Tag Archives: pros & cons

Farewell Nook App Store…. (Barnes & Noble shutting it down on March 15 2016)

14 Mar
2016

The Barnes & Noble Nook App Store is set to shutdown on March 15th 2016. I first made some of my apps available and joined the Nook App Store on March 6th 2013. My relationship with the Nook App Store during those two years was positive overall. There are things that I liked and disliked about the app store, but overall I’m definitely glad I put in the work to release some of my older and new apps on it. One of the main aspects that I liked about the Nook App Store was its focus on educational apps for children. It was the only app store that had several specific categories for different educational segments like time & money, writing, math, memory, geography and many others. Another thing that I really liked about the Nook App Store were their seasonal promotions were they would let developers submit their seasonal apps for consideration to be a part of a special temporary seasonal section. Several of my apps were approved for these promotions in the past and one of them(Jumbo Egg Hunt 2) got extra recognition by being selected for inclusion on promotional banners.

I also like that the Nook App Store didn’t have a ton of low quality apps and clones of popular apps that could get in the way of high quality original apps being discovered. It had it’s fair share of those lower quality apps but it wasn’t incredibly overbearing like it often is on other app stores. However, the customer base of the Nook App Store wasn’t nearly as large as the Apple, Amazon or Google Play app stores so even though there was less competition there was also less of an audience to seek. Also, in regards to customer service towards developers. I didn’t have to contact them often but they were nice & informative when I did need to, although not nearly as timely compared to other platforms. Editing/updating metadata wasn’t as smooth and quick as Amazon & Google Play either.

The Nook App Store was never my primary app store, but overall I will miss it. Apple is and has always been my primary app store, with Amazon being my secondary since I joined them. However, in 2016 I’ll continue to focus more on Google Play also which pairs well with the Nook App Store closing since Nook users will be and have been directed towards Google Play for their app needs. I’ll end this little goodbye post with some screenshots of my apps being featured, customer reviews, and my apps that were available at the time of this post on the Nook App Store.

Farewell Barnes & Noble Nook App Store, and to all Nook tablet users, please look for and check out my apps on Google Play or any other app stores that you may have devices for like Apple, Amazon or Windows. Take care!

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My apps that were available as of March 2016.

Barnes & Noble_Seasons Best - Easter - 2014

Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 was selected to be featured on the Season’s Best Apps promotional banner during the Easter season.

Seasons Best on Nook app store Dec 2013

Light Up The Tree & Gift Wrap Difference included in the Season’s Best Apps during the Christmas season.

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Professor Piggy Bank included in the Back to School Apps promo. (Not shown: some of my Word Owl Word Search apps were also included)

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iOS 7 – Likes & Dislikes

22 Sep
2013

Like millions of other Apple device owners I eagerly updated my iPhone 4S to iOS 7 a few days ago. After exploring it some for the past few days and using my phone like normal I’ve discovered some things I like and dislike about iOS 7. Some of the things are major and some are minor. I develop apps so I had access to the betas a while ago, but I held off on updating my phone with any of them because it was certain that some of my apps could randomly crash because of one of the engines I use. However, there was nothing I could do about it on my end until the developers of that engine updated their software to function properly with iOS 7. So my biggest gripe with iOS 7 is the fact that several of my apps along with many others from different developers are crashing, but that’s a totally different issue. For this list I compiled I’m just focusing on the normal everyday user functions and elements I like and dislike about iOS 7. I’m an optimistic guy so lets start with the likes….

Likes

  • Control center (This feature comes up when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It’s a neat way to quickly gain access to a few different controls, the calculator, and a flashlight.)
  • Notification center redesign (This feature comes up when you swipe down from the top of the screen. It was present in the last version of iOS, but its been redesigned and I like it more now.)
  • Bigger folders (You can now place more apps in a folder.)
  • Being able to edit which apps use cellular data. (Settings > Cellular > scroll down)
  • Swiping down to search
  • Subtle opening and closing animations (They’re minor and unnecessary, but I like them. I have an iPhone 4S and I haven’t noticed any lag due to them.)
  • Parallax motion effect (Another feature that’s unnecessary, but it looks neat sometimes. It can be turned off in the settings. Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion)
  • Safari webpage tabs (Additional tabs now show horizontally. You can also swipe a page to close it when viewing tabs.)
  • Images app (Videos are now also located in their own album in the Images app. An album like this could have been created before, but now all videos are automatically placed in this Videos album. The Images app now also has a section that summarizes your photos chronologically.)
  • Flat minimalistic design (I like the new flat minimalistic design of iOS 7 so I’m a fan of the new designs for the standard Apple apps icons and the apps themselves like Notes and the other ones listed below.  Also, if you think the text is too thin in some of the standard apps you can make it bold which I think improves the overall look. Settings > General > Accessibility > Bold Text. Simple color change options for the icons and app interfaces would have been nice too, but I didn’t expect that given Apples reputation.)
  • Notes app redesign
  • Calculator app redesign
  • Clock app redesign
  • Messages app redesign

Dislikes

  • Calendar (I like the aesthetic redesign, but not the overall functionality or lack thereof. Pressing on a day no longer shows the events at the bottom. Also, I don’t like the gray dots and not being able to edit their color or shape depending on the event entered. There’s more missing from the Calendar app but I’ll stop there. The calendar app needs help.)
  • Transparent folder design (Still not sure about this design choice. It made me change my background to a simple default gradient background instead of using pictures like I normally do. I think it only looks nice and streamlined if you have a simple background.)
  • Keyboard (The letters on the keyboard don’t change to reflect whether or not the shift button is pressed. I know the shift arrow changes, but it would be nice to know when the letters are capitalized or not.)
  • Background app refresh (This is a feature that will destroy your battery and it was automatically turned on after the update, but it can be turned off in the settings so it’s no big deal. Settings > General > Background App Refresh)
  • App Store design (Search results are still poorly implemented. Only one app is visible after a search and you have to continue swiping to see more apps. Search results should be displayed as a list or a grid.)
  • No new features overview (I was surprised there was no startup menu or something that went over some of the main new features in iOS 7. I was familiar with some of the features before updating to iOS 7 and I also pay attention to a few tech blogs, but there are many other people who probably had no idea what to expect with iOS 7 except for maybe the overall look redesign. Some people will read different articles to find out about different features, but a lot people might just go about their day and not realize that their phone has new features that they may find useful.)

As you see, the pros outnumber the cons for me, and the cons are mostly minor. Overall I like the iOS 7 update, especially the flat minimalistic design elements. The worse thing about iOS 7 is the app crashing situation that it brought on. The App Store search results display seriously needs to be changed though, but it first took a turn for the worse during iOS 6. As I continue to use iOS 7 on a daily basis I may run into more things that I like or dislike, and if they’re important enough I may update this list as needed.