I've been trying to figure out how to not sound whiny while whining about the why-did-you-ruin-my-app! emails I've been getting since the update last night, but I don't think it's possible. (There haven't been many, but there haven't been any happy ones to balance them out.)
Instead, I will observe that being an independent developer requires a lot of intrinsic motivation. And that people are far more likely to voice displeasure than delight.
The best thing I've done for myself in Cross It Off! is have an easily-accessible "info" screen with a friendly intro and request to contact me with problems (with a button that brings up an email) or to rate the app in the store if you like it. That really does seem to have helped direct upset people to email channels, where I can try to help them, and happy people to the store. Still, some annoyed people go and leave a bad rating, but it's better than it would be otherwise.
Anyway, instead of whining (that wasn't too whiny, was it?) I decided I should instead think about the apps I most love and use and then go leave good reviews for them, even if they already have hundreds or thousands of them. Because the truth is, I'm like everybody else — slow to give a compliment.
My most-used favorites at the moment:
- Dark Sky — shows you exactly what precipitation to expect in the next hour, with some pretty cool visualizations. Much more useful than I ever would have thought. And their write-up of what's going on behind the scenes is quite interesting. (U.S. only)
- iCatcher! — for podcasts. I love podcasts. And I've been really happy with iCatcher! since switching to it a few months ago. I especially love that it will rewind or fast-forward by 30 seconds at a time from the controls on the lock screen. Written by an independent developer. I follow him on Twitter, too.
- Audible — for audiobooks. I love audiobooks possibly even more than I love podcasts and the Audible app has really helped Mr. Right and I to get all the value out of our Audible subscription. I dare say it's been a boost to our marriage — we can listen to the same book independently and have something interesting to talk about when we get the chance. :) Also, as I think I mentioned, I met Audible's iOS developer at WWDC and he's awesome.
- Twittelator — there are a million Twitter apps and this is the only one I've tried, but I do love it. Especially how easy it is to view photos quickly right in your tweet stream. (I think I'm using the "Neue" version.)
- Instapaper — I've had this app for a while, but just started using it heavily. Any article I see linked in Twitter that I think I'd like to read, I just email the link to my Instapaper account and can read it later, in a beautifully uncluttered interface, without fear of losing the link in the Twitter torrent. Marco Arment is the guy behind Instapaper and it's a very successful business for him. He also does the Build and Analyze podcast, which I generally enjoy.
See? I feel better already. Now I just have to go write those reviews. :)