Apple, I love to hate you.


I am no fan of apple products; To me, it is a symbol of capitalism at its fineist. Microsoft has been sued over and over again and has given in to the EU and others for various demands to change the way the products are packaged; yet when it comes to Apple we ignore the majorly “closed-system” and the way their system AND products are even more monopolized and closed to the public…. but anyway

Growing up; I have loved the software (and company) that gave me the blue screen of death every few days; my primary coding background and architect skills were based on just MS products; that has changed over the years… but choice #1 is still MS when it comes to a lot of things..

Apple is at the bottom of my list… Yet, I own a 1st Gen iPhone, an iPhone 4 and an iPad (compliments of blank-label.com)… I even own a HP laptop that runs OSX on it! (debuging and r&d purposes ofcourse) and I have OSX running on virtual machines..

To me; it is a love-hate relationship, its like a bad relationship, where your partner is abusive and beats you every night but you still hold onto them..

The iPad is also the first mobile platform we exclusively developed the blank-label.com native application for…

Even though our website and shirt builder are accessible from an iPhone and/or an iPad and pretty much any other mobile device as we do not use flash or any other memory intensive plugins, I decided to build and deploy on an iPad because the user experience is different for a mobile, native, touchscreen app vs a browser/hosted app. A user with a mouse will have a different user experience than a person who is able to interact by touching a screen. In addition to enhancing the UX; we wanted to see if we could learn anything new from the iPad. There were a few features that would have worked great in our web-based shirt builder that would have worked well with “clicks”. We wanted to test out the enhanced UX features and see what (if any) the user feedback was… to see if we wanted to offer similar enhancements to our web-based configurator.

Version 1 has been out for about 3 months; the responses, reviews and positive feedback we get for our iPad app has been much higher than was anticipated; infact, within the first few weeks; we had already broken-even and went positive on our ROI.

So all the above sounds great…. but as expected I learnt a lot about what needs to be changed for our next release… which infact is underway and should be out soon :)…

Rather than spill the beans on whats coming, ill touch upon the things that people didnt like.

1. Must receive an entire app update for new fabrics
2. Must login every-time an order is placed
3. Application is not iOS4 compliant
4. Cannot zoom
5. No order history
6. Its pretty, easy to use, but things can be made easier, i.e. less taps
7. Application crashes if the iPad has been running a lot of other memory heavy programs
8. Cannot use coupon codes
9. Cannot use gift certificates to pay…

The above are all valid points and they have all been addressed in version 2 of our iPad app

In addition to releasing an update for the iPad platform; we will be releasing versions for the iPhone and the Android platform(s) as well…

Be on the lookout for an update to our iPad app…. and visit us on blank-label.com

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