kwikkEmail 1.0.3 – iOS 7 support

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kwikkEmail has been updated to version 1.0.3, and submitted to Apple. As of this writing, the update isn’t yet live in the App Store, but it should be within the next few days.

What’s new in 1.0.3?

  • Native iOS 7 look and feel.
  • Minimum OS version is iOS 7. Users of prior OS versions should be able to continue to download older versions of kwikkEmail from the App Store.
  • Banner ads have been removed. Instead, the app becomes a $0.99 app.
  • Voice memo has been removed.

I’d like to expand upon the last two items.

The banner ads weren’t doing much, but they did detract from the user experience. To use banners was a learning experience, and well… I think I’d just rather have for-pay apps and not go the advertising route. I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed by advertisements. Everywhere I turn in the world I’m confronted by ads, product placements, promotion, and gee, sometimes you just want to look at something that isn’t sales, marketing, branding, advertising, etc..  I don’t mind paying for content if it means I can go ad-free. I realize I’m in a minority — most people will tolerate ads for the sake of free. To an extent, I’m cool with that approach and can live with it in my own life. But I have found that for a small price (often less than a cup of coffee), I can remove ads from aspects of my life and yeah… quality of life does go up. You may not realize it because the bombardment of advertising is just part of the noise of our daily lives — you learn to accept it as normal. But you don’t realize how loud things are until you actually experience some silence. Will this be the direction Hsoi Enterprises goes with all future products? Likely, but every case will be evaluated on its own merits.

Voice memo. I added this feature because I wanted a way to take dictation. Like if I was driving, I could record myself and send the recording to myself for later transcription. Well, the programming of the feature was always wonky because of audio format issues, different devices only supporting so much, trying to keep the file size as small as possible yet retaining reasonable audio quality. It was just a challenge in so many ways, and I was never happy with how it came out. It was a tremendous amount of work for so little gain.

I realized over time I stopped using the feature. I found myself using iOS’s built-in voice dictation capabilities much more. It worked well enough for my needs, and didn’t have all the troubles of voice memo. Furthermore, I tend to prefer text because it has indexing and searching support. This is one reason I still prefer textual blogs over podcasts or vlogs, because text can be indexed and searched a lot more easily than audio or video. I can easily look at a text mail to myself in a matter of seconds, instead of having to scrub through a few minutes of audio to find what I need… which I ultimately transcribe anyways. Why not cut out the middleman? Voice dictation is pretty good.

As well, to bring the voice memo feature in line with iOS 7, I would have to fully redo the internals of the recording, then redo all the graphics and UI for the recording. Honestly, I don’t have the motivation because it’s a rarely used feature and would come at great expense (time and money) for me to do. The cost-benefit just isn’t there. Will I bring it back? Maybe someday, but it’s quite low on the priority list.


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