your desktop if the email address is not a recognized middlespot account, a request to open the desktop if they are an existing middlespot account.
If the email you send to isn't a google account, the invitee will be asked to use their google account to sign in. You will also be required to provide a challenge question that only you and the invitee will know. This ensures that any emails that are intercepted can't be used to gain access to your desktop.
We will automatically associate the email you sent to the invitee with their google email address. You will be notified of the new email address the person used and will need to approve their access. We'll notify you in email when approvals are pending on your desktop.
Anyone who can follow a desktop can also see who else follows, contributes and owns the desktop. They do not see email addresses, only the public name of the person as represented in their Google account they used to sign in.
Your data is your own. We take this very seriously around people's desktops. It's the reason we chose to use Google accounts as your only way to access your desktop. Even we cannot view the contents of a private desktop without the owner's inviting us. We only ask for permissions from you that Google requires to access their services. We have staggered the request process so we only ask for what is absolutely necessary to use the features you require on middlespot.
We've made a number of improvements to make middlespot more accessible and intuitive. These improvements include:
- Cleaned up the desktop name and url displays in the top left corner of your desktop.
- Moved the desktop/google drive sync button into the desktop name display.
- Added the search button to my desktops menu.
- Improved the help screens to make them more accurate to what you are currently viewing on the desktop.
- Improved the onboarding screens to explain middlespot a bit more clearly and give you an obvious next step to take.
- Improved the notes and to do list notebook in the bottom right corner of your desktop.
- Reduced the number of buttons on the mainscreen.
- Moved the custom background into the desktop settings menu.
- Moved the new desktop button into the my desktops menu.
We continue to improve middlespot and are excited for the release of some new, upcoming features which include:
- New screen capture options for weblinks that are behind firewalls.
- New tool to place a desktop on an existing desktop and have it open in a new slide out modal and in a new window.
- Breadcrumb tool to navigate back to other desktops you opened earlier.
- Passwords for public desktops.
- New stickers and icons to add to your desktop.
As always, please let us know what features you'd like to see and how we could keep making middlespot useful for accessing your most important resources everyday.
Some UI updates
We've made some updates to the interface of middlespot to reduce the amount of buttons and make the focus more on your content.
The following changes have been made:
New Desktop Icon and Create Desktop Moved
The desktop icon has been changed to an actual desk and the create a new desktop has been moved into the desktop folder. This reduced the number of icons on your interface by one. Also, since creating a desktop is not something done all the time, it makes it less distracting by moving it into your desktops menu.
Google Drive Sync Button Moved To Control Panel
We've moved the sync button from under the title and URL of the desktop to the control panel toolbar along the left of the interface. This makes it more integrated with the tools that affect the desktop you have open.
Desktop Background Button Moved To Settings
Since you don't update your desktop background very often, we figured it would be better placed in your settings menu, instead of an additional distraction in your primary desktop control panel.
We removed the about button from the information buttons in the bottom left corner. It is now found as a secondary button in the help screens. Its just another opportunity to remove another secondary button from the desktop interface.
You can now search your current desktop, all your desktops, and public desktops made on middlespot. Your keyword search will discover content in files, weblinks, notes, to dos, and text. Here's how it works:
Tap the search icon in the desktop navigation bar along the bottom.
This will open the window for you to enter your search keywords.
Your results will be displayed in a scrolling list down the screen.
You select if you'd like to search your current desktop or all desktops you own and follow.
You can select any search result and view it on the desktop or open the original file directly in your browser.
We hope you find this new feature useful to your productivity.
Log in permissions and a new center for your desktop
We're releasing two new updates:
- Graduated permission access to your google account.
- A new desktop center marker which will default as your desktop center.
Now, when you first sign into middlespot using your google account, we will only ask for the bare minimum of access to your google services. As you start using more features of middlespot, only when we absolutely need to will we request additional access, and explain to you why its necessary.
Level 1: Signing up
We use google single sign on to create your account on middlespot. We do this so that you can use the email and password you most likely use everyday for accessing your google docs, google drive, gmail, and more from Google. It also means we don't have to worry about passwords and recovering passwords as you do all that from Google.
Level of Access: Basic Account Info
Middlespot has access to basic data from your account, like your name, email, gender, or country. With this level of permission, you can create, manage and share multiple public and private desktops on middlespot. You can also add weblinks, bookmarks (if you have installed the middlespot chrome extension), plugins, stickers, and text. You will need to give us additional permissions if you want to add files, docs, images, videos and create new docs, spreadsheets, or presentations.
Level 2: Google Drive File Access
We use your Google Drive Account to store your images, docs, files, videos, and audio files. We do this because your Google Drive is highly secure and very fast. It means we don't have to store your files on our servers, meaning we can keep offering middlespot at a very low cost. It also means we are less susceptible to hacking since none of your files are on our servers. A hacker would need to hack Google to get your content.
You will be asked to provide this permission when you add a file to your desktop from the add tools or dragging and dropping a file onto your desktop.
Level of Access: View and manage Google Drive files and folders that you have opened or created with this app. View and manage Google Drive files and folders that you have opened or created with middlespot.
Level 3: Google Drive Access
We require full access to your Google Drive Folder when you use the following two features on middlespot: Creating a desktop from an existing Google Drive Folder, and, Syncing files that were added to your Google Drive Folder with your middlespot desktop.
Level of Access: View and manage the files in your entire Google Drive.
Learn more about these new permissions here. http://middlespot.helpscoutdocs.com/article/61-google-permissions
New Center Desktop Marker
Now, when you start a new desktop, you will see a new marker appear in the very center. This marker is a waypoint for you to use to set where your desktop will automatically load when opened. It is also where your desktop will navigate to if you click the center button in the navigation tools along the bottom.
To do this, enter edit mode, select the center marker with your finger or mouse pointer, then drag it to any location on your desktop.
This new location will become the default center of your desktop.
Create New Desktops from your Google Drive Folder
This is a pretty fun update. Now you can make a new desktop and use the files in one of your google drive folders to prepopulate that desktop. So any folder you have will automatically be displayed in your middlespot desktop.
To do this, tap the new desktop button and select Google Drive. Then give it a title and select a privacy setting (choosing public will make that particular google drive folder public as well).
We'll automatically create thumbnails of all your files in this drive folder and lay them out in a grid. You can then rearrange them how best suits you. Also, any sub folders will also be displayed, and when tapped to open, will trigger a new tab and display that folder.
Any content you drop onto this new desktop will automatically be placed in that Google Drive folder as well. This folder will not be moved and will exist outside the middlespot folder found in your Google Drive.
Syncing, Notebook, Notes, and To Dos
We've added some very helpful new features to middlespot that will improve your productivity: sync, notes and todos.
You can now sync your desktop with your middlespot folder on your google drive. Tap the sync button under your desktop title and info box and any files or content you've added to your google desktop folder on drive will automatically be added and displayed on your desktop here. The content will be placed in the middle of your desktop for you to arrange where it makes most sense to you.
Also, if you delete a file from your google drive desktop folder, it will be removed from your middlespot desktop as well.
To sync your desktop with your drive desktop folder, just click the sync button.
I always have a notebook on my desk to jot down stuff as I'm working throughout the day. I really wanted this on my middlespot desktop, somewhere I could have a list of notes and to do task easily accessible. So we built the notebook, a tool dedicated to your desktop.
Notes gives you the ability to create, manage, order, and delete notes to yourself or for those who view your desktop. Only you, the owner, and contributors can add, manage, and delete notes to a desktop.
When you add a new note, it appears at the top of your notes list. You can drag it around to rearrange it.
To do lists are something that help me accomplish my job. It's another thing I like to have close by on my desk that I usually do with sticky notes. So we built a very simple and effective to do capability right into your middlespot desktop. Add a to do and give it a priority color code. The to do will appear at the top of your list of to dos. You can drag to rearrange it within your list of other to dos to also help manage your priorities.
You can edit existing to dos to change what they say and their priority color and even rearrange the order. The number of to dos will always be indicated on the notebook button.
On shared desktops, both notes and to dos are visible to anyone who has access to the desktop. This allows you to keep others aware of what you are working on and your thoughts around the content on your desktop. If you have added collaborators to your desktop, they can also add, edit, and delete notes and to dos on the desktop.
We hope you enjoy these updates, they've been very fun to make and we use them daily here in the office ourselves.