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  1. #361  
    Dan,

    First I just have to say your commitment to responding to all user posts and being open to suggestions is truly impressive. I think some users take that as a sign you are flying by the seat of your pants like a novice programmer. While there are quite a few devs like that around here who need and desire some guidance in design and functionality (not that its bad, I will be one of them soon) I personally feel like you have a very specific design in mind. The first thing I noticed when I saw the first video you made was how complete and unique the app was. It ACTS like a webos app but doesn't look like the typical drab webos app.

    I was initially thrown off by the location field since it didn't have labels and didn't really look like a field but I've grown to like it. Just feels neater. And you are right, you added the ? to solve those issues. If a user can't click that ? I don't know what to tell them...Bottom line though is even if everything isn't perfect I will take that for a nicer design over standard drab at this point.

    I also have an opinion on the delay thing. I actually had an instance yesterday where that would have been useful but at the same time, I don't know that it is needed or should be added. If it comes up at all it should be several updates away. The reason I say that is no matter what you do there is a learning curve with this application. Adding too many options may just make people walk away in frustration. But once you have a good sized user community and get a web presence setup where people share stories of how they use GeoStrings it would be easier for people to accept more advanced features.

    Lastly, I love the idea of a separate sound. Mostly because when a geostring goes off, chances are its the highest priority message I can get cause its so time sensitive. Palm made the alarm and alert notifications separate I believe for that very reason. If I hear my little laser sound its likely just an email, but with geostrings I'd probably have something unmistakable if I could choose.
  2.    #362  
    Quote Originally Posted by nyquistJack View Post
    First I just have to say your commitment to responding to all user posts and being open to suggestions is truly impressive. I think some users take that as a sign you are flying by the seat of your pants like a novice programmer. While there are quite a few devs like that around here who need and desire some guidance in design and functionality (not that its bad, I will be one of them soon) I personally feel like you have a very specific design in mind. The first thing I noticed when I saw the first video you made was how complete and unique the app was. It ACTS like a webos app but doesn't look like the typical drab webos app.
    Thanks a lot. I'm a full-time software engineer and have been doing it professionally for 14 years. What I've learned is that good/reliable code is important, but there is a lot more than that when it comes to developing a finished product. The design is the key to any project. I spent a long time on the design of this project before writing one line of code. So yes, I have a very specific vision when it comes to this app.

    The other thing that is important is support. The project doesn't end when you release your software. Supporting your customers is extremely important. In addition to support, it's also important to consider the feedback you receive. While I may not agree with every piece of feedback I get, I do seriously consider each one. Most of the app's evolution since the beta phase was due to feedback from the beta testers. And the features & fixes in the next release are pretty much all from customer feedback I've received (either on this forum or via email).

    Quote Originally Posted by nyquistJack View Post
    I was initially thrown off by the location field since it didn't have labels and didn't really look like a field but I've grown to like it. Just feels neater. And you are right, you added the ? to solve those issues. If a user can't click that ? I don't know what to tell them...Bottom line though is even if everything isn't perfect I will take that for a nicer design over standard drab at this point.
    This was one of the things I really debated on when I designed the screens. I went back and forth between standard text entry fields and the current ones and I just decided to do things a bit different.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyquistJack View Post
    Adding too many options may just make people walk away in frustration.
    It's funny you mention that. I came across an article someone wrote listing their favorite webOS apps (GeoStrings was on that list...yay!) and he indicated that because the app had so many customization options, it could take a bit of time to master, but he found my instructional videos were helpful. So it is important to choose the appropriate customization options. Too many, and it could make people's heads spin.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyquistJack View Post
    Lastly, I love the idea of a separate sound. Mostly because when a geostring goes off, chances are its the highest priority message I can get cause its so time sensitive. Palm made the alarm and alert notifications separate I believe for that very reason. If I hear my little laser sound its likely just an email, but with geostrings I'd probably have something unmistakable if I could choose.
    I've implemented the new notification sound and it's much better. It's sufficiently loud and quite distinct.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  3. #363  
    I just posted this as my facebook status. (not something I do much of.)

    ""I am so geeking out here folks. You gotta get yourself a Palm Pre phone and the "GeoStrings" software. Its a to-do list that uses GPS to alert you when you pass by the location where you can acomplish your to-do item. ... Buy Milk on your list? It will chime an alarm to pull over before you forget and you pass by your favorite grocery store on the way home. It is SO SWEET!""

    Those of you loving your Phone and your GeoStrings, spread the word. Palm needs word of mouth if it is going to survive. (I want it to survive.)
  4. #364  
    Too many options?

    Look at the success of DateBook for the PalmOS. That was a top seller for years exactly because it did have so many options.

    As long as you hide the "advanced" options or label them as such, it won't scare off the new folks. I think you have it designed that way now. I set up and tested a dozen or so GeoStrings before I even realized that I could scroll down for more advanced options. Just keep the less used stuff at the bottom, and it will be fine.
  5.    #365  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobilemitch View Post
    I just posted this as my facebook status. (not something I do much of.)

    ""I am so geeking out here folks. You gotta get yourself a Palm Pre phone and the "GeoStrings" software. Its a to-do list that uses GPS to alert you when you pass by the location where you can acomplish your to-do item. ... Buy Milk on your list? It will chime an alarm to pull over before you forget and you pass by your favorite grocery store on the way home. It is SO SWEET!""

    Those of you loving your Phone and your GeoStrings, spread the word. Palm needs word of mouth if it is going to survive. (I want it to survive.)
    Thanks a lot! Every little bit helps in spreading the word.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  6.    #366  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobilemitch View Post
    Too many options?

    Look at the success of DateBook for the PalmOS. That was a top seller for years exactly because it did have so many options.

    As long as you hide the "advanced" options or label them as such, it won't scare off the new folks. I think you have it designed that way now. I set up and tested a dozen or so GeoStrings before I even realized that I could scroll down for more advanced options. Just keep the less used stuff at the bottom, and it will be fine.
    As long as the options are useful it'll be fine to add them. But adding options just to have a ton of options is not really helpful. So I'll add more options when they'll be beneficial to the users.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  7. #367  
    Anyone see the app "lucy" in the catalog? $5? I downloaded it just to see if "lucy" had any innovations to add to the geo-to-do software field... NOPE.

    It was awful. You have to keep the card open for it to work, there is a limit of 10 items, you can't change the range, you have to know the full address, no favorites.... and on and on. and they want $5 for it, what a rip off. It just does not feel like a finished application.

    Not even one good new idea to add to the pot.
  8.    #368  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobilemitch View Post
    Anyone see the app "lucy" in the catalog? $5? I downloaded it just to see if "lucy" had any innovations to add to the geo-to-do software field... NOPE.

    It was awful. You have to keep the card open for it to work, there is a limit of 10 items, you can't change the range, you have to know the full address, no favorites.... and on and on. and they want $5 for it, what a rip off. It just does not feel like a finished application.

    Not even one good new idea to add to the pot.
    Frankly I'm surprised you (or anyone else) would download it based upon the description. At least he's upfront about all of its shortcomings. Just the fact that you have to leave the card open makes it completely useless. And having to enter in the full address manually everytime would get old very quickly. This is why I implemented the location history/favorites/groups. Even though adding locations is easy with GeoStrings, selecting locations from a saved history is even easier.

    And the 10-reminder limit made me chuckle. Now that was funny! And after all that it costs $5....wow. I'd rather double-down and buy NFS for $10 (which I did by the way...great game).

    Back on the topic of GeoStrings... I've submitted the next version of GeoStrings to the catalog. I'll post the changelog here once it's in the catalog. Also when you first load up the new version (if you're upgrading from the previous version), the changelog will be displayed. It's not a huge release, but does have some much needed enhancements and fixes.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  9.    #369  
    Engadget just posted a very interesting article (Palm files patent for GPS-based location sharing service -- Engadget) that indicates Palm just filed for a patent in regards to a location sharing service. It mentions that the patent eludes to the ability of setting location-based reminders.

    I wonder if GeoStrings inspired this patent? I informed my Palm handler back in October about my intentions to make GeoStrings. That would be something if this where they got the inspiration.

    EDIT: It looks like the patent was filed in March of 2009, so maybe they weren't inspired by my app. But still if you read the patent filing, the location-based reminders sound very similar to what GeoStrings does (setting multiple locations per tasks, saving location history, saving locations from a contact, etc.). However the part about moving locations (ice cream truck) is different.
    Last edited by DanPLC; 01/08/2010 at 05:04 PM.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  10. #370  
    My guess is Geostrings isn't the inspiration. I worked for a dot.com where we worked with geo-coded data, property records and sat maps ets... it was about 10 years ago and we kicked the idea around as something for Realtors (and for us). I have heard pieces of the idea in the years since from different sources. What kept us away from the idea was the hardware. "it will take 10 years for the hardware to..."

    And on the LUCY application. It sounded like a stinker from the description but I thought, maybe he will have some cool new idea in there. Nope. At least I was able to leave a review warning off others and pointing them in a better direction.

    I am glad that Palm is on board with the location based reminders and that they are thinking about ways to incorporate it in their own stuff. (though I guess they have lots of patents they don't really use) This is a field of growth that will see a LOT of innovation and integration in the next few years.
  11.    #371  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobilemitch View Post
    My guess is Geostrings isn't the inspiration
    Yeah I know, but it was still cool to read about their ideas and how some of them were so similar to the stuff I came up with.

    I think there is a lot of potential in location-aware mobile devices that still hasn't been tapped yet. Hopefully Palm (or Google or someone else) will begin to do some really creative things with these new devices.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  12. #372  
    I gotta say, GREAT APP! Thanks so much for releasing this wonderful app. What force me to buy this app was I was going to town to pick up an item, then a friend wanted me to pick up something for them. When I get to town, got my item, then started driving home and when I was near I just realized I forgot to get my friends item. Downloaded the app, did lil test run with my friend item and it worked great! Now I just have to remember to input items into my Pre .
  13.    #373  
    Quote Originally Posted by LupeValenz View Post
    I gotta say, GREAT APP! Thanks so much for releasing this wonderful app. What force me to buy this app was I was going to town to pick up an item, then a friend wanted me to pick up something for them. When I get to town, got my item, then started driving home and when I was near I just realized I forgot to get my friends item. Downloaded the app, did lil test run with my friend item and it worked great! Now I just have to remember to input items into my Pre .
    I'm glad you're enjoying the app. You'll start getting used to using it regularly. It really makes remembering the little things so much easier.
  14. #374  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    On the "Add/Edit GeoString" screen, tap the little triangle icon at the top of the "Locations" group to bring up a menu and select the "Save as Location Group" selection. Type in a location group name into the popup and then tap "Save" to save the locations to the location group. For a visual demonstration, see my <video link deleted>

    In a future release, I'll add the ability to add locations to an existing location group from the Saved Locations screen, as well as add new location groups from this screen.
    Ah HA!!! I couldn't figure this out either (I know, it's in the videos....I'm lazy ). Now that I know it, no problem. It's not terribly intuitive, though; maybe a different icon -- maybe a plus sign or some kind of multiple pushpin icon. The latter is probably better since you already use that meme for locations.

    This is a great app, just as advertised in the forum. One of the best $3 I've ever spent. Thanks.
  15. #375  
    That map is awfully distracting; it makes it look like I'm somewhere I'm not. I suspect bringing up your current location would take too long, so that's probably not an option even though it'd be appropriate. So, it'd be nice if there was an option to substitute a different image, or at least turn it off so there's a blank bg.

    This is minor; it's still a great app.
  16.    #376  
    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhobikes View Post
    That map is awfully distracting; it makes it look like I'm somewhere I'm not. I suspect bringing up your current location would take too long, so that's probably not an option even though it'd be appropriate. So, it'd be nice if there was an option to substitute a different image, or at least turn it off so there's a blank bg.

    This is minor; it's still a great app.
    Yes, the wallpaper is just a static background for decorative purposes only. It's not your current location. It's actually a screenshot of a portion of New York City.

    I considered adding customizable wallpapers; however I decided against it for two reasons.

    First of all people will not keep GeoStrings running as a card for extended periods of time. This is the type of app where you run it, make a quick change, and then close it out. So I didn't see the need for customizable wallpapers in this type of app.

    Second, I wanted GeoStrings to have a very distinctive look. The map wallpaper represents the "Geo" in GeoStrings. The light blue backgrounds with the string-on-a-finger watermarked image represents the "Strings" in GeoStrings. I wanted this to be the trademark look of the app. So if someone saw this app in an article, review, or video, I wanted it to always look the same.

    So I hope you can understand why I've made this choice which was very deliberate.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  17.    #377  
    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhobikes View Post
    Ah HA!!! I couldn't figure this out either (I know, it's in the videos....I'm lazy ). Now that I know it, no problem. It's not terribly intuitive, though; maybe a different icon -- maybe a plus sign or some kind of multiple pushpin icon. The latter is probably better since you already use that meme for locations.
    Yeah I didn't particularly like implementing this option in this way. I know it's not terribly intuitive. The problem is I couldn't think of another way to add it to this screen.

    The reason I use the triangle as the icon is that this was originally intended to be a drop-down menu with more than one option. The other option I originally added to this menu was "Display locations on map". But due to technical issues with the Google API (search this thread for more details), I had to remove this feature. However you can still view each individual location in a GeoString on a map by tapping the map icon next to each location. And in the next release, which was submitted to Palm a few days ago, map icons have been added to the business search screen so you can view the location on a map before choosing to add it to the GeoString.

    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhobikes View Post
    This is a great app, just as advertised in the forum. One of the best $3 I've ever spent. Thanks.
    Thanks a lot!
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  18. #378  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    I considered adding customizable wallpapers; however I decided against it for two reasons.

    First of all people will not keep GeoStrings running as a card for extended periods of time. This is the type of app where you run it, make a quick change, and then close it out. So I didn't see the need for customizable wallpapers in this type of app.
    Even though I'm not planning on running it for very long, I'm still running it to enter and/or view data. The background makes it hard for me to read; probably due to my vision issues.

    Second, I wanted GeoStrings to have a very distinctive look. The map wallpaper represents the "Geo" in GeoStrings. The light blue backgrounds with the string-on-a-finger watermarked image represents the "Strings" in GeoStrings. I wanted this to be the trademark look of the app. So if someone saw this app in an article, review, or video, I wanted it to always look the same.

    So I hope you can understand why I've made this choice which was very deliberate.
    This is excellent reasoning, and I understand it totally. In fact, given the completeness of the app and the care you've obviously taken with it (I've been following this thread ever since I discovered the pre-existence of the app) I'd have been surprised to learn you hadn't made a very deliberate choice.

    Having said that, it'd still be easier for me -- and probably others -- to read text if there was an option to turn off the background & let it go black. Or have the option to set your own, if black isn't easily done. There's absolutely no reason not to have the NYC map the default so your trademark image shows through. Heck, if you put in the option I promise to change it back to the map before I show anyone (which I definitely am going to do). :-D

    Even if you don't change it -- thanks for listening. And I'll say it again -- great app.
  19.    #379  
    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhobikes View Post
    Even though I'm not planning on running it for very long, I'm still running it to enter and/or view data. The background makes it hard for me to read; probably due to my vision issues.
    I didn't realize that people with vision issues would have problems viewing the data. In that case I'll add an option to the Preferences screen to change the transparency of the blue groups. If you're able to make the blue groups completely opaque so the map doesn't seep through, would that make it easier for you to read?

    I may also add the option to change the color of the blue groups.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  20. #380  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    I didn't realize that people with vision issues would have problems viewing the data. In that case I'll add an option to the Preferences screen to change the transparency of the blue groups. If you're able to make the blue groups completely opaque so the map doesn't seep through, would that make it easier for you to read?

    I may also add the option to change the color of the blue groups.
    It might. I'm not sure how much the watermark contributes to the issue; if it gets less transparent too it may be an issue. Only one way to find out; if you want me to test a version I'd be glad to do that.

    Font changes (color, size) might help too. See the "Shopping Manager" app for a nice example of customization -- different items can be different colors and/or sizes.

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