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The iOS App for every ice skater

Overview

If you're a keen ice skater and want to keep track of your training regime and progress, or just want to get a handle on your ice skating expenditure or just want to keep track of when your next blade grind is due, then this is the app for you!

Skaterbase started life as a quick and easy way to keep track of when to get my blades sharpened. Since starting to skate I've kept a log of how long I've spent on the ice using a spreadsheet on my phone. As time went on I found I was adding more and more details about lessons, progress and special events. However, using a spreadsheet for this on a phone is not very convenient, particularly on a touch screen device, so I decided to write an app specially designed for this purpose.

Skaterbase logs your skating by breaking it down into two components, Sessions and Activities. For every trip to the rink, you log a Session, this corresponds to a Patch session, Public session or anything specific to your rink or use of it.

Within the Session you add Activities, these can be lessons, group sessions, dancing or any other activity that you do on the ice. A Session may contain any number of Activities.

For each Session or Activity you log you can set the cost, duration and ice time. To save you from having to enter this information every time you add something to your log, you can define your own standard types with this information already set up. These can also be edited to allow for price changes or changes in rink policy.

Skaterbase maintains a running total of how much ice time you're clocking up which is displayed at the bottom of the main menu, so you can see this just by launching the app. As the hours increase, the colour will gradually turn from green to red indicating that it's time to get your skates sharpened. You can adjust how many hours this takes to suit your own sharpening requirements.

When you get your skates sharpened, simply log the grind using the button on the main menu and the counter is reset.



Getting Started

When you launch Skaterbase you'll see the main menu. This contains six main options and above these a display of the time you've notched up on the ice since the last recorded grind.

"Log Skate" - press this to begin record a Session at the rink.

"Log Grind" - press this to record when you've had your blades sharpened and reset the Ice Time counter from that point.

"View History" - allows you to browse your stored information using a selection of styles and time periods.

"Program Designer" - enters the sophisticated program designer with integrated IJS calculator.

"Toolkit" - allows access to a number of useful tools including a Metronome, Step and IJS Code Finder and a Video Analyser.

"Options" - gives access to various pieces of information about Skaterbase as well as an Export option to back up your saved data via email.


Logging a Session

When you press "Log Session", you'll see a page containing all of the information relating to a session.

Before you can do anything else you need to select the session type. When creating a new Session, Skaterbase will do this for you and take you through to a list of session types, when editing an existing Session, pressing the session type will take you back to the list. The first time you do this there will be no session types, but you can easily add some new ones by pressing the "+" button at the bottom of the screen and filling in the information. All of the session type information entered is saved upon leaving the screen as long as you've added a title. Once you've set up your usual session types you will hardly ever need to add new ones.

Upon returning to the Log Session screen, everything will already be filled in using the current time and the information defined in the Session type.

If anything needs changing, just press the relevant button and adjust the settings as required.

To add activities to the session, scroll down and press the Add Activity button and select the activity type. You can add as many activities as you like to a Session. Once added, an activity can be viewed and edited by pressing it. If you want to delete an activity from the Session, simply swipe it to the left.

You can add comments to both Sessions and individual Activities. Comments added to a Session are displayed on the View History (only the first line is shown)  screen and can be searched, whereas Activity comments are only shown on the Activity edit screen.

It's probably worth pointing out the difference between Duration and Ice Time. Duration is the length of the entire session, where ice time should be the actual time spent skating as this is used in the "ice time since last grind" calculation. Both values are required in order to calculate the effective use of available ice time.

Everything is saved automatically when you return from the Log Session Screen as long as you have selected a Session Type.

If you need to make changes to a Session, you can do this through the View History option on the main menu. The most recently added Session in the selected time period will be at the top of the list whenever you enter the history view and can be selected for editing by simply clicking on it which will bring you back to the Log Session screen.

You can also delete a Session from the View History screen by swiping it left, then pressing the 'Delete' button that appears.



Editing Session Types

New Session types can be added from the Session Type list shown when you press the "Session Type" button on the "Log Session" screen by pressing the "+" button on the bottom left. Session types may be edited from the "Session Type" list by pressing and holding the session type you want to edit for a few seconds. You can also delete a session type by swiping it left and pressing the "Delete" button that subsequently appears. Pressing this will remove the session type. If you delete a session type which a logged sessions still exist for, they will become "Unknown Session Type" sessions. You can subsequently edit these and assign a new Session type to them if you wish.

A Session Type is defined by the following parameters;

  • A Name - e.g. Lunchtime Patch
  • The time the session starts.
  • The session duration (in hours and minutes)
  • The session price

Once these parameters are set, return to the Session Type list and the information will be stored in the database.



Logging an Activity

When you press "Add Activities" on the Log Session screen,  you will be presented with a list of predefined Activity Types. The first time you do this, the list will be empty and you will need to add some activity types (see Editing Activity Types for more details). Once you've selected an Activity Type, the Activity will be added to the Session and you will be returned to the Log Session screen.

You can edit an activity by tapping it and adjusting whichever information you choose. Changing the type will override the duration, ice time and cost with the default settings for that particular type. Returning to the Log Session screen saves all of the details.

To delete an Activity, simply swipe it to the left on the Log Session screen.





Editing Activity Types

An Activity Type is defined by the following parameters;

Name - e.g. Dance Lesson
Duration (in hours and minutes)
Ice Time
Price.

The Activity Types list can be accessed from the Log Session screen by pressing "Add Activity" or from the Edit Activity screen by tapping the Activity Type shown there.

New Activity types can be added to the Activity type list by pressing the "+" button on the bottom left of the Activity Types list.

Activity types may be edited from the "Activity Type" list by pressing and holding the activity type you want to edit for a few seconds.

You can also delete an activity type by swiping it left and pressing the "Delete" button that subsequently appears. If you delete an Activity Type for which a logged activity still exist, it will become "Unknown Activity Type" activity. You can subsequently edit these and assign a new activity type to them if you wish.



Logging A Grind

Whenever you get your skates sharpened, press the Log Grind button on the main menu. This will open the "Log Grind" screen. Here you can set the time, date and cost of the grind as well as add any comments about the grind, such as grind depth. On entry to this screen, the time and date will be set to the current time and date and the cost will be set to the price of the last grind. upon leaving the screen, the grind will be recorded and can be revisited and edited through the View History screen.

To delete a Grind, locate it on the View History screen, swipe it left and press the 'Delete' button that appears.



Viewing Your Skating History

To view your recorded logs, press the "View History" button on the main menu. The default view shows the current months history as a list of sessions and grinds. For each session the following information is shown;

  • Session Type.
  • Date of session.
  • Total cost of session, including any activities.
  • Total Ice Time.
  • A bar indicating the total ice time as a percentage of the session length.
  • Any comments recorded for the session.

At the top of the screen, the total expenditure for the period is shown along with the total ice time for the period.

You can change the month shown using the +/- buttons at the bottom of the screen, the current month and year is displayed in the button to the left of these controls. Pressing this button changes the range of the displayed period. The possible options are;

  • Month
  • Year
  • All Time

If you click on a session you will be taken to the Log Session screen where you can examine the activities, view the comments in full or make any changes. As before, changes will only be retained if you press the "save" button before leaving the screen.

As mentioned earlier the History screen has four display modes, these are cycled by pressing the "Mode" button on the bottom right. In all cases, the information shown will be for the selected time period as set with the other controls at the bottom of the screen.

Pressing "Mode" once selects the Activity cost screen. Here, all of the Activities for the selected period are shown in order of total cost. The information shown for each activity type includes;

  • Name of the Activity type.
  • Total cost for that type of activity.
  • Number of times you logged that activity type.

At the top of the screen the total cost of all activities is shown along with the ice time recorded for all activities.

Pressing "Mode" again selects the Activity Time screen. Here, all of the Activities for the selected period are shown in order of total time spent on each. The information shown for each activity type is;

  • Name of the Activity type.
  • Total time recorded for that activity type.
  • Number of times you logged that activity type.

At the top of the screen, the total time and the total ice time for the period are shown.

Another press of the "Mode" button reveals the Time Usage graph. This is a simple graph showing the amount of time spent on the ice relative to the total time available for the recorded sessions. Effectively, this illustrates how much you are making use of your available ice time. The graph runs from left to right, with the oldest sessions for the period on the left and the latest on the right. There is also a pie chart showing an overview of the same information.

Pressing the "Mode" button again displays the Cost Breakdown screen. This pie chart shows the total expenditure for the period broken down by Session, Activity and Grind costs.

Another press of the "Mode" button gets you into the "Search" mode. This is essentially the standard history view, but with a search bar at the top of the screen. Entering a word or phrase into the search bar and pressing "Search" will search the comments of the sessions in the selected period for the phrase and display just the sessions whose comments contain the terms.



Deleting Sessions and Grinds

Sessions and Grinds may be deleted from the History view by simply swiping them left and pressing the "Delete" button that subsequently appears. This will permanently remove the Session or Grind from the database and, in the case of a Session, delete any Activities it contained.



Backing Up and Restoring Data

Skaterbase for iOS features a cross platform backup system using email. Simply select Export Data as Email, fill in the recipients details and Skaterbase will email your complete history to the specified recipient as an attachment. This is in the standard SQLite database format and can be loaded by any application that can read these files.

If you open the attachment on an iOS device with Skaterbase installed it will give you the option of opening it using Skaterbase. If you choose to do this, the data will be loaded into Skaterbase. Note that this will overwrite any data currently stored by Skaterbase on that device (you will receive a warning before anything gets overwritten).

Database files between Skaterbase for Android and iOS are broadly compatible, however at this point in time there are differences between the way Programs are authored and stored. On Android, the Program Designer incorporates a pattern editor, whereas the current iOS Program Designer automatically joins together steps/elements in the program.

Importing from Android to iOS will preserve the pattern internally, but Skaterbase for iOS will not draw it and instead will link up the steps/elements automatically. The situation is similar for timing information generated with the Android Timing Editor.

Importing from iOS to Android will give you programs with no pattern as the Android version does not automatically join up the steps and elements.

Skating history data should export and import without loss.