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Monthly Archives: August 2010

ITUNES UPDATE TODAY

You may have noticed I have not reviews the single of the week yet, and that is because there is not one yet.

It appears that Apple have put the regular iTunes update on hold for a while, more than likely due to the announcement due on Wednesday. It does point towards some enhancement to iTunes, maybe even iTunes 10.

We will bring you more information as we get it.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Article

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (31 AUG 2010)

A very mixed bag of Freebies today.

Zombie Survivor: 5/10
A very average application with two different modes.

Ghosts Attack: 5/10
Not a great game and requires you to connect to their server to use the application, so no use offline.

Screen Hop Bob: 4/10
Not so much an game, but a way of linking two iOS devices together to achieve next to nothing.

Pocket Puzzlement: 5.5/10
A reasonable jigsaw game, limited to only six pictures and does not work on the iPad.

Green Knight: 6.5/10
A fairly good talking book for the younger kids.

Run Kattie: 5.5/10
A fair platform game, but I found the controls unresponsive.

Nubi Do (ToDo List / Task Manager): 7/10
A good and well featured To Do application. However, there are several better ones available.

 
 

APPLICATION UPDATES – DONE RIGHT, DONE WRONG

ince the launch of the app store, one of the most talked about areas has been the release of updates for applications.

In the computer industry these have often been called “Patchs”, and alway the developers to release bug fixes and additional contents to the application that you have already purchased.

The App Store, unlike the computer model, does not allow for a simple small amount of data to be added, instead you must download the entire application again, which then is a different version number etc.

So you end up with several upsides and downsides to these update method.

Upside:

  • The new application is already fully tested and complete, so no risk of a patch not updating properly.
  • With a complete application download required, the developer often decides to add new content to make the update worthwhile downloading

Downside:

  • If the application is large, then the user may have to wait to download the contents, for example, not all people are on unlimited broadband and a 250MB application may be 5% of a monthly download cap. It is certainly not possible to download over the 3G network.
  • May enter up with versioning issues, if people do not update, then you cannot switch off a feature if 20% of your users are still on v1.0.
  • People begin to expect extras when they patch their applications.

Another issue of the update method, is sometimes Apple have been blamed for taking too long to release to the app store. So for an example, a developer thinks he has fixed a bug with his v1.0 game, and releases v1.1 via the app store, however, the second it is released to the public, a major issue is found, and v1.2 is needed to release to fix it. Apple take time checking the code, in the meantime, v1.1 remains on the app store with more people downloading it, which is not good news for the users and most of all the developer who is now getting 1 star reviews.

There have been millions of these updates released on the app store now, and many are simple bug fixes, but several have changed the application completely, and have been major talking points in the industry.

Here are some examples of Updates done right.

Pocket God – Now into 33rd version, the release rate has now slowed by the developers, but there was a time when a new version came out every few weeks, and added new features and games to the application. All this for £0.59, the public were very impressed with the developers and Pocket God rode high in the reviews and the charts.

All-in-1 Gamesbox – Is now up to 35 games are in this application. Every fews months a few games are added to the Gamebox and it makes you feel you have received lots of freebies. Again another £0.59 application.

Angry Birds – New levels, New Birds, New achievements. The great application just keeps getting greater.

On the flip side of this, there are the updates that are done wrong or never come at all.

One famous example was Facebook, the locations update that was released, and then a new version that removed it, as it was unavailable outside the US.

There have also been releases were the developers made the software unusable apart from on the latest OS.

The most annoying of course, is the update that never come, where a game has a major bug or lots of minor bugs, by the developers decide to never go past version v1.0, as they already have your money, and they would rather push the next application forwards, then revisit old code.

The release of updates really depends on the size of the development team and the love of the developers for the title.

If the developer has the time to concentrate on the existing product, it can often push the title towards the top of charts if it is quality product.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Article, Soapbox

 

FREE APP ROUND-UP (30 AUG 2010)

A very average day for Freebies, and not many available

HomeRun: 5.5/10
Walk the drunk home. A flash game converted to the iOS. It is OK, but not very special.

Laser Maze: 4/10
Very basic maze game, and the drag is not very responsive. Can lost a life well away from the dangerous area too.

Mr Pencil: 5/10
Fill the screen by closing off areas. Unresponsive controls ruin this one.

Neander Block: 7/10
A nice little puzzle game, part of the game box if you already have it.

 
 

BANK HOLIDAY AND RE-LAUNCH

Due to the bank holiday in England today, we have a very cut down service.

We hope to still do a very quick freebie round-up.

We are also working hard on the relaunch of the site for September 1st so are using the time to work on the improvements for this.

To all have a great bank holiday and we will see you again tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in Article, Soapbox