Friday, 30 September 2011

At last - the Record Centre Update!

It's taken us ages, but Bird Guide Britain finally has a Record Centre section! This was part of the original plan for the app but it soon became clear that it would take a long time to develop to our satisfaction and so we decided to release the app with reduced record keeping facilities to start with, and add the Record Centre later as an update. And so here we are, a whole year later!

The new update allows multiple sightings of a bird to be recorded. These can then be viewed as a list, sorted by location, date or bird name, or viewed on a map. They can also be exported as an Excel file. Use the email back-up regularly to make sure you don't ever lose your data.

Update now and see what you think! Remember it's only version 1.0 of the Record Centre, so please tell us what you like and dislike so we can continue to improve it!

Friday, 2 September 2011

End of an era

Very unusual for me to make two posts in as many days, but I felt that the occasion had to be marked in some way. The first Spiny Software cd-roms went on sale in the year 2000 and now, after 11 years, they will no longer be sold. They won't run on the latest operating systems on macs or windows, and we don't have time to update them any more.

I'm sad to see the end of this era, but I am hoping that we will recreate some of the titles as iPad apps, which would be great. I certainly won't be sorry to never have to work with windows again!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thoughts on reviews

As a developer it is tempting to avoid reading reviews for apps that have been out for a long time and, one hopes, been polished over many updates. There is no way of responding to reviews on the App Store so for example if someone gives Chirp! a one star review because there is no sound, all we can do is shout at the computer "you've got the mute button on" which isn't helpful. (On that subject, Apple have a reasonably robust review process that all apps and updates have to go through so, really, they are not going to pass a bird song app that doesn't have sound).

Volume issues aside, obviously some people leave poor reviews because they genuinely don't like the app, but sadly one of the other main reasons for unusually poor reviews is that some competitors try and boost their app by leaving inaccurate or misleading reviews for better apps. Shame on them.

I don't want to give the impression that we are complacent. It's just that we have responded and will continue to respond to customers who make suggestions or tell us what they don't like - please continue! But to be sure that you are heard, the best way to contact us is through email, Facebook or Twitter (links above). Looking forward to hearing from you!