Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

February 21st, 2011
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in News | 42 Comments »

TinyGrab 2.0

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.

Chris Leydon
TinyGrab Project Manager.

February 16th, 2011
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in News | 1 Comment »

TinyGrab 2.0: We're Almost There

February, the shortest month of the year. We’re great fans of short things here at TinyGrab, in fact it’s what started us out on this whole journey to begin with. Share your grabs with a short/tiny URL. However, sweet things tend to come in short bursts and we hope that February will give you sweet things in the form of TinyGrab.

Many of you will know of our now almost comical delay in launching TinyGrab 2.0 but you won’t have to wait for much longer. We’ve finished TinyGrab 2.0 for Windows, TinyGrab 2.0 for iPhone has been in the app store since December and this week the finishing touches are being put on the new TinyGrab 2.0 site… but what about TinyGrab 2.0 for Mac? It’s no secret that we’ve been plagued with development issues for everyone’s favourite and oldest TinyGrab app, but that all changed at the start of January.

Since the start of 2011 we’ve had two new team members join TinyGrab, which has greatly helped us in improving development speed. Erin Kennedy is our new Mac OS X developer, whilst Sam Gray has joined as our intern and plugin developer. Together they’ve both been working on getting a version of TinyGrab 2.0 for Mac ready to ship by the end of February, as well as a plugin for the Real Mac Software app “Courier“.

Sometime over the next few weeks we’ll be making existing TinyGrab accounts “TinyGrab 2.0 Ready”, meaning that they’ll be able to upgrade to the new system automagically when they login with a TinyGrab 2.0 enabled application. We’ll also be announcing the winners of our “How Do You Use TinyGrab?” contest.

In other news, February has also seen us switch advertising partners. We’ve left our friends and colleagues from Yoggrt Ads, to join the team over at Ad Packs, by Buy Sell Ads. We’re incredibly excited to be on this new programme and we look forward to working together for the foreseeable future!

Thank you all, as always, for sticking with us over these messy past few months. Good things come to those who wait, and we’re certainly aware that you’ve been waiting for a long time.

Chris Leydon
TinyGrab Project Manager

November 9th, 2010
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in News | 5 Comments »

TinyGrab 2.0 Beta

Silence and secrecy is not something that we’re known for at TinyGrab. However with the recent TinyGrab 2.0 news and updates we’ve shrouded ourselves in a cloak of mystery, it’s time to step out a little bit and let you know what’s going on.

Development of TinyGrab 2.0 is about a month and a half behind schedule. There’s no hiding or denying that. We originally planned to launch a big beta testing programme on September 20th, but didn’t quite manage it. Allow me to explain to you the reasoning behind this.

TinyGrab 2.0 is a completely new system, built from the ground up. We have a brand new API and a completely new database system, because of this we need to completely overhaul our apps and the way that they work with our service. Every TinyGrab app has had to be rewritten to work with the new API and this is where the delay in development has taken place. We want to ship all of our new TinyGrab 2.0 apps at the same time, but some apps are easier to rewrite than others.

This week we are going to ship an open beta of TinyGrab 2.0, but a warning comes with this. Once you start using a TinyGrab 2.0 enabled app, you cannot switch back to the old system. It’s not possible. This is because when you first authenticate your account with a TinyGrab 2.0 app, we run a migration script to transfer your data from TinyGrab 1 to the TinyGrab 2.0 service. Our panel is pretty much ready to go and some of our apps are bursting at the seams with new features, unfortunately it’s not the grand launch we wanted to have.

Last week TinyGrab hosted a TinyGrab 2.0 launch party in London. The purpose of this party was to celebrate the hard work of the development team and to give the UK tech press a sneak peek of what’s to come. Now that we’re happy with the reaction that we received at the party and that the apps are stabling out, we’re ready to invite you to see and test TinyGrab 2.0 for yourselves.

I must thank you all for your patience and continued support through this troubling technical time. Let’s get ready to kick some ass.

Some of the features that you’ve requested for TinyGrab 2.0 that we’re going to roll out over the next week are as follows.

  • A better way to manage grabs with thumbnails / a completely overhauled Control Panel system.
  • Online folders / groups for your grabs.
  • Custom URLs for grabs. IE http://g.clydn.com/b4dg
  • SFTP, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files uploading support.
  • The ability to upload any file to your own server, with a short filename.
  • A new iPhone app with Facebook and Twitter sharing.

There are plenty more features that we’re working on getting ready and out over the next month, so for this period of time that we’re calling the ‘Open Beta’, we’re inviting all TinyGrab customers to upgrade their accounts to TinyGrab 2.0 Pro accounts for free. When the Open Beta is over you’ll roll back to your original account type, but we have a feeling you may want to pay the reduced subscription to upgrade to get all of the TinyGrab 2.0 features again.

Chris Leydon
TinyGrab Project Manager