Darkslide 1.5 Post-Mortem

I always think it's weird to call these posts post-mortems, since things which receive such treatments are dead. Darkslide certainly isn't dead.

Firstly, let me address the name change: another company with a product called "Exposure" was upset that Connected Flow had a product called "Exposure", even if it was on a different platform. With the way the App Store is, anyone with a beef has a cheap and easy way of making life difficult for you: make a trademark complaint to Apple. If Apple then pulled Exposure, it's a trial to get it all set up again. Easier to run than fight sometimes, and said Other Company was gracious enough to let me change the name on my own schedule, concomitant with the 1.5 release.

So, what's in Darkslide 1.5?

Upload, upload, upload.

There are some features whose omission the market simply will not overlook. Uploading to Flickr is one of these features. I was very surprised at the reaction when Darkslide launched without uploading - words like "useless", and "pointless" were bandied around - but I take the market's feedback for what it is.

My original vision was for two Flickr iPhone applications: one 'viewer' app and a super-simple "FlickrExport Touch". My motivation was primarily to keep it really easy and fast to get to the point where you could take a photo and upload it. Darkslide was already a fairly complex app and I felt that putting upload into that app would lead to a lot of fumbling around with the UI to get to the camera.

Users almost unanimously disagreed with that view, though, and who am I to argue?

Another reason I didn't ship either Darkslide-with-uploading or FlickrExport Touch back in July was that picture taking in iPhone OS 2.0 was just a bit buggy. The main problem was that using the picture taker caused a gigantic memory spike in your application. The spike was on the order of 15MB and, when you think that the OS will kill your app at around 22MB of memory use, using the picture taker in OS 2.0 was a bit of a limbo dance. That particular problem was fixed in iPhone OS 2.1.

So Darkslide 1.5 has an Upload tab. What's behind that tab, though, is really a whole other application.

PS: I know that EXIF isn't being uploaded yet. Didn't quite make the cut. Look for 1.5.1 soon.

There's No Place Like Home

I've written before about my interest in what I've called "type 3" iPhone applications: "lots of sitting down time, maybe some opportunities to get something meaningfully complex done". Darkslide contains a lot of Type 3 features and carries a new one that I particularly like: Places.

Flickr knows about places. Flickr Places and Google Maps are my two go-to sites for planning trips. Flickr knows way more about places than just the fact that you tagged a pictures there. Flickr knows about the names of places and their hierarchical structure and relationships.

In Darkslide 1.5, you can search Flickr's places database and see the most interesting photos from specific places. This is a great mobile research tool and, honestly, just outright fascinating and so much fun to play around with that I couldn't leave it out. I hope you enjoy it too. Did you know there was a Moscow in Scotland?

I hope you like Darkslide 1.5, and I look forward to feedback.