GAME.minder reaches 1000 - v1.1 preview

Yesterday, we reached a fantastic milestone, 1000 downloads of GAME.minder. This felt like a good time to share with the community some statistics and let you know some of what's coming in GAME.minder v1.1.-GAME.minder is tracking over 1000 games -We have 921 active users -Users are following an average of 4 games -An average of 5 games are reported per week -The most popular game so far has been Call of Duty: Black Ops with almost 200 gamers following it before it was released.

We're busy putting the finishing touches on v1.1 and I thought we could give you a slight preview of what to expect.

Given how many gamers are reporting games, we decided to really beef up the reporting system. It now functions on the same backend system as our "request a game" feature which allows you to give us more information about why you are reporting it as well as allowing us to let you know when we've addressed it in our system.

We've had several requests for 3DS games so, starting with 1.1, we'll be breaking out 3DS as it's own platform so if you're eagerly awaiting portable 3d gaming, you'll be able to track those games just like you would any other.

Some people noticed some draw errors with iADs and we've finally squashed those bugs as well as a couple others and we've streamlined the network update process and indicator making it a bit more useful.

Aside from that though, there's some even bigger news coming to GAME.minder v1.1, but for that, you'll just have to stay tuned. All I'm gonna say about it for now is that we think that you'll find it to be ULTIMATELY satisfying.

update: You can now read about GAME.minder ULTIMATE here.

Better Clock now available for iPhone - iPad soon

Handelabra Studio is happy to announce the release of Better Clock v1.0!When we heard that iOS 4.2 was going to finally bring Multi-tasking, local notifications and background audio to iPad, we set out to create a great nightstand alarm clock using the latest iOS technologies.  Is it the best clock? Maybe.  But it's definitely better.

Some of the great things that Better Clock can do:

  • Using background audio, our sleep timer lets you fall asleep to ANY app that supports playing in the background.  Like the Pandora station you created?  Start it up and set the sleep timer in Better Clock.  We'll handle the rest.
  • If you have a white noise app you like to use, the magic of background audio helps you there to.  Rather than try to build our own white noise function, we decided to just get out of the way and let you use the one you like.
  • We made Better Clock to be a nightstand clock for those of us who charge our iDevices at night but you can use it anywhere.  And if you forget to come back to Better Clock, we can still play alarms in the background.

Better Clock is available on the App Store as a universal binary for just 99¢.  You can start using it today on iPhone and iPod Touch and if you download it now, it will sitting in iTunes waiting patiently to take iOS 4.2 out for a drive on your iPad once it is released (whenever that may be).

We hope you like it!

Legal and in the wild, on the current iDevice Jailbreak

So the web is all abuzz today as a a new jailbreak has been officially released that allows ALL (according to what I've read) iDevices to be jailbroken with a simple trip to a website.  And following the DMCA rule changes handed down last week, the legality of iPhone jail breaking is no longer grey but pretty black and white.When I first jumped on the iDevice bandwagon a few years back with a first gen iPod touch, I did the jailbreak just to see what was out there.  At the time, there wasn't much that interested me and I soon after took it back to "blessed".  When I got my first iPhone (a 3G), there was one, and only one feature that tempted me to jailbreak - custom SMS ringtones.  I once again waded into the jailbreak waters and found that, while I did manage to get the custom ringtone I wanted, the battery life of the device suffered overall so I once again went back to "blessed".  This was more than a year and a half ago.

Now that jailbreaking is declared legal, and now easier than even for end users, I find that the one feature I still want has yet to make it into the official version of iOS - custom SMS ringtones.  So do I jailbreak or not?  While the reasons behind the decision to keep this oft-requested feature out are undoubtedly typical apple "we just don't want to" fare, I find that I have no real desire to follow the masses down the rabbit hole anymore.  Part of it comes from a desire to keep things on the up and up on the developer side of things but honestly, the multi-tasking brought by iOS4 answers the only other real complaint I have so for the time being, I'll sit tight.

What about you?  How many people are going to jump on this most recent and simplest jailbreak?  If so, what features are drawing you to it?

The most effective tool I've ever bought

What's the most effective tool you've ever bought? These days, I'm starting to think it's my iPad. At $499, it seemed at first like an expensive toy. I knew there was potential there and I mostly got it so I could start to get a feel for the device and how it could be used.  But I'm finding that I'm using it more and more.When it first came out, there was a lot of talk that it wasn't as useful as a laptop and too big to effectively replace the iPhone.  This discussion belied the exact type of flawed thinking that always greets truly new paradigms.  Is typing on the ipad as flawless as it is on a laptop?  Of course not.  But it is better than typing on an iPhone.  If the pre-iPad me had to return an email, I would take mental stock of how long I expected it to be; quick line or two, iPhone is fine, any longer and I'm breaking out the laptop.  But now, I don't even hesitate, it's the iPad every time.

And more and more tasks are falling into the "iPad every time" category.  Wikipedia search?  IMDB search?  Google search?  While the iPhone ushered in the era of "there's an app for that", the iPad is what's making it truly worthwhile IMHO.  What the iPhone did was pull us away from our computers and allowed us to do things we traditionally needed a PC for, anywhere we happened to be.  What the iPad does is pull some of these things back to the middle.  LIke it or not, there are some things that we forced onto the iPhone that maybe didn't need to be there, or at the very least, could benefit from having more screen space.

This is why I tweeted the day after I got it that the iPad is the first portile computing device. That is to say: more portable than a laptop (which can't be held in one hand effectively) but not quite as mobile as a phone (try putting it in your pocket without added stitching).  Some people thought it was nothing but dead space between laptops and phones but the iPad proves that thinking wrong.

So what makes it "the most effective tool I've ever bought"?  The simple fact that it becomes the tool I need, when I need it, and I always have it.  Email, wikipedia, books, music, movies, games, even apps for playing with and reading to my kids.  All in a package that is never more than an arm's reach away.  In less than two months, the iPad went from "an expensive toy" to something that I consider more indispensable than my iPhone.  And FSM knows I NEVER thought that would happen.