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Creative Algorithms newsletter

In this issue:
  • Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards made Finalist in Best App Ever Awards - Please VOTE for us!
  • Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPad - updates
  • Making Extra Backups - Trip Boss (iPhone) & Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards (iPad)
  • Wrestling Categories - Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards (iPad)
  • Trip Boss Tips
  • Why Reviewing Apps is Important

Serving Sizer Pro
Recipe Cards
for iPad
available on AppStore

ver. 1.2.3 (Released):
✔ Expansion of where app looks for photos (could only import from "Saved Photos"). Expanded to entire photo library.
✔ Fixed a refresh issue when dealing with photos. Serving Sizer needed to be closed (when multitasking) to view newly imported photos in "Saved Photos" folder.

ver. 1.2.4 (pending release):
✔ Clearing up categories: Adding indicators to better communicate that recipes have been merely filtered by Categories, not lost.
✔ Adding Clear categories button to upper toolbar.
✔ Adding additional help "i" info button to front page, for ease in contacting us/getting help.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback--we strive to keep the improvements coming!

Tips for using
Trip Boss
Tracking Expense Report Submission Status

Did you know you can track all your expense report submission statuses on one screen?
Everyone wants to make sure they get paid for business expenses.  Trip Boss has a handy way to track all your trips on one screen (see screenshot below) so you can easily monitor the submission status without much effort. This is especially helpful for the frequent traveler.

Trip Boss has dual navigation to trip data.  For expenses, you can navigate from the home screen through the Trips module by selecting Trips>trip name>Expenses OR you tap on Expenses>trip name to get to the trip's expense page. By going through the Expense module, you get a "bonus" page of All Expenses at a glance. (A similar screen is available for Budgets.)

One you're on the All Expenses page, you will see colored orbs that indicate submission status:

WHITE=no report (use for personal trips, or trips where submission is not applicable)

The status is stored in the Trips>trip name>Trip Details screen (Expense Report field), but you can access this field directly by tapping on the orb itself when on the All Expenses screen. It's a handy shortcut.
expense submission status screenshot

Finalist in
Best App Ever awards:
Serving Sizer Pro
Recipe Cards

   In January, 148apps announced the Finalists for the 2010 Best App Ever Awards, and thanks to you, Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPad made finalist in the Parenting category!  Since the awards are a People's Choice type award, we need your vote in the final phase to pick the winner. Thanks!

Vote for
Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPad
Best Parenting App

Voting ends Tues, Jan. 25

Tips & Tricks
for Apps

Making Extra Backups
Many of our apps are very data-centric and users have asked for better ways to backup data. Two of our apps, Trip Boss (iPhone), and Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards (iPad) have include a new feature, available in iOS 4.2 called "File Sharing," which allows you to make an additional backup copy of the database files from within iTunes.

This feature is great because you can copy the database to your computer and even if you delete the app you can reinstall your data again. Normally, if you delete the app, all data is deleted off your device, and in iTunes when you sync. By making an additional copy elsewhere, you can still restore the data, after reinstalling the app.

Apple has a good tutorial on their website, which is applicable to both iPad and iPhone apps. As always, data backups are only as good as your last sync with iTunes, so we recommend syncing often, or after you've entered a lot of new data. We are looking at implementation of this feature in our other data-centric apps.

Wrestling Categories
Serving Sizer Pro
Recipe Cards for iPad

We recently updated Serving Sizer Pro on the iPad to add the must-have feature of organizing the recipes by category. We looked at several ways to do this and decided upon a multiple category solution. (However, we've found that the category filter can be confusing to users, especially in portrait mode, so we have an update pending to make it clear when you are have filtered the list.)

As you enter the recipes, you can designate many categories, from type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner), to courses, to main ingredient, to dietary restrictions. We've included a large list of Sections with Categories. You can add to or delete these defaults to your personal preferences.

When searching for recipes, you can narrow down your list using these categories. Start by visiting the recipe box page. If you are in landscape, the category list appears in a sidebar. If you are in portrait, tap the categories button and a popover of the categories appears.
Details and screenshots are on the help page on our website.

How do categories actually filter?
1) By checking multiple Categories within a Section, you ADD to the number of recipes displayed.  For example, check Lunch and Dinner in the Meal section and BOTH lunch and dinner recipes are shown.
2) By checking multiple Categories in different Sections, only categories that satisfy both section's criteria are shown, SUBTRACTING from the list. Using the above example, I then add a check in the Courses section for Side Dish, and only lunch and dinner side dishes are displayed.
3) Tap a Category twice to Exclude a category. (Symbolized by a
circle with a diagonal line thru it.) Recipes in this category are filtered out. This feature is helpful when you want all Categories except one in a Section.

Help, it appears I've lost recipes!
Most likely some categories are still selected, so some (or perhaps all) recipes are not shown.  To "clear" all filters, tap on the circle with an "X" icon on the toolbar in the category sidebar--landscape, or category popover--portrait.  You will be prompted to confirm.  Select "Clear Selections".  In the upcoming update, this filtering will be made more clear.

More tips & tricks available in past newsletters. Date Wheel also has a page of tips on our website.

  Why Reviewing Apps is Important

Customer reviews on the AppStore are very important to the developer. It's one of many ways of getting feedback on your app and definitely the most public.  Positive reviews can have a great impact on sales. A large number of positive reviews can indicate enthusiasm for the app.  They directly impact the number of updates in two ways--increased sales and increased interest in the app. They help developers prioritize their workload between updates and new apps. 

Positive reviews are also the most difficult to come by. Unfortunately, users are more motivated to write a negative review than a positive one, because it can be a way to vent a frustration with an app. 
Negative reviews can greatly impact sales as well, and positive reviews, if merited, are needed for a balance. 

Of course, most developers would prefer to be contacted privately, so they can help the user, or fix a bug, but that is not always the case.  Small developers, such as Creative Algorithms, put a lot ourselves into the app--we want it to work for people. We want to improve it. We just need to know about it, and two-way communication is best. Reviewers cannot be contacted by the developer, which leads to one of the most frustrating aspects of the AppStore. But I digress...

In addition, ratings are reset when an app is updated. On the iPad AppStore, the reviews no longer appear, unless those browsing specifically tap on the All Versions button.  After downloading the update, revising your review is really helpful for the developer.  Not only does it help our sales (and our ability to keep updates coming) but also it's more feedback that we're on track for customer satisfaction.  Did the update improve your opinion of the app? Was our time spent wisely working on the free update? Feedback is essential to developers.

So, in conclusion, if you have a few moments to leave a Rating (no review) or a Review on the AppStore, especially after a new update comes thru, we would really appreciate it.
For your convenience, in our apps, you'll find a quick link in our communication screen (tap the "i" button) to reviews. If you update a review, please be sure to download the update first, or it will not register (and appear) for the latest version.  Sometimes the AppStore requires a few new words (and sometimes not) as well.

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed our apps in past and thank you in advance to those who go and do a review (or update) now!

 Justine & Cory Pratt, Creative Algorithms

© 2011 Creative Algorithms, LLC.  All rights reserved.