Posts Tagged ‘pocketpedia’

Pocketpedia and the Taller iPhone 5

Friday, September 21st, 2012

With the launch of iPhone 5 today we wanted to let you know that the upcoming version of Pocketpedia will support the extra 176 pixels. For data driven apps like Pocketpedia the extra height is a great addition since more of your collections, items, results and details will be visible. Specifically, this means you get to see two more collections and one more row of items when you’re in a collection.

Below are listed a few fantasy books from my personal collection. The first screenshot is for iPhone 4S followed by iPhone 5 screenshot.

iOS makes it easy to cram a lot onto the screen but it was getting crowded when the search was in use. As above, iPhone 4S screenshot followed by iPhone 5.

iPhone 5 brings a little bit more of everything to Pocketpedia. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on an iPhone 5 on launch day, then look forward to the next release of Pocketpedia. (As soon as I am done with some other features currently in development.)

Pocketpedia 3

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

We are extremely excited to announce the immediate availability of Pocketpedia 3 on the App Store.

It took three people working two years to make this possible and we are very proud of the first version. We’ll be making videos in the future for new users to see Pocketpedia in action before downloading it. But since a lot of you already know Pocketpedia and have been so patient we wanted to release it right away while we still working on some of the marketing material. Pocketpedia 3 requires iOS 4.0+ (sorry first generation iPod touches and iPhones that can only be upgraded to 3.1.1) and supports retina display on all the devices including the new iPad.

Pocketpedia3 on the iPad, doing a search on Doghouse.

As a thank you for your patience and all your help with version 5 and Doghouse, the app is currently available for a %25 discount at $2.99. This offer will run until April 24, 2012 so tell your friends and spread the word.

In its current form Pocketpedia is the perfect companion app to the Desktop Pedias for taking your collection on the go. If you are both a Pedia and Mobile device owner be sure to download Pockepedia 3. Do send us feedback about features you’d like to see and we’ll try to work those into upcoming version. We already have a list of features we want to add, such as editing directly in Pocketpedia and adding entries manually to make it a stand-alone iOS app for those users without Macs.

A special thank you goes out to all the testers who helped beta test Pocketpedia3 these last two months. Also to all the users who contributed to the Doghouse, helping to create the search site for Pocketpedia as well as to all the moderators who have been correcting details and entering missing information in Doghouse.

There is a lot more to share about the making of Pocketpedia 3 but for now we are just thrilled to get it out there to all our users.

Enjoy!

Getting Around Without Pocketpedia

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Although Pocketpedia is not available anymore, there are still a few ways to get your Pedia collections onto the iPhone and iPod Touch. They are not as ideal as Pocketpedia but are valid options nonetheless.

1 – HTML export

Use one of the iPhone optimized templates such as “iPhone” or “iPhone Grouped” from the HTML export feature to export your collection from the Pedias. Upload the export to a server and access your collection through Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

These iPhone export templates have an index, for quick searches, and are optimized for the smaller screen. You can find another iPhone-optimized export template on our Extras page for download as well or if you have some HTML experience, write your own. Take a look at the Help file under ‘Export > Customizing HTML templates’ for more information.

2 – PDF sync

Use the Print or export feature in the Pedias and then create a PDF of that print or export.
For the Print feature, press the ‘Print’ button on the first dialogue and then press ‘PDF’ on the second window. Save the preview as PDF.
For the Export feature, export the collection and when the preview opens in your preferred browser, choose ‘Print’ and save as PDF as described above.
Then use a free program such as Evernote to sync the PDF over to your iPhone.

SmallCovers print template, in PDF format viewed in Evernote on the iPhone

ListThick print template, in PDF format viewed in Evernote on the iPhone

Of course, if all you want is a list of your titles as a quick reference then a simple text export from the Pedias will suffice. Just use any free notes app for the iPhone/iPod touch to import the text file and you’ll be good to go.

Unfruitful Discussions

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

We managed to talk with an Amazon representative over the phone about Pocketpedia2 and although thrilling to finally have a two-way conversation it proved to be neither enlightening nor productive. Amazon made it clear that they are not okay with Pocketpedia2, even though it censors their data. We were told that even the most common of attributes, the title, cannot be synced to a mobile device.

In order to put Pocketpedia2 back up we would have to block all information from Amazon. Entries would need to appear as “?” or not at all on the iPhone. This would not only cause a terrible confusion but also make Pocketpedia2 useless for most users. Since the Pedias do have a number of data sources we understand that Pocketpedia2 would still work for users who gather their information elsewhere or enter it manually. However, given the popularity of Amazon as a search and the support issues we would encounter with users unaware of the restrictions we have chosen to keep Pocketpedia2 off the App Store until the time when we can produce, without limits, an iPhone app we can be proud of. So for those of you that were able to acquire a copy of Pocketpedia2 during its short life at the App Store, be sure to keep it safe.

As expected, the reasoning behind the exclusion could not be discussed. The likelihood of a change in the terms that would allow Pocketpedia2 to exist could also not be discussed.

Tomorrow is an exciting day for Apple followers and likely all computer enthusiast. We have no doubt that tomorrow’s announcement will also be classified as a mobile device by Amazon. The devices of the future are being built by Apple and Amazon doesn’t want to be the provider of data for those devices. All we’re lacking now is an open, rich and international data service.

And it’s back!

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Pocketpedia2We’re very excited to announce that Pocketpedia2 has passed its App Store review and is available once more for download through the iTunes Store.

Pocketpedia2 is free but to avoid the fate of the previous Pocketpedia there have been some changes to the functionality and features. There is no more Amazon search but the sync is now two-way so you can manage your collections on the iPhone and have it all sync up when you get back to your Mac.

Please note that you need the latest version of the Pedia programs, version 4.5.4, to sync your data to Pocketpedia2.
From now on, this is our official iPhone app. The old Pocketpedia will keep working on your iPhone but it will not sync with the latest version of the Pedias, 4.5.4.

Now that the program is out once more we’ll start work on adding more features from the long list of ideas we have. Thanks to everyone for their patience and to all our beta testers for their great work. We hope you enjoy Pocketpedia2!

Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Dear Mr. Bezos,

Recently we had to remove our iPhone and iPod Touch program Pocketpedia from the iTunes App Store because it synced Amazon information from our desktop applications to a mobile device and also allowed the Amazon catalog to be searched from a mobile device. The Amazon Product Advertising API provides reliable access to a wealth of information that benefits my company as a source of data and your company by encouraging more sales. We are unable to find a reason why this API service should explicitly exclude use on mobile devices.

Let me tell you a bit about our applications, in the hopes of changing your mind. The Pedia programs (DVDpedia, Bookpedia, CDpedia and Gamepedia) are used to build personal media catalogs. Users create a list of items they own, those that they have lent out and those they wish to buy in the future. It allows them to get organized and keep track of both past and future purchases. As you can appreciate, having their data on the go is a great reference and convenience.

It’s our belief that Pocketpedia does in no way compete with Amazon Mobile or SnapTell (which you recently acquired). They serve different markets: Pocketpedia is a home reference application while yours are shopping applications. Even if they did compete I don’t see a reason to suppress them as the winner will always be Amazon selling the final product. And iPhone users can only benefit from more options in the App Store. Of course you’re in a better position to decide what’s best for Amazon but from the outside the clauses excluding mobile devices seem like a losing situation for all: Amazon, customers and third-party developers.

Both clauses mention that written approval can be obtained to use the Amazon data on a mobile device, yet I can’t find a single app that has received this approval. In the hopes of positive changes at Amazon I would like to suggest that these clauses be dropped. If this is not possible, I formally request that Bruji as well as our competitor Delicious Monster (who have also run afoul of the mobile clause) be given permission to sync Amazon data to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Moreover, if Amazon is feeling kind, we also request the use of the Product Advertising API directly on the iPhone to search and add new items.

I write this as an open letter because getting a meaningful conversation going with Amazon has been impossible for both my customers and me. Your support system does not allow replies to emails sent directly from your Associates Account Specialist. Messages filled out in the Amazon contact page only get canned responses without explanations. The Amazon customer service has lost its touch in the last few years but more worrying is that Amazon has become increasingly closed, controlling and unfriendly. I know that our users have been writing to Amazon in the past week to register their dismay about the loss of Pocketpedia and I would like to be able to give them positive news thanks to their efforts.

Hoping for change,
Conor Dearden

Bye-bye Pocketpedia – Hello 4.5.1

Friday, July 17th, 2009

When Amazon forced us to pull Pocketpedia from the App Store this morning they also killed our access key to the Amazon Web Services which affects our desktop Pedias since the programs all use the same key. Silly us, we should have used a different key. But we didn’t forsee that mobile app access might become a problem when we released Pocketpedia over a year ago.

This means the Amazon search does not work on any Pedia program other than the latest version, 4.5.1. So make sure you are running this latest version of the Pedias to avoid any trouble with the Amazon search. (Use the built-in ‘Check for Updates’ command found under the program menu to check you’re up to date.)

The only upside to all this is that by August 15th we would have had to change the Amazon access key anyway because Amazon’s new policy of forcing all requests to carry a signature is going to take effect on that day. Those users still running version 3.6 because of Panther and Jaguar compatibility would have had no Amazon search from that day on which is why we tried to delay adding a new key for as long as possible.

Bye bye Pocketpedia

Friday, July 17th, 2009

This morning we received an email from Amazon requesting the immediate removal of Pocketpedia from the App Store since the program is in violation of their license agreement. (A clause we’re pretty sure didn’t exist when Pocketpedia launched with the App Store in June last year but TOSBack only tracks Kindle and MP3 music service terms of use.)

We’ve logged a request with Amazon that Pocketpedia be exempt from the mobile clause (this is stated as a possibility in the license agreement) but it seems others have tried this before and were shot down so we’re not holding our breath for a favourable response. Hopefully the future will bring a positive change in their policy and we can all go on competing in the App Store.

They also informed us that our access key to the Amazon web services has been turned off which would mean that the desktop Pedias would not be able to query Amazon for data anymore. So far, they seem to have been kind enough to leave the access key live and the searches should continue to work fine in the Pedias (UPDATE: Amazon has indeed killed our access key and the desktop Pedias are not able to return Amazon searches anymore. Download the latest version, 4.5.1, to fix the problem.) but we’re ready for an immediate update if new access keys are required. We have requested all keys be re-activated as soon as possible since your access to data is one of our topmost concerns.

To say goodbye to Pocketpedia we put together a small sample (it’s quite a long list) of our favorite reviews:

Dvdpedia is one of my favorite apps. It’s great to be able to take that software on the go with softpedia. Thank you for this great free app!

This is an awesome app! My only suggestion is to add more editting ability like being able to edit the picture and the content

Just what I’ve wanted — a way to easily sync my iPhone to a database of my books, and books that I’ve referenced at the University’s library. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Finally a way to get to my list of dvd’s and cd’s on the run.  This app allows you to carry with you all of the media info including the cover (which is pretty nice).

I love this app!  I can’t believe that it’s free!

This app is fantastic! I used to use Notes on my iPhone as a way of keeping track of wishlists among other things. No more of that! This is exactly what I need. Great job on this one.

Works absolutely flawless and it’s FREE! It shows all my DVD’s and all the albums I have them in, just like on my mac.

You simply made my day. Just when I was trying to figure out how to take my DVD library info on the road (save to PDF and use iStorage to get it from iDisk), I stumbled over this.

I love this app. Perfect to arrange all my stuff, because I’m sort of OCD like that. It would be great if you could also have sections for electronics, furniture, etc.

Syncing worked perfectly on the first shot.  Consider me completely satisfied.

What a brilliant little app. Works well. Should be paid for i think!

This app does exactly what it says it does and does it well. Very easy to use and I will be using it a lot! Download now!

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for future versions.

We had a great update ready to go as those of you active on our forum know. Pocketpedia is a fantastic little app and we’re very upset that we had to pull it like that. Hopefully someday it will be able to make a comeback to the App Store (and if it does we promise to include an icon without transparency).

UPDATE: Thank you for all your support and kind words and especially for letting Amazon know how you feel about Pocketpedia being pulled. Do keep writing to them!

The Unofficial Link

Monday, September 29th, 2008

TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) has just posted an entry about Pocketpedia. They already knew our users love the Pedias and now they have discovered Pocketpedia and kindly linked to it on the App Store. They mention the interesting possibility of scanning barcodes on the iPhone instead of typing in the number for a search. We are looking into that possibility. We hope to be able to translate our video open source barcode scanning code for use with stills on the iPhone. In fact so are a few other developers who have contacted us about using our code on the iPhone. The iPhone SDK is a not even a year old and we are already seeing exciting applications on the App Store. Once the development community is allowed to grow I think we will begin to see even more exciting apps on the iPhone.

Pocketpedia 1.1

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

We sent Pocketpedia 1.1 to the App Store a few days ago, trying to time it with our 4.3.1 release of the Pedias. Today it’s been approved for release so check for the update on your iPhone/iPod touch! There are a whole slew of new features in version 1.1, including the most popular requests: internal search and different sorting options. For a complete list of new features and improvements, check out Pocketpedia’s What’s New? page.

There is still a lot to do for version 1.2. For those who sync Pocketpedia from a Mac, it’s a natural extension and a portable version of the Pedias but there are a lot of Windows users now with Pocketpedia. It seems the initial release was strong enough to stand on its own without the desktop programs, something we did not expect given the limitation of not being able to edit items. For those users, Pocketpedia needs to include the ability to edit in order to add personal comments and enter items manually that might not be found online. So that feature along with several others is on the horizon.

Pocketpedia has been an incredible success. In a single month from its July 11th launch to August 11th, it has been downloaded 84,580 times in the US store alone. At the other end is Peru with 12 downloads – not bad for a country where the official iPhone launch happened after August 11th.

A lot of users wrote about a missing feature – not being able to delete. It’s not that 1.0 did not have this feature (swiping your finger across an item presents a delete button) but this gesture is not intuitive yet for iPhone users. Since the iPhone OS allows new ways to interact with applications, we have a dream of physically interacting with the screen. Why have a delete button when you can simply strike an item off your list? But from the feedback for 1.0 we learned that we need to provide a regular button too. Just as Mac OS X applications have 4 ways of doing something (a menu bar, a contextual menu, a button and a shortcut key) the iPhone should have two – a gesture and a button.
Still, we haven’t given up hope on our dream: 1.1 has no “select random entry” button but shaking your iPhone will do the trick.