Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Apple App Store Visibility

Apple recently sent a survey asking for people to evaluate their iPhone developer program. TechCrunch covered it here.

Here are some of my thoughts on what Apple could do to help developers gain visibility for their app:

1. Deeper category tree. Within "Role Playing" how about creating sub-categories like: Sports, Rogue-like, Turn Based, Action, Pets, Adult... etc.

2. Let users categorize apps. End users will know better than anyone else. If there could be some type of categorization feature along with the review process, I think that might help "police" the apps into making sure they are in the right category. Especially if you have the sub-categories I mentioned above.

3. Any additional data you can give developers on how users are finding apps. Look at google's keyword tool. Something like that would be helpful to make sure I'm using the right keywords for people to find my app. Although that's a double edged sword, as you don't want people using the keyword tool to just spam their app incorrectly. Also, I don't have any insight into how many people view my description either in the app store or in iTunes and then decide not to purchase. Nor can I track how well a particular advertisement converts.

4. Combine all apps that are the same in the top 100 lists. Instead of 3 Mafia Wars apps all with different "in game credits", there should only be 1 entry in the top 100 apps list for that game. Epic Pet wars has 11 entries as I look today in the top 100 paid Role Playing games category. If you combined those, then more apps would be visible and the app with 11 entries, would be appropriately higher up the charts due to it's combined download count.

Monday, July 6, 2009

iPhone Provisioning File Drama: Part III -- The Solution!

Apple's response didn't really help me out. Because at that point in time, my new provisioning profile was not displaying as an option under the Code Signing section of my project settings.

I was still frustrated and had the random thought of... I wonder if something is wrong with this project specifically. So, I opened up the MoveMe demo application and tried to see if I could get that app to run on my new iPhone.

I open up the project settings and open the dropdown for code signing and... low and behold! There are now two provisioning files that are code signed that I can choose from! I select the one for my new iPhone, and shizam! I've got MoveMe running on my phone.

That felt like a pretty big win right there, so with this new confidence, I reopened my yipe application and went back to the project settings. I now have two profiles here as well! Choosing the right one and building the app... and finally, after countless hours and a couple of days, I've got my application running on my iPhone.

All I can think of is that there was some caching issue with xcode. Once I opened up a project that I had never installed on any iPhone, it knew to look and see what provisioning profiles I had installed via Organizer and refreshed itself.

Hope this helps someone else out there.

Update: Apple DTS responded with info on what they suggest for caching issues:
Caching issues are generally resolved by

* Cleaning the project (Build > Clean all Targets)
* Closing and reopening the project
* Choosing Xcode > Empty Caches...
* Quitting and restarting Xcode

(in that order).

iPhone Provisioning File Drama: Part II

Response back from Apple:

Hello Kevin,

I don't know how you added the new provisioning profile to Xcode, but I'd guess you did it by dragging the profile to somewhere in the Organizer window, and if so, you likely dragged it to the device profile window rather than the Xcode profile window. Doing so would install the profile on the device, but not on your Mac.

The best way to install the profile is to double-click it, which will copy the file to the right location, and then you can drag it to your device in Organizer.

After that, you'll have to reselect this profile in your Project and Target Build Info pane and do clean your project (Build > Clean all Targets) and then build.

iPhone Provisioning File Drama: Part I

My email to Apple technical support:

Wow, what a nightmare trying to get your xcode project to run on an iphone. I'd been doing okay until I purchased a new iPhone. With the new iphone I can no longer get my project to run on the device.

Here's what I've done.

I created a new provisioning profile for the new iPhone via developer.apple.com.
Saved the profile to disk.
I opened up Organizer from within xcode.
Plugged in my new iPhone.
Added the provisioning file.
So far so good.
Now I open up my existing xcode project, and try to build/run.
I get the error message:
"Can't run "iYipe" on the iPhone "Kevin Kinell's iPhone" The iPhone "Kevin Kinell's iPhone" doesn't have the provisioning profile with which the application was signed. Please add the provisioning profile via the Organizer, or check the "Code signing Identity" build setting.

Ok. Then search google for 2 hours.

From there, I tried:

Tried close/open xcode, restarting, connecting/disconnecting iphone etc. No luck on this.

Deleting the file in:
/users/Library/MobileDevice/Provisioning Profiles/

I tried that because of the situation of two iphones and read somewhere this causes conflict. Deleting this file caused more problems and now my application wasn't code signed and I couldn't get it back... so I restored the file I deleted.

Generating a new provisioning file. Same problems.

Editing the project settings and changing the code signing identity, restarting xcode, setting it back. Still same error.

Tried editing and then removing the info.plist file. This caused other errors, mainly that I had no info.plist file. Restored it back to original state.

So, let's try the old iPhone. Guess what? That works like a charm. But, that doesn't really help me get the application installed on the new iPhone.

And before I go any crazier, figured I would write in to you.

Other random pieces of info:
Trying to run on: Device - 3.0 | Debug
iPhone is new 3GS, 32gb
Apple developer ID: [removed]
Apple developer email: [removed]
Organizer shows the correct provisioning profile.

Let me know if you have any other questions.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Life in this world seems to be busy...

I'm wondering if my life in the eBay world is so busy that it leads me to not being able to take a minute to post more entries on this little blog. Hmm. While the busy factor is certainly true, I'll have to put the blame more on myself for really just not being a blogging type of person.

What made me come here today though, was to point out to you that we actually have company blogs that are in the works.

You can find Auctiva's blog at: http://www.auctivablog.com/

And Auctiva Commerce at: http://www.auctivacommerceblog.com/

Back to work...

Friday, March 6, 2009


Is it really 2009? Have I now been working for Auctiva for 9 years? It's true!

In my eBay world, 2009 has already been pretty intense. Pretty major changes happened over at eBay that affected us over the past few months (I guess more in 2008 than 2009, but the affects ripple into 09). Affiliate program changes, lots of new policy changes and new features that all required work on Auctiva.com. And meanwhile, we were getting ready to finally offer a multi-channel solution to our users, with our off-eBay storefronts, Auctiva Commerce.

Add in a malware attack, continued efforts to grow the company in the small town of Chico, major database overhauls and trying to find time to still play pool, it's been hectic as always.

Friday, July 27, 2007

New eBay Buyer Site

Okay, so I didn't do very well at continuing from where I left off on my last entry. I think if I had kept things as verbose as the last time though, I'd be talking about the dev conference and eBay live for a lot more pages than you'd ever want to read.

So, it's time to move on.

I want to mention a new site we've recently released for eBay buyers.


The site allows you to earn 1% cash back on all of your eBay purchases. All you have to do is make sure to place your bids through the KickItBack site. You can do this in one of two ways. You can click through from KickItBack to eBay and then place your bid. Or you can use KickItBack's bid feature.

The bid feature may not seem that special, but our site is one of the first public sites allowed by eBay to be using the PlaceOffer call. The PlaceOffer call is part of eBay's API and thus buyers will have to generate an eBay token to use the feature.

We're currently working on some additional features for the site to help buyers find great deals. There is already a widget available where you can save and run eBay searches from your desktop and if you use this, your bids after searching will be credited to KickItBack for your 1% cash back.

Stay tuned for another Buyer site release update, coming soon!