Today I submitted a new version of Slync App to the App Store for approval. Version 1.2.2 is probably the most exciting version to date. You are going to love it! In fact, it’s so awesome, I want to take the time to talk about it.
First of all, it solves a pretty interesting problem we thought was solved in the initial release. A bit of introduction won’t hurt. We knew from the beginning that having people “slync” items while shopping would be problematic. People don’t have the time to edit and post their pictures on the spot. We added the “Save This Location” feature. It allowed users to check-in / save the location and then use that location at home to post their cool finds. I made it as simple as possible and as accessible as possible. However, there was this little-big problem – users had to open the app at the store to check-in even if they weren’t posting something at that time. It felt a bit off since I always believed that the good app is the one that gets out of the way and simplifies people’s life.
While a lot of users knew about the feature, it became evident (like in 2 weeks) that they simply didn’t remember to use it (we are talking about opening the app). So we had to go back and rethink it. Fortunately my wife, number one fan and first user of Slync, suggested we add the ability to search for stores instead of having to check-in while shopping.
The hardest part about the implementation was me going back and removing “Save This Location” feature altogether. It’s not hard to delete code, it is hard to delete it without breaking anything (which is impossible actually). Anyway, I was able to implement the much needed feature in a few days. On a totally unrelated note, did you know that certain places returned by Foursquare API do not contain coordinates or the address? Weird.
After testing this new feature I knew it was going to change the way people use the app. It removes the burden of remembering to save the store and allows users to find it later when they decide to post. Really cool. I am pretty happy with it. I think our users are going to love this.
Another little problem we’ve noticed was the content… the quality and the freshness of the content. While the app was showing users closest items to their location, opening it up at home was pointless as it would pretty much show the same content all the time. This needed some thought.
We want our users to have a reason to open the app no matter where they are and as often as possible. So in 1.2.2 we are sorting the discover content by date where the most recent items are at the top. Why do we think it’s going to work? Well, people will be able to see new items each day. However, we still sort search results by distance. Pretty cool, huh?
There were a couple of bugs that got fixed. Not a big deal. I also made some changes to the SlyncMOD app that would allow us to hide “uncool” posts without deleting them completely… I mean the last thing we want is to discourage our users from posting anything by deleting their items.
So this concludes week three. We have a lot to do. A lot of very cool features are being worked on. Stay tuned, you are going to love it.
Oh, almost forgot, the 1.2.2 update should be available anytime this week.