Ryan Cash

Life passes most people by while they're making grand plans for it

Announcing Alto’s Adventure

Last month we announced Alto’s Adventure, the biggest project we’ve ever worked on here at Snowman. We’ve been working on Alto since January 2013 and it’s great to finally break the silence.

Because I’ve been so busy I forgot to post about it on my personal blog. I’m mostly writing this entry for myself – so that I can look back on it in the future.

Cult of Mac posted an exclusive look at the game earlier today. It’s worth checking out, as there’s some never-before-seen artwork in there ;)

I can’t say anything more about the game just yet, but what I can say is that this is the best thing I’ve ever worked on. I’ve never been so enthralled with something I’ve been working on, and it feels great. It keeps me up at night – but it in a good way.

You can follow along the adventure (pun intended) by following us here:

Twitter: @altosadventure
Instagram: @altosadventure
Facebook: facebook.com/altosadventure

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Checkmark 2 for iPhone is here

In case you missed it the other day, we launched Checkmark 2 in the App Store this past Tuesday. And we’re having a launch sale.

For a limited time you can download Checkmark 2 for $2.99 – 50% off the regular price.

But hurry, the price is going up to $5.99 soon.

Checkmark 2 features an all-new design and tons of new features to make you more productive than ever.

You can learn more about Checkmark 2 and all of the new features here.

Filed under Snowman Checkmark Reminders App Store iOS Tasks To-do

Announcing Checkmark 2 for iPhone

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Ever since Apple showed off iOS 7 at WWDC last summer we’ve been hard at work building a brand new version of Checkmark.

Check out our teaser page here: http://builtbysnowman.com/checkmark/

We had already planned to add a bunch of new features, but with the introduction of iOS 7, we decided to go back to the drawing board and start over.

We wanted to make sure Checkmark felt at home on iOS 7, but at the same time, we didn’t want to sacrifice any of the simplicity and usability speed that we spent so much time developing for the first version. 

Checkmark 2 features an all-new design, with a sidebar-style navigation system, a brand new compose view, lots of fun little animations, and some brand new notification sound options.

But that’s just the aesthetics. 

We’ve kept the task creation workflow entirely intact from version 1, while adding a ton of handy new features and a great new UI along the way.

I want to take a second to highlight some of the major new features, starting with the biggest one – Lists.

LISTS

We’ve added a third major component alongside When and Where, and we’re calling that feature Lists. 

Lists are great for managing projects, thanks to our powerful Headers feature. Headers let you categorize your list, so that it’s not just a long and daunting pile of items. 

In this screenshot, you can see how an architect might use the Headers feature to organize a to-do list for a New York building project.

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All of the usual drag and drop to prioritize works here, even with entire Header sections.

You can quickly create new tasks for a particular Header using the + button to the right of it. Use Return on your keyboard to continuously enter tasks at lightning speeds!

When you’re creating simpler lists, such as a list of movies you want to see, you don’t have to use Headers – they stay out of the way. 

So lists are great for projects, but they’re also awesome for everyday use.

LOCATION GROUPS

Location Groups let you add multiple locations to one place, e.g. add 3 different supermarkets to one location group called “Groceries”.

Setup one reminder and be notified when you’re at any of the locations in the group. Create location groups the same way you create app folders on iOS – just drag and drop one icon on top of another.

ONE-TAP RESCHEDULING

Another big focus we had when designing Checkmark 2 was figuring out a better way for users to reschedule reminders when they’ve gone off but are unable to act on them.

With Checkmark 2, when a reminder has gone off (or before or after), you can push it ahead by few minutes, hours, or days with just one tap. Now it’s easy to reschedule things when plans change.

IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY FOR RECURRING REMINDERS

Now in Checkmark 2 you can create daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and custom repeat reminders – you pick the days of the week. You can, for example, create a reminder for every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. 

DATE-SPECIFIC LOCATION-BASED REMINDERS

One thing that was missing in Checkmark 1 was the ability to assign a date to a location-based reminder. We’ve added that in Checkmark 2.

You can still add timers to location-based reminders, even with a specific date.

iCLOUD SYNC

We’ve added iCloud sync so that your important data is always backed up in the cloud.

(Note: Checkmark is still an iPhone-only app at the moment).

There are a bunch of other new features, but you’ll have to wait until we launch to find out.

Speaking of launching – we’re just putting the finishing touches on the app, but we expect to release it in March if everything goes well.

Make sure you sign up for our email list so that we can let you know exactly when we’re launching – so that you can take advantage of our special introductory pricing. And of course we’ll be back with another funny video ad…it’s F’ntastik!

(This post was reposted from the Snowman blog)

Filed under Snowman Checkmark Reminders App Store iOS Tasks To-do

The end of the Facebook era

An interesting post by Chrys Bader about Facebook and how it’s evolved and where it’s heading. I’m not sure I agree with eveyrthing Chrys says but he definitely raises a lot of good points.

I’ve definitely noticed a trend amongst my own circle of friends. Facebook’s great when you’re young and in college, looking to meet as many people as possible and connect, party, and have fun. But once you’re past that point in your life, when you’re settling down, starting a family – that sort of thing, it becomes less and less of an interesting place to spend your time.

Just a few years ago my newsfeed was full of parties, vacation photos, and funny links – now it’s shifting towards baby photos and people ranting about their jobs. Needless to say, it’s not as interesting as it used to be.

When I compare Facebook to other social networks with family members not in the tech space, I tend to label it as “everyone you’ve met since kindergarten”. When I talk about Twitter on the other hand, it’s a “place to connect with people that have the same interests as you”. Flickr is “a great place to share and store important photos in high resolution”, and 500px is “a great place for photography”. 

Social networks are whatever we want them to be – we decide who to follow, who to friend, and what to like. But there are definitely trends and social shifts and nothing can last forever. Or can it?

Rise Alarm Clock for iOS 7

I’ve been beta testing the new version of Rise for a few weeks and am really enjoying it. Keep an eye out for the update – it’s quite nice.

In the meantime, check out this charming little video they put together showing off some of the new features.

Behind the scenes: selling your own iPhone case

Ever wondered what it might be like to sell your own physical product? Jon Wheatley shares the results of his yearlong experiment selling his own iPhone case called Peel.

I wanted a case that had a very low profile and also one that was branding free. After a lot of back and forth with a few different factories, I managed to find one that could do what I wanted. I placed an order with them then signed up to Shopify. I had a working store in about half an hour. I then tweeted about it and the orders started to trickle in.

Some good insight into how much work shipping your own product is, and the importance of good packaging design.

This was also very nice to see:

Returns aren’t worth the effort

On the rare occasion that a case arrives damaged or defective, we either send people a full refund or a replacement. Dealing with returns just isn’t worth the effort for us and it’s also a pretty horrible experience for the customer. People are nearly always pleasantly surprised that we don’t require them to return the item before getting a replacement or refund. That makes them happy. We chalk this up as a marketing expense and move on.

Via Oliver Cameron

My favourite tiny tweak in iOS 6

Here’s a minor iOS 6 tweak that was just pointed out to me:

When you’re choosing a wallpaper, images are automatically resized to fit the full display – since I assume most people don’t like using only part of an image as a wallpaper (I certainly don’t).

Here’s what it would have previously looked like (in iOS 5) if you chose an landscape image to use as a wallpaper on your iPhone:

Instead, iOS automatically fills the screen with your image, like this:

You can of course shrink the image down if you like, but it’s nice not to have to play around pinching in and out if you just want your image to fill the display vertically.

Hat tip to @amelia_rosebell for pointing this out!

Filed under iOS 6 Apple iOS iPhone Wallpaper Photos

Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner is attempting to break the speed of sound, while free falling from the edge of space.

Watch this incredible visualization of the entire process created by Peter Clausen Film and AixSponza.

The mission:

Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space. Felix Baumgartner will be going up to 120,000 feet in a capsule attached to a helium balloon. Once he’s up there he’ll jump doing the highest parachute jump ever done by a human.

Read more about the mission here.

Filed under Red Bull Red Bull Stratos Peter Clausen Film AixSponza

An interview with Ryan Cash

This time I was the interviewee:

Shawn and Ben are joined by Ryan Cash, former marketing director at Marketcircle and founder of Snowman, makers of the iPhone reminders app, Checkmark. We talked with Ryan about his transition and motivation to go from working for a medium-sized company to starting his own indie iOS dev shop, the challenges of building and shipping an iPhone app, and more.

Thanks guys, I had fun!

Filed under Ben Brooks Interview Ryan Cash Shawn Blanc Podcast

Sriracha Popcorn

The Oatmeal teamed up with J&D’s (creators of BaconSalt and Baconnaise) to create Sriracha-flavored popcorn.  

We cooked this popcorn using a special blend of garlic, vinegar, and peppers to create a fiery explosion for your mouth. 

If you cram enough of it into your face at once it becomes quite spicy, but if you pace yourself it’s like a riverboat cruise through the jungles of dee-lish.

This looks awesome.

Filed under Sriracha Popcorn Sriracha Popcorn The Oatmeal Food

The unibody iPhone

Don Lehman:

Overall this design is a major improvement over the 4/4S. Functionally, it’s worlds better, and aesthetically, I think it’s stunning. At first glance it doesn’t appear to be dramatically different from its predecessor, but when you really dig into it, there are a ton of changes that make it appreciably nicer. If you aren’t excited about it now, you will be when you see one in person. Classic Apple design refinement.

And the coke nail callout is amazing.

(Via Marco Arment & Matthew Panzarino)

Filed under iPhone Apple