Archive for the ‘Application’ Category


Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Better late then never. And it’s only been one day late, so I can forgive.

“ZugInfo Donation” – 1,59 EUR or equivalent in the App Store. As Steve would say: “Starting today”.

To my knowledge1 this is the first donation ware in the App Store. I call it an interesting social experiment.

1as always: correct me in the comments, if I am wrong.

92 : 70

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Yesterday Apple shipped the new version 2.2 of IPhone OS. While surely there is a lot to like about it (“stability improvements” – always appreciated), it also ships a new functionality for user review: the ROD.

ROD = Rate On Deletion

This jolly little tool ask users about their opinion on an application they are just about to delete. I would say this is perfect timing – if you want to ruin the ratings for free (and especially popular) applications. Free and small applications are easy to download (just one tap away) and everyone wants to try the new cool stuff. You start it once and realize that you have no use for it, then of course you did not check the description or the reviews. Why should you, when it is much easier to just try it. Ok, so now the only thing you want is to get rid of the app. No biggy, just hold the home button, wobbly wobbly, tap and then … this annoying window pops up. Guess what you do…

Some good hearted people expressed their hopes in the Apple IPhone developer forums that Apple would surely be smart, and use these ratings just for internal use (i.e. weighting of popular applications). Well, guess what, I don’t think so. The overall rating of my RegenRadar app used to be almost 5 stars. Since yesterday, three more written reviews appeared, all 5 stars, but the overall ranking dropped to 4 stars. On the overview page there are 92 review, but on the details page you can find 72 written reviews. So 20 more ghost reviews, with probably bad rankings. Wonder where they came from…

There is a good reason to only allow to rate an app when you at least give a comment and your “name”. You avoid simple flames. Hopefully Apple will work on this.

hold up

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

wegen unvorhergesehenen Umständen benötigen wir mehr Zeit zur Überprüfung Ihrer Anwendung ZugInfo Donation. Wir entschuldigen uns für die Verzögerung und werden Sie über den Status auf dem Laufenden halten.

That did not go according to the plan. The plan was to ship the new version of ZugInfo (1.2) together with a donation ware version (1,59 EUR, same functionality). While the update went smoothly through the review in two days, there seems to be an unforeseen problem (love the term) with my donation ware.

In order not to confuse too many people (the update version informs about the donation ware) I decided to pull ZugInfo 1.2 for now. It is scheduled to reappear in the AppStore on Saturday. Bear with me.

silent hill

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Posts have been sparse in the last few days and this will continue for about another week. I am working nightshifts since three weeks and my sleep level has fallen below the healthy limit. Looking at myself in the mirror I consider getting a shotgun. I should stop watching zombie movies, they do not go well together with the sleep deprivation (or in fact, they do, but not in a healthy way).

Just to keep you posted:

  • RegenRadar will re-appear in the App Store next week. The copyright issues have been resolved.
  • ZugInfo 1.2 is in the beta testing phase on my IPhone.
    It features a location history list to speed up your workflow even more. Expect it in about 2 weeks

legal issues

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Today I had to remove RegenRadar from the app store. It seems, that the way I used the data from the website infringes their terms of use. I also learned that rain radar data is not for free (e.g. check out the prices from the dwd). Since I don’t want to start charging, I removed the app from the store. Sorry.

daylight saving

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

I always liked the daylight saving time. This completely (scientific proven) useless ritual always filled me with joy. The gambling with time, a quantity that can be changed by men, gain and loose, give and take, early wake-ups late-sleepins, and all for our own good, or at least natures.

So … daylight saving time sort-of-broke my RegenRadar app. It still works, but has hickups. The update is on the way (under review at the Apple HQ). No one got hurt, my ego maybe a bit.

And actually that is what I would expect from a weekend where men decide to change time. A little bit of chaos, like the one we expected for the millenium and which never happened (ok, I admit, millennium bug and my RegenRadar daylight saving time bug, not the best comparison).

Enough chit-chat: update is on its way and hope to see you soon.

good night and goodbye.

I have another 4h of work ahead waiting for me in a control room.

double d / crash

Saturday, October 25th, 2008
double d - no crash

double d - no crash

Due to the unforeseen popularity of RegenRadar, I decide to ship a quick update version to fix some annoyances. See above the result: now with panning and zooming (and it will remember the state) and always visible time information. The version is submitted to Apple and should be available in the App Store in about a week.

<tekk>The second point (clock) forced me to write my own MRImageAnimater, since UIImageView does not support notifying on frame changes. Additional side effect: since I threw out the UIImageView the application is much more stable.</tekk>

Which brings me to the last point of my post: At least two users reported crashes on their devices. I take beta testing very seriously and I test every new app version extensively for a few days on my own device, where I never managed to crash RegenRadar (and I tried pressing all buttons at once immediately after startup). But here comes the problem: I only own one device (IPhone 3G 16GB, OS 2.1), so I cannot test every configuration.

To help improve the app, could you file more complete bug/crash reports as comments to this post? If possible, they should include device type, OS version, what you did when the app crashed and if IPod was running in the background or not. Thank you, your help is appreciated.

PS: I downloaded FieldRunners yesterday and played it for two battery loads. I am stuck at wave 43. Any advice/help would be appreciated.

|———————->      |

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
mrrr scrnshts

mrrr scrnshts

Well, 85% done, now it’s time for beta testing. And this could take some time … because … I am also waiting for my US (hopefully not) tax payer number. No worries, I am not going to start charging for ZugInfo. But I will offer a second version for money as donation ware. With no difference in features. Promise.

Btw. RegenRadar was planned as a joke (about the German weather) not a real application. Please, could you stop downloading. I promise I won’t do it again ;).

progress bar

Sunday, October 19th, 2008
The new GUI : shiny background

The new GUI : shiny background

Now including prices!

Now including prices!

The latest from the coding room: shiny background and prices! Since the “save favorites/queries/etc.” will probably take a little more time, I am aiming for an intermediate release ZugInfo 1.1 which will include

  • Price information
  • Ability to show an arbitrary number of connections in the details view
  • Choose departure or arrival time
  • Choose train type
  • Some GUI improvements and big fuxes (yes, I mean “big fuxes”)

Meanwhile: Why not try my new application RegenRadar from the App Store? Great value for bikers and hikers and it’s for free.

what to expect from … ZugInfo 1.1

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

It’s been two weeks since ZugInfo 1.0 arrived in the App Store and by now it’s quite clear for me, what is missing. This is what I plan to include in next iteration of ZugInfo (1.1) scheduled to arrive late November:

  • Save queries
  • Save results
  • Price information
  • Choose means of transportation
  • Option of arrival time instead of departure
  • Mail connection/add to calendar

Since I consider speed and easy-to-use two of the key features of ZugInfo, I will have to revamp the search screen, since there is no space left (“yes, date picker, you have to go. sorry.”). So there will be a new UI as well and some improvements in the back-end.

In addition I plan ship two versions (with identical functionality): one for free and one as donation ware (probably 1.59 EUR, or write me, what you think would be a good prize).

Thanks again to everyone who downloaded and gave helpful comments and suggestions.

I will be away on a trip for the next four weeks. Check my twitter/twinkle for updates & details.