Category: App

It’s been a rough week. Maybe you should be Barrel Bound…?

It’s Friday. It’s Portland. And it’s about that time. It’s been a long week. You’re super interested in supporting the local economy. And what better way to blow of some steam and support your fellow entrepreneurs than partaking in the tasting of local beverage or two? It’s like the perfect win-win situation. And luckily, you’ve got Barrel Bound to help.

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Want to report municipal problems in the de facto hub of open source? There’s no better way than the City of Portland Android app

Introducing PDX Reporter, a new Android app designed to report problems directly to the city of Portland, Oregon, quickly and easily.

Portland has declared itself an open city. It has worked hard to champion open source, open its data, and look for new and interesting ways to get more involved in the open source software community.

But to report a problem to the City with a mobile app? Well, that took an iPhone—a notably proprietary system. That was, until now. Introducing PDX Reporter, a new Android app designed to report problems directly to the city, quickly and easily. Read More

Got iOS 4? Get your virtual guitar on with the Twang iPhone app

Well, if you’ve got the right stuff, you should try Twang, a virtual iPhone guitar from Portland-based Control Z. Think Ocarina with strings.

Last week, all the iPhone hubbub centered around the release of iPhone 4 and iOS 4. Which means that there are a lot of new iPhone owners out there. And a lot of new folks with a brand new operating system. And they’re probably looking for something to do with those things.

Well, if you’ve got the right stuff, you should try Twang, a virtual iPhone guitar from Portland-based Control Z. Think Ocarina with strings. Read More

Love Twitter, your iPhone, and hide-and-seek? There’s an app for that: hideNtweet

Well, thanks in part to Portland’s Nate “@xolotl” Angell that dream of Twitter and iPhone and hide-and-seek goodness has become a reality. Get ready to play hideNtweet.

[HTML2]If you’re like me, you love a good game of hide-and-seek. Or hide-n-seek. And like me, you may also be a big fan of the iPhone. Perhaps even—and this would be the trifecta—you, like me, may have spent a minute or two on Twitter. If so, you may be thinking what I’m thinking. What’s that? Well, I’m always thinking, “If only could I combine my affection for the iPhone and Twitter with the joy of hide-and-seek? If only….”

Well, thanks in part to Portland’s Nate “@xolotl” Angell, some ghost naming from Heather “@twigz” Angell, and illustrations by Brett Forman of a novel design—and of course tons of brilliant coding by John Ellis who doesn’t happen to be in the Silicon Forest… yet—that dream of Twitter and iPhone and hide-and-seek goodness has become a reality.

Get ready to play hideNtweet. Read More

What’s it like to submit an application to the iPhone App Store?

FastFiguresEver wondered what it’s like to submit an iPhone application to the Apple App Store? Now, Beaverton-based FastFigures provides some much needed insight into the whole process with the lessons they learned after one month in the iPhone App Store.

The post provides a fascinating look into the planning of the launch, including struggling with issues like pricing:

The price sensitivity data showed a starting price of $9.99 maximized revenue but I was concerned that these customers were too familiar with our products and wouldn’t represent the broader world of iPhone users. After agonizing over this for over a week, I decided to adjust the pricing based on some additional factors and settled on $5.99. This decision is proving to be both a good one and a bad one, and I struggle with selling our applications so inexpensively to this day.

Mistakes made:

And this is where not understanding the process hurt us. First, I didn’t realize that there was some additional paperwork that needed to be completed. That was completed on the 23rd. Then, once everything is signed off, it takes 24 hours to show up in the AppStore. Finally on the 24th, I’m looking for the application in What’s New and can’t find it!

And valuable lessons learned:

Two things happened around March 19th that changed our fortunes. For one, we hit that magical 20 review level I’ve talked about before. Second, one of the products in the Finance category most similar to ours went free. There has been a lot of discussion on the web about free applications versus paid applications and that the two customers aren’t the same. And this competitive application proved that.

Plus, some insightful suggestions:

Can you make money in the AppStore? Yes. But the competition is fierce and it’s very hard to differentiate your product from others. My suggestion: Spend plenty of time up-front figuring out how to get above the noise with factors you can control.

Long story short, if you’ve even remotely entertained the idea of building an iPhone app, this post is a must read.

Thanks to the folks at FastFigures for opening up and providing this valuable insight into the process.


Platial finds Apple iPhone App Store with Nearby

Platial iPhone iconPortland-based Platial, the mapping site that helps folks tell the backstories about locations that deepen the meaning of “where you are,” just got a lot more mobile, now that Platial Nearby is part of the Apple iPhone App Store.

I got the chance to see a demo version of Nearby at Platial’s iPhone App launch party a few weeks back. And it’s a pretty slick little application. Nearby takes advantage of the location-aware features of the newest iPhone, allowing users to dig into Platial content that is pertinent to both where they are—and where they might like to be.

Like most mapping applications, users can find the typical “publicly available” information about locations. But with Nearby, they also gain the advantage of tapping into Platial user data—the stories about the spot you’re standing. That means litterally thousands of notes, images, tags, and reviews for some areas. Stories of personal experience. And insight. Stories that you don’t usually get, unless you have an actual person or two to guide you.

Long story short, Nearby is a virtual tour guide, providing the backstory for the world around you. And with the iPhone app, you’re getting that story as you walk through that location.

Platial Nearby on the iPod Touch

“This reinforces our mission to create the Peoples Atlas,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO of Platial. “For two years we’ve been collecting information about all kinds of places that are meaningful to people; user-generated content that goes beyond commercial listings and into architecture, activism, street art, playgrounds, local history–things you can’t find anywhere else. We still have a long way to go, but we’re closer now with Platial for iPhone.”

Nearby is currently available for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. No registration is required, so users can begin using the app right away.

Well, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 version of the firmware.

Have you tried the Platial Nearby app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Platial is a free online mapping resource where people around the world every day share and discover all kinds of places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video, and stories in one simple interface.