Tap Gun

The development blawgh of Önders et Gonas

How Not to Disable In-App Purchases for Your Live App

Finally! The holy grail of iOS development blawghs. A legitimate reason to rail against Apple and their draconian practices.

During last week we had a problem with In-App Purchases for Warcode. Warcode is a free download on the App Store, and if you like it you can buy the full version from inside the game with the IAP API. But suddenly it had stopped working. By checking the console output from the device I could determine that it was the dreaded “Invalid product ID” error that everyone who tries to implement IAP has seen once or twice during development while trying to get everything to work (a process detailed in numerous other blog posts around the interwebs.) But I’ve never seen it in a live app on the App Store and that was a bit unsettling.

From a developer perspective, one of the main awesome things about the iTunes App Store is that it’s super easy for people who want to give you money to do that, and you don’t have to deal with handling transactions, you just get paid (potentially in dollar dollar bills, y’all*). The problem is when it’s not working it’s very hard for the people who want to give you money to do that, and that’s obviously a lose-lose-lose situation (both customer, us and Apple loses). So I have a hard time understanding why the IAP system is so easy to break.

Anyway on to the story. A bunch of things had happened that could somehow be related, like us just having renewed our Developer program membership and our Paid Apps contract having expired and we just resubmitted that and all sorts of stuff, so I made sure everything looked in order and everything had little green dots next to them in iTunes Connect. I also contacted Apple through some form, but I haven’t heard from them yet. So I waited and nothing seemed to happen, our sales figures were still a boring flat line.

Then I remembered something about the IAP system being very particular about which status your app is in in iTunes Connect. During development I had to submit unfinished apps to be able to test the IAP and then reject them so they didn’t reach the review team, a total mess obviously and also detailed in other blog posts about IAP. Obviously Warcode was in the Ready for Sale status, as it was up on the App Store… but I had created a new version on iTunes Connect.

I had written the update notes and updated the metadata, so everything was ready for our updated version (which we’re still working on), but it was in status “Ready for Upload”. I thought maybe that’s the culprit, let’s remove it temporarily to check. But no, sorry, you can’t remove new versions that you have created in iTunes Connect. But I was determined to check if this was the problem, so what I did was I uploaded a version with some bug fixes as the version 1.1 that I had created. This update does not contain all the updates we’re currently working on, it was taken from a bunch of revisions back in our version control system. But now the new version was in status “Waiting for Review.”

And voila! That was indeed the problem. Amazingly In-App Purchases now works in the version of Warcode that is on the App Store again (i.e. version 1.0, the version I uploaded as 1.1 is not reviewed yet.) So the lesson learned is: if your app uses In-App Purchases, don’t create a new version in iTunes Connect until the moment you’re ready to upload the new version as you will disable all IAP in the current version of your app.

It’s possible that this is documented in one of the guides you can download from Apple, but I hope this post can help someone in case there are other people like me (a bit too cool for school) out there.

* We’re in Europe, so actually it’s euro euro bills y’all.

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Warcode on the App Store!

Hey everyone!

Warcode went live on the App Store yesterday as some of you may have noticed, and it’s been a huge success so far 🙂 Thanks everyone who have downloaded it and extra thanks to all who bought the full version.

The most frequent feedback we’re getting is 1) you want updated graphics and 2) there is still a bug with the game crashing after finishing a level, most likely only affecting iOS version 4.1. Also 3) you want the game to run on iPod touch, but unfortunately it doesn’t have an auto-focus camera and that makes the barcode scanning unusable :/

You’ll be happy to know we’re already planning for update 1.1 which will address both these points! Our graphical and interaction designer Mia has a bunch of ideas for refreshing the app’s interface and I have noticed a bunch of small bugs aside from the crashing that will be rectified. On the roadmap are also a greater assortment of warriors and equipment. Unfortunately I’ve caught the cold so I’m mostly lying around in bed making Fred Durst-like noises at the moment.

Our goal was to release a minimal viable product as early as possible and then iterate, and the version we have shipped works great for most people who are not still on an older version of the OS, so I’m happy about that! The feedback we have received from the launch has put us on a steady course and I really look forward to sharing the progress on the next version with you all!

I’m also stunned with the scores some people on the leaderboards are achieving, you guys are nuts.

Auf wiedersehen!

Warcode beta

Hey party peoplez and ’90s-hits-digging Java programmers!

We have decided to try out Test Flight for the Warcode beta program and it’s the future. It feels like 2011 has already brought everything I hoped from the new year. Bring on 2012.

Anyway, to sign up as a beta tester for Warcode and upcoming Önders et Gonas apps, just head over here! We would love to have your help and your input in forming the next generation of mobile convenience and awesomeness!

If the cutting edge is not for you, this at least means that the Warcode release is drawing near! Stay tuned for the official release and keep rawking!

PS. If you or anyone you know would like to translate Warcode to Japanese in exchange for beer, contact us. They love shit like this, just check out the earlier post about Barcode Battler.

WARCODE

Greetings friends!

We started promoting our new game’s landing page a few days ago at http://ondersetgonas.com/warcode/ but in case you missed it, the name of the game will be Warcode!

We also did a short presentation of the game and some of the technology we use at the local Mac/iPhone programming group Cocoaheads Göteborg. The presentation probably doesn’t make a lot of sense without the narration, but it probably didn’t make a lot of sense with it either so no loss. We uploaded the presentation anyway, enjoy:

Please note that the graphics that are visible in one of the slides are not done by the famous Mia Henriksson, this is just my crappy temporary stuff.

Also if you’d like to beta test the software before we launch or just be notified as soon as we do launch, follow us on twitter or sign up on the Warcode page!

I’ll try and post some updates on the progress here on the blog and on Twitter (@ondersetgonas) so stay tuned homeboyz!

Teaser: New iPhone Game

Finally time to spill the beans to our loyal fans here on the blawgh! We’re currently wireframing and coding our latest app, which will be an iPhone game inspired by the 1991 classic, the game console Barcode Battler (check out this review if you haven’t heard of it).

I used to have one of those and while it sucked gameplay-wise, the idea was so much greater than the implementation and has been a source of inspiration for me ever since. It opened my eyes and made me understand that all those coded messages all around us can mean whatever we want, and our mission is to provide the means to interpret them in the most awesome way, by turning them into brutal warriors to fight epic battles in the vast deserts of what we today know is called cyberspace.

The app uses the iPhone’s camera to scan barcodes and is the first attempted game by Önders et Gonas, so we’re boldly going where we haven’t really been before a lot. Gonas is an avid gamer of course, and previous titles in his solo career include gems such as RotG, RotG 2, and the Duke Nukem Forever-esque vaporware “RotG 3D”.

This is also the first time we work with an external designer on an in-house project, the insanely talented interface design expert Mia Henriksson.

Watch this space and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates and info about an upcoming beta testing program, and of course the App Store release!

We are looking for any feedback, ideas, reactions or anything! Tell us what’s on your mind in the comments or via Twitter or email us!

As you may have noticed I also just updated the theme here on the Tap Gun blog. The new life!

Update: Holy shit, I’ve been stuck for hours now exploring the Barcode Battler related videos uploaded to YouTube. Try this one for size. This is a gold mine of bizarro.

Bang/Buck 1.5

It’s been pretty quiet here on the blog lately while we’ve been deep down in the belly of Gothenburg’s nightlife living the Jersey Shore life and building new versions of Nattstad.

Anyway douchebags, just wanted to check in and tell you that our flagship app Bang/Buck got its first major update since the original release in March 2009. So if you’ve been drunk since then and wiped the apps off your phone, go ahead and download it again. And if you’re so cheap you never bought it for 99 cents in the first place, it’s time to make amends: here is the iTunes link.

Happy smart drinking!

Qué estás mirando dicknose

Qué estás mirando dicknose

We are now also making T-shirt designs.

Wake Up and Smell the Space Age

Smell it man2009 is nearing its end and space is getting hot again. Its basically a cyclical phenomenon. Space, dinosaurs, skateboard, hockey, and knights. Now we’re back in the space age.

Anyway as you all know our last app release, Nattstad, was a raging success and we’re now working hard on the second coming of Jesus, a.k.a Project Mustang 2. Have you guys seen Google Goggles? The Norwegian Yellow pages? Virgin Galactic? Yep, the bar for space age apps is rising. But like Stefan Holm in “På spåret” we’re going to show these clowns how it’s done. Stay tuned space apes.

Friday madness

It’s hot in the wardrobe right now, but soon we’re gonna make it boiling! Your favorite developers are currently drinking champagne and listening to Five (Slam dunk da funk baby!), but don’t worry we are still doing awesome stuff.

Knocking Vid

Sooo, what’s this weeks hot topic? Well, i don’t know if you have heard, but apparently Steve Jobs (yep, that guy who looks like an old, bald and taller Tom Cruise) has approved  an app that was initially rejected. No, I’m not going to rant about if this is a good thing or not, instead I will spend some precious blog space on writing about the app, Knock Me Up Live.

What?

The idea is pretty cool. With the help of this app and your iPhone, you are able to send live video to friends, family and fan boys. Sounds nice, eh? Well, it could have been, but this shit is a major fuck app. The first thing you have to do is create an account, which you can do from the app. I really like functionality like this, when you can do everything from the app.

But that’s the problem with this app, functionality. I hate it when it doesn’t work. And when you’re not notified that something went wrong I’m on the verge of going nuclear on my iPhone. How hard could it be? You could give me a damn alert saying “Houston, we have a problem” or any other lame message, just give me something.  Well, after restarting, shaking, and recharging my iPhone, computer and mind I finally had an account and was logged in.

Great! Let’s doris, let’s knock someone!

Testing

One wonderful thing about the app is its use of Push Notification. You can start a live video feed and stream it to someone whenever you want, and they will be notified and can launch the app. Functionality like this gives me a boner, and sweet memories of times listening to Aerosmith. Damn, it’s good. Or not…

The receiver’s iPhone is generating some nice knocking sounds and the app says “Connecting” or something. Only problem is that it still says “knocking” on my phone. So how the hell am I supposed to know if it works? Thank god for the Time Out, otherwise I probably still would be sitting there trying to connect.

After trying a couple of times (185, maybe?) I got it to work one time, and only for a couple of seconds. But I guess I’m just retarded and don’t know how to use it. After all, iPhone apps are supposed to be hard to get and only work if you have epic Emacs skillz.

Thanks Steve, for approving this great app. I can honestly not think of a world without it, it’s so fucking great. Maybe you can send me a video where you explain how to get it to work? But it’s not all bad. The idea is nice and it’s free..

Aah, now I see! This is yet another scheme from Apple. By accepting a lot of worthless apps that are free, maybe more people will buy apps! Fucking genius dudes, I love you.  Oh by the way, get a fucking spell checker and run it before you send an app to the App Store.

Wrap up

But I still love the idea, just imagine how fun you can have. Knocking people while you are peeing drunk, spying on them when they are surfing the web or hunting space invaders. But I wouldn’t be surprised if people will use it solely for rickrolling friends. Wake up nerds, it’s 2009, find a new hobby!

What now..?

The dawn came and, as our eyes angrily got used to the bright light, we saw the future.  And it looks like we are in for a helluva ride. All over the world people are picking up the debris of yesterdays eruption, and holy god do they love it!

omiPhone.se – “Det som är lite extra häftigt är att man implementerat Push Notification till Nattstad på iPhone. Det betyder att du direkt får veta när något händer på Nattstad. Det här har faktiskt inte ens Facebook implementerat än av okänd anledning.”

gp.se – “Nu har Nattstad släppt en iPhone-app. Och den är riktigt bra, med push-notifieringar och möjlighet att lägga upp bilder inifrån programmet.”

Hoel, kille 21 år – “Helt jävla underbar app! Funkar perfekt…”

But it ain’t over yet, we are working on a new project that will blow your mind! If Goose was the Ben Hur of apps, then this is the USS Enterprise, ready to help you boldly go where…well..at least you haven’t been before. I’m sure it will cure Fred Durst’s kolpophobia, he will surely want to caress this monster full-time when it comes out. Stay tuned for more awesomness coming really soon!