KSBDA International Spring Exhibition

I’m very late writing this, but I thought it was worth commemorating even very much belatedly.

Rootn Tootn‘s icon and logo were shown in an exhibit last year. In the words of the designer:

Rootn Tootn graphic artwork was shown at the 2014 KSBDA International Spring Exhibition, May 31st through June 5th, 2014, at University of Seoul in Korea. It hung among works of designers and professors from more than 5 countries beside Korean designers and professors. Totally 300 plus works were exhibited.

(Bonus points if you can find the icon in any of the pictures in the link!)

Rootn Tootn Logo

Rootn Tootn Logo

I’m really happy with the design work for that app and I’m glad it was put on display for a much wider audience. Next time I’ll try to find out about it beforehand!

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Mac Calendar Widget

Today Widget

Today Widget

I just uploaded a simple calendar widget that appears in Notification Centre of your Yosemite-powered Mac. It doesn’t connect to the system-wide Calendar, instead it just displays a simple month view.

It’s currently source-only — so you need to be a developers or at least comfortable with Xcode — but is pretty much feature complete.

As is often the way when you write software for a living, I found a problem and I felt the need to fix it. As with most of these problems, it took longer than I anticipated but I’m quite happy with the result.

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Smart App Banner 1.1.0

The first new release of 2015 is my Wordpress plugin, Smart App Banner.

Version 1.1.0, rather than insisting that you remember (or copy and paste) the app IDs, remembers them for you and gives you a dropdown list when you add a new post:

Dropdown list of apps

Dropdown list of apps

Once selected, the details are filled in. You can then customise them before saving.

You can define the list of apps in the Settings menu. Editing entries here does not affect any of your existing posts, so don’t worry about experimenting and “breaking” something.

One question you may have: why doesn’t it keep a central list of apps, allowing you to update them all in one place if you want? Unfortunately there are too many edge cases, making it difficult to code and awkward to define sensible defaults or Undo mechanisms. For example, what happens if you delete an app? How would you deal with the affiliate data and app argument? (Those last two fields probably vary from page to page anyway.)

It’s a small thing (that due to the “wonders” of PHP took longer than I’d have hoped to implement) but very useful I think. I hope you like it.

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2014 was a busy year for us. Of course, we never completed everything we hoped to but we’ve achieved a lot.

  • Two new apps, CameraGPS and ShareEverywhere
  • Two further big updates to CameraGPS, and a couple of minor ones
  • Two further updates to ShareEverywhere
  • Four updates to Yummy
  • Five updates to Rootn Tootn, including the big, new 2.0 release

All that, plus some changes to www.cut that we’ve not been able to release.

For various reasons, it’s unlikely that we’ll get quite as much done in 2015 but we already have some exciting updates in progress. 2015 should be good.

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EU Tax Changes

On 1st January 2015, the EU changes how VAT is calculated in cross-border transactions. How does this affect you as a consumer of apps and as a developer?

The short version: Apple have not announced changes of app pricing in Europe, so consumers will see no difference in 2015. Developers, however, will make slightly less money for each sale.

Following is the longer version.

Two important things. One is a change, the other is remaining. The status quo is retained on app pricing. Apple have not announced price changes and prices shown to consumers in the EU, unlike the US, always include tax.

The change is on how the tax is calculated. Previously, tax in the EU was calculated at the rate where the company (rather than the consumer) is located. Apple’s iTunes European base is Luxembourg, which is famed for having a relatively low tax rate of 17%.

From next year, the tax will be calculated at the rate of the country where the purchase is made. That is, when I’m buying from iTunes UK I’ll be paying 20% tax and when buying from, say, iTunes DK I’ll be paying 25% tax.

To work out your final figure the simplest way is just to read Apple’s documentation. But if you really want to do it yourself, take the figure seen in the App Store, say £1.49, take off the tax (20%) and then take off Apple’s split (30%). If there’s anything left, it’s yours. The worked example in this blog also still works.

The rates, taken from iTunes Connect, are as follows:

CountryVAT Rate
Czech Republic21%

(I hope you don’t have any Hungary-exclusive paid-for apps.)

I would assume that at some point Apple will start to adjust App Pricing to equalise around the world. If nothing else, some changes in the Russian store are likely very soon!

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CameraGPS 1.2

CameraGPS 1.2 is a big update. I toyed with the idea of calling it version 2.0; it’s that big.

CameraGPS -- geotagging


The “marquee” new feature is built-in geotagging. When you open a trail, you can see any editable pictures that were taken around the same time. Pins show where the trail indicates your pictures were taken. You can then select the images you want to tag and add the location to them. The location can either be the nearest “real” location — i.e., an actual recorded track point — or CameraGPS can interpolate between the two nearest points.

CameraGPS - Export trail

Export trail

Of course if you want to continue to use your favourite geotagging app you can. Version 1.2 includes support for the new “extensions” that Apple introduced with iOS 8, allowing you to export your GPS trails to any supported cloud service. Of course, Box and Dropbox are still supported. We’ve also tested exporting to Google Drive and iCloud Drive. All you need to do it install the services app.

Note: You’ll need the latest version of the Box app (3.5.2 at the time of writing) for it to work reliably with that service.

In addition to all that, there’s a host of smaller changes and improvements. Some of the more visible include the “Low battery” notifications now include the ability to stop recording without opening the app and support for the latest Apple devices (iPhone 6 and 6+ screen sizes, 64-bit builds). Of course there are always minor tweaks and fixes.

A lot of work has gone into this release and we hope you like it. It’s a free update for existing users and the same bargain price for everyone else. It’s currently with Apple for review and hopefully we be out soon.

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CameraGPS 1.2 Preview

After the bad news about www.cut, I thought I should post some good news. And here we have a quick video — the one that will be the basis of the App Preview when it’s available on the App Store — showing off some of the features of the new version of CameraGPS, our geotagging app.

CameraGPS has had substantial changes to take advantage of the new facilities in iOS 8, so much so that it is now iOS 8-only. (The vast majority of users are currently running the latest version of the operating system. If you’ve not updated yet — please do! It’s worth it.) We’ve included everything from the new interactive notifications right through to the ability to geotag your images right inside the app.

Hopefully it should be available before new the New Year. It will be a free upgrade for existing users.

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www.cut 3.3 update

In September I said that the iOS 8 update for www.cut would probably be out towards the end of the month. I wanted to update you on why that has not happened yet.

I did finish what I thought would be a decent update, complete with an action extension, but Apple rejected it when I submitted it for review. Their objection was for something completely unrelated to what had changed since 3.2.

At this stage I’m not clear what the path forward is. I do not want to end support for it — it’s an app that I still use myself — but it’s difficult to justify the magnitude of change they’re asking for at the the moment.

So I’m afraid I don’t have an answer right now but thought I should document what the hold-up is. More information when I have it.

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ShareEverywhere 1.0.2

Another minor update to ShareEverywhere is now with Apple for review and should be with you in a few days. Just three things to talk about:

  • Support for dynamic text sizing — if you increase the text size in the Settings app, ShareEverywhere will use appropriately sized fonts in both the main app and the share sheet
  • Add Twitter and Facebook and Safari Reading List sharers (declutter your share menu!)
  • Bug fixes and minor enhancements

Hope you like it.

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Rootn Tootn 2.1

I have just submitted an update to Rootn Tootn to Apple for approval. The one sentence description for this release is “The iOS 8 Update.” In a little more depth:

  • Support for iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 and 6+ screen sizes
  • Enhanced notifications, allowing you to start timers from the lock screen
  • Export to “document providers” such as Dropbox and Box
  • Support for Dynamic Type, making Rootn Tootn more accessible
  • Bug fixes and other minor improvements

This new version supports both iOS 7 and iOS 8, though many of the newer features only work on iOS 8.

There are not a huge number of visible changes, but I hope you like it.

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