Monday, August 25, 2008

Sketches Update and

This week is looking great. We uploaded Sketches 1.3 to the App Store last Tuesday, so, we are hoping to see it in the App Store very soon. This new version includes:

+ Text input using the virtual on-screen keyboard, for those situations when that option is more adequate than entering hand-drawn text. This is possibly the most frequently requested feature from our current customers.

+ Web Sharing via a built-in web server. A very tiny and efficient HTTP server has been integrated to facilitate exporting the drawings in PDF, PNG or JPEG format. Users simply use their browser to connect and download their drawings, and they don't need to install desktop synchronization software or use other intricate solutions.

+ Improved shape placement algorithm. The shape placement algorithm is now tolerant to the user accidentally taking one of his fingers out of the tactile area during a multitouch gesture. This was a frequent issue when trying to locate a shape near the edges of the screen. In this new version, users can even purposely lift one of their fingers to easily move the shape to a corner or even halfway out of the screen.

+ Tip system. Small "hints" are displayed the first time the user selects a new feature or tool. This will solve the problem of some users that found themselves in full-screen mode and did not know how they got into it or how to bring the toolbars back! These help topics are presented as nice subtle overlays that dismisses after a certain amount of time to not interfere with your work.

+ Additional shapes, featuring a brand new "Office" category with pushpins, sticky notes, tape paper and the like. Fun and Callout categories have been improved as well.

In addition, several bugs have been corrected and several optimizations have been made.

But this week, we are also starting with a new idea: App Store Gems. We are joining forces with other developers that have created quality applications, in an effort to stand out from the already pretty crowded App Store. Promoted by John Casasanta and Austin Sarner, it includes 5 other applications apart from Sketches: File Magnet, Where To?, Pennies, Kineo and Groceries.

Today, in its first day, we are all donating our application revenues to a charity. In our case, Prevent Cancer Foundation.

To promote this new effort, we are making cooperative advertising, as explained in this post. It would be great if you help us digg it. Many thanks!