Wishing all readers of this blog, users of Yummy and, indeed, everyone else a fabulous festive season.
It’s at times like these that I realise that I am too, well, nice to ever become a gazillionaire. Every few months I see a new scheme that attempts to game the placement of programs in the App Store and I wonder if I should consider it for Yummy. Every time I decide against it. Sure, in theory I might get a few extra sales but I feel that it would cheapen both me and my software. At the risk of sounding pretentious, you can’t really buy integrity.
But that’s not to say that the text I use to describe Yummy hasn’t evolved as I’ve learned some lessons along the way.
When I first launched it went like this:
Yummy synchronises all your Delicious.com bookmarks with your iPhone or iPod touch, allowing you to quickly browse or search for them. It is also a convenient way to add, edit and delete bookmarks all within one application.
It’s kind of minimal, but that was a deliberate reaction to some of the other apps that were available at the time. Their descriptions talked about very basic features as though they predated sliced bread. I wanted to draw attention to the key differentiators — searching and editing bookmarks — without assuming that my prospects were idiots.
Turns out that there are problems with being minimal, in fact the problem that spamming your description with other apps attempts to solve. After a little experimentation, I found that my original text didn’t appear when I searched for “delicious”. In that sense it’s a wonder that as many people found and downloaded a copy!
Last month I extended my text to this:
Yummy synchronises all your Delicious.com bookmarks with your iPhone or iPod touch, allowing you to quickly browse, search, add, edit and delete them.
- Synchronise with Delicious whenever you want
- Browse bookmarks by date
- Search for bookmarks by tag(s) or title
- View all fields held by Delicious (notes, date, tags, etc)
- Add new bookmarks. Includes handy bookmarklet for Safari
- Edit and delete bookmarks
I thought that this version was a reasonable compromise between conciseness, using genuine keywords and showing the key features of the application.
Right now while Yummy is placed behind an application that counts the number of days to Easter and a tourist guide to London, it’s in a much better position now. And all without using sleazy SEO techniques.
The folks over at Veiled Games have decided to “market by cookie,” a strategy unfortunately missing from most text books on the subject. I am always willing to learn new techniques, so here is my attempt:
This is the real life yummy cup cake from the Yummy logo. Maybe next time I should make the colours match those in my first attempt at a logo?
(As with the logo, these cakes were baked up by brandarling.com.)
[Update: now part of The Great Indie Bake Off 2008. I’m not a judge but if you want to send me any cake I would be more than happy to accept…]
I am aware that a number of users find the process of adding the “Add to Yummy” bookmarklet to Safari to be harder than it should be. As I discussed last week, this is not something that I can make a lot simpler — you’ll have to ask Apple to help me there.
But if adding the bookmarklet in Safari or Internet Explorer on your PC and syncing your iPhone is not something that appeals, try this:
Click this link:
(It should redirect you back to this page.)
Then add it to Safari using the “+” button at the bottom of the screen and press “Add Bookmark.”
You can change the name of the bookmark if you like, then click ‘Save.’
Now click the bookmarks button. Locate your new bookmark, press the “Edit” button at the bottom of the screen and select the new bookmark.
And with that you’re good to go.
One of Yummy’s most useful and unique features is the ability to add new bookmarks to Delicious. A bookmarklet in Safari makes this even easier to use, but there is a price: it’s tricky to add this bookmark on the iPhone.
I’ve love to be able to make this whole process easy, a one click process, but the ball is in Apple’s court on this one. Craig Hockenberry of IconFactory wrote about this (“Difficult for users to take advantage of URL schemes in Safari“) and I wholeheartedly agree.
However, for the moment we are all stuck with what Apple has provided. So, I have a question for you: can you think of a better way of doing this?
The two approaches that I am aware of are:
- The way Yummy does it. Add the bookmark to Safari or Internet Explorer and sync the iPhone.
- The way Twitterrific does it. Add a bookmark using MobileSafari and manually edit it.
Do you find the Twitterrific way significantly better than Yummy’s?
I see that a new version of the iPhone firmware is now available for download. Unfortunately not all developers get to see new releases before you do, so I have not had the chance to check that everything still works as before. I do not anticipate any issues but will have a look as soon as I can.
If you see any problems please let me know. I will do what I can to help.
Although activity here recently might lead you to conclude otherwise, I am busy working on the next version of Yummy. I have my own internal hit-list of features that I want to include — I use Yummy as well as write it — but I thought now might be a good time to solicit feedback.
What new features would you like to see in the next version?
Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below or directly by email. I won’t make any promises but I will always do what I can.
One of the hard things about buying an iPhone application is that, unlike Mac or Windows programs, there is no way that you can see the program in action without actually buying it. Even when the cost is less than a latte at your local coffee franchise, the thought of putting down money for something without seeing it in action makes the process harder than it might be.
Much is in Apple’s court. There is no way, for example, that I can make available a demo version. I can, however, do one better one better than screenshots. With apologies for the poor audio quality, here is a “screencast,” a quick overview of Yummy’s key features in video form.
What do you think? Does this give you a better idea of what Yummy is like to use?
From time to time users of Yummy ask me how often it synchronises its bookmarks with Delicious.com. I hope to answer that question in this post.
First a quick aside. How did I envisage people using Yummy when I was designing it? The idea was that it should pretty much stay out of the way. You’d open Yummy, search or browse for a bookmark and immediately flip over to Safari to see it. Or you’d start in Safari, add a bookmark that you want to read later and return to what you were doing.
In this usage pattern, if you have Yummy open for more than a couple of minutes at a time I’ve probably failed. Which means that doing a full refresh every, say, thirty minutes would be a waste of time.
Instead, Yummy checks to see whether there are any new updates to download every time you start it. Usually there are not and the refresh is almost instant. In fact, most users should never really need to use the refresh button at all — indeed I almost did not include it in the finish application.
But, with great power comes great responsibility. If you refresh very frequently occasionally Yummy will tell you “Delicious says that you’re refreshing too quickly.” The cause of this is, well, exactly as it says. Delicious will only allow a client to do a full refresh once every thirty minutes or so (the exact time seems to vary). This is not a limitation of Yummy; it’s a limit imposed by Delicious.