Welcome to Bike Preview!

Welcome to Bike Preview!

Bike is the new app I’ve been working on.

Bike is a tool for thought. It’s a fast and fluid outliner. Use Bike to record and organize your ideas.

(end of marketing phrases list)

Bike is still in preview, but is nearing 1.0 release.

You can download Bike 1.0 Preview here:

Watch the intro movie on that page to get a quick idea of what Bike is about.

Also read through the user guide and search through these forums.

Please try it out and let me know what you think and what needs fixing.

  • The 1.0 feature set is pretty much set, but lots of room for ideas going forward.
  • Also please browse through the website and users guide. What can I improve?
  • Thanks for your feedback. If you decide to get a license please use this coupon code BIKEPREVIEW for 20% off (expired). I’ll remove this code when Bike 1.0 is released.

Lack of VoiceOver support in Bike editor
Bike seems mostly accessible except the editor. When I navigate to the editor, VoiceOver says just “Empty scroll area”. However, I still can type in the document, but don’t get any feedback about what been typed. No matter if the document is empty or contains some text, VoiceOver announces “Empty scroll area”.
Same issue with “Empty scroll area” if I open a bike or txt file.

I have opened the bike document in the text editor to double-check if the text I typed is actually was there, and it was.

This is a problem and one that I hope to address, but it will take time.

Many of Bike’s features are possible because I’ve written my own text editing component instead of using the system provided one. The cost of doing this is that I don’t get all the features of that native component, including VoiceOver support.

Sounds like BBEdit approach. After being around for 30 years, they still don’t have support for VoiceOver in the editor.

It’s hard on both sides.

First it sucks that all apps don’t support VoiceOver. I’m sorry about that. At the same time I’m a single person trying to do many things. Making a text editor from scratch is a biggish job, lots still to do.

I will say that VoiceOver support has been on my list since the day I started app. Here’s a thread from the fall where I was trying to implement it:

Generally the situation is:

  1. Version 1.0 won’t have voice over support, there just isn’t time. I need to start selling licenses.

  2. I have tried using VoiceOver support myself a number of times to better understand how it works. I find it very hard, lots of long linear scanning. I don’t know if that’s because I’m just not used to it, or maybe it is just hard. It seems to me that the hierarchical structure of an outline could make using VoiceOver much faster/easer. Maybe x-axis can be used to choose the outline level to scan through. Maybe that’s already possible with existing VoiceOver, I don’t know.

I guess my questions are:

  1. What app(s) has the best support for VoiceOver out there? In particular for navigating hierarchies. Examples of what to do will help me.

  2. Could Bike do better? What’s the ideal VoiceOver interface that you can imagine for an outliner? Bike has a relatively simple UI model and a clean slate when it comes to VoiceOver. It should be possible to build the best solution. I’m just not sure what that is. Please let me know.

  3. I encourage you to check back each month and make noise. It’s something that I do want to do, but it helps if I get reminders. I don’t have a long planned schedule for Bike. Current goal is to release 1.0. I have lots of idea for after that, but a big factor on what I do next will be what people ask for.


  1. I’m not sure which type of hierarchies you particularly want to hear about. For example, I now tried to nest action groups in OmniFocus several levels and it works fine to collapse and expand them. In DEVONthink, I can collapse/expand nested groups and nested tags.

Some third-party applications that I enjoy to use with VoiceOver: Drafts, NetNewsWire, OmniFocus, DEVONthink, GoodLinks, MarsEdit. Even has written a review about Ulysses from VoiceOver user perspective. Maybe it will give you more understanding about VoiceOver in general. Accessible Writing With Ulysses
Have also tried Scrivener and worked fine with VoiceOver, but I don’t use it daily.

  1. I have not used many outliner apps in the past. I downloaded OmniOutliner to check how it is, but it crashes before I’m able to create a new file. Already sent a crash report.
    Furthermore, an ideal Outliner is possibly where a VoiceOver user could easily collapse/expand rows with keyboard shortcuts?

  2. If you like, I can check in here periodically! Overall, I wrote first post because I tried recently your another app, TaskPaper and it was accessible (95%). I was intrigued when you released a new outliner app and I thought that this one must be accessible since I had good experience with your other product.

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Funny, one of the things I like about OmniOutliner is that it NEVER crashes–incredibly stable.