Category Archives: Uncategorized

Overreaction vs Sanity. Google Play vs Apple Store.

In the last week or so, both Apple and Google informed me that one of my apps was in a small way breaching store guidelines.

Photo by Jorge Fernandez on Unsplash

I’ll paraphrase both messages here:

One of your apps hasn’t been updated in years. It doesn’t meet current guidelines. If you don’t update it – we’ll remove it in 30 days.

Apple

and

One of your apps breaks the metadata guidelines. It has a quote in the app description.

We have removed it from the store.

Google

Both complaints are probably valid. The iOS app hasn’t been updated since 2015 and hasn’t been optimised for the latest devices. I’ll update it this month.

The Android app did have the following quote in the store description

VLC Remote is the latest Android app to earn my favor, and it’s a beauty

Androidnica

The quote has been there for at least 5 years. I’m not entirely sure whether it should count as a ‘user testimonial’ (banned) or a ‘third party review’ (I think those are ok). But either way – I’m happy to remove it.

Removing my app from the store just seems like a Massive Overreaction when they could simply have emailed me to request a change.

Easier iTunes Connect Sandbox Users with GSuite Routing

Use GSuite Routing to dynamically handle different iTunes Connect test emails.

iTunes connect testing is a pain. One of the pain points is that you have to create a bunch of iTunes Connect accounts when you want to test your purchase flows. Each of those needs a separate email address.

You used to be able to do this with the magic

  • rob+test1@hobbyistsoftware.com
  • rob+test2@hobbyistsoftware.com

And all your emails would be routed through to rob@hobbyistsoftware.com (this works for gmail, and many other email providers)

Sadly Apple disabled this capability some time in 2018 (?) – so now you need a new valid email address for every iTunes Connect sandbox user

GSuite Routing provides a neat way to restore this functionality

  1. Open your GSuite Management Console
  2. Click through to Apps > G Suite > Gmail
  3. Click on ‘Default Routing’
  4. Click ‘Add Setting’ and add something like the following

(note – the regexp is rob_.*@hobbyistsoftware.com)

This redirects all email of the format rob_something@hobbyistsoftware.com to rob@hobbyistsoftware.com

New App for Mac: AV Rules

When I connect my projector, I want my mac to switch to 1080p.

When I connect my TV, I want it to run at 720p

When hdmi audio output is available, I want my mac to use that (and to use all the channels too!)

Previously, my Mac mini didn’t do a great job of switching, so I wrote AV Rules to take charge.

rules


Buy Now

Windows Store is still rubbish

Back in 2105, the Windows store decided to unpublish VLC Remote after I submitted an update.

I ran a competition to try to figure out why they had banned it. This attracted some media attention which ultimately resulted in a  Windows Developer Platform manager contacting me. He quickly got some people on the case and the app was restored.

About three weeks later, I needed to update the description. The same thing happened again. Again, the same chap kicked some butt in the store and got the update approved.

A year or so later, and I have had a request from Microsoft to fill in their age rating questionnaire.

Of course – this requires submitting a new update, and of course the exact same problem is hitting. (Note – the app, and its description and screenshots are completely unchanged)

App Policies: 10.1 Inaccurate Representation, Title

Your app and its associated metadata must accurately and clearly reflect the source, functionality, and features of your app.

  • <snip – list of policies>

Notes To Developer

The app name does not accurately represent the app.
For more information see Windows Store Policy 10.1 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=620446.

This time, I haven’t had a response from the program manager (he has probably moved on in disgust)

I have resubmitted with a link to the original story, but have just had a somewhat meaningless response

Hello Rob,

Thank you for the follow up and I am showing that app under that account. Now I also reviewed over the listing and I would suggest contacting report app from the email below as they will be bale to assist you directly on the certification.

Report App: reportapp@microsoft.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please respond to this e-mail and we will work to resolve them as quickly as possible.

I don’t think this will help – clearly the issue is nothing to do with me reporting an infringement, or anyone else reporting an infringement. The issue is that every time I submit an update, Microsoft do the same brain-dead thing.

I’m going to try one more submission with the ‘do not fail… escalate to…’ note…

I guess Windows Store is dying, and Microsoft just want to clear out the few remaining apps.

2 Minute Timer now with Force Touch

2 Minute timer was my first app.

It is a very simple timer app which aims to work with a minimum of fuss.

You can now start a timer and pick the timer length on new devices using force touch.

More info here

2min

Mac OS Developers – Easily add Right-Click actions.

Right Click Booster makes it really easy for developers to add their own Right-Click actions.

OSX 10.10 allows developers to build FinderSync extensions.
These allow you to add right.click (or cmd+click) actions within the finder.

However – you can only do this with App-Store apps, and building finder-sync extensions is a massive pita.

Right Click Booster now makes it super-easy for developers to add right-click actions for their own apps.

The full code within VLC Streamer Helper is:


[RCBRightClick registerExtensionWithName:@"Add to VLC Streamer"
scheme:@"vlcsaddfile"
filetypes:@[@"mp4",@"avi",...]
image:[NSImage imageNamed:@"menuIcon"]
callbackScheme:nil];

So – if you’re a developer, find out all about it here

If you use software that would benefit from right-click integration – then please email the developer and let them know about Right Click Booster.

VLC Streamer now integrated with Mac’s Finder

If you’re using Mac OS, and you’re updated to the latest version, then VLC Streamer now offers a way to right click (or cmd+click) on a movie in the finder to add it directly to VLC Streamer.

The new option is in the settings tab.

It makes use of my newish (free) app Right Click Booster.

When you click to add the right-click item, you’ll be prompted to install Right Click Booster if you don’t have it already – and taken to the Mac App Store to download it for free.

You can get Right Click Booster (currently free!) at the Appstore.

Translations please…

VLC Remote and VLC Streamer rely on you to translate them into your native language.

If you’d like to help – please click through to http://translate.hobbyistsoftware.com and translate some strings.

The site isn’t really mobile-friendly, so you probably want to do this on your laptop.

I’m always happy to provide free copies if you help with translations – email me at rob @ hobbyistsoftware.com if that would help.

Thank you!