Recently, a user complained about the storage being used by Streets and I investigated the situation. It turned out the cache for network requests grew without a limit and could consume a few hundred MB. We use the standard NSURLSession API provided by iOS, so this seemed odd. Shouldn’t iOS take care of purging old cache data? At least, that’s what the NSURLCache documentation suggests. Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t enforce the maximum disk capacity of the cache so it grows and grows infinitely.
We reported this as a bug to Apple and hope it will be fixed in a future iOS version. In the meantime, we added a workaround in Streets 3.2.2 that manually purges the cache when over capacity. (If you’re a fellow app developer and are doing any network requests in your app, you should probably investigate if you’re affected, too!)
Apart from this embarrassing issue, the Streets 3.2.2 update improves Spotlight indexing and addresses a few issues in the Watch app.
Do you have a long list of favorite Street View panoramas? Streets 3.2 now lets you organize favorites in your own folders so you can group them by topic, region, vacation or any other means. Simply swipe the item to the left to reveal the Edit icon – or type Cmd E on an attached keyboard (More on Streets keyboard shortcuts). Then select a folder or create a new one. You can also rename locations if the automatically determined name isn’t quite right.
Good news also for Apple Watch owners: Streets for Apple Watch now lets you rotate panoramas using motion detection, simply by turning your wrist. Just try it out, it feels a lot more natural! If you prefer to rotate using the Digital Crown, you can still do so by tapping onto the panorama to select it. When selected, it displays a green border.
More news in the Streets 3.2:
By request from some users we now save pin drops in the list of recent locations, too.
Improved Spotlight indexing
Added a good number of Gallery Places so we’re at 2000+ now.
The blue coverage layer that recently broke due to a Google change is now working fine again.
Daniel Walter, 14 year old student from Hesse, Germany, was challenged to give a talk in his geography high school class. He didn’t have to think long to come up with his subject, an introduction of Where To?, one of the most used apps on his iPhone: “I’m using the application so often in my daily routine that I worked really hard on my PowerPoint so I could impart the application the best way to my classmates.”
Daniel shared the PowerPoint presentation with me and I was totally impressed by his work. A great presentation supports the speaker by visually illustrating and explaining the talking points without distracting the listener with overly excessive animations. Daniel just found the right balance. With the well-structured content including screencast videos to demonstrate the app, a tasteful design and fluid animations, his presentation was just awesome.
We’re honored that Daniel selected Where To? for his talk and wish him all the best! His teacher was just as impressed as we are and rated his performance with a 1, the best score in the German school system.
You already have an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? Then we’ve a nice little gimmick for you: In the newest Where To? 10.0.1 update we added haptic feedback for the category wheel so you can feel spinning it.
After our launch of Where To? 10 which includes an iMessage app, I was fascinated how it would perform in the new iMessage App Store. Similar to the Apple Watch App Store, Apple chose to build a new, separate App Store for iMessage apps.
The US store differs from other stores in that it has categories (similar to the iOS App Store but with fewer categories) and Top Charts. I didn’t check many other countries but it looks like the US is unique in this regard.
Update Sept 16: Top charts and categories seem to roll out worldwide. At least in Germany and Italy, they’re now available, albeit with fewer categories.
Top Charts are interesting because they offer an insight how the market works and which categories and business models are most successful.
I went through the list of 150 apps in both the Top Free and Top Revenue charts and made an analysis on the type of content and the business models used. Some items were hard to categorize because there are apps that are essentially just sticker packs. Or there are iOS games that have a sticker pack attached. I tried to categorize them according to their actual content.
First, sticker packs drastically outnumber apps and games. The revenue share generated by sticker packs is even higher than the free download share of sticker packs. So clearly, users have no problem whatsoever to open their purse for well-designed pixels.
The relatively small number of games was surprising to me. Apparently, only a small percentage of games benefits from iMessage integration, specifically turn-based games.
The distribution of business models is even more interesting. In contrast to the iOS App Store where freemium titles dominate the top-grossing charts, the overwhelming revenue in the iMessage App Store comes from paid titles. This reminds me of the early days of the App Store where In App Purchase wasn’t even available.
Probably the #1 reason for this is the lack of IAP in no-code sticker packs. These sticker packs consist only of the actual artwork and are easy to create for designers who don’t want to code.
Nevertheless, even the three of four games in the grossing charts are traditionally paid and 9 of the 12 apps.
Another observation I made: the sales and the ranking of iOS apps including an iMessage app seem to be independent in both stores. For instance, at the time of writing these lines, Where To? ranked #73 in the (overall) US iMessage Top Revenue charts but didn’t rank at all in the US iOS App Store, even on the category level.
US iMessage App Store added top lists. Where To? scored #73, or #11 when excluding Sticker apps. Excited & thankful! pic.twitter.com/JZpleXmHIF
We’re only at day one of the iMessage App Store so it’s hard to predict what the future will hold but I expect (and kind of hope, as an app developer) the number of apps and games in the top charts to increase. Stickers are new and fresh and everyone wants to try them but after the initial excitement levels down and after users have already filled one screen with sticker packs, users will probably gravitate towards deeper apps and games that promise longer lasting benefit. Another reason for this is development time. Developers only had three months of time since Apple introduced the first beta of iOS 10 at WWDC16 – actually less because of bugs in early betas. Developing a great app or game takes time so we’ll definitely see more non-sticker titles in the future.
I also believe the ratio of freemium titles will increase vs. paid-upfront titles, even for sticker packs. It’s not hard to see that there will be tools to automatically generate sticker pack apps with only a few free stickers and the rest of them locked behind an IAP wall. As soon as designers have the (easy) choice, they’ll make use of it.
Overall, it’s fascinating to follow the launch of this new economy with its own new laws of physics and I’m really curious to watch this fourth baby (after the iOS, Mac and Apple Watch App Stores) grow over time. For us, it’s an exciting business opportunity and I’m glad we’re part of it since day 0!
Where To? 10 is available. The big new feature of this update is Where To? for iMessage. The included iMessage app allows you to search for locations and share them with your friends in a conversation. Whether you’re meeting for lunch or having drinks or whether you want to share a special shop or hotel, you can now do so without even leaving the Messages app.
And if you want to share the location of a contact with privacy in mind, you’re covered too: Where To? for iMessage only sends the map area with the name and the address. Your contact details such as email, phone numbers, birthday and notes remain private.
The main app also learned some new tricks. You can access your recently viewed places under the Recents tab. Also, appropriate for an update focused on messaging, you can search for all kinds of categories simply by typing an emoji in the search field. So you can easily find the next ⚽️, ?, ⚾️, or ? court, grab a quick ☕️ or watch the latest ? with ?. In the previous 9.0.5 update this already worked in Spotlight, now you can search by emoji in the iPhone or iMessage app, too. You won’t believe it but more than 300 categories can be searched via emoji! Can you guess the appropriate emoji for dentists?
If you’re a current Where To? 9 user, make sure to update to iOS 10 and head over to the App Store to grab the free update with all the iMessage goodness. Or if you’re new to Where To?, check it out in either the App Store or the App Store for iMessage. No matter how you download it, Where To? includes both the iPhone app and the iMessage app – and the Apple Watch app, if you have one!
The Where To? 9.0.5 update released today supports Emoji search in Spotlight. You’re dying for a pizza or a burger? Just type ? or ? in the Spotlight search field! More than 300 of our 700+ categories can be searched with an emoji. So it’s easier than ever to find a ? or a ? or some ?. Or are you more into seeing a ?? No matter what, if you need a ? or a ? back home you should be covered, too.
We also took the time to squash several ? and prepare Where To? for the upcoming iOS 10.
Grab the update and don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating for the update! ??
Today’s Where To? 9.0.4 update adds support for a few more public transport routing apps.
UK Transport by our friend Amy Worrall is a UK-wide public transport routing app with realtime departure boards.
SNCF is France’s national rail service and their app includes an Apple Watch app.
Despite its name, Salzburg Verkehr provides public transport routing for all of Austria including realtime information and multi-mode routing such as Bike & Ride, Park & Ride and more.
Where To? 9.0.4 also displays more location photos and adds several bugfixes and minor improvements. Download the update in the App Store and if you appreciate our work, consider leaving us a nice rating.
Since the introduction of the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, keyboards on iOS are becoming more popular. iOS 9 makes keyboard usage more convenient by showing a nice cheat sheet of all supported keyboard shortcuts when holding down the ⌘-key. We now support keyboard navigation, too. The following keyboard shortcuts are available in Streets 3.1:
move the map
+ and –
zoom in and out
Open the panorama
Go to current location
Mark as favorite
⌘1 ‑ ⌘4
Switch to Map, Hybrid, Satellite, or Terrain mode
Go back to map
Move the panorama
+ and –
Zoom in and out
⌘↑ ⌘← ⌘↓ ⌘→
Step to next panorama
⎇↑ ⎇← ⎇↓ ⎇→
Move the mini map
⎇+ and ⎇-
Zoom the mini map
Expand Mini Map
Mark as favorite
Switch tabs (Favorites / Recents / Gallery)
Previous or next row
In addition to keyboard navigation, Streets 3.1 writes EXIF metadata when saving panorama images to the photo album, so the panorama’s location is retained.
Finally, we improved user location search by showing the current address, not the address of the nearest panorama and fixed several small bugs.
Grab Streets 3.1 from the App Store now and don’t miss to subscribe to the FutureTap newsletter for the latest news and app #ProTips!