Posts Tagged ‘pocketpedia’

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.

Secret feature revealed

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

pocketpedia Maybe some of you saw the ‘secret feature’ release note included in the last version update of the Pedias (4.3). Today we can finally reveal what we’ve been working on feverishly for the past two months: Pocketpedia.

Pocketpedia lets you keep your media library right where you need it when you’re out and about: in your pocket. Sync your data over your wireless network from the Pedias to your iPhone and iPod touch so you always know what you wanted to buy, what you already have or who borrowed what. Pocketpedia also gives you access to all the Amazon sites to read reviews about products and do price comparisons.

You don’t even need to own the Pedias to use Pocketpedia because you can create collections right on your iPhone and iPod touch. Pocketpedia is free so download it right now and tell all your friends about it too, both Mac and PC owners. Pocketpedia is for everyone!

The App Store is just as new for us as it is for you (today is the first day we’re seeing Pocketpedia live) and we have to admit that we were a bit worried about this set up at first. Apple is the gatekeeper that can make or break an app now. When our first submission of Pocketpedia was rejected – without further commentary – we thought it had to do with our icon since it doesn’t follow the conventional design with a square background but instead has a transparent top. But it turned out to be just a little bug in the code and once that was fixed, Pocketpedia was ready to go ‘on sale’.

Speaking of the transparency on our icon, unfortunately the App Store adds the default shine, even though the documentation promised they would respect the shine parameter (a key inside the application info file called UIPrerenderedIcon that asks for the shine not to be applied). Hopefully it’s just a launch kink and we won’t have to update the icon to fit in with the app store but rest assured: it looks stylish on your iPhone.

Pocketpedia is one of 134 free apps now available on the App Store. We are excited to be in so early in the launch with only 551 other applications. Of which interestingly enough 43 are public domain books (if the trend continues they will need their own category), each one released in its own individual application in order to charge per book as opposed to BookZ Text Reader which downloads books from the internet without having to re-purchase each one. Sadly I am unable to buy the latter as I have a strict rule about names that include a Z at the end of their names, just like the myriad animal games: Dolphinz, Tigerz, Horsez and friendz. Not withstanding the strangely named applications this is just the beginning for the App Store as well as for Pocketpedia, so send us your feedback for the next update and let us know what you think!