June 10, 2011
5:58 pm

The Story Behind VideoBot for iOS

We are really excited to finally release VideoBot for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. VideoBot was created to solve a few problems I found myself and my friends running into on our iOS devices.

I have a lot of videos. A lot. Trying to find a particular video amongst the hundreds I have — and those videos are scattered among thousands of photos — well, you can imagine that it isn’t the best user experience in the world trying to do that in the Photos app. Often, even if I manage to find what I think is the video I’m looking for, I can’t be sure it’s the right one without watching it — the video has no title, notes or tags associated with it. I really need to see some information — some context — about the video. You can’t do that with the Photos app either.

This problem can be summed up as one of context and organization. If I have a particular video, I need to understand the context it was recorded in — the date, the title, tags or notes. Sometimes I may be able to deduce the context by watching some of the video, sometimes I can’t. So, it seems clear to me that videos need to have context associated with them.

In addition to having context associated with videos, I’d really like to group videos with similar context together. I have lots of videos of my friends and I’d like to keep all those together. I have way too many videos of my slightly neurotic Dorgy dog, Kiki and I’d like to keep all those together. And not only would I like to keep these videos together in a collection, but I’d like to arrange them in that collection in a custom order to make browsing easier. Without being able to organize my videos, finding the ones I’m looking for becomes increasingly difficult the more videos I have.

So, not only are there shortcomings in context and organization when using the Photos app, but also the Camera app doesn’t offer enough flexibility when recording video. Particularly when you want to record yourself using the the primary HD camera — typically you’d set the device up, start recording and then get into position in front of the device. It would really be better to be able to delay the recording until you are in front of the camera and ready. Otherwise, you are forced to edit the first 30 seconds or so of video of you getting into position. It seems like a simple problem, but if you do a lot of video recording of this type, its quite annoying.

VideoBot addresses all of these issues for iOS users. It’s a wonderful new way to record, organize and search videos on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The first and only iOS app to combine first-class video recording tools and metadata editing with incredibly flexible video organization tools to keep videos of a similar theme, genre or assignment together.

Organize your videos by genre, subject, assignment or anything else using collections
Further organize videos within collections using drag-and-drop custom ordering
Add important information to each video – title, tags and notes
Filter your videos across all collections by title, tags and notes
Delay and duration timers provide flexible video recording options

Posted by memmons

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January 7, 2011
7:26 pm

Audiotorium Notes featured on twit.tv’s iPad Today #25

iPad Today #25 features Audiotorium

I’m a big fan of twit.tv’s iPad Today Show podcast. Both myself and my fiance/co-founder enjoy watching it. Leo Laporte and Sarah Lane bring an interesting perspective on iPad news, apps and accessories. So, I was pretty excited when I found out that Audiotorium Notes was Leo’s App Cap pick for show #25. At the same time, it was an important and humbling learning experience. It was clear that Leo was unsure about how to add a new note to a subject — by tapping on the + icon above the note list. While I have responded to a few emails from people asking the same thing in the past, I chalked the problem up to users who were unfamiliar with the UI layout that is typical of iPad and iPhone apps. After all, the + icon is used in the same way in many apps, including Apple’s own, such as the Notes app. This was obviously a poor initial user experience for Leo, who was likely wondering why tapping on the notes list did not bring up the keyboard to start typing.

It’s clear that we need to put more thought into the user experience around adding a new note. It should be immediately self-evident to users how to create a new note, even if they’ve never used the app before. We already have some ideas on how to do this and look forward to implementing it in an upcoming release.

Posted by memmons

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December 4, 2010
9:35 pm

Audiotorium on iOS 4.2: Multi-tasking, audio-streaming goodness

We are really excited about next week’s release of Audiotorium Notes, which includes full iOS 4.2 support. While the last release did support most of the new 4.2 features, it was missing background recording and AirPlay streaming. Here is a breakdown of all the cool new features of Audiotorium Notes on iOS 4.2.

Backgrounding — Backgrounding allows Audiotorium to maintain state after it is no longer the currently running app. This means you can close Audiotorium while you are taking notes and browse the web to look up information. When you open Audiotorium again, it will still be on the note you already had opened. This is particularly useful if you are recording audio. To ensure you don’t forget that recording has continued, the status bar will be red and indicate Audiotorium is recording. Tapping on the red status bar will take you right back into the app.

AirPlay — AirPlay is a great new feature of iOS 4.2 that allows audio streaming to wireless speakers. This makes it easy to play back your audio notes to a large group of people without having to huddle around the tiny iPad speakers. If you find yourself reviewing your audio notes with other people, you’ll love this feature. To play back audio on AirPlay speakers, bring up the scrollable dock by double-clicking on the iPad’s home button while in a note that has an audio recording. If you scroll the dock to the left you’ll see playback controls and the AirPlay button. Tapping the AirPlay button will show you a list of available AirPlay speakers which the audio can be streamed to. For more information on AirPlay, please see Apple’s AirPlay page.

Dock Audio Controls — As you may have noticed from the AirPlay screenshot, you are now able to control Audiotorium audio playback from the iPad dock’s audio controls. So, you can have other apps open, such as Safari and still pause, rewind and fast-forward audio notes without having to open the app again.

iTunes File Sharing — While this is not exactly iOS 4.2 specific, this is a new feature which we recently enabled and we thought it was worth a mention. In addition to the other options for backing up and sharing your notes — WiFi sharing, email and Dropbox — you can now access your notes directly on your iPad from iTunes File Sharing. This is available in iTunes under the “apps” section when your iPad is connected to your computer. Select the .sqlite, .txt and .caf files and choose “save to”  in order to create a complete backup of your notes that can be restored any time.

Posted by memmons

November 18, 2010
5:43 pm

Some days the bear gets you.

Grumpy Bear

Some days you get the bear; some days the bear gets you. The last two days, the bear has chased me, pounced on me, mauled me and left me for dead.

As many of you are aware, we have temporarily removed Audiotorium Notes from the app store. This is due to a bug we identified shortly after version 1.8.2 was released; a bug that doesn’t appear in testing scenarios, but that most certainly appears when upgrading from the app store. The bug, which heretofore will be named “grumpy”, causes the database to become corrupted and not display any data — categories, subjects or notes. This is, admittedly, bad. However, the data is still on the device and can be accessed via the WiFi sharing option, just not from within the app. We’ve submitted an emergency update to Apple and they will hopefully approve it quickly.

This release was targeted to iOS 4.2 GM in order to support new features of the upcoming OS and the bug appears to be directly related to that.  We’ve submitted a report to Apple regarding the problem and hope to hear back from them soon.

In the meantime, we are sincerely sorry for the disruption this has caused.

Posted by memmons

November 16, 2010
2:24 am

A New Look

As you can see, we are in the midst of a website redesign. The old, tired website is being replaced by the new hotness, which is super, but what I’m really excited about is the opportunity to communicate more about what’s going on at App Apps through this blog.

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the view. There will be more to see here soon.


Posted by memmons

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