CRNE Study Guide

I’m excited to announce the launch of a new site for one of our clients!

The Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) is the exam nurses must take before they can become “registered” nurses. Studying for the exam happens in addition to the formal education nurses receive, and from what I’ve learned studying is nearly a full time job to accomplish success.

If interested check out the site at  CRNE study guide. It’s a work in progress and we will have a new design soon, but this will be the place to get high quality, original study materials!


Updating our apps for the latest iPad

Since the latest iPad has a retina display, we are working now to make sure all your favorite apps work very nicely on the new iPad.

We are starting with cryptoquip, then working through the other apps this weekend. The fixes are rather small, and we almost had code that already worked! We may also add some twitter integration depending how the main bug fixing goes so you can tweet those great quotes form inside the app.

While everyone else gets a new iPad for fun, we have to earn it! Still, looking forward to playing Star Chase and Cryptoquip on the latest iPad!


The Latest iPad and iOS 5.1

So we pre-ordered a new iPad today. Can’t wait to see the new retina display. (Hope our code works as expected for all our OpenGL apps). Not that we personally need one, but it will be nice since we bought an iPad one without a camera, and now we can try chatting from the couch with grandma. On the same lines I updated my own devices to 5.1 today without incident. Hopefully that experience is echoed across most users.

We’re still working on a couple of apps in the background, hopefully we’ll launch something by summer.

Also, I’m working with a colleague from MRU on a registered nurse study guide website. Should be up here in the next weeks.

That’s all for now.



Surje Facebook Page

So now that I’m getting in deep with exploring all the avenues to promote our apps, I inevitably created a facebook page for our company.

Facebook lets me have multiple personalities, because you can decide to log in as the company or the human, which is insanely cool. Now I’ll have to see how to build that page into something useful, or it will become just another internet graveyard for content.

I’m hoping that the social aspect of facebook makes the page useful, which is why I’m going to blog about it tonight, and add a link to the site.

Getting the word out…

While we are working on our next suite of apps, we continually reflect on how our existing crop of apps is doing. While we are getting some consistent downloads, we figure we may get a greater return on investment from them if we advertize a little bit…

So we’re looking into many advertizing platforms and hope to see which one is most effective. So far we’re looking at :

  • Facebook
  • Google Adwords
  • TwtMob
  • iAd (Apple ad network)

I hope to come back to this story in a little while to announce my findings on which was most effective. I’m guessing google or iAD will be most effective, but I’m most intrigued by twtmob and facebook, the more social forms of advertizing. TwtMob in particular is intriguing because I’ll get actual twitter users to hawk our products, which I hope will be more effective than ads on the side of a web page which are more obvious and more easily ignored.

Stay tuned…

20 Must Have Free iPad Apps

Here are my picks for the top 20 must have iPad apps. They are all free and some might have optional in app purchases. The games I chose really showcase the coolness of the iPad, great for showing off to your friends! Of course the news, radio and TV apps I chose pertain to Canadians, in particular for Calgary, so you should search for your local stations/papers in the app store.

News & Weather

CBC News
Calgary Herald
WeatherEye HD

National Post, The Globe and Mail and CTV News also have apps. You may also want to check out CNN, BBC News and The Huffington Post.

Radio, TV & Film

CBC Radio
IMDb Movies & TV
NFB Films for iPad

CTV, CBC and Global all have apps to watch local TV.

Games & Fun

Virtuoso Piano Free 3
CryptoQuip Free
Solitaire Classic
Let’s Create! Pottery HD Lite

Hobbies & Interest

Kobo – 1 million Free Books – Read eBooks!
Google Earth
170,000+ Recipes: BigOven

Social Networking

Skype for iPad
HootSuite for Twitter

Facebook and Twitter have iPad apps. LinkedIn has an iPhone app only. HootSuite accesses all of your accounts.


Free Light
Nightstand Central for iPad Free – Alarm Clock with Weather and Photo Wallpapers
Calculator for iPad – Calc Pro HD Free
Audio Memos Free – The Voice Recorder

Free Bitsy and SOPA

In case you have a young toddler who likes to play with your iDevice, check out Bitsy the Spider, the simple toddler app with physics for the rain drops. It’s free  until this Friday, so act now!

In other news, today is the Wikipedia / Craigslist / etc blackout day in protest of legislation being proposed in the US. It’s funny how they speak out in support of the internet when it helps revolutions of Arab states, but want to be able to censor and shut the internet down like China and Iran do. Check out the Wikipedia page on SOPA for more info!

Finally we’ve started exploring advertizing through social media, twitter in particular. We will talk more about that once we find out how effective/ineffective it is.


Until next year Santa

So now that the App store is back up again after the holiday break, it was decided to retire Santa’s Loot for the year. Santa had a decent 1st year with several thousand downloads. We noticed a small uptick in Santa’s off season game Rafter’s Loot as well, so it was a good 1st effort at a holiday skinned version of one of our games.

Generally it was a higher than normal levels of downloads on our apps, and I imagine it’s across the board. I can just imaging people realxing with their new iPads on the couch, enjoying a well earned game after a busy holiday build up. We had our best ad revenue day yet on Boxing day!

AS for the next year, well we thought, maybe a mayan calendar would be good to count down until the next winter solstice, but there are already a bunch of em. We have some other ideas in the hopper, including environmental apps and medical apps. We’ll see, you never know…

Anyhow enjoy the rest of the year and the new one, 2012, to come.



Holiday Development Time

So with the year end nearly upon us, we are trying to decide what kind of app to develop next. We have a whole bunch of ideas, including some social networking style stuff, but those apps require some heavy lifting on the server side, so we’re undecided if we’re ready and willing to pursue that type of devlopment at the moment.

Some ideas so far are:

  • Friend/Tracking app (maybe with busses)
  • Artistic app
  • Something else…

The next app should not be a game, since it will be used in part to help students learn to develop apps. For those of you unaware, one of our programmers is a Associate Professor at Mount Royal University, teaching the App Development Course: COMP 3504

In the meantime, we’re playing around with social media advertizing, trying to get the word out about Santa’s Loot before Santa retires for the year.

If we don’t post again soon,

Happy Holidays


Ugg Boots and Spam

So our little app development company is doing great going into this 2011 Christmas holiday season, Santa’s Loot and CryptoQuip are doing well, and surprisingly Voodoo Mother In Law is doing better than expected as well.

But there’s a little nuisance I want to share with you, mostly cause it’s funny, but also to make people out there aware of the most annoying form of spam I’ve ever come across as a blog owner: Ugg Boot Spam

For some reason, the people who own Ugg Boot websites have decided to leave us comments almost every day trying to get links to their (counterfiet) ugg boot sites. Now normally, I expect some Viagra, or whatever spam, but what makes this interesting is how they try and convince me to approve their posts through flattery. Here are just a few examples of the kind of coments I’ve been rejecting:

  • We wish to thank you all over again to your beautiful ideas you gave Jeremy in planning her post-graduate research and also, above all, designed for providing the whole set of ideas available as one article.
  • This page is considered the beginning I’ve noted that is not rubbish. It requires a first-class work ethic that can put out something decent much site, carry on.
  • Glance a person’s best with Angry Birds Online Walkthrough Angry Bird Game Online (links removed)
  • Which isn’t the one thing I often do! I purchase pleasure from studying a publish that will make folks think. Additionally, i appreciate permitting me to comment!

So in conclusion, spammers are now trying to complement web site owners on how brilliant their posts are to trick them into publishing links (usually to their counterfeit Ugg Boot websites).

Happy Holidays!