Finalist in Best Tablet Edition in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards

Our app, 2 For Couples, built in concert with 2 For Life Media, is a Finalist in the 2012 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. Fingers crossed we’ll find out at the Awards on Oct 23, 2012.

Three of the apps that we developed together are also featured on the iTunes App Store.

Please wish us luck and congrats to the team:

2 For Life Media Inc.
Neil Morton, Editorial Director
Lisa Walker, Creative Director
Diane Hall, Publisher
Charles Kim, Digital Designer
Kate Drummond, Assistant Editor
Karen Hall, Copy Editor
Tim Mitra (iT Guy Technologies), Developer

Follow 2 on Facebook, Pinterest and their 2 For Couples web site


New Game: BianSeLon coming soon…

Our iOS Game based on Xavie’s Chameleon idea is coming soon. We are just putting the finishing touches on and waiting for the translators to finish up. The Game will be on the iPhone for a couple of bucks (or less). So stay tuned.

The name is based on Chameleon. It loosely based on the Chinese name:

In Chinese it is pronounced as biàn sè lóng

iPhone OS sounds too loud? Try This…

If you find that your iPhone sounds are too loud, there is a workaround. Normally using the volume control buttons only adjust the ringer volume and has no affect on the “system sounds”. So if the internal volume is too high alerts will be annoying – for instance when you receive a text message alert or unlock the iPhone.

To fix it, open the iPod or Music app (formally iPod before iOS 5) and play some music through the speaker. No matter what the volume is currently set at, make a small adjustment. The system volume will be set to this new setting.

Must be a bug or an oversight in Apple’s design, because as far as I know there is no other way to adjust the internal sounds volume. Perhaps some game you were playing boosted the sound (Bad developer! Bad!)

Update (May 1, 2020). Surprisingly this is my most popular post. Apple added “Change with Buttons” to the Sounds & Haptics in the Settings app. That should adjust the volume of your alerts sound volume.

What is an App worth? Proved on eBay app sells for over $16K

Buck Shot App

Buck Shot App developer Neal Schmidt, tired of issues around supporting the app he created, has sold the app for $16,600 USD on eBay.

Bidding started at $10 and rose to $16,000 before closing today. Mr Schmidt is selling the whole company that is listed as the “developer”. As long as Apple allows the sale – they have the ultimate say over whether an App goes on sale and continues to be available. (Hmm… wonder what it says in the terms and conditions).

This is great news for our fellow developers as it sets a president as to what an App is actually worth in dollars and sense! In real terms, a game is a game but often an App can represent or extend a brand. Then it can be argued that a successfully executed App can create more exposure for companies. Then it’s worth it’s weight in positive spin.

In Defense of Apple’s Newsstand and negative reviews

As a developer of iOS apps I regularly check the reviews on iTunes and App Store to get a sense of how apps are received. Fortunately my publisher client is not tied to adversing to produce their content – not to say that they wouldn’t enjoy advertising dollars but rather they see the iPad platform as a new medium for their message. What I do find troubling is that the new apps on the App Store are being blasted by negative reviews. This needs to be addressed because there is no way for a developer to rebut a bad review or to have a bad review removed.

Users are seeing the Newsstand Apps on the App Store, in iTunes and on their devices as free. However if they read the description – admittedly kind of hidden in the app’s description – they would find that most Newsstand Apps support paid content issues and subscriptions. The blame of this belongs to Apple and NOT the developers. The App store lists the price of the main app but does not display the cost of the subscriptions upfront, where it would be easier for users to find.

The other problem lies with the whole rating system that Apple provides. We have had over 50,000 apps downloaded and yet we have had less than 50 reviews of all of our apps. We’ve published about 25 apps among various clients. So the returns on the review process is pathetic and does not reflect what users think of your apps. The only measurable mechanism seems to be if users update the app as revisions are published. Also if you host some content on your web servers, statistics can be collect to indicate the use and repeated use of the apps.

New users do read the reviews and make decisions about whether to download an app. Negative reviews don’t help this cause. Most developers are small independent developers and very few are the actual mega publishers like Conde Nast. So the income generated from apps and development in general is meagre. It often barely covers the actual cost to develop apps. So please think twice before reviewing an app. The most valuable thing you can do is give a positive review of an app. The average developer is that guy sitting next to you on the bus. So if you like an app give it a positive review. This goes a long way to bolstering the developers confidence and supports the futire development of more apps.

The internet was started at the grass roots level and so in fact the whole personal computer industry. If users hadn’t spread the positive word about the original Apple computer then Steve Jobs and Steve Woszniak would not have succeeded – there would be no iPhone or iPad for you to read this story on your iPad.

Apple will eventually fix the problem with Newsstand 1.0. So in the meantime, read the apps description before you download it – caveat emptor applies to free apps as well. Sure if the app is craptastic go ahead and blast it but don’t write a negative review because someone is trying to make an honest buck.