Archive for the ‘iDoodle Native App’ Category

Holiday Cheer

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Well this blog has been pretty inactive as of late though I have been doing some development.  The latest versions of iDoodle2 and iDoodle2 lite have some great features that I really enjoyed working on.  One of my favorites with iDoodle2 lite is the Daily Doodle.  So far I’ve received some great work from people and it’s definitely been tough choosing from all of the great images.

I have another app that is coming out soon which I think a lot of people will enjoy and have been collaborating with a few other individuals on apps which I’m looking forward to seeing out in the wild.  Overall things are going well in iDoodle land.

Happy Holidays!
P.S.  iDoodle2 lite is featured in the excellent Advent Calendar created by Magic Solver.  Check it out in the App Store here.

On Sales

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

iDoodle2 has been in the App Store for 9 months now and up till very recently I’d avoided putting it on sale.  I’ve figured $3 is a fair and decent price for the functionality that I provide and I didn’t want to join the rush to the ubiquitous $0.99.  Still, I’d grown tired of decreasing sales and seeing other apps in the top 100 which seemed to stay there indefinitely despite limited functionality and mediocre reviews.  So I figured I’d try dropping my price and seeing if I could enter that club.  Unfortunately going to $1.99, even with an update did not get me on the list so I made the fateful choice to drop down from the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee into McDonald’s dollar menu territory, and guess what?  It worked, sorta.
Within that first weekend I found my app on the top entertainment apps list for the first time, but even as I climbed my velocity dampened and I stalled out in the mid 60s on the top entertainment list. Once Finger Paint released a new update I started to slip again. Here’s where I made another business decision and switched categories over to photography. This was a fortuitous decision because my 75 on the Entertainment List became a 20 in Photography. The increased exposure coupled with the sale price led to my best week by number of units sold since last fall. But even then the revenue at that price point, while nothing to sneer at, was only fair when compared to weekly revenues over the past 9 months. The sale ended on April 15th and while my unit sales certainly took a hit I’ve been able to make up for it with the restored price. Furthermore, moving to the Photography list should allow me to stay discoverable far longer than I might be in the Entertainment category.
So a couple lessons learned. Going on sale does drive-up sales, but I had to go down to $0.99 ( over 60% off ) to see a really significant change in my sales volume. Even at that point and with increased exposure the lower price point meant my revenue wasn’t very impressive. It’s very interesting working in a market where there are no significant per-unit costs to contend with and profit can be derived as a function of sales and price only. The other significant take-away is that moving to a less-crowded category can increase your sales and discoverability. If you fall below a certain threshold you won’t show up in the top 100 list for the category and you become much harder to find. For Entertainment that cut-off point seemed to be in the neighborhood of 100 sales a day, it would be interesting to see where it lies for other categories.

Ultimately though I realized I’m not going to become a huge hit in the app store just by dropping my price, even with what I believe is a very good app. This leads me back to what I really enjoy, creating good software people enjoy using. Being a one-man shop it’s challenging knowing how to best allocate my limited resources. This experience has taught me that instead of trying to game the app store I should get back to coding. And with luck if I build it, the customers will come, even if they have to pay a bit more for an app than they would for a McChicken Sandwich.

100 Days of Doodling

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

I recently released new versions of both iDoodle2 and iDoodle2 lite.  These versions fixed a few issues that had come up in the 1.1 release of iDoodle2 and finally brought all of the 1.1 features to iDoodle2 lite.  In addition to an improved undo feature and better slider controls I added an analytics tool from Pinch Media.  This tracker lets me as a developer know how often the apps are being used and where and should hopefully allow me to better serve my users.  One interesting stat is the amount of cumulative time spent in the app over all users.  Since the update was released last week there have been well over 100 days spent doodling in the lite version alone.  Somehow I find that kind of amazing.  Here is an example of some of the great work being done.  Thank you Wensen for the amazing images.


iDoodle2 1.1

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Well the first full update to iDoodle2 in quite some time has been cleared by Apple and is available in the app store.  The release has been a great lesson in limiting the scope of my ambition in order to get an app released.  I can be thinking of the most awesome features imaginable, but if those changes never get into the hands of my users it’s all for naught.
I think the usability improvements to iDoodle2 make a strong app that much stronger.  One of the first things was to implement a multi-touch zoom and pan system.  This allows the user to zoom in up to ten times to work on allow a quality of work and detail that wasn’t possible with the previous release.  The other great improvement to usability (which I believe was suggested in this blog ) is a smart offset tool.  You can customize the distance the pen is from your finger so you’ll have a much better view of  what you are drawing.  The “smart” comes from the offset’s ability to adjust for the orientation of your phone.  The final new feature to come from a custom suggestion is the inclusion of a “kid mode”.  One father e-mailed me saying that his 2 year old enjoyed playing with iDoodle2, but would hit the other controls and pop up menus.  To activate kid mode touch the screen with 3 fingers and a simple palette appears at the bottom of the screen.  Tap with three fingers again to exit this mode.
The other improvements fix a few annoyances from previous versions.  All tool settings now save when you exit a session so your perfect tool setup isn’t lost.  The text tool has been improved with new fonts, text shadows, and the ability to handle non standard characters.  Finally you can rotate and adjust the background image in your doodles.
Anyway those are the basics.  Any feedback on the new version would be much appreciated as would the chance to see some of what you’re creating.  A new version of iDoodle2 lite should be out in the next few weeks and I have a few other projects waiting in the wings.

Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded and played with iDoodle over the last year.  Reflecting back this has been a very enjoyable experience.

From the web app that I wrote last February to the success of iDoodle2 it has been a great learning experience.  There have been over 1 million downloads worldwide of  iDoodle2 lite and I hope that number will continue to climb.

I’m working right now on a few fixes to iDoodle2 and iDoodle2 lite that should be ready and in the app store in early January.  The feedback of my users has been critical in shaping these updates and I hope that this relationship will continue.

Since Apple’s NDA has been relaxed I’m also hoping to start giving code examples that will help other developers who are working with 2D graphics on the iPhone.  I certainly wouldn’t have finished my app without the advice and guides I’ve found online and I hope that I can also make some kind of contribution in this area.  Look for the first one of these blog posts within the next few weeks. Thanks again for the support and I hope to continue making great iPhone applications in 2009.

Happy Holidays


Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who has checked out iDoodle2 lite and written their reviews.  It’s great to know that there are people out there who are using and enjoying the fruits of the many long hours spent on this app.  Speaking of long hours I recently re-submitted my iDoodle2 1.0.1 update to Apple and have made a few more improvements that should hopefully yield to a great app for all of you to use.  Thanks again to everyone who has bought iDoodle2, I again apologize for the bugs in the 1.0 release and hope to make it up to you in the future.  Anyway have a great weekend everyone.  I’ll probably be spending mine getting a few of the requested features into iDoodle2 lite.

iDoodle2 lite

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Well the lite version of iDoodle2 has made it’s way to the app store (sadly ahead of the iDoodle2 update).  It looks like a lot of people have had a chance to check it out and the overall feedback is quite positive.  I haven’t cracked a top 100 list yet (that I know of), but with a bit of luck and maybe a better logo more people will get a chance to check out this app.  Thanks to everyone’s support in the comments section on iTunes and in purchasing or downloading these apps.  It means a lot to me and I hope that I can pay you all back with good support and new features.  Thanks again.

iDoodle2 in the app store

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Hello everyone.  It’s been fun and exciting (if sometimes frustrating experience) having my new app up in the Apple app store for the last two weeks.

I want to apologize to everyone who has been inconvenienced by any of the bugs in version 1.0.  I unfortunately had to push the program out the door and did not take the time to properly test all of the features on all platforms.  The major bugs (I know about) have been fixed and are just waiting on Apple’s approval to go out to everyone.

In an effort to avoid such problems in the future I’m hoping to find a few beta testers for my future releases of iDoodle2 and some other apps I’m working on developing.  If you might be interested please send an e-mail to

Speaking of feedback I’d love to hear about your experience with the app so far and what you think is missing.  Also send some images, I’d like to see what’s been created.  Thanks and happy doodling.