Monthly Archives: July 2009

Great AppStore Article

I have to share a great article about the iTunes AppStore over at AppleInsider. I don’t have much to say that isn’t already covered in the article, but I will share a quote that I think highlights a very real danger:

“In some respects, the App Store has taken its place alongside YouTube, where poor taste is the defining metric,” Wolf wrote. “More ominously, it has led to a deterioration of the entire pricing structure for iPhone applications. The risk is that developers who hope to build quality applications that have a long shelf life may be discouraged from doing so because prospective development costs exceed the revenues they expect to earn on the applications. In short, this race to the bottom has the potential to degrade the overall equality of the applications sold at the App Store.”

Not only is this something Apple needs to think about, but all the other device and OS manufacturers out there should keep this in mind as they launch their own on device stores.

You can find the entire article over at AppleInsider!

Windows Marketplace News

Microsoft released another Windows Marketplace update a few days ago, and I’m excited to share that we were part of the announcment! As you can see from the article, we are working closely with Microsoft as they get ready for launch. I thought I’d take a second to share an insider’s perspective.

Read on for my two cents on the Marketplace! Continue reading

No, Bob. “Password” Isn’t a Good One.

oopsHi Twitter Management,

Correction: This post was originally meant to be tongue-in-cheek, where we would offer Twitter employees a free copy of eWallet to keep track of their passwords. It’s not an offer for the general public.

It looks like you’re having a little problem with your passwords. I know you know that using “password” isn’t a good idea, but I imagine you’ve all probably been pretty busy lately.

We’ve got this program called eWallet – you may have heard of it. It not only lets you store passwords safely so that you don’t have to pick the ones anyone can remember – and hack – but it also has a built-in password generator so you don’t even have to think of one. It’s network compatible, so your trusted employees (though you might want to rethink them as well, from what I’ve been reading) can all use it, and it’s compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones.

I’d be happy to give you a copy! No charge – consider it thanks for giving us all yet another way to feed our internet addictions. Just get in touch with our Customer Service guys, and we’ll get you your copy.

Developer Pro-Tip: Show the Clock!!

soapboxIf any casual game iPhone developers are listening I gotta rant a sec. Hey, guys! Show the clock! I play casual quick games when I have a few minutes to spare but don’t want to dig into anything too complex. If you hide the clock (the Status Bar if you want the technical name) it means I have to exit the application to see if my few minutes are up.

The Status Bar really doesn’t take up that much screen real estate, and it isn’t going to detract from your really sweet graphics. And don’t worry about whether this will limit how immersed in the game I get – I don’t play casual games for immersion – I play them for a quick bit of entertainment when I’ve got 5 minutes to kill.

And if for some reason you really, really, really can’t show the Status Bar, at the VERY least, save my state when I hop out to check the time. Besides being one of the HIG guidelines, it’s just good development. Trust me. If I lose my progress too many times because of a phone call or checking the time, the game isn’t going to have much of a lifespan on my device.

OK – my rant is complete. You can return to your casual gaming.

RIM AppWorld has 2,000 Apps – but not eWallet!

Endgadget reported that BlackBerry’s AppWorld now has 2,000 apps in it. Unfortunately, eWallet isn’t one of them. We submitted eWallet, but it turns out AppWorld won’t accept any applications that encrypt files. You got it – according to the terms of their contract, we can’t get eWallet into the BlackBerry AppWorld store.

Note – you can get eWallet for Blackberry – just not in RIM’s AppWorld. Get it directly from us here.

We definitely tried. We bent over backwards to get it in. We even had a number of protracted phone calls with RIM (with their lawyers even!)

No go. We’re locked out.

I’m not sure what the reasoning is for this. It sounds like there’s a concern about the export restrictions on the strong encryption we use. We hope it will change. But it certainly doesn’t make me want to go through a lot of trouble making more BlackBerry applications.

This isn’t how you woo developers RIM! In this market, there isn’t room for this sort of thing. Revise those guidelines!

Screen Capture Update Available

Screen CaptureIf you’re using our free Screen Capture utility for Windows Mobile , we just released an update to it. The main goal was to bring the UI up to date with the latest version of the Windows Mobile OS. We also made a few tweaks to fix a couple bugs we found, and we gave it a new icon (woo hoo!) Yes, I know the MS Paint style icon we had before was super retro cool, but we figured it was time.

For those of you new to the application, Screen Capture is a free utility for Windows Mobile. We first built it as an internal utility back in the days when there weren’t any screen capture apps. After sending it to a couple folks for support purposes (“Can you do a screen capture of that error message?”) we found that people liked it. We decided we’d share it.

You can find the free download of Screen Capture here!

We now return to your regularly scheduled contest

Some of you may have noticed that we didn’t run our monthly blog contest on June 1st. Of course, we had our big anniversary party that week, with three blog contests instead of just one, so I’m sure no one minded much.

But, I’ve dusted off the ol’ contest hat and I’m ready to pick a new winner for our blog comment contest from the month of June. This month’s winning comment actually comes from one of the anniversary posts: Chantelle, who commented on “Contest Three: Finish this sentence”. Congrats! You may not have won the original contest, but your comment still earned you a prize! I’ve just sent you an email – if you don’t receive it, reply to this post and let me know.

And to everyone else – be sure to keep coming back and sharing your thoughts and opinions. Who knows, the next winner could be you!

A Snail Mail Story

Someone here – and I won’t name names – forgot to pick up our physical mail for a few weeks. Like 12. And none of us noticed.

If we’d done this years ago, we’d be in trouble. Our phones would have been turned off, as well as our internet, and we’d have racked up some serious late charges on the credit cards, if not had them cancelled as well.

But since we’ve been moving more and more of our bills to electronic only, it turns out that ignoring our paper mail for over two months wasn’t a big deal. Macworld sent a few testy “reminders” about our bill, and at least a few of us now have bigger than usual piles of stuff to read, but the only real problem was that Marc had ordered some live tadpoles to be sent here, and by the time we found them, they weren’t live anymore.

Sorry guys.

But it pointed out very clearly how unimportant physical mail has become. I wonder how long daily delivery will hang on.