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Archive for June, 2009

Oh no! My “Crackbook” strikes again!

Disclaimer: I love my Macbook. It’s an Early 2008 MB403, so it has the same power as the MB404, but it was roughly $200 cheaper. I upgraded it to 4GB RAM and it’s been great. Xcode, VirtualBox, Handbrake – all work flawlessly and impressively with my baby. I developed WalletWhiz on my baby, so it definitely has great sentimental value. However, my Macbook has one fatal flaw: it is prone to cracking. So, I have dubbed it the Crackbook.

The first time was late 2008. A portion of the left palm rest broke off while I was on vacation. You can imagine how I felt when this happened. I take care of my laptops, I’m very careful. Where did I go wrong? Etc. etc… Fine, when I got back to Manila, I brought it to Digital Walker Machines in V-mall Greenhills. I was able to persuade them to order the parts without leaving the machine in the shop. Good thing I did that, because it took nearly 2 weeks for the parts to arrive. So, my Crackbook was good as new again..

1st Strike of the Crackbook

1st Strike of the Crackbook

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Whew, I’ve been so busy for the past few days that I almost forgot to announce this here. After 13 days, WalletWhiz v1.1 is finally available in the App Store. As mentioned in my previous post, it includes UI tweaks, memory usage optimizations & various bug fixes. Also, there’s a pleasant surprise for iPhone 3.0 users when it comes to the UI. If you have a iPhone OS device on 3.0 & another on 2.2.1, you’ll see what I mean. But, of course, WalletWhiz works great for both versions of the OS.

With the release of WalletWhiz v1.1, we have enjoyed record sales for the past 2 days (17 & 18 June). Also, for the first time ever, WalletWhiz was the #1 Finance app in one country’s App Store – Guatemala, home to 24 ways to say “Thanks!”. WalletWhiz is also currently in the top 20 for Finance in 3 other countries, in the top 50 for 4 other countries, and in the top 85 for 3 other countries, including the United States. Of course, the US still amounts for the bulk of sales (around 66%), so we are very grateful to iPhone & iPod Touch owners there.

Talking about iPhone 3.0, yup, the 3.0 OS is widely available and the 3G S has finally been released in a few countries worldwide. I’m a little envious, but I’m still waiting for Globe to confirm if my wife’s account is eligible for a great deal on the 3G S for customer retention. If not, well, there’s always next year and iPhone 4.0 / 4G. 😉

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So today marks the 15th day of WalletWhiz on the App Store. Though sales figures haven’t been exciting, the experience has been truly life-changing. It’s definitely been an interesting ride so far, and here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Launch days sales are strong, VERY strong
  2. Promo codes released != promo codes claimed
  3. Low price + perceived unique selling point != Good reviews (or any reviews, for that matter)
  4. You will be called names. Accept it and move on.

I learned the first lesson during the first 3 days of WalletWhiz’s availability on the App Store. Although I’m not comfortable revealing exact figures, I will say that the 1st 3 days’ sales equate to fifty (50%) of total sales so far. That’s right, about half of the copies of WalletWhiz on iPhones & iPods in the wild were downloaded during the first 3 days. After that, well, the pace definitely dropped; to think that none of those copies were downloaded due to promo codes.

I learned the second lesson today when I compared the promo codes I’ve released so far to the estimated number of codes claimed. Only 43.33% of codes have been claimed so far. In other words, roughly only 4 out of every 9 codes released have been claimed so far. So, for those who are curious, you can enter “walletwhiz promo codes” into Google, and check out the results. Unfortunately, I have no way of tracking which codes have been claimed, so please leave a comment or tweet us if you were able to claim yours.

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Nope, that is not an apt caption for this year’s WWDC keynote. However, I believe that it could be next year’s WWDC tagline. In other words, the items announced during the 2009 WWDC keynote merely represent an evolution of Apple’s current products. The changes are nothing revolutionary, but still exciting.

First, the Macbook Pro. Apple tweaked the current Macbook & Macbook Pro unibody models & lumped them together under the “Macbook Pro” moniker. This is definitely accurate since the Macbooks now have Firewire again, albeit the faster 800 version. Also, the 13″ Macbooks now have a better display (supposedly, though let us wait for the reviews to come in), an SD card slot, and faster CPUs. The base 15″ Pro is also cheaper, drops the dedicated video card and comes with the integrated Nvidia 9400M like its smaller siblings. The other models also sport faster CPUs and lower prices, including the Macbook Air, which is now “barely affordable” rather than “extremely extravagant.”

Second, Snow Leopard. To be honest, this is the most “WOW” of all the announcements yesterday. The features have been circulating around the Net since last year, but to see it in action is definitely a different experience. Among my favorite features are Grand Central Dispatch, which will support my MB403 “WhiteBook”, and the transition to 64-bit for built-in applications. Too bad Snow Leoprad’s OpenCL implementation doesn’t support the Intel X3100. Still, I’ll definitely grab this when it comes out in September, especially since the price is only $29. Yup, that’s right: $29 to make your Mac faster, leaner, and meaner.

Third, the iPhone 3GS. I’m old enough to have used an Apple IIGS, and I can imagine why they decided to re-use that name. The new iPhone is supposed to be faster, mainly due to a better processor, better GPU (OpenGL ES 2.0 capable!), and better network card (up to 7.2 mbps). Plus, it allows video recording, and has a built-in compass. Although these upgrades are exciting, I believe that they do not target current iPhone 3G owners directly. Rather, they want to address the 1st generation iPhone users who may want to switch to a Palm Pre or Android phone. In other words, those who have an iPhone 3G (like me) could wait until Apple unveils an all-new iPhone in next year’s WWDC.

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WalletWhiz v1.1 update submitted to Apple

Hi! I’ve submitted WalletWhiz v1.1 to Apple for approval. It contains the following changes:

  • User interface tweaks
  • Optimization of memory usage
  • Various bug fixes

Also, special thanks to iPhone and iPod Touch users in the United States, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Australia. Your support of WalletWhiz is most welcome! 😉

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My first iPhone app, WalletWhiz, is now available on the App Store. I’m really excited to share this news with the millions of iPhone & iPod Touch users everywhere. Basically, it’s a $0.99 budget app that’s available thru iTunes. Here’s a short description of this wonderful application take from the App Store:

“WalletWhiz is your personal tool for tracking your spending habits against a budget. It packs only the essential features needed to maintain a healthy budget. It also includes password protection and support for the iPhone’s built-in currencies. With WalletWhiz, you will be able to:

– Track your expenses and earnings through the regular Categories view, or the unique Calendar view.

– Maintain Categories for your expenses and earnings, and track them using a budget for weekly or monthly Periods.

– Export transactions to CSV format so you can easily view the data in a spreadsheet or your financial application of choice.

With WalletWhiz, your budget is in your hands.”

For more questions, you can leave a comment to this blog entry, or contact me through my Twitter account or the official Twitter account of WalletWhiz. Thanks for listening! 😉

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