An Update

Hello friends, this poor excuse for a blog has long been abandoned as a result of Twitter and Day One. I plan to keep these pages available as some entries still provided use to Google searchers, like how to blend up a solid frozen OJ.

All my time and creative energy over the past two years had been dedicated to Day One. Building it, supporting it and continually improving it.

Looking forward, Day One will continue to consume my time as my team and I work on 2.0 updates and other exciting features.

Currently the best place to keep in touch is on Twitter @paulmayne.

Paul Patrick Pete Mayne the first.

— March 20th, 2013

New Slingbox Hardware

Slingbox announced some new hardware today that does 1080p.

I’m a geek and love my Slingbox. Best way to watch TV on my iPad and iPhone anywhere, especially in the tub and putting the kids to bed. I don’t think I’ll upgrade. The 1080i we currently get is really good. I just can’t wait for the app update to fit the iPhone 5 as it should. The current Slingbox iPhone app is $30 and hasn’t been updated in almost a year.

See this nice article by Ryan Lawler on TechCrunch, an awesome writer and reporter. He gives an honest take on the updates.

I think Ryan could have also mentioned that the price of the iPhone app being $30, plus an additional $30 for the iPad app. No these are not universal apps. So that’s $60 on top of what you pay for the hardware if you want to playback on your Apple devices.

It’s funny that a gadget like this is still needed to get proper live TV streaming how we want it — how we deserve it, if we’re paying for it to Comcast, or others.

Remember when Echostar purchased Slingbox in 2007 for $380 million? Score for those guys. Seems like they had around 200,000 – 500,000 users at the time.

— October 9th, 2012

Where’s iCloud?

Apple sold developers on their new sync solution when iCloud was announced to developers five months ago at WWDC. Beta APIs were released to give 3rd party developers a head start to integrate and add this new solution in time for the public launch.

On October 5th, Apple invited developers to submit iCloud-enabled Lion and iOS apps. Mac OS 10.7.2 and iOS 5 were released to the public two weeks ago on October 12.

With thousands of app developers and apps that could benefit from a free, cross-platform sync, you’d think several applications would use this great new feature. How many non-Apple Mac apps have taken advantage of the new iCloud sync? I only see one in the Mac App Store, SingleText has managed to integrate iCloud in time for launch, though based on it’s poor reviews, doesn’t even work.

For the past 7 weeks iCloud integration has been the top priority for Day One. We’ve been heads-down focused on making it happen in time for the public iCloud launch day. It was an uphill battle dealing with unproven APIs, sparse documentation, few snippets that didn’t even work properly.

After several work arounds we’ve had it working for over a week. When it’s working it’s truly magical, the sync happens in the background, it’s fast and seamless as advertised. Unfortunately, we cannot submit the update. Data gets lost in certain scenarios and when your data is gone it’s gone. There’s no incremental versioning or backups accessible online like Dropbox. When dealing with users precious data, saving data is the most important factor. Even if it’s an unlikely use case, if it’s not 100% safe, we can’t risk it.

Apple has failed to offer proper documentation, support and fixes. The betas were full of known (logged) bugs and before we knew it, October rolled around and it was live in the same beta state we’d been using. There have even been reports of data loss happening in Apple’s own iCloud enabled apps. We’ve logged several bugs and filed a DTS request and heard nothing. We have to assume Apple is aware of these issues and are quietly working on an update release.

Overall I think iCloud has a lot of potential, but was launched prematurely for 3rd party applications. In the meantime we are implementing the new Dropbox v1 API to update our current Dropbox sync solution, which is awesome.

— October 26th, 2011

Day One

If you know me, you know that my recent project called Day One, a journal application for the Mac App Store, has been consuming my time and energy lately. My blog has been abandoned for a couple months, but I’d like to keep it somewhat current for as long as I can, so here I am putting down a few thoughts on my new app.

Day One

Day One is an idea I’ve had for a long time now in some form or another. At one point several years ago I started to design and develop a simple journal application using Flash and AIR. It never really went far as I was consumed by a full-time job. Also, before the advent of Apple’s app stores, the barrier to entry for marketing and selling an application were pretty steep, and even then you may or may not get much visibility.

When Steve Jobs announced the Mac App Store my wheels didn’t stop spinning until I had committed myself to an idea that I would see to fruition. I quickly landed on “Simple Journal” an easy way to write and log small entries about your life with a reminder system. Over the next couple months I put in as much time as I could afford in wire-framing and designing the initial look and feel.

The entire process took longer than expected, I didn’t even come close to making the debut of the Mac App Store, but in the end it all came together perfectly. Initially the plan was to launch the iPhone app months after the Mac app, but it turned out, the iPhone app launched one week before the Mac App.

About a week after submitting the app to Apple, Day One was approved and live on the store it was featured as the #1 app under New and Noteworthy (which is possibly the best possible spot on the entire app store)! Nuts.

Day One showcased on Mac App Store!

It’s been almost three weeks since the launch and in addition to the first feature, the app made it up to #10 in the overall Top Paid Apps, Featured in the “What’s Hot”, and is currently featured as the top Showcase app on the front page and was also give a custom app page treatment. In-freakin-sane.

All the sales and features are great, but the most gratifying part is the feedback I’ve been receiving from the users. They really get it, love it and are using it to write about and remember their lives as they never had before now. It’s awesome.

Now I’m looking forward to improving and adding to this great foundation of an awesome app. And create a killer iPad app!

— March 29th, 2011

Best Year Ever

It’s coming up on 1-year since I started working on my own, full-time freelance, design consulting whatever you want to call it. Best year ever. Sure working from home every day has a few drawbacks, like interaction with others, creative collaborations and such, but the benefits for me personally are so great. No commute is priceless.

I’ve been able to stay as busy as I wanted through all of 2010 with client work. Mostly UI design projects, a couple small Flash projects and a couple iPhone apps. My #1 goal this year was to create my own iPad / iPhone app, which I did. Fruit Memory was a lot of fun to make and has done fairly well for such a simple game. The other goal was to slow down client work for the last couple months of the year and focus on a new app. This too was a success as I spent most of December working on my next app to be released initially in the Mac App Store, it’s called DayOne.

DayOne is basically a simple journal application with features that will encourage and remind the user to post more often. It’s also a fantastic task or idea logging tool. The app will be complete in a couple weeks and posted to the App Store at the end of January. I will post more in-depth information about what this app does as it gets closer to release.

2011 is here and I’ve officially started my own company, Bloom (officially Bloom Built, LLC). I’m back to doing client work, and so far I’ve been lucky to get such great clients and projects that I’m genuinely interested in. But my long term goal isn’t client work. This year I’m going to continue to refine and develop applications and services of my own for as much time as my personal business budget allows. In the hopes that eventually I can create something that is self sustaining and will allow me to support and refine my own products full-time.

Here’s to 2011!

— January 10th, 2011