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New Gadget Madly In Hope
24 September 2009
Sruti/Droneo sites lightly updated
I put in some code that puts an instant player in the Srutibox and Droneo audio sample sections. Droneo needs lots more samples and both of them could stand an instructional video or two. I should point out that Droneo can make practically the same drones that Srutibox can, except for the impulse timbre.
08 September 2009
App store rant
What's funny to me about my apps is this: SrutiBox has been in the store for a year. Because it went up in August 2008, a little less than two months after the store opened, it had a bit of a time being in the "recent music apps" first page. That gave it a tremendous boost in the early days for something that was a little out of the ordinary. As the apps poured in, updates to it got buried quickly and the boost didn't last as long. I wrote a variant of it, called Droneo, to be a simpler and without the "stigma" of being a simulation of an Indian musical instrument, while refining the user interface a bit. It's not sold as well, and it's gotten a total of three reviews internationally.
Reviews are very important, since they are directly accessible from the AppStore. Apple restricts your view to comments in your own country's store, so I have to fish out other comments using AllAppReviews.com and stick them in the description text by hand. Reviews are better than ratings since I've seen positive reviews with low ratings on them - and of course there's the ill-conceived "rate this app when you delete it" feature of the phone. The App store does not have a sort by rating feature - Yappler.com does - and whatever use the new keywords feature may be, it's not yet exposed in the way to search yet. So there's no way in the App Store to look for the list of best rated synthesizers, which you can do in Yappler, and therefore find SrutiBox right there as #9 .
Thus, the AppStore publicity is very hard to control: if your app is not an Apple staff favorite, which remains on an easily accessible page for a while, or already very popular, it's likely to be buried forever. Third party app reviews therefore become important to the subcultures that are looking for specific kinds of apps, but these are not directly linked from the App Store, and so are that crucial step away from being seen.
IPhones make for good newspaper and magazine stories, so occasionally there are good editorial notices in major media like the New Yorker (for Buddha Machine). A lot of frivolous apps and games of various qualities have huge numbers of downloads and crowd out a more diverse app ecosystem. "App Spam" also pushes your worthy app off the "recently uploaded" pages in a day or so. Cranky kids complain about the dollar they spent - cheaper than a soda or a pizza slice or a handful of text messages for that matter.
So I'm hoping there's an upgrade to the app store - the best way to get my apps in the pockets of millions of users - or some kind of review of my stuff somewhere!