Archive for October 15, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

App Store Reviews

Garrett Murray:

Now let’s look at the most recent review from Jorge: Two stars with complaints that we don’t have support for exporting to Omnifocus (we do), no options for bigger fonts (we support the iOS 7 Dynamic Text setting so you can change your font size to whatever you want), no TextExpander support (but of course we have TE support), not worth the money. Every single bit of this review is inaccurate, but there it is in the US store, telling potential customers the app doesn’t do a bunch of stuff it does.

Demonstrably false reviews are actually not the ones that annoy me the most. Those would be the vague ones that allude to a certain feature being buggy, when many years and customers after that feature’s introduction, no one has ever reported any problems with it. So there’s no way for anyone to know that the feature probably does actually work. And, if there is a bug, there’s no way to detect and fix it.


Mike Abdullah:

I daresay Apple faced this same decision. NSMutableURL initially makes the most sense as a companion to all the NSMutableFoo classes in Foundation. But closer inspection reveals the awkward problem that many mutations cannot result in a valid URL. For example, trying to specify a relative path is only allowed if there’s no scheme or authority component. That then leaves our theoretical NSMutableURL class with having to throw exceptions, throw away data, or exist in some unusual invalid state when such a mutation is requested. And don’t even get started on handling URL schemes that don’t conform to RFC 1808

Instead, NSURLComponents — along the same lines as NSDateComponents — probably makes the most sense. All mutations are legal, and -URL will simply return nil until a valid combination of components is specified.

NSURLComponents is great, but it’s not available on Mac OS X 10.8 or iOS 6, hence his clone.

Reveal 1.0

Reveal is a Mac application that lets you inspect an instrumented iOS app while it runs on the device:

Reveal brings the power of tools like Firebug and Web Inspector to iOS developers. See your application’s view hierarchy at runtime with advanced 2D and 3D visualisations. Debug view layout and rendering problems in seconds.

Upgrade Pricing via Multiple Apps, URL Schemes, and I-AP

On Gabe Weatherhead’s site, Michael Burford of Headlight Software explains how they implemented upgrade pricing for FTP On The Go:

Apps can say they handle a “URL Scheme” so instead of http:// opening the web browser, fb:// will open the facebook app. Other apps can check if a particular scheme is supported. Our ftp apps just have their own scheme that can be checked.

Depending which if any the earlier FTP apps it finds, it shows the different in-app purchases as you saw :) As far as we know, we’re the first to do anything like this to offer discounted upgrades to previous owners.

The upgrade app itself is free but not fully functional. Then they offer an In-App Purchase to activate all the features, and the price for the I-AP varies depending on whether you have the previous version installed. There are currently five different versions of the app in the store.

We were as explicit about what we’re doing in the “Reviewer Notes” to Apple as we could be, even asking for a delayed higher level review. Even before activating, it can do quite a bit, many browsing and viewing tasks. If all you need is to view a file on an FTP server, you can do that in the free app.

It’s a clever solution for sure, but Apple is crazy if they think this sort of model is more customer friendly than supporting proper upgrades.