If you like to sync your To Dos over iCloud (With the Reminders-App on iOS and/or another Mac), select the “Reminder” calendar in Alarm’s preferences. (This does not work with Alarms Express)
iCal needs to be running to sync the To Dos. (And it sometimes takes iCloud pretty long to sync)
It is important for a developer to get noticed and there is probably no better way than just being in the “Mac App Store”.
So after hesitating for a long time, mainly because I would like my users to test drive the apps before spending the money, I decided to try this with Alarms for following reasons:
- Easy to use (would not create a lot of support incidents)
- Good price (buyers won’t lose a fortune in the unlikely case they won’t like it)
- Sooner or later I have to be in the store anyway
Easy peasy. Just submit the app and let’s see what happens…
Some minutes later, I noticed a major mac app store limitation which affects alarms pretty substantially: Apple does not allow root access.
That means the users may never have to enter their account password.
This is bad, because Alarms needs this for playing some tricks on the iCal events it creates. Because alarms should not show up using the annoying iCal notification window, Alarms adds a URL to the scheduled alarm – pointing to a file that sits in the Mac’s root directory and just launches Alarms instead of triggering the built in iCal notification.
Should I give up? No. I decided to just drop the iCal support and some other more or less geeky features to get a even better priced solution for the App Store. Alarms Express was born. Not a very fancy name, but people would understand what “Express” means. Apple labels it’s own entry level products often with the same moniker.
After the usual submission, rejection and resubmission game with Apple, Alarms Express was ready for sale last thursday night and I was prepared for everything. E-v-e-r-y-thing.
- Astronomical amount of money
- My own star on the walk of fame
- … not reading descriptions
- … blaming me for leaving out features I never advertised
- … writing reviews like this: “Great! Love it. But one tiny thing…” ★☆☆☆☆
Well – the first two things did not happen yet. Bummer.
Instead, I get this in the App Store reviews.
Good app, useful BUT, I just found out there are two versions of this. The express version does not sync with ical, but the normal version thats double the price is, DOES. So, I have already paid for the express version and don’t think going to pay another 15$ again to get the ical option. It’s just stupid. ★★☆☆☆
For some (probably evolutionary) reason, the almost 50% reduced price triggers an instant feeling of happiness. At the same time the human brain seems to fade out any other relevant information (different product name, reduced feature set).
As I mentioned: I was prepared.
With todays Alarms update (please note the missing “Express” at the end), the user can upgrade from the Express version to the full blown experience for USD 7.*
They even save 1 cent! And yes: I’m already waiting for the first ones that will just buy the App Store version first to get this amazing deal…
* Use the “Buy upgrade” option in Alarm’s menu. This works only in the version downloaded from this homepage when you have already bought Alarms Express in the App store before.
As some of you might already have noticed, Ruben who develops Mailplane (the app that gives Gmail a home on your Mac) and I are good friends.
For the brand new version 2.2 Ruben added an essential feature: The ability to drag an URL from Mailplane’s title bar. This allows you to drop any message you like to read or answer at a later time to Alarms. If you are a Gmail user: give it a try (you will discover tons of other details it takes care off)