Archive for the ‘ iPhone ’ Category

Spendigo the holiday expense tracker app

Spendigo icon

I’m pleased to announce that my friend Torsten’s first app, Spendigo has just been released in the App Store. Apart from a serious amount of beta testing, I’ve also supplied the icon and splash screen.

Spendigo keeps track of your holiday spending so that when you get back you can find out where all your money went – in fact the app was called Where Did It Go? during development:)

It’s simple to add an expense, assign a category and get on with your day. The app handles currency conversions, different views of your spends and running totals (don’t worry, you can switch the running total off if you’d rather not know how much you’re spending until you get home).

A lot of love and hard work has gone into this app and if you’re looking for a way to track your holiday expenses then you really should take a look: click here for App Store link

AmbiHue app

AmbiHue, our latest app, has just hit the App Store

You may have seen those high-end televisions that feature ambient backlighting where the TV casts a wash of light on the wall behind itself, changing colour according to what’s on the screen. AmbiHue is designed to help you recreate the same effect in your own home for considerably less!
All you need is a set of PhiIips Hue bulbs. Place one or more bulbs behind your TV, launch AmbiHue and point your device’s camera at the screen. Now watch your bulbs change colour in response to the on-screen action! Of course you don’t need to use AmbiHue with your TV, you can just use it as a fun way to control the colour of your PhiIips Hue bulbs to create dynamic mood lighting effects. Why not point the camera at your clothes to match your lighting to your wardrobe? Or point it out the window so your home lighting changes to match the sunset?

If you’re interested, you can find it here

iPhone 4 AmbiHue Promo strip

Another little App Store scam…?

Whilst browsing the App Store the other day I spotted something I hadn’t seen before…

It’s common practice for developers to release several versions of the same app but normally there’s some logic to it i.e. a free version so that people can try it out, a normal version and then occasionally a pro or HD version. But this looked different – this looked like the same app being released multiple times with slightly different names and icons. Even stranger – they weren’t even all by the same developer…

Have a look at the screengrabs below to see what I mean.

I suppose the logic is if you flood the App Store with your apps it’s more likely that a user will click on one of them but it seems like a lot of effort to go to. As a developer myself I know how much effort is involved in setting up publisher accounts, prepping and submitting apps etc and I’m not sure it would be worth the trouble.

Has anybody else noticed this happening? It’s bad enough trying to find quality apps whilst wading through a sea of similar apps without having to wade through dozens of identical apps…

Numbers in Graphic Design

I’ve just received my copy of Numbers in Graphic Design by Roger Fawcett-Tang.


It’s a stunningly in-depth look at, well, numbers in graphic design (the title gives it away really…). I found out about the project when Roger was kind enough to get in contact to ask permission to use some of my designs in the chapter on Clock Apps.


Highly recommended for anybody with an interest in, you guessed it, numbers or graphic design. It’s published by Laurence King and available from Amazon if you’re interested in getting a copy of your own…

Chameleon Clock rip-off update


If you’re interested in the story of how our App Chameleon Clock has been shamelessly ripped-off then you might like a little update…

Apple seem to have done very little so far other than to comment that ‘the dispute seems to be unresolved’. The other company are refusing to remove their App and I think it’s obviously about time Apple stepped up and helped protect the rights of their legitimate developers. I say ‘legitimate’ because the other guys business seems to be based around ripping off other companies apps and bolstering them with obviously fake 5 star reviews.

Our latest response to Apple is as follows:

‘Apple, please make a stand here. It’s ridiculous that their app is still available. Not only are Orangeport refusing to amend their application so that it doesn’t infringe on our IP, they now have the cheek to try and fight it out by demanding to see International Trademark Registration Certificates. This is just a delaying tactic as it’s obvious to anybody that they are blatantly stealing our idea.

Have a look at the App Store pages for both Apps and you’ll plainly see that a) ours came out first, b) they stole the name and concept and c) they even copied the images used i.e. screen 1: a chameleon lizard sitting in front on an iPad with green leaves in the background, screen 2: the iPad shown in front of a wood texture, screen 4/5: an iPad in front of a sunset.

Not only have they stolen the name, idea and marketing materials, they’ve also copied the App’s operation i.e. tap digits to change colour and swipe to adjust transparency – as described in their App Store text.

Even the reviews of their app are probably fake – only 5 star reviews and all from users who have never reviewed another app.

We strongly feel that an app like theirs should never have been approved in the first place and that as part of the approval process, Apple should, at the very least, perform a quick check of existing apps to make sure that the newly submitted app isn’t blatantly copying an existing app.

So please step in and stand up for the rights of your legitimate developers and remove their app from sale until such time as they resubmit it in a manner that doesn’t infringe our IP so blatantly.

ps. if you want more evidence as to what sort of developer Orangeport are, do an App Store search for WTHR and you’ll find not only the original and well reviewed WTHRdial app but also an Orangeport one with two of the most hilariously fake 5 star reviews ever (in the UK store) – bear in mind these are for a weather app:

‘That’s how a multi-functional application should look like. It does anything I need and more (over 12 functions). It’s so enormous that you surf it for days and still find something new each time’ 

‘One of the few applications that meet the aesthetic and function perfect! The information contained in a traditional style, lovingly illustrated and retailers!’

Let’s see what happens next…

Another App Store rip-off story

I’m not having a particularly great day today (I won’t bore you with the details) but the icing on the cake has been the accidental discovery that our Chameleon Clock app has been shamelessly ripped off.

I’ve posted about this sort of thing before but this episode is perhaps even more blatant. Our App Chameleon Clock was released on the 11th of July and although it didn’t change the world it seemed as if a few people liked it’s simple premise.

We’re just in the process of updating it for the iPhone 5 so I did a quick check in the App Store to reference which screenshots would need changing and came across Chameleon Clock™  which was released a couple of months later – plenty of time to code up an app as simple as this… I particularly like the ™ that they’ve added to the name implying that they were somehow the ‘original’.

It’s not just the idea that they’ve copied but the promotional images as well – including the Chameleon sitting in front of the iPad. Check out our app vs theirs.

The developers, Orangeport seem to have a bit of a habit of this sort of thing – a quick search in the App Store for WTHR (a beautiful designed, well reviewed weather app – also brings up WTHR by Orangeport…

It seems to me that if this is happening with Apps of this level – no offence to the guys behind WTHR but we’re not talking about household name apps here – then this practice must be rife throughout the App Store and it’s about time that Apple did something about it.

Surely it’s not too difficult for Apple, as part of the approval process, to do a quick search of their own store and see if there’s already an app with the same name and functionality? There’s obviously a grey area where apps might coincidentally have similar names and functionality, but in other cases (like the above) it’s just blatantly obvious what’s going on… It’s about time they tightened things up – the current situation isn’t good for developers who are seeing their hard work ripped off or for consumers who accidentally end up buying the wrong app. The only people that benefit are the bastards that steal other people’s IP…

Please Apple, sort it out.


Chameleon Clock update

Just a quick update on Chameleon Clock, our new app that lets your iPad or iPhone disappear into the background…

Even though it’s a pretty simple app, it seems to have a hit a chord with some people, hitting no. 3 in the utilities chart, being favourably reviewed on Cult Of Mac and making their Must-Have Apps of the Week list.

We’ve also put a little blog together where you can get a look at the kind of thing Chameleon Clock does.

So, if you haven’t checked the app out yet, why not take a look?

MoodClock for the iPad & iPhone

My new iPad app, MoodClock has just hit the Apple Store.

As you can probably guess from the name it’s a combination clock and mood lamp. It doesn’t do much but what it does do, it does beautifully (well so I’d like to think). You can choose your favourite background colour (any colour you can think of) or just let it fade from one to another and you can choose black or white text and then adjust the transparency of it with a swipe of your finger.

As you can see, you can achieve an almost infinite number of effects, even turning off the time completely to use the iPad as a mood lamp – it’s surprisingly effective when turned against the wall in a darkened room – just like an expensive mood light in fact :) Continue reading

Siri for iPhone 4S – so much more than just voice recognition

Yesterday’s big Apple event was a bit of a let down from many points of view but the one thing that struck me was Siri. If you’re not up to speed yet on what this personal assistant on your phone can do, watch the clip below to get a better idea of what it’s capable of.

If it works half as well as it looks like it does (and some of the first hands-on feedback I’ve seen suggests that it does) it could be the biggest thing to hit the way we interact with our computers since the touchscreen.


Saving Grace – The Sunday Times Travel App of the Week

Nice to see that The Sunday Times picked Saving Grace as their Travel App of the Week yesterday.

Thanks! If you haven’t got a copy yet, grab one here – it’s free.


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