Mailshot 1.30 Update Released On The App Store

A new update for Mailshot hit the App Store this morning. Version 1.30 brings a number of improvements to the contacts screen, based on user experiences and your feedback:

  • We now show email addresses alongside the names for each contact, this will help distinguish them if a contact has multiple email addresses in a group.
  • Previously MailShot was unable to add a contact without an actual name being defined for them in the addressbook. We now use the contact’s email address as their name if there isn’t one set up.
  • We added a “sort” button to quickly alpha-sort contacts in a group (note that any contacts with an email address for a name will come last, as lower case letters are higher in the alphanumeric series than capitals).
  • Improvements to memory management and stability.

I have added some code which may prevent the occasional crashes experienced when adding “malformed” contacts to a group (we cover this issue in detail on the support page.) If it still occurs to you on the new version, please email to let us know. We would like to hope its gone, but confirmation either way will be useful. I’ll edit this post if we no longer need it.

And the next time?

We would love to hear your suggestions for the next update, I think among other things I will be looking at how we handle contacts with multiple email addresses next time, but I will be listening for your suggestions.

Is anyone using the “use semicolon as separator” feature we added with 1.20, or should we remove it?- it has been the source of a number of support calls from people with it enabled in Settings (they found only one person in their MailShot group was receiving their emails) Please let us know if you need it to stay, or its days are numbered.

A final request

As always, one of the problems with updating frequently is that we lose the good reviews people have been kind enough to leave, so if you get the chance we would really appreciate it if you would stop by the App Store and refresh your old review, or add a new one if you haven’t done so before. Thanks.

“Ultimate Charades” Released On The App Store Today

Our Suggestion Box app is getting great responses from those who have tried it, and it is finding all sorts of unforeseen uses (such as language teaching in Russia) due to its comprehensive customisation abilities. But it was always destined to be a fairly “niche” product, as it is aimed mainly at improvisers and drama students.

Ultimate Charades takes the customisation abilities of Suggestion Box, and applies them to one of the world’s all-time most popular party games – Charades. That customisation means you can remove any suggestions that aren’t relevant to you and your friends, and can add in the things you DO care about, such as the hit show or favourite celebrities of the moment, or even your friends and family themselves, making it a much more personal experience.

We have also put instructions for all sorts of game variations on the Ultimate Charades page, and answers to the most likely user questions on the support page.

Check it out on the App Store now.

Welcome To Our First 5000 MailShot Users.

Apple tells us that we now have over 5000 users of Mailshot out there from our first few weeks on the App Store. We do hope you are all finding the unique way you can now send mail to multiple people easily from within your applications useful. You should find that it is something you are able to benefit from whenever you need it, month after month.

We love to hear from you. Whether its to ask for help, to suggest features we could add, to pass on a tip for other users, or just to tell us how MailShot is working out for you- Please do get in touch.

Much of our success so far has come from people spreading the word through social networks and forums and contributing reviews to the App Store. My heartfelt thanks go out to all those that have done this already, its much appreciated,  and please let it continue so that we are soon welcoming the next 5000 to the fold.

Peter

Some Unusual Ways To Use MailShot

The unique way MailShot creates groups in your iPhone address book that act like single contacts brings a number of benefits. Don’t feel you can only use MailShot for large groups, there are a number of other uses out there you may not have considered…

  • Like me, you may have more than one way of communicating with the world in addition to email. I have this blog to feed, and both personal and commercial accounts for Twitter and Facebook. Most of these services offer an email address to allow you to post by email, so why not collect them in a MailShot group or two? Then you can post to all your work-related accounts, all your personal accounts, or both at once just by choosing the appropriate contact.
  • Some friends or colleagues can be difficult to get hold of, using different email addresses at work and at home.You can create groups for them that email all of their addresses at once to ensure that when its important, they get the message.
  • If someone doesn’t usually carry an email-capable phone you can still include them in a MailGroup.Most US carriers provide an equivalent email address that gets converted into an SMS text message for their users, and you can add those addresses into your groups too (first add them as an email address for your contact, then they are available to add in MailShot). You can find a list of email addresses for a number of carriers on Wikipedia here .
  • This one was inspired by a question on the Apple user support forums where a mother wanted to ensure that her daughter copied her in on all emails to her teacher. Use MailShot to create a contact containing both mother and teacher’s addresses, and delete the original teacher’s contact from the address book. Now whenever the teacher is selected as the addressee for an email, mum gets one too. (though obviously this won’t help if the daughter is replying to an email from the teacher)

These are just a few suggestions for you, we’d love to hear of any interesting or unique ideas for how you use MailShot- please drop us a line on suggestions@solubleapps.com

MailShot 1.13 Live on the App Store

A new update has just been released for MailShot on the App Store which should bring greater mail server compatibility for many people. To find out more about MailShot please visit its page here.

Meanwhile here is our handy guide for people updating from the first version:

It is a good idea to first delete your existing MailShot groups from your address book using the Contacts app. (Delete from Contacts and not MailShot, then you won’t need to rebuild them all in MailShot.)

You may find the quickest way to find them all is to search for “MailShot” in the contact search bar.

We delete the old contacts because we need to rewrite each contact group from MailShot to benefit from the update. to do this simply select each group in turn in MailShot and press UPDATE to rewrite it in your address book.

You will notice some changes in appearance of the MailShot groups – the first person in the group will now show the group name (or a version of their email address if you send from Contacts) in the email header. This change was necessary to increase compatibility for different mail servers as your message travels around the internet.

Generally we would now suggest that you should use Mail, or the many other apps that use its code, in preference to Contacts. MailShot has now been optimised for Mail because there are so many unique tricks you can do with it that you can’t do from Contacts, such as forwarding a mail direct to a group or using BCC to protect privacy.

You may find Contacts still works for you, in which case fine. If this changeover causes you a problem compared to before, please drop us a line and we’ll consider adding a switch for “contacts-only” behavior in a future version.

Another change is that the title screen now has buttons to reach this website for user support, and to make it easy tell people about the app by email or rating us on the App Store. If you enjoy MailShot please spread the word, but if you have a problem, please tell us and we’ll do our best to help. We have put lots of helpful information on our Support Page for you.

One last word is just to thank our “Test Pilots”, who helped test the app before release. Cheers guys (and girls.)

MailShot version 1.1 is in test.

The next version of MailShot is coming very soon.

It features greatly increased compatibility with a range of mail servers, which will help a number of people who contacted us for support on this in the past week (thanks to all of you for your involvement.)

We cover the issue in more detail on our support pages, but if you should experience issues sending to your MailShot groups (such as server error messages, or certain people unable to “reply all”) on your system, please try using the Contacts app to send your group mail if you can, just as a temporary measure until the free update is available.

MailShot approved for the App Store

MailShot gets early release ahead of press launch

Apple approved “MailShot” last night, and we will be launching to the press next week- Hurrah!

It brings email distribution lists to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, so that you can easily email a group of friends or work colleagues without having to select them all individually from your contacts each time.

Even better, and unique, is that you can do this from pretty much any app on your device that has mail support, including You Tube, Google Maps etc.

It should be massive!

The first release is going to be free for the first few weeks, and will allow you to create a few groups of up to five contacts. An easy in-app upgrade boosts this to 50 groups of up to 50 contacts, which should be more than enough for most people. You can find it on the App Store from the link on the MailShot page.