Thoughts on App Review

As some of you may know, getting Yoink for iOS through Apple’s App Review was, to say it lightly, a bit of a pain.
In the end, I was able to release it, but a month late. Had this been my first app as an indie developer, there’s a good chance I would have had to declare bankruptcy now.
I am fortunate enough to have a couple of apps out already that create a steady income, but still, I spent about two months exclusively on this app, so it’s still scary thinking about how I got rejected over and over.

Long story short, here’s a couple of thoughts I’ve had during all of this.

TestFlight App Review

From the very beginning, I’ve had Yoink available to a couple of (awesome) testers via TestFlight.
Now, when you add a new app or a new version of the app to TestFlight, it has to go through a review before testers can download and test it.

My question, then, is: Why not reject the app right there if it doesn’t comply with the rules in the App Reviewer’s eyes?
If this is not checked, why have a review for TestFlight apps in the first place?

Or if that’s unrealistic for some reason, perhaps TestFlight App Review could give sort of a “likelihood of getting through the ‘real’ App Review”. Maybe on the levels of “yea, good luck with that” to “possibly, tentatively not going to be rejected”.

It would have saved me (and the App Review person) a *lot* of time and nerves had, for example, the File Provider extension been rejected right then and there for not being cloud-storage based. Or the keyboard, for not having a traditional method of input. Those are all things that could have been avoided, had TestFlight App Review caught these things.

Reasons for Rejection

Yoink was rejected for different reasons and in different areas of the app.
But those reasons were given to me one by one, one submission and “Waiting for Review” -> “In Review” cycle after another.
That’s *such* a waste of time (not only for the developer, but also for the reviewer. But *especially* for the developer).
Why not keep going after finding a reason for rejection and see if there are other issues after that? If so, the reviewer could note them all down and give them to the developer all at once, not one by one.

Notice of Escalation

When an App Reviewer isn’t sure about an app, the review is “escalated”, meaning it goes up one instance in the App Reviewer hierarchy to be reviewed by a “superior”.
That would be the perfect time to let the developer know in advance that, “look, review is going to take a little longer because we’ve run into an issue with your app. Please stay tuned, we’re working on it.”.
Not only would the developer know that it’s going to take longer for the app to be reviewed, they’d also have reassurance that the App Reviewer hasn’t forgotten about the app – anybody who had an app “In Review” for more than twelve hours knows that feeling 😉

In closing, I’d like to say that I have nothing but respect for App Reviewers. Their job is difficult and, mostly, unthankful.
But I believe a lot of grievances on both sides could be avoided if some of these suggestions were put in place.

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Yoink for iPad and iPhone now available – Improve and Simplify Drag and Drop

Yoink for iOS Icon

It’s here.
After an unnecessarily long, extended time in App Review, I’m so happy to be able to tell you that Yoink for iPad and iPhone with iOS 11 is now finally available on the App Store.

What’s Yoink for iPad and iPhone?

Yoink strives to improve and simplify drag and drop and speed up your workflow.
It accepts almost anything you can drag, copy or share on your iPad and stores it for later use. This way, your fingers are free for more important things.

Here’s a quick YouTube video of how it works (check your sound, there’s some music) :

How can I add stuff to Yoink?

Obviously, especially on iPad, Yoink was designed for drag’n’drop use, and using it as a Slide-Over or Side-by-Side app, I’d say that’s the best way to use it. Just slide Yoink over any app you’re in and drag to it anything you need later. Then slide it back out, if it’s in your way.
There are, however, other ways to add items to Yoink. It can grab the contents from your clipboard and it offers a Action / Share extension, so that whenever you use a Share sheet in iOS, you can add that shared item to Yoink – no drag and drop required. The app doesn’t even have to run.

How do I get stuff out of Yoink?

That’s just as easy. Either use drag and drop, or copy the items, or share them from within the app.
Yoink comes with a custom keyboard extension, which lets you use items you’ve stored in Yoink without having to leave the active app you’re currently editing text in – just switch to Yoink’s keyboard and drag out (or copy, if you’re on iPhone) the items to the destination in your text.
All items in Yoink are indexed by Spotlight, so you can use the system-wide search to find items. The results are draggable as well.

Yoink Custom Keyboard

How are items in Yoink represented?

Yoink creates a rich preview for every item you add, so that, at a glance, easy identification is possible (for example, web link items show part of the website, map locations show a preview using Apple Maps).
A full look at the item is available by tapping onto the item.

Deleting Items

Yoink doesn’t delete items right away. Instead, like in Photos.app, items you drag out of Yoink or delete are put into the Trash, where they remain for a specified amount of time, after which they’re really deleted.
So should you find you still need an item, you can restore it right away.

Pricing and Availability

Yoink for iOS is available on the App Store right now, for the introductory price of $2.99 (€3,49) – it will rise in November.
An iPad or iPhone with iOS 11 is required.

Yoink is also available on the Mac, and for the occasion, its price has also been reduced for a limited time! 🙂

Links

Yoink for iPad and iPhone Website: https://eternalstorms.at/yoink/ios
Yoink for iOS Usage Tips: https://eternalstorms.at/yoink/ios/tips
Yoink for iPad and iPhone on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1260915283?mt=8
Yoink for iOS Press Kit: https://eternalstorms.at/press/Yoink-iPad-1-Press-Kit.zip

Yoink for Mac Website: https://eternalstorms.at/yoink/mac
Yoink for Mac Usage Tips: https://eternalstorms.at/yoink/mac/tips
Yoink on the Mac App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id457622435?mt=12
Yoink for Mac Press Kit: https://eternalstorms.at/press/Yoink-3-Press-Kit.zip

Delay of Release

I had planned and was ready for releasing Yoink for iPad together with iOS 11, on September 19th, 2017. As you may know, that didn’t work out. The app was ready, I was set, but App Review wasn’t happy with the app and so I missed the date, while other, let’s say similar apps, were allowed in.
After a lot of discussion by mail and phone with the App Review team, and having to remove some things from the app, Yoink was finally approved yesterday.

Thank you for your patience, and I hope you enjoy the app 🙂 Please spread the word and if you have the time and like the app, please consider leaving a little review on the App Store – it would mean a lot to me!

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Yoink 3.3 adds “File Recall”, Better Sharing Tools and More

Yoink Mac App Icon

I’m happy to tell you that today, Yoink 3.3 is available for download from the Mac App Store. It’s a free upgrade for everyone who’s purchased it before. You can download a 15-day trial for the app here.

What Is Yoink?

Yoink simplifies and improves drag and drop on your Mac.

Simplify.

It simplifies drag and drop by providing a temporary place for files you drag, so you can navigate more easily to the destination of the files.
It’s especially useful when trying to move or copy files between different windows, Spaces or (fullscreen) applications.

Moving a file with Yoink

When you start moving a file in Finder, or app-content like an image from a website, Yoink appears at the edge of your screen, offering a temporary place for you to drag the files to. Without having to keep the mouse button pressed, you can now get to the destination of your file quicker and easier.

Improve.

Drag and drop is improved in several ways, including:

  • Collect multiple files from different locations you’d like to move to one destination without having to go back and forth
  • Split up a multiple-files-drag so you can move files to different places without having to go back and forth
  • Copy files to multiple locations more efficiently

Customize.

You can customize Yoink’s behavior so it fits in perfectly with your workflow. Aside from having to option to show it at either edge of your screen (at the top, center or bottom), you can set it up to only appear when you drag files to the edge of your screen or to appear directly at your mouse cursor when you start dragging, making drag and drop even faster.

Yoink appearing at the mouse cursor

For applications where you don’t need Yoink, add them to a “blacklist”, so Yoink doesn’t interfere with your work. A keyboard shortcut (by default, F5) lets you manually show or hide it, should you need it anyways.

What’s New in Yoink 3.3?

Version 3.3 lets you bring back files to the app that you’ve previously removed, in case you find you need to move or copy the file(s) somewhere else.
Just keep its keyboard shortcut pressed (by default, F5)

Press and Hold Shortcut Key in Yoink

or right-click onto Yoink to bring back previously removed files:

Right-click onto Yoink

Webloc files can now optionally show favicons for quicker identification:

Yoink loading favicons for webloc files

Further Improvements

  • Yoink now includes macOS’ “Share” menu to more easily share files to different services
  • More easily add links from your browser to Yoink by right-clicking onto it in your browser and selecting Share -> Yoink
  • A new Alfred File Action to make sending files from Alfred to Yoink possible (activate it in Yoink’s “Advanced” preferences)
  • Many improvements, refinements and bug fixes

Pricing and Availability

Yoink 3.3 is available for purchase on the Mac App Store for the price of $6.99 / £6.99 / €7,99. It is a free update for existing customers of the app.
You can download a free, 15-day demo version here, even if you’ve tried Yoink before. Yoink runs on Macs with OS X Lion 10.7.3 or newer. OS X Yosemite or newer is recommended.

If you’re interested in writing about Yoink, you can download the press kit here, which contains screenshots, links to a short video and further information.
Promo codes are available to members of the press at press (at) eternalstorms (dot) at.

Yoink Usage Tips

To get the most out of Yoink, I’m collecting useful tips and tricks for you on this website.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and to see what you think about Yoink v3.3. If you like the app, please consider leaving a little review on the Mac App Store, it would help me out a lot!
Should you have trouble with it or have any feedback or questions, please be sure to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you! Thank you.

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