You have developed a nice Windows Phone 7 application and after some quirks you get it to pass the certification (more on that later). But how can you handle the reviews and feedbacks about it? Since a lot of applications are developed by independent professionals like me, we don’t have a lot of marketing resources. It’s always heart-breaking to see a bad review, and it’s even more frustrating when you can’t offer your assistance (though I must confess that some users are beyond any help).
I use some simple tools, maybe more are available (I will update this post), but here are some tips:
Marketplace reviews: you can read the reviews from your country directly in Zune but it’s only your country. Tom Verhoeff has developed a very useful Silverlight application to access reviews from all Marketplaces around the world:
There are the averages for each market, the number of reviews and their details. One of the neat features is the link on the username: it brings you to the Zune website where you can contact the reviewer.
Twitter I use hootsuite but you can find this feature in your favorite Twitter client: saved searches, so you know who is talking about your app.
Analytics: I also integrated an analytics tool, mtiks, to be able to get some anonymous usage data like the most used features etc.
One of the missing part is maybe a way to gather the feedback of my user in a public website like http://getsatisfaction.com
But I’m not forgetting that the most important thing is to have a good application: user-friendly, snappy and robust.
Update: I forgot about App Tracker, an app for your phone, With it you can browse the reviews and ratings.
Hot on the heels of 1.5, version 1.6 addresses issues with deleted bookmarks and startup performance, and also delivers 3 key features:
– bi-directional sync across devices (iPad, Windows Phone, iPhone…)
– app-wide orientation lock
– new sync options in Settings, sync on startup is now optional
Hope you enjoy this new release 🙂
Time to upgrade your copy of Stacks for Instapaper if you haven’t yet! Version 1.5 was just approved and published on the Marketplace.
With it comes a frequently requested and major new feature: multi-selection. You can now conveniently use it with 2 new context menu actions: Archive and Delete.
Version 1.5 also brings automatic sync-on-startup for your Unread and Starred folders, along with a convenient server sync progress indicator.
Finally and for good measure, we added an orientation lock — makes reading in bed so much easier! — and many tweaks here and there for better overall performance.
As always, let us know what you think of this new version and bring on your suggestions!
Following the release of 1.2 with new features and improvements outlined in this post, and thanks to the great feedback that we received from our first users, we were able to prioritize our development to-do list. Version 1.3 was submitted a few days ago, with a fix for blank-password account login issues and various performance tweaks.
Performance will remain a priority for 1.4 and most future releases, with a focus on how the app interacts with the Instapaper servers. Along with bookmark deletion, 1.4 will also bring multiple selection for one-touch archiving, starring and moving. Keep you comment and feature requests coming!
Instapaper creator Marco Arment was kind enough to mention the release of Stacks for Instapaper on his his blog:
“The first complete Full API app is Stacks for Instapaper, a Windows Phone 7 client. I’d like to thank its developer, Matthieu Guyonnet-Duluc, for helping me find and fix issues with the API. (I’d like to thank the other developers as well, but their apps aren’t finished yet, and I don’t want to blow their cover.)”
Indeed, our Windows Phone app is the first to leverage the official Instapaper full API and, aside from Marco’s original iPhone and iPad apps, it is the most feature-rich mobile implementation of the Instapaper platform. And because TechCrunch blogged late yesterday about Instapaper’s Full API, along with a screenshot of Stacks for Instapaper and a link to our blog, we’re currently experiencing such a massive surge in traffic that I now have to go, redo the demo video and host it on YouTube in order to avoid issues with my current web hosting company 🙂
An update is already in the works. Check this post for more details.
Building on user feedback after the initial release of Stacks for Instapaper, new features are in development that should make some of you even happier 🙂
I can now officially tell you that verion 1.2 will include the following features:
– Bookmarking via URL copy-paste
– Batch downloading of bookmarks for a complete offline experience
– Improved error messages
– Landscape support
– Twitter and Facebook sharing (limited implementation)
Thanks again for all your suggestions. Keep them coming!
I didn’t write here for a long time because I was working on my first public application for Windows Phone 7 : Stacks For Instapaper. Instapaper is a well-known service for iPhone/iPad users, it facilitates long reads by saving for later a cleaned-up version of the webpage and allowing sync with iOS clients.
I was frustrated by the lack of Instapaper client for Windows Phone 7. I contacted Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, to know if an extended API was available since the public one has only limited features. I was lucky because, indeed, a complete API was in beta testing.
If you are an Instapaper subscriber, you can use Stacks For Instapaper to read (online or offline) your bookmarks and synchronize them. Here is here a complete list of features, along with screenshots of the application.
I was able to benefit from a previous attempt to port an (awesome) iPhone application to Windows Phone 7 : VinGo. Even if I didn’t succeed completely I learned a lot about the development on Windows Phone 7. I will write about it in coming posts.
Check out Stack For Instapaper!