Monday, January 26, 2009

Follow over 100 Iphone Developers on Twitter

@timhaines put out a call today for all Iphone developers that tweet to put there info into a google spreadsheet. Currently the list is over 160 developers and I thought I would be crazy and follow all of them.

Coming from the Rails world I thought would do the right thing and DRY it up with a little script. So little it will fit right here for the world to grab:

require "rubygems"
require "google_spreadsheet"
require 'twitter'

google_user = "XXXXXXXX"
google_pw = "XXXXXX"
twitter_user = "XXXXXXX"
twitter_pw = "XXXXXXX"

session = GoogleSpreadsheet.login(google_user, google_pw)

ws = session.spreadsheet_by_key("p3LA_Q08eM-VAAyq03ZSjYQ").worksheets[0]

base =, twitter_pw)

(1..1000).each do |row|
url = ws[row,2]
matched_user = url.match(/http:\/\/.*\/(.*)/)
next unless matched_user
matched_user = matched_user[1]

puts "Attmepting to follow #{matched_user}"

puts "success"
puts "******* Failed #{$!.message}"
You can grab the code from github at

You will need to grab a few ruby gems to make this work. Check out the google spreadsheet gem at . And then the twitter gem at

So go out there and be crazy like me and see what all of us Iphone devs are tweeting about.

If you get an error like this:

ERROR: Error installing twitter: echoe requires RubyGems version >= 1.2

You will need to update your rubygems. gem update --system should do the trick.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Apple approves Iphone app in under 2 days!!

I have to say those guys at the App Store are working hard. We are up to 15000 apps and there are 3 new farting apps a day. Those guys are cranking.

And yet I have never noticed a slow down in app approval time. Most of the time a new app for me takes about 4 days and updates get approved in 3 or 4 days.

But today I got a big suprise, Chatterbox a paper fortune teller hit the store in under 40 hours. You gotta love that.

Thanks guys!!

Here is the store text about Chatterbox --- My wife loves this app.

Chatterbox is a fortune teller or a cootie catcher (sometimes called a scrunchie and a chatterbox in Australia) for your iPhone. It is an origami device used in fortune-telling games. Predicting your future using paper fortune tellers was a common pastime during the grade school years. Paper fortune tellers magically told who liked you, who hated you, if you would be rich some day, and even answered questions.

We've made a fortune teller that can be customized by anyone. Included are a few sets, but there is room for you to make many more.

Example of one of the included sets:

DISASTROUS DATING FORTUNE SET (Quick ice breaker for those with a sense of humor)

1. I lost my number, can I have yours?
2. Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk past you again?
3. Are you a parking ticket? (What?) You got fine written all over you.
4. Does my breath smell okay?
5. Is your dad a thief or something? Because someone stole the stars and put them in your eyes!
6. Here's 20$. Drink until I am really good looking, then come talk to me.
7. You sure have a great looking tooth.
8. You want me, I can smell it.

The game could be used to cheer someone up (by writing a bunch of encouraging fortunes), to play a trick on someone (by writing all bad fortunes), to help with dating by perhaps writing eight fortunes that all tell the person you're interested in that they are "meant to dance with you". It's up to you. The game is a common pastime for kids in school but, make up your own sets of fortunes and you'll find that the fun of playing with a fortune teller doesn't diminish just because you're no longer in school.

How to Play:

A player asks a question, then chooses a color. The chatterbox shuffles, the player chooses a number and after the final shuffle the player chooses a final number. Their fortune or answer to their question is then revealed.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bug in App Store Causes Apps to Disappear

A few app developers are reporting that their apps have disappeared from the App store. This happened to one of my apps, WristPop Coin Toss , and has happened to one other app that I know of, Kana. Customers attempting to purchase one of these applications were greeted with a message that the app is no longer available on the store.

The bug that is causing this is in the Itunes Connect Management Application and can happen after changing the price of an application. Here is a screen grab of the pricing tab

Notice that the availability date for this application is December 22nd 2009. If you hit save at this point your application will disappear from the store for almost a year. This is really a rookie HTML mistake, for some reason the current year is not in the select list and so the browser selects the first year in the list.

All is not lost. If you made this mistake or you need to update your price for an application, you can select today's date from the drop downs and hit save. You application will reappear in the store within an hour. Your release date will not change.

This happened to both of the apps mentioned above after the end of the New Year's App Blowout, which was great fun!

A special thanks to macgicDave for passing this on and twitter of course for bringing it into my ambient field.