Categories
Apps

Tetris Subscription is Highway Robbery

If you have played any games on any device, one of them has likely been Tetris. Tetris has been around since 1985 and there have been many versions of the game even on iOS. Tetris licenses out the name of the game so others can create a game. Back in January of 2020, a whole new version of Tetris was released by the development group N3twork. The release can be viewed on tetris.com.

As is the case with many apps these days, they are free with ads. Quite often there is the ability to remove the ads. When the app was released, there was an offer to remove ads. This was a one-time fee of $4.99. I immediately purchased this, because I do not like seeing ads when I am playing a game. The one-time purchase mechanism is useful in some situations, however, it is becoming less common. Instead, many apps are moving towards a subscription model.

In many cases, this makes sense, because a subscription can generate consistent revenue. The reason for this is because many people sign up for a subscription and often forget that they have subscribed. When it comes time to renew, if they didn’t pay attention the notice from Apple, and say, “oh it’s only x, I’ll keep subscribing”. If the fee is small enough, say $4.99 a month, most would not argue with that.

While I was digging through the interface of Tetris, I noticed that there was the option to change avatars and your background. These had a lock in the lower right corner. So I tapped on it, and it brings up the option for “Tetris Premium”, which I can understand.

What shocked me though was not that they were offering a subscription, but the price. It is $4.99 per week. This is not $4.99 per month, which I can somewhat understand, but PER WEEK. This means that if you were to subscribe to Tetris Premium for an entire year, it would cost your $259.48. Here is what you would get for that:

  1. No interstitial ads
  2. Exclusive LCD Theme
  3. Three Exclusive Avatars

That is it. I would hope that they would add more backgrounds and avatars.

My Thoughts

To me, this is completely absurd. I will concede that it is possible that this is an “accident” and it meant to be per month, but it does not seem to be the case. It is also possible that the interface can update to whatever the current offer. There are many apps that are scammy apps that try to trick people into spending money for very little in return.

I am not saying that $4.99 is inappropriate for all applications, quite the contrary. However, for a game like Tetris, pricing of $4.99 per week is definitely not worth the price. To me, this just seems like a cash grab. Not only should N3twork be ashamed, Tetris Holdings, Inc. should protect their brand, because this is going to make people stop trusting any Tetris apps in the future.

Categories
Apps wwrite

wwrite and wwriteLite 5.0 Now Available

Back in 2010, I shipped an iPad only app called wwrite. I have written a whole analysis of the current state of my apps which goes in depth including lessons learned.

wwrite 5.0.0 and wwriteLite 5.0.0 are big updates that include a few new features, fixes some bugs, and changed a few things. Here is a full list of the changes.

  • There are 5 new icons, Green, Moon, Orange Gradient, Psychedelic, and Sun.
  • Modified Customize Templates to now allow you to choose from over 340 colors instead of using the sliders that have been used previously in the app.
  • Added Share button to export current file, which also allows for quickly copying the file contents to another app.
  • You can now perform actions on files in the File List, including Locking/Unlocking File, Enabling/Disabling Auto Save, Sharing a File, duplicating a file, and deleting a file.
  • Created an “Ad” to advertise the ability to Remove Ads. This will appear intermittently and is wwriteLite only.
  • Added support for TrackPads and Mice.
  • Added more keyboards shortcuts, including Archives, About, Support via Email, Support Via Twitter, Settings, and Customize Templates.
  • You can now navigate the File List with the up and down arrow keys.
  • Escape key while on Text will go back to the File List.
  • Added support for 2nd Generation 11-inch iPad Pro.
  • Added support for 4th Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Tweaks

  • Moved Print Button to Tools menu to make room for “Share” button.
  • Adjusted Distraction Mode icon to show on any background

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with the tint color not being set properly when starting the app on a file.
  • Fixed a bug where the app would crash when importing templates from wwriteLite.
  • Fixed the archive emailer not closing when you cancelled sending an archive
  • Fixed the inability to cancel a file creation on an iPhone or iPod touch when you don’t have any templates
  • Fixed an issue that stopped the tint color from updating when you changed the app icon

Categories
Apple

Apple Releases Covid-19 App and Website

It should come no surprise that one of the biggest news items at the moment is the Covid-19 virus. Many people are currently in quarantine and have been practicing social distancing to help reduce the spread of the virus. There is a lot of information that is being shared by a variety of individuals that is false. Particularly during this time it is important to get the correct information

Today Apple, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to produce a new Covid-19 app that is also available on the web at apple.com/covid19.

With the app, or website, you can begin answering questions about symptoms that you, or someone else, have had. Some of these questions include symptoms, travel, if the person lives with someone who has Covid-19, and related questions.

There are a couple of things to note. First, “Your answers will not be shared with Apple or the CDC without your permission”. This means that it is completely anonymous. The second item is

By using this tool, you agree to its terms and that Apple will not be liable for any harm relating to your use.

Recommendations provided by this tool do not constitute medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

Once you have finished the questionnaire, it will provide a recommendation, based upon your answers. One result that everyone should follow is:

You Should Practice Social Distancing

Help stop the spread. When outside the home, stay at least six feet away from other people, avoid groups, and only use public transit if necessary.

It is good to see Apple provide accurate and timely information.

Besides the app, Apple is helping in other ways, as outlined in a video by CEO Tim Cook.

Source: Apple

Categories
Apple

Apple Updates its WWDC App

Today Apple announced that they are updating their WWDC app. There are three major changes. These are the name, a new WWDC tab, and in-app purchasing. Let us start with the name.

The WWDC app is now known as the Apple Developer app. One can This app’s name is definitely more befitting given the next feature, the WWDC tab.

The WWDC tab is a new tab that encompasses what was previously the entire WWDC app. This includes WWDC schedules, your favorites, lab schedules, and WWDC sessions.

The last new feature is the ability to enroll in the Apple developer from right within the app. This is done using an auto-renewing subscription within the app. Initially, the subscription feature is only available within the United States, but will be rolling out to more countries over time. Apple does have a step-by-step tutorial on how to enroll using the app.

if you already have an account you can log in. The ability to be able to enroll in an Apple Developer account will make it much simpler for developers to be able to enroll in the Apple developer program, without needing to go through the Apple developer site.

Hopefully, this is only the start to new features being added to the Developer app.

Source Apple Developer

Categories
Apple Apps

iTunes Connect iOS app Going Away

It is not often that I log into the iTunes Connect App, but I decided to do so this morning and noticed a message on the app. “Starting March 20, 2019 iTunes Connect for iOS will no longer be available. To continue managing your content, use the iTunes Connect website.” Before I delve into my thoughts, a brief history of the iTunes Connect app.

Brief History

There are a variety of different services that Apple provides to publishers, depending on the types of media that are published. Prior to 2008, a majority of iTunes users, including myself, were not aware of how items were added to the iTunes Store. In 2008 Apple unveiled the iTunes App Store, which allowed developers to submit their applications to the iTunes App Store.

On June 11th, 2010 Apple released a new iOS application that would allow authors, music publishers, movie publishers, and developers to manage their content, look at purchases of their apps, and get reports all from their iPhone or iPad. This had been the status quo until 2010. On June 4th, 2018 at their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple announced a brand new site for developers to manage all of their apps, titled App Store Connect. At the same time they also released a new iOS app, similarly named App Store Connect. When the app was released developers could no longer log in to iTunes Connect App.

My Thoughts

I cannot say that I am surprised that the App is going away. It has been neglected and not maintained. For instance, if you look at the screenshot above you will see that it does not take advantage of all of the screen sizes. The last update of the app was on June 21st, 2018. According to the release notes it “includes minor improvements”. The update prior to that was October 31st, 2016.

It would have liked to have seen Apple improve the app, but my guess is that its usage significantly dropped after the introduction of App Store Connect, since developers has a newer and better maintained app that provided functionality that better suited the needs of developers, which are inherently more complex.

Along with dropping usage, the iTunes Connect website is responsive, so it will work on any iOS device via a web browser. The removal of the app also means that there is less to maintain and if more users are using the iTunes Connect website it is better to maintain that, because it will impact more users. Along with this, the iTunes Connect website has more functionality than the app.