Oct 25, 2009
Exactly a month and 2 days have passed since the latest update and you guessed correctly: this is a major one. It brings two technologies into MyAppSales that I was kind of afraid to try because I was fearing the technical difficulties and the work that was necessary to make them work. But now that they are in, I’m glad I did.
- ADDED: Smart Multi-Account capability. You can now add multiple ITC accounts and the reports will be downloaded. Note that the UI is still the same, so reports will appear individually, always showing all apps. This will be addressed in a future version.
- FIXED: The Passcode Lock also appears if the app resigns active status.
- FIXED: Some financial reports from January 2009 or before would cause a crash because Apple was using full country names previously, some with strange abbreviations.
- ADDED: When a new report is downloaded my server is anonymously pinged and saves the availability time. The first time a new report is encountered a push notification is sent out.
- ADDED: Different types of accounts are now supported. To begin with you can setup multiple ITC accounts and one Notifications account.
- ADDED: Notifications via the 3rd party app Notifications can now be subscribed or deleted via adding and removing of the account in settings.
- ADDED: The myappsales:// URL scheme is now supported to open MyAppSales to a specific report screen. This is used by the push notifications to open up the daily reports page where you can see the new report appear.
If you are upgrading from a previous version then it will appear as if MyAppSales is downloading all reports again. It does not really duplicate the reports and you can just let it run. But you may also quit the app via the home button after the first such download. This is necessary to establish the smart app groupings. MyAppSales figures out which apps belong to which group (aka account) and will use this fingerprint in the future to intelligently establish which account a report belongs to and if it is a duplicate. This approach also allows to detect from which account manually imported reports are coming and sets up the app to get reports from totally different sources in the future. One such service will be allowing you to share sales data on specific apps with selected users.
I have to use a 3rd party app to do the push because only Apple approved apps can do push notifications. But I can piggyback on their service to make the experience identical as if MyAppSales had notifications itself. The only differences are that you have to set up a Notifications account and that MyAppSales cannot directly deal with notifications while its open. So if you are the first to see a report and you get the notification just click “Cancel”.
It is recommended that you make a local copy of the database via the built-in webserver. There should be no problems in updating, but in some rare cases manual changes might be necessary. And it never hurts to have a backup.
Version 1.0.10 is tagged in the Subversion Repository. You can either updated your source from there or opt to update from trunk where development is continuing. Tagged versions are always a stable milestone while in the trunk I make no such warranty.
Oct 23, 2009
When I researched locales for LuckyWheel and time zones for MyAppSales I discovered that Apple had outfitted my iPhone with a complete database of all timezones worldwide as well as methods that would return the next DST switching time. Back then I thought “that would be a cool feature” and found it strange that there is nothing like this in the regular iPhone UI to actually access this data.
Do you know the feeling that you have an app stuck in your head that wants to get out? You’ll know what I am talking about if you have an idea that frequently comes into your mind because you have not acted on it. There are three ways to deal with such ideas:
- look up your local locale and down enough alcoholic beverages to destroy those few synapses that kept bothering you.
- use a notepad (or notepod) to jot down the idea and draw some sketches off the pictures that float around in your head. To the idea this will feel like validation and it will stop vying for your attention.
- or if it can be done in a day, build the app!
I just had finished my work on the H1N1 Swineflu Defender app contract, so I had a couple of days of my spare time to spare for a quick app like that. And strangely enough this way just the perfect time right before the next DST switches for Europe and the USA to also capitalize on DST being a hot topic this time of year as everybody is searching on Wikipedia or Google for when the switch will actually occur.
Oct 05, 2009
In the reviews (which we are now getting with MyAppSales *g*) we saw some complaints which this update aims to address:
- Customers complained of some really “bad English”. Native English speaker Michael Kayne of SendMeToSpace.co.uk volunteered to proof-read and massively correct all of this.
- Due to a partially intentional “bug” some people who bought the full version saw advertisements on the end-of-round screen. Since they gave rather passionate feedback against that we decided to end this experiment. First via disabling ads on the AdMob dashboard, and now by removing the ad code altogether from the full 1.1.2 version.
As usual we dropped to price to $1 until Apple gives it the nod. We sent them the binary yesterday.
Sep 23, 2009
This new version, on which I’ve literally been working every free minute in the past week, completes the featureset to make reviews useful for people of all languages because it introduces automatic background translations to a language of your choice. And finally you now find full support for automatic downloading Monthly Free and Monthly Financial reports.
- ADDED: Background processing of review texts with optional language translation.
- ADDED: New setting to choose target language or no translation.
- ADDED: If you change target language you get the option of deleting previous translations and redo them for the new language.
- ADDED: Downloading of Monthly Free reports which complement the financial reports showing downloads of free apps.
- ADDED: Downloading of Monthly Financial reports
- FIXED: Flag would not show if there was no sale in last 7 days.
- FIXED: Many other small bugs related to reviews, translations or financial reports.
- CHANGED: Apple uses 50 pixel country flags now, changed code to get flags of new stores from new URL
- CHANGED: Revamped duplicate checking code to be more robust.
There is a known issue with the new downloading pipeline which is actually Apple’s problem. It seems that under some circumstances (too much load?) their ITC website does not properly pass on credential cookies to ITTS which is where the daily and weekly reports are hosted. So every once in a while you might get a red message stating that an unrecognized response was received. This is due to the fact that ITTS is sending an HTML page stating that the session has expired when it actually just has started. The present workaround is to simply hit the refresh button on the reports page, the second time it generally works.
As usual you can get these updates via SVN, it’s tagged as well as the current contents of trunk. And of course I am still happy to receive your donations if you think I am doing a good job maintaining and improving MyAppSales.
Sep 15, 2009
If you’re scratching your head, thinking to yourself “didn’t I just see a new version just 5 days ago?” then you are absolutely right. There really was a new version that recently. But that did not prevent me from going into overdrive and burn much midnight oil to get the next release out.
Buckle up, this is “The Review Release”!
- ADDED: Tapping on a row on the apps tab now shows the reviews sorted chronologically, new reviews have a red headline
- FIXED: A bug would cause a chart to hang if the user had sales in excess of a couple of thousand dollars per day or week. Yes, there are really such iPhone Developers who make boatloads of money and they use MyAppSales.
- CHANGED: Added compiler directive to prevent trying to build the project below SDK 3.0. I figure you are all developers out there and no serious developer would still have his iPhone on an OS below 3.0.
- CHANGED: The iTunes Connect downloading pipeline is now an NSOperation using synchronous calls. Added a ton of additional error catching code.
- ADDED: Buttons on the review screen to directly page to the previous or next report of the same type.
- ADDED: A multi-threaded review scraping engine which is also based on NSOperation. This is amazingly fast compared to competing engines, and all running completely on a background thread. So this can run while you are checking the new daily report.
- ADDED: Settings to allow enabling of review downloading and setting of the interval.
- ADDED: Badges on the app icons show the existence of new reviews.
- CHANGED: your database will be upgraded to schema version 3 with new tables for the review stuff.
- FIXED: The sync button on the review page is now properly disabled when the sync manager is active.
- ADDED: Monthly Free reports now get downloaded as well.
- Financial reports are still experimental and thus don’t get downloaded automatically. Sometimes they are labelled incorrectly and there are lots of other unsolved problems. Check the bug tracker to find out which.
- Sums are generated every time after there are new exchange rates or new reports. This might cause short periods of lagging.
As usual, before you upgrade, please make a backup of your apps.db. The upgrade should be straightforward, but it never hurts to have a backup.
The release is tagged in /tags/release-1.0.8 and you may checkout this exact version either from the terminal or via XCode. Or you can simply “Update Entire Project” in XCode’s SCM Menu provided that you have linked your working copy with the repo.
If you have not donated yet to keep me improving MyAppSales, then please do so now to get access to this fabulous update. If you already did, you are welcome to show your continued appreciation by another small donation.
Sep 10, 2009
The gist of the updates to the MyAppSales codebase for version 1.0.7 where related to improving performance and lay the groundwork to be able to add new features or rewrite current ones with the least impact. For example I added a method that allows me to dynamically upgrade the DB schema from all previous versions to the current one without losing data. This way I can add new tables to existing databases.
Also I added an AccountManager class which allows me to enumerate and deal with multiple accounts. Currently only the first you set up is checked, until I can figure out a safe way to prevent duplicates or wrongfully detected report duplicates from multiple accounts. I am thinking of doing sort of finger-printing letting the app figure out which apps belong to the same account. Something smart like this is necessary because a user is at liberty to delete an ITC account and also a future import mechanism will be FTP and there you also don’t know which account those files are from.
There where so many little changes that I simply did not want to wait any more to tell you what’s been going on there. So please be easy on me regarding unfinished features. It’s coming, be patient grasshopper!
- ADDED: Experimental support for monthly (financial) reports. Manual import only.
- ADDED: Possibility to lock MyAppSales with a passcode (aka PIN)
- CHANGED: Ssettings are now saved in NSUserDefaults as opposed to a plist in the app’s doc dir
- CHANGED: Split the database code and the iTunes Connect code into discrete classes in preparation for future multiple data sources
- CHANGED: Replaced keychain wrapper with new custom AccountManager class that allows me to enumerate over accounts in preparation for future additional data sources like multiple ITC accounts as well as applyzer, admob et al.
- FIXED: The lower part of the cancel button behind “Empty Cache” was irresponsive
- ADDED: Smart detection of iTunes Connect downtime due to maintenance
- ADDED: now the iTunes Connect cookies are checked to see if a login was successfully as opposed to scraping
- FIXED: Login failing after clearing the cache
- CHANGED: It is no longer possible to combine multiple reports into a single text file for import. The first line of a report is used to determine the report type and dates for the whole file.
If you have a large database and use the passcode lock you might experience a second or so delay right after program start when entering the code. This is normal, and caused by summing app totals being done right after app start. I’ll have to move this to a background process eventually.
If you have multiple old text files to import it is best to feed them in original format to MyAppSales. Should you have several reports mixed into one, here’s a quick shell script that splits those into multiple files and zips them for single-file-importing:
# Usage: ./split.sh single_text_file.txt
cat $1 | cut -f13 | grep / |sort -u > days.txt
for I in `cat days.txt`
NAME=`echo $I | sed -e "s/\//-/g"`
echo "FILE: $NAME";
head -1 $1 > $NAME.txt
cat test.txt | grep $I | sort -u >> $NAME.txt
zip import_me.zip *-*-*.txt
I have begun to tag the releases on the svn repo. In the trunk you will always find my latest experiments. If you want to get stable code you can now get that from the tags folder.
To summarize: In this release you will find a little bit of eyecandy. But I am proud of the passcode locking feature which has only been requested last week and now it’s already implemented. (Honestly I needed it for another project, speaking of reusable code). I am excited to be approaching a state of the code where I can think of adding data from Applyzer, advertisement reports from AdMob or simple add reviews.
Please let me know what you think by either commenting here or raising a
bug report feature request at http://www.drobnik.com/bugs
Aug 24, 2009
There has long been an open feature request for MyAppSales on the Mantis Bug Tracker for displaying a sum total of units sold and royalties earned. Until now I had thought that I would have to rearchitect the way I am calculating sums, but it turns out that a simple SQL statement is fast enough even with almost a year worth of data in the SQLite database.
And while I was at it, I also made some additional useful additions and some visual changes.
- CHANGED: Look of Apps page changed to be closer to AppStore app
- ADDED: Royalties earned so far and Units sold (coming from Daily Reports)
- ADDED: Sums are being recalculated when there are new currency exchange rates and after sync
- ADDED: Smart Auto-Sync. When started the app only communicates with iTunes Connect if there has not been a new report downloaded today.
- ADDED: “Empty Cache” button on Settings page removes cached app icons, chart cache and other temp files that might have gotten left over in document directory. This also causes the app names to be reloaded from iTunes.
As usual you can update your source code directly from the Subversion repo.
Aug 22, 2009
I am extremely pleased to announce a major new release of AntiCrack. While the implementation details have changed very little our new lead developer Fabian Kreiser has rewritten AntiCrack from ground up to obfuscate it to the extreme. Also he researched and developed two additional technologies which should immediately make your mouth water:
- Denial of Debuggers. This makes it impossible for Crackulous to remove encryption.
- Checking of binary encryption. The encrypted envelope put on by Apple in the review process is now checked for integrity.
Previously existing AntiCrack 1.x users are getting the update for free, for everybody else the minimum donation has been increased to 30 Euros. I switched from Dollars to Euros because the increasing weakness of the Dollar started to get on my nerves.
1.x versions of AntiCrack did not really prevent cracking of apps but provided a comprehensive and easy to implement toolset allowing users to dynamically adapt their app’s featureset to “Lite” once a crack was detected. The groundbreaking 2.0 release also prevents cracking in the first place. This again makes it on par with the professional Kaliap copy protection service offered by Ripdev.
Personally I believe it’s now even superior because you get full source code for AntiCrack, don’t have to pay recurring charges and you don’t have to register all new apps and app versions with an online service. I’ve updated the AntiCrack product description page if you would like to read more.
Aug 22, 2009
The version with three ones is always something special for me. That’s why I added several features to LuckyWheel 1.1.1 that have long been requested.
- ADDED: Button to turn on/off sound effects, so you can now listen your your music without disturbance
- ADDED: End-Of-Round Screen which shows total standings so far
- CHANGED: You no longer loose all your previous points when hitting “bankrupt” but just the current round ones
- CHANGED: Game state is always being saved even when on the End-Of-Round screen. Continue then starts with the next round. If this already was the last round then no continue is possible.
- CHANGED: A new design for the buttons to replace the previously used blue standard buttons
- FIXED: 2 minor spelling mistakes corrected in proverbs
- ADDED: Lite Version now showing ad banner whenever a computer opponent has his turn.
- ADDED: End-Of-Round screen also shows an unobtrusive ad.
Since the Lite version is constantly being downloaded around 400 times per day I gave in to the temptation and added AdMob advertisements. I think they will make waiting for an AI opponent to finish less boring. When it’s your turn they always make room.
And to say “Thank you” to all those people who are downloading the Lite version we have doubled the number of available proverbs to guess for free!
Both versions have been submitted to Apple. Hopefully it can get approved soon so that you can reap all those benefits.
Update September 4th: After 13 days both updates have been approved and are now in the app store.