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Answers for Stack Exchange 1.1 Released!

Version 1.1 has hit the app store.  Here are the enhancements:

New Search Method:
Similar – allows for not exactly matching search results (located where the “all” search scope used to be)

Answered / “all results” filtering for all search types (This no longer requires another internet call). This can be toggled via a button above the keyboard when it is shown.

interface improvements:
-Moved site selector out of the search box and into a bar above the keyboard.
-fixed a bug that locked images at 100 pixels wide.

iPad interface improvements:
-Profile view no longer compresses the question / web view
-serveral minor UI tweaks

Available on the app store

Posted in iPhone.


Answers for Stack Exchange is now available

Answer for Stack Exchange iPhone
Answers for Stack Exchange iPad
Answers for Stack Exchange detail view

This third-party app gives you a quick, searchable interface for the Stack Exchange network of sites that you can always carry around with you. Search for phrases that appear in the question title or by tag across all of the Stack Exchange sites which range in topic from programming questions, photography, and travel.

Available on the app store

Posted in iPhone.


ScoreMo 1.4.0 Released!

ScoreMo 1.4.0 is now released. New features include:

-Added the ability to finish games later and reload games in progress.
-Internal changes for future iCloud support.

**Note: If you have a game currently in progress you will lose that data when updating.**

There is a minor display bug in iOS 5 on the New Game tab where there is extra spacing between the sections. A point release for this issue will be submitted today after I have had time to make sure the fix doesn’t break support for older versions of iOS.

Available on the app store

The plan for the next major version of the app is to add iCloud support to allow syncing of configurations between devices and laying the foundation for a future iPad interface.

Posted in iPhone.


WWDC 2011

I have been meaning to write about my upcoming (and first) trip to WWDC this year for the past 2 months.  Somehow I managed to be so busy that I couldn’t even start drafting this post till after I had already checked in to my flight.  I still have a long list of things to do and my brian is somewhat scattered right now so I will try to keep this brief.

I started seriously seriously looking at iphone development last year when the iphone 4 came out as a direction I wanted to take my career (or at the very least as a fun hobby).  Since then I have 2 client apps for ipad and  2 small personal projects for iphone under my belt with 2 more larger scope apps in development.  Even though I have only been at this for a short time and don’t get to regularly do this type of work at my day job, I already consider myself a Cocoa developer more so than a web developer.

Part of this is due to the great community of passionate developers I have met over the past year here in Dallas.  It has been refreshing and motivating to have found a group of developers who are not all talk and no action (which I myself have been guilty of as well at times) unlike some of the other communities I have been a part of in the past.  I am fortunate as well to have had them open my eyes to what is going outside of just our circle and to keep up with what is going on with the global community as well.

This year is going to be my first WWDC.  I look forward to taking a bigger step into the Cocoa development community at large and meeting more developers from outside of Dallas and hopefully several of the people who I follow on Twitter.  Hope to see you all at WWDC!  I am very excited for this trip.

Posted in Uncategorized.


ScoreMo Lite Removed From the App Store

Context

For those of you who don’t know what ScoreMo is, it is a Score keeping app designed with card/board gamer’s in mind. It was my first iphone app that I started as a 2010 fourth of July weekend project. The goal was to code and submit an app to apple shortly after paying my developer fees to ensure I would keep up with app development (it worked).

The app had humble beginnings as a stock UI, 2 tab/ 1 configuration scoring system but has evolved to a CoreData powered app with multiple game configurations and a customized UI. Back in August of last year I added a free version since sales were a little slower than I wanted them to be.

After reading Marco Arment’s Instipaper Free takedown post today, I went back and took stock of the current lite version of ScoreMo. After a lot of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I should take the app off the app store for now.

The Situation

The lite version of ScoreMo has not been updated since it’s initial release while the main app has received 2 major updates. This really leaves ScoreMo Lite as a bad impression of what the paid app has to offer. ScoreMo Lite has about 75% of the features of the full app but is missing a few features that I consider critical for the app to be truly useful for the problem it is trying to solve. For me this leaves the lite app (in it’s current state) to be a negative reflection of the paid app which is a much more polished product.

So Why Not Update It?

As a green developer I had decided to make separate projects for both the paid/free versions of the app where I should have just made a new build target or branch for the lite version. Adding a new target or branching would have allowed me to simply update both versions at the same time. Since I never bothered keeping the app release synced at this point the codebases are very different and bringing the app up to date would be more work that I would ever see a return on.

I don’t like ads

Actually, I hate ads. While iAds are less intrusive and more interesting than other ads on the platform, I still find that whenever there is an app with ads I will purchase the paid version or the in-app perchance to remove them. I am hoping to appeal to users with similar sensibilities as I have. This leaves me stuck in a situation where I can’t offer the removal of ads since the paid and free versions of the app are so fragmented in the code base as explained above. It also is not an option to make the main app free with this feature since I do not want to double charge my current customers. The inclusion of ads themselves also has been a limiting factor for the UI design has my options to make full use of the scoring screen. Dropping ScoreMo Lite allows me to reclaim the whole scoring screen again.

Also, The monetization of ads doesn’t work for the app. Since an internet connection is required to pull an ad but not to use the ScoreMo Lite itself, it is very easy to circumvent the incentive for me to offer a free app for users. While a big part of my motivation for offering a free app was to get the app into users hands and not money, I have recently come to the conclusion that if I ever want to be able to make it as a full-time independent software vendor in the future I need practice making money in order to reach that goal.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Since my apps are just a hobby at this point, a big part of the reward is getting positive feedback and user input on features. ScoreMo lite has been downloaded about 300 times with no feedback or reviews and no confirmed upsells (though I have speculated there might be a few) so dropping the product will relieve quite a few mental blocks it has put on development of the paid app.

In Closing

The free app was a good experiment and learning experience as a developer to learn a new framework, but it is time to recognize it as a failure and to move on. This past month my ad revenue for an average of 20-40 daily impressions yielded me a total of 6 cents and has only earned me $7.00 since it’s launch. While this is passive income and it might seem strange to take that off the table, I feel that the lite version of the app has enough baggage to where it might be hurting sales of the more polished, paid product.

TL;DR: ScoreMo Lite is off the app store due to my dissatisfaction with the aging/not updated product and how I maintained the codebase. If I can find a way to make a free version work and keep it maintainable it may return in the future.

Posted in iPhone.


Twitter posts turned off.

I have turned off my twitter feed to post importer in the interest of avoiding having my blog just be twitter spam and have removed all of the posts in the twitter category.

if you want to follow my day-to-day twitter spam then you can do so here:

@mcgregok

Posted in Meta.


Steam API browser back online

When moving to my new host I took down my code examples I had on my old site but I have gone back and put one of them up after regaining a little bit of interest in it again after playing portal 2 again last week:

Steam Community API example

This is pretty much just a basic alternative browser for the steam community.  I had to update some of the code to get it running again as I use an unofficial API I built that populates most of it’s data from xml data that seems to change from time to time and not a formal versioned official API that would save me from some of these headaches.

If you have any interest in the code for the API itself that can be found on github (though I recommend using a better supported library like steam condensor for anything more serious than a hobby since I am not regularly maintaining other than a few times a year.):

SteamPipe

If there is any serious interest in the source for the project and not just the API I will consider posting it on github as well.

Posted in Adventures In Programming.


Blog updates.

I vow to no longer have my blog be nothing but a twitter feed aggregator…I will now also pull posts from my iOS development blog…That is all…for now.

Posted in Meta.


DueWork 1.1.0

DueWork 1.1.0 is released!

Here is an overview of the changes:

-Added landscape support to the app (better use of the space on the task screen will be in the next update since it requires quite a few asset and a bit of recoding).
-tweaked the “threat meter” to care more about time left on a task than which section it was in.
-fixed a bug where bug where the less than a week banner would not show when there were exactly 7 days left but the task would be in the priority task section.

Available on the app store

I am really enjoying using this app as it is a pretty much a program of how I prioritize my tasks and when I am on top it works great! That being said…if you aren’t proactive things can start to slip. For the next version I am planning to add local notifications to remind you of your priority tasks and to help solve the problem of falling behind if you ignore the app. It might be a while before I can get this update out because I am slammed with work right now and there will be a lot of long term testing to test the notifications over long periods of time (I tested duework for 2 weeks to make sure all of the based calculations and logic was correct) but I think it will be a huge improvement for those who are not quite as adamant as checking the app as me and add a lot of value to the app.

Posted in iPhone.


ScoreMo 1.3.0 Released!

I am happy to say that ScoreMo 1.3.0 is now out available for download!

The update includes the following features/fixes:

- Added support for logging your games to keep a record of what you have played.
- foundation for future improvements/user requests.
- UI tweaks to better match apple’s guidelines.

Available on the app store

This marks a special point in the app’s development for be because it is finally feature complete for what I wanted when I first envisioned the app. This means in the future I will be able to devote time to user requests and features that make the app even more useful. If you have a feature you would like to see in ScoreMo please post it to our . If you just like the app and want to help me spread the word then please help out by posting a positive review on itunes.

Posted in iPhone.