Thursday, May 28, 2015

Search For Email, and then Listen!

Here it is, the latest and greatest version of Reader+ for Gmail, 1.14:

May 18, 2015
1. Added search capability to app so that you can search for the Gmail messages that you want to listen to.
2. Corrected issue with controls not responding on the lock screen under some circumstance.s
3. Corrected state of play/pause control under some circumstances (after restoring app).
4. Corrected issue in which app would never let you listen to trash or spam emails (in case you actually want to do that).
5. Fixed bug in which some emails having single-digit timestamps in the hours field would not get sorted properly. 
6. Friendly audio reminders to buy the upgraded version modified slightly and changed to keep track of the last one that the user listened to.

And you can download it FREE here:

As mentioned previously, I think this might be my last version for a while, although I'll still do any bug fixes if they happen to come up. For now I'm learning about Unity... going to see if I can put together a game of some sort.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Even Gmail Audio is Boring?

I think most people generally dislike email. A lot of the email that I get is just newsletters and crap, the kind of stuff that I usually just delete without reading. Although sometimes I'm sure some of those emails could contain some useful info... perhaps a useful stock tip or something, or some good advice about how to better market my app. That was the primary reason why I created Reader for Gmail: I wanted an app that could read out all of my email to me while I was out jogging somewhere, and the apps and built-in functionality of my iPhone at the time just didn't cut it.

Now that the app is basically done though, I've found that I don't use it as much as I thought I would. Maybe just once or twice a week. You see, for the most part, those emails are still boring! Quite often I've got a few good podcasts lined up that I like to listen to, or one or two good audio books (currently reading the true story "Foxcatcher" by Mark Schultz... highly recommend!) or maybe just would rather pound the pavement while rocking out to The Offspring. I suspect most other people are probably the same, maybe even more so, as they would not feel the same "developer-compulsion" that I have to test the app and make sure that it is functioning as intended.

Over 4000 people have downloaded the app, and based on stats from appFigures over 1000 have upgraded in recent days, so I guess that's not too bad in terms of retaining users. I'm guessing probably over 2000 still have the app installed on their devices. But looking at the stats in Google's Developer Console (I can track how much the app gets used, but not who is actually using or what they are listening to!) it looks like usually only a few people are using the app per day. I think most people are like, "Hey this app is kind of neat, I like it! But I don't actually use it hardly ever, 'cause email is just kind of boring you know?!?"

I still plan on doing maintenance-type stuff for the app, but have no major plans for big improvements. Yeah, the UI might be sup-par for some people, but I don't really care. The thing works well as it is I think, and I can't really think of any other changes I could make that would magically increase sales or downloads to any large extent.

I plan on starting a new blog soon for a game idea that I've been kicking around. Yes I know, 500+ games get released every single day for iOS... but still I want to try.