June 6th, 2011
, Grab Page
, OS X
, TinyGrab Basic
, TinyGrab Free
, TinyGrab Pro
Posted in News
| 6 Comments »
TinyGrab 2.0 was launched in its premature state after a malicious attack at the start of April. Since then we’ve been working around the clock restoring service, getting clients out and answering your support questions. Sifting through your responses to our new and unfinished TinyGrab 2.0 client for Mac, it’s clear that many people have been having issues with it and there have even been those begging us to restore functionality to the old app; we’ve done just that. Through a lot of hard work, poking around and making squares fit into circle shaped holes we’ve managed to ‘trick’ our old Mac app into using the new TinyGrab API.
From today if you’re a TinyGrab for Mac user and you’d prefer to use our old Mac app (1.04) you can do just that. Fire up the app, log in as normal and everything should now be functioning correctly. We haven’t changed anything in the app and we’ll make it publicly available again on our downloads page. To make this happen we’ve used some Nginx magic to allow the old app to talk to the new API; something we didn’t think was possible.
We’re going to be making some drastic changes to TinyGrab over the next few weeks. Our server architecture clearly needs to be rewritten to better handle the amount of traffic that we’re experiencing. Please expect a little downtime during this period, but not much. We’re going to set up a new TinyGrab status portal, hosted externally, which will allow you to track our maintenance issues. There’s also Twitter, where we shall continually post updates about expected downtime and changes.
The reaction to the new style grab page has been largely negative. Many people dislike the sidebar, deeming it too wide. We agree. We’ve decided that we’re going to roll out a similar grab page design to a previous one, with a few minor aesthetic changes and a few more options / features.
Soon we’ll be launching our new developer API, which we aim to open up to the public. It will be interesting to see what the TinyGrab development community will be able to make with the tools that we’re going to release. We’re certainly excited by the prospect.
Things with TinyGrab have been tough recently. We’re still young, we’re still learning – but most importantly, we’re still grabbing.
April 27th, 2011
, TinyGrab Basic
, TinyGrab Free
, TinyGrab Pro
Posted in News
| 9 Comments »
Today we’re very pleased to announce that TinyGrab 2.0 is now available for Mac and Windows. We know it’s been a long while coming, and we’ve been a bit quiet as we’ve been developing – so from all the team, thank you for bearing with us.
It won’t be of any surprise to hear that the TinyGrab security breach, detailed in our last blog post, came as a huge blow to the team here. We know we haven’t handled the situation perfectly at times: our blog and Twitter page haven’t always been the utmost of professionalism they should have been, for a start. It is true that the original situation was not our fault, but this is of little comfort to you, and the way we handle a crisis, as many have pointed out, reflects us as a whole. So on behalf of the entire TinyGrab team, I would like to apologise for the bugs, the consequent delays in replying to support, and any perceived unprofessionalism. We’re not a PR company – at heart, we’re a bunch of young developers – and we chose to prioritise (re-)development of the app over public announcements. We stand by the decision, but promise that customer announcements will now be more frequent, more informative – and more professional.
It’s been a long time, but with TinyGrab 2.0 now launched to a state we’re happy with on both platforms, we’re proud of what we’ve done. As we add all the 2.0 features, we’re not taking a penny from customers until we’re satisfied you’re getting value for money from a Basic/Pro account. As for existing ex-Premium (now renamed Basic, to clarify) customers, we know it’s frustrating that not everything is in place. But we’re getting there, and working as hard as we can to restore a service that is better than ever before.
To those of you who have wished us well, thank you. In fact, to those of you who have emailed us in considerably more negative tones, thank you too. Between you, you have spurred us on to develop a product that meets the high expectations you rightly hold. Support is now back to normal – visit http://help.tinygrab.com/ for more information. Alternatively, our Mac developers Sam and Erin are more than happy to take specific questions on issues with Mac 2.0 (which is still officially in beta.) You can email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively. My partner in TinyGrab, Chris Leydon, recently tweeted to say that a Windows Phone 7 app is in the early stages of development, and we have plenty of exciting updates on the way. For the next couple of weeks, TinyGrab (especially for Mac) will have several updates as we fix known bugs, and get the new/improved features out to you as soon as possible; follow @tinygrab for up-to-date information. Again, thank you for your patience. Simple Screenshot Sharing is our passion. Social Screenshot Sharing is our dream, and we know we’ll make it come true.
TinyGrab Business Officer
February 21st, 2011
, TinyGrab Basic
, TinyGrab Free
, TinyGrab Pro
Posted in News
| 42 Comments »
We love Apple, we really do. Let’s face it, without them TinyGrab just wouldn’t exist and none of us would be reading this right now; for this we’re incredibly indebted to them. The homebrew and independent app development community for OS X is wonderful and vibrant. It’s profitable and turns out amazingly good apps. Until iOS was on the scene I think it’s safe to say that the OS X development community was top dog. OS X users are also the most supportive when it comes to independent apps, unlike their Windows counterparts, they’re actually used to paying for software that doesn’t come in a box.
Right now we’re in a spot of bother. TinyGrab’s the strongest we’ve ever been. We have an incredibly tight and talented team and we’re getting ready to kick ass again, but we’ve just hit a major setback in the form of Apple’s new guidelines for subscriptions in iOS and OS X apps. As many of you know TinyGrab is actually a free app, our revenue model comes from selling premium accounts through our site. TinyGrab was one of the first apps around where you had to have an account in order to use the software. We prefer this method of buying software compared to pesky license keys for a couple of reasons. First of all it reduces piracy, you don’t get many people sharing their login details to an online service. The second reason being that you can take your TinyGrab account with you anywhere. Install the app on as many machines as you want, on as many platforms, all without additional cost. It’s fair on our users and also allows us to introduce a nifty little web based account system.
Apple would now like a slice of our pie, which is fair enough. We’re more than willing to give Apple a cut of the sales that they assist in, but we can’t. They simply won’t let us. Never mind the fact that 30% is a ridiculous amount to ask us to fork over, considering that we already pay $99 a year for the privilege to develop apps for the Mac App Store and a further $99 a year to develop apps for the iOS store. Never mind that Apple also get a cut of any revenue that we generate from selling our apps through their stores, they now want in on our account and subscription service. However by doing this they’ve just prevented and locked us out of ever being able to introduce the TinyGrab app into the Mac App Store, as well as not being able to ship updates to the TinyGrab iPhone app. Here’s why…
Remember that account system we sell via TinyGrab.com? Well if you’re a paying customer it actually unlocks features in the app which are closed off to free users. These are features like FTP uploads. Infringement Number 1:
“Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store, except as approved in section 11.13, will be rejected”
We currently sell our accounts from TinyGrab.com through PayPal. We can’t actually use Apple’s In App Purchasing system because they won’t pass on a user’s data to us, they also prevent you from purchasing goods that exist outside of the app and the app store. So, for example, it prevents you from actually buying a TinyGrab account because the account is a real world purchase and doesn’t lay within the jurisdiction of Apple. Infringement Numbers 2 & 3.
“Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected”
“Apps using IAP to purchase physical goods or goods and services used outside of the application will be rejected”
The move to TinyGrab 2.0 will see accounts that expire after a limited time if you don’t renew your subscription. Infringement Number 4.
“Apps containing “rental” content or services that expire after a limited time will be rejected”
And the final infringements are, of course, about the IAP revenue split.
“Apps that link to external mechanisms for purchasing content to be used in the app, such as a “buy” button that goes to a web site to purchase a digital book, will be rejected”
“Apps offering subscriptions must do so using IAP, Apple will share the same 70/30 revenue split with developers for these purchases, as set forth in the Developer Program License Agreement.”
You might think that these are simple issues to fix, but we can’t actually fix them all. We can’t provide a free TinyGrab version in the app store and then sell a version on our site, because you still require an account to login. Apple wants a slice of that pie and we can’t give it to them; in other words they’ve locked us out.
We really want to be part of the app revolution on OS X and iOS but it looks as though that may no longer be able to happen, until Apple fix these issues and welcome us in again. I’m sad to say that as of today we can no longer provide development support to iOS, officially, through the app store. Until Apple loosen up on their restrictions we’re ceasing all active development on TinyGrab for iPhone. Please don’t see this as a punishment, we hate to have to do this to our users, but we’ve been fenced out. Today I’m also having to announce that TinyGrab also won’t be seen in the Mac App Store. Unfortunately we can’t be a part of this wonderful purchasing platform for the same reasons that we can no longer officially support TinyGrab for iPhone.
Luckily for TinyGrab for Mac users we still have TinyGrab.com and Apple haven’t, yet, prevented anyone from downloading apps from the world wide web and installing them on their Macs without the Mac App Store. So we aren’t going anywhere just yet. In fact we’re even trying to get a stable version of TinyGrab 2.0 for Mac out this week.
Apple’s new stance on subscriptions and accounts in applications is incredibly disappointing. At the moment we’re working incredibly closely with Intel to get TinyGrab for Windows onto their AppUp store. Intel have been incredibly friendly and helpful, they currently don’t have a subscription model in place but still allow us to have our app on their store and sell TinyGrab accounts through our own site. When they introduce a subscription service we’ll more than happily switch our payment system over in order to give Intel their fair share of any sales we make. I’m incredibly happy to be working with a company that is actively encouraging and working closely with developers in order to get it right. Apple’s new greedy model doesn’t just affect the developers of applications, it also has a horrible adverse effect on end users.
We love all of our supporters and all of our users. Thank you for continuing to use TinyGrab and for being the best community we could ever hope for. We promise to keep developing the best simple and social screenshot sharing service for Mac, Windows and whatever new platforms tickle our fancy.
TinyGrab Project Manager.