Category Archives: App Store

Dicewords update submitted to Apple today

Dicewords and Dicewords-X have been sent to Apple for review.

There are two main changes – the new Demo screen is now available for VoiceOver users and a crash due to tapping the Declare button immediately after the Demo ended has been fixed.

 

Both apps should be fine with iOS 11, but if not I’ll post an update to address any issues.

Enjoy the update.

Identicode V1.4 now available

This was the inspiration

Apple today approved Identicode V1.4 for sale. You know what to do, fellow agents!

This is the most feature packed release of Identicode to date so I hope you find it the best version yet. If you enjoy it, why not pop a review on the App Store; if not, then contact me and I’ll do what I can to fix it.

The above image is the cover of Identicode given away in the very first issue of TV Century 21 magazine, below is what the actual Encoder / Decoder looked like. I hope my 21st Century interpretation puts a smile on your face!

[[RED]]VFNECFSV &VWEK&UFVW EFN – FECP FE KZW SGG JKFIW

Original decoder

Here’s what it looked like back in ’65

Identicode V1.4 on its way to Apple

Shockingly, I realised, the last update to this app was September 2015! Sorry about the wait.

I’ve sent V1.4 to Apple this afternoon and with luck it may be available in a day or two now that Apple has upped their game on review times. This assumes that they accept it, of course …

The main functional change has been to do with a much improved exchange of encoded messages between us ‘agents’. 😎 In V1.4 after encoding a message, when you copy or share the message the colour information now goes with it. The result of this is that when that text is pasted back into Identicode at the other end it automatically selects the correct colour and switches to Decode. Nice. I’ve uploaded a new App Preview which you’ll be able to see on the App Store which illustrates this.

There is also much enhanced VoiceOver support so that the text fields and button actions should be much easier to comprehend than before and they are now dynamic depending on the state of the other settings. Please let me know if there are other improvements I can make to this area.

The final notable change is that it now uses Apple’s Auto Layout so that it makes the best use of the screen from the 3.5″ screen up to the iPhone 7s Plus, and whatever comes after that!

Bargain V2.3 now available

Apple have approved Bargain for sale. 🙂

This has been tested for iOS 10 and boasts a clearer indication of the bargain when you find it by colouring the whole background of the fields rather than just the text! It also disallows a comparison if a quantity is 0 – previously it would display a price of infinity I think!

Enjoy finding those bargains.

Where else do people expect refunds?

I saw this review today on the App Store:

I like point and click games but this is painfully slow and not intuitively designed. The puzzle sections are not at all challenging and even that interesting. The graphics are pleasant but there is not that ‘wow’ factor. I really wish I could get a refund.

It was the last sentence that got me.

Why is is that you see people frequently wanting refunds on the App Store?

Didn’t like that “must see” new film at the cinema – ask for a refund.

Didn’t like that beer you just bought – ask for a refund.

Didn’t enjoy that magazine you just bought – ask for a refund.

Didn’t enjoy that album you just downloaded – ask for a refund.

And there’s plenty more I could think of. We don’t expect people to feel entitled to a refund in other situations, but over and over on the App Store this “I want a refund” attitude rears its ugly head.

If an app does not deliver promised functionality then you should be entitled to a refund, but not because you don’t like something.

An offer to fake my App Store reviews!!

Now, I’m not a naive man, but even I was taken aback and I have to say, affronted, by the email I received today. My latest app has been on the store for just three days and today I received the following email:

Hi,

  I am a private contractor and I would like to present you an offer regarding Rating & Reviewing service. It is no longer a secret that apps have more chances of being purchased if they have positive feedback. That is why I’m sure my service will help you improve your sales after you choose one of the following packages.

    3 ratings (votes)  and  2  reviews –  9 USD

   5  ratings (votes)  and  3  reviews – 14 USD

  10 ratings (votes)  and  5  reviews – 24 USD

  20 ratings (votes)  and 10 reviews – 39 USD

  30 ratings (votes)  and 20 reviews – 65 USD

 

We can negotiate other packages too, of course.

Just let me know if you have any questions. Payment is made via PayPal.

I don’t need the payment up-front, only after the service so there is absolutely no need for you to worry.

  

Kind regards

Mark

I was, and am, gobsmacked! This is my first chargeable app (Bargain is free) and I get this. Can I expect others? Can I expect bad reviews (which I imagine I won’t have to pay for) if I refuse his offer?

He says “It is no longer a secret that apps have more chances of being purchased if they have positive feedback.” – well, it was never a ‘secret’. Any company would be very happy to receive endorsements from satisfied customers, but what would they feel about taking this approach? I would love to see some, ideally positive, reviews for my apps but I want them from real customers who have actually downloaded my apps. I could not sleep at night knowing that I’d paid $65 to have 20 reviews for my apps – it goes against everything I believe.

It certainly makes me think about what I’ve read on the app store over the years about some very odd app reviews that are either a grammatical nightmare, offer no supporting evidence or are so minimalist it’s hard to wonder what value they are to anyone – these are negative as well as positive ‘reviews’. Are there companies offering to “bad mouth” other competing products for a similar fee? It really is quite shocking when you think the whole thing through. As there is no “Try Before You Buy” on the app Store you, just like me, will rely on magazines and reviews on the App Store to guide your choice.

I will make it very clear right here: I will never accept offers and certainly no payment to have my apps “reviewed” or “rated”. Any app reviews or ratings appearing against my apps on the App Store will have been provided by customers who have actually downloaded the app in question and felt moved to comment.

Right – I’ll go and sit down and calm myself now…

Some people really are so ungrateful!

I’m sorry but I just had to comment on some people’s attitude to Apple’s “12 Days of Christmas”.

Apple, out of the goodness of Steve’s or the company’s collective heart, or perhaps a desire for a little soft-edged PR, have made an item on the iTunes store free for a day over each of the 12 days of Christmas. I came a little late to the party, but some of the things available for free download were:

  • Broken Sword for iPad (I’d already bought it and really enjoyed it)
  • Charlie Chaplin’s classic film “Modern Times”
  • Mirror’s Edge game by Electronic Arts
  • An EP by Michael Bublé
  • A song and video by the Kings of Leon
  • … and seven more.

Who could complain about 12 free items from iTunes? Well, apparently quite a lot of people (all of the comments below are from actual reviews – atrocious spelling is original – of items available for free in the 12 Days of Christmas):

“My iPhone 3GS cost me £400. My iPhone 4 cost me £500. My iPod touch cost me £200. My MacBook Pro cost me £1200. So if Charlie Chaplin is the best present you can reward me with for my loyalty then I’d rather you didn’t bother.”

“Who wants to watch this bull?!”

“Give us a decent app tht we want, give us 1 of the top grossing not 1 of the prices of crap tht u can’t sell so u give it away for free give us something like backbreaker2 or other games or movies ect….,tht we actually want !! (were is ur christmas spirt) so plzz give us wht we want and by tht I don’t mean a dam holy book tht I’ve never seen before like on day 4 I think :).” (A strange mix of appalling spelling and yet getting the apostrophes in the correct place!)

“How about giving a descent film ituns”

“What the hell is wrong with u? Why the hell would i want this? Cater 2 us young ppl! Not the sadults…happy new year!!!”

“Better gifts please Apple”

“On the sixth day iTunes gave me this Sh*t.”

“All of the stuff on the 12 days of Christmas is really rubbish the only thing that wasn’t to bad was the Cheryl cole single. The stuff really needs to improve.”

and finally

“OMFG ITUNES WE PAY YOU FOR SONGS, VIDEOS, RINGTONES etc AND UR FANX IS THIS CRAP 12 DAYS OF XMAS.. APPLE USE CHEAP SCATES”

What is extraordinary, apart from the deplorable state of the grammar and spelling, in these ‘reviews’ is the sheer nastiness of some people. Some, especially the person listing their expenditure on Apple products, feel a sense that they are entitled to something that they want. The idea that Apple, or any company, offers a product for sale and you decide to complete the transaction by choosing to buy at the stated price is clearly not enough. These people feel that they must have more of just what they want and for free.

I’m sure if next year Apple decided that they would no longer run the 12 Days promotion, then these same ungrateful people would be saying that now Apple were really “CHEAP SCATES”.

The bigger issue of course is that these people probably have a desperate sense of entitlement to whatever they want in other areas of their life too …

Happy New Year.