Monthly Archives: March 2009

Windows Marketplace, here we come!

windows-mobile-logoAs of today, I can officially tell you that our software works great on Windows Mobile 6.5 AND that you’ll find our products in the new Windows Mobile Marketplace. We’ve been working with Microsoft on this for a while, and as of today the news is official. In addition, we’re working on a number of updates to our core Windows Mobile products (eWallet, ListPro, and NewsBreak) that will take advantage of some of the cool new features 6.5 offers.

In addition, we’re working on many of your requests that came out of the last Advisory Board Assignment! Thanks again to EVERYONE who participated. That feedback is invaluable to us!

UPDATE: I grabbed some cool screenshots from the promotional video Microsoft released. Turns out our applications are in the video a number of times! Check them out after the jump!

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Adventures in Formatting

With help from Marc, Dan and Lee, I learned a really bad – albeit effective – way to format a hard drive yesterday:

Formatting by Ellen

It turns out that:

  • It’s a lot easier than you’d expect to snap hard disks.
  • They break into many, many little pieces that fly everywhere.
  • And the pieces are extremely sharp.

If you’re wondering whether we take our data security seriously, yes, we do. That’s my personal blood on the disc pieces and the desk.

I don’t recommend trying this.

Palm Pre = Foleo 2.0?

palm_preI was reading yet another article about the Pre today, and something hit me. Could it be, that the Palm Pre’s WebOS is actually the Foleo OS tweaked for a new device format? The reason this came to me was that I was reading an article recently and saw this quote:

The company plans to establish a WebOS ecosystem that goes “well beyond our base.”

I mean, if the OS was originally written for a totally different device, WebOS would be well positioned to do exactly that. There are other hints as well but rather than speculate I’d like to turn it over to you.

What do you guys think? What evidence is out there that proves/disproves the theory? If it is true, is this a good thing? A bad thing? Does it matter at all?

I look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions!

DISCLAIMER: I’m in no way comparing the failure of the Foleo with the Palm Pre’s prospects for success. I’m more interested from a techical/business/marketing POV and I’m wondering if anyone else has had the same thought!

Interview at AppCraver – AppStore Pricing

logoThe good people over at AppCraver read my blog post about pricing and asked to do a short interview. They asked some great questions that further illuminate the challenges iPhone developers face. If you’d like to take a look you can find the whole article here.

Rate It If You Hate It!

appstore12The AppStore “Rate It If You Hate It” system is such a spectacularly bad idea that I really need to talk about it for a second. I certainly appreciate what Apple is trying to do. Like I’ve said time and again – I’m VERY VERY happy with Apple’s clearly demonstrated policy of working to improve things. I’ve seen other companies allow their flawed systems/devices/OS’s to sit around for YEARS with no effort to improve them. So, please don’t take this frustration with one aspect of the system as an overall indictment.

But seriously – a system that specifically encourages people who are removing an application to review it, with no reciprocating system to encourage people who LIKE their applications to review them, is a terrible plan.

Read on after the jump for the whole story… Continue reading

AppStore Prices – Is Cheaper Really Better?

pricesOver at the Apple iPhone Group at Yahoo, a discussion has cropped up about application prices in the AppStore. We think (and hear) about this a lot, so I want to take a minute to talk about application pricing (on any mobile platform). It is a topic that is important to developers, retailers, and customers alike.

So, if you’re curious to hear a developer perspective on pricing, read on after the jump! Continue reading

Fun with Passwords

Can you guess the 20 most common passwords?

Sporcle, a really fun site where I’ve been spending too much time, has a game where you do just that.

I only got 5, but looking at the answers, I maybe could have come up with at least 2 of the others, if I hadn’t given up so fast. On the other hand, I’m not convinced their answers are all that accurate. They’re very male, if nothing else.

But, if you use any of these as your passwords – don’t. Pick something a lot more secure. Your passwords aren’t protecting just your email and facebook pages. They’re protecting your money. Probably all of it except what’s in your pocket right now.

Don’t use weak passwords and don’t use the same ones everywhere. Do change them frequently and store them safely.

We Changed Apple! New AppStore Rating System

appstore12OK, I’m just guessing but it is pretty cool that on the heels of our survey Apple has implemented a change in the AppStore rating system. I don’t honestly believe they did it just for us, but it is nice to know that Apple is trying. Unfortunately, it doesn’t solve all the problems of the AppStore rating system but it’s a start.

If you’d like to learn more about this change, read on after the jump!

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iPills is Out and Free!

ipills_logoI wanted to let everyone know that our latest iPhone offering, iPills, is now available in the AppStore. The best is that it is FREE!

So what is iPills anyhow? I’ll describe it by explaining WHY we made it. In this day and age it seems like everyone is taking something. From allergy and cholesterol meds to fistfulls of asprin and “little blue pills”, we’ve all got something we’re on. At the same time, we’re all busier than ever and when someone says “Did you take your pill?” it’s easy to go “Um, well, maybe?”

Enter iPills! With iPills you can easily keep track of what you’re taking and when you take it (or miss it!). You can even email a history to yourself or a caregiver showing exactly what you took and when you took it.

Now to answer the inevitable “Free? Seriously, dude. What are you thinking?” question. I’m going to be honest – WE like this idea but we don’t know if YOU will like it. By making it free, we can find out if this really is something people need. If it is, start sending your requests! If the app is popular enough, we’ll take those ideas, expand the app and create a Pro version (available at a reasonable price of course!)

So go ahead and check out the web page ,or just grab a copy today! It’s FREE so you’ve got nothing to lose – and who knows – it just might make your life a little bit easier!


PS:And no, developing this had no impact on eWallet or ListPro. Both of those products are handled by different teams – and to give you an update, we’re all using ListPro on our iPhones here and it rocks. I can’t WAIT until it’s finished and we can fire it off! I’ll definitely keep you updated!

Final App Store Survey Results

What One Change You’d Like

appstore1Here’s the result of the final question in our survey (check the archives if you want the rest), as well as the winners of the gift cards.

To the question: “What one change would you like most to see in the iTunes App Store?”, over 60% of you picked free trials. I guess given that so many of you indicated that you bought apps regardless of price (or at least didn’t just buy the $1 and $2 ones), trials makes a lot of sense. 18% opted for better categorization, with just under 10% wanting better find. Specifically:

App Store Survey Results

Of the “other” replies, you asked for:

  • All of the above!
  • All of these, app store is almost unusable
  • General change to the style how people use (browse) the app store
  • More serious apps like eWallet and less junk
  • “Best of breed” featured apps, regardless of popularity (# of downloads)
  • Better search and iTunes like search playlists (to exclude junk devs)
  • Less crap!
  • Moderated reviews
  • Review moderation. Many reviews cite problems that are due to apple
  • Dated reviews with version reviewed
  • Sort by rating
  • Rankings based on revenue
  • functionality: wish-lists, similar-apps-bought, order-by-ratings
  • A wish list to keep track of apps, music, etc. until I can decide on them
  • Wish List capacity to store for later purchase
  • A way to save a list of apps I am interested in.
  • Robust wish list (as at Amazon)
  • More game options
  • Would be nice to have a VIDEO review on apps (esp games) rather than on YouTube
  • Demo capability
  • The original ability to see all aps by post date
  • Canadian redeem codes, for the love of Bob!

I grouped those for better readability, but otherwise didn’t edit them at all.

I’m happy to see that Apple took down reviews from non-buyers late last week. I hope – and believe – we’ll keep seeing improvements to the App Store. Find and trials would be great ones!

OK, and now for the 12 gift card winners. Congratulations to: Ken M., David B., Robin C., Addison H., Gina G., Dennis B., Drew C., Terry W., Louie L., Susan L., Nicole T., and Paul T. You’ve each won a US$10 gift card. People in the U.S. will get iTunes gift cards; people outside the U.S. will get gift cards from your local Amazon site. I’ve sent out emails about these already; if you think you’re one of the winners and didn’t see one, please be sure to whitelist emails from I’ll re-send them to anyone I didn’t hear back from.

Once again, thanks to everyone for participating!