Mailshot “First Steps” Tutorial Video Now Available

We have made a quick tutorial video to walk you through the first steps of setting up MailShot to build easy Group Email into your address book.

You can still find a more detailed step-by-step pictorial guide here, and much more information and FAQs on our MailShot support page.

The original video that better explains what Mailshot is and does can still be found on our Mailshot product page.

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.

MailShot 1.20 Update Live On The App Store

We have just released another MailShot update for you. This update features:

  • Fixed a memory leak, to improve stability.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some people upgrading to the Pro version when they had just created a group from scratch. If this affected you, please try again.
  • You can now change the character used as a separator between email addresses from a comma to a semicolon, using a switch in Settings. (A user requested this for greater compatibility with his AOL setup.)
  • Changed the message displayed in the Contacts app to discourage the use of Contacts for email, as MailShot contacts work best from Mail and other compatible apps.
  • The support button is now larger the first few times you use the app. After a while, buttons for “share” and “rate” will appear too.
  • The version number is now displayed in Settings.
  • With this release we are moving app categories to “Productivity”, we were previously in “Social Networking”.

Note that this update does not need you to write out your MailShot groups again, unlike the update from 1.0 to 1.13. (see this post for details if you are upgrading from 1.0)

If you find Mailshot useful, please rate us on the app store so we can continue to support the product. We need this every time we update, and especially to welcome us to our new home in the “Productivity” section.

As always, if you have any problems, or requests for features you would like to see in a future version, please get in touch with us.

App Store Reviews, Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo*)

I thought it was time to do another roundup of the App Store reviews that have appeared since the last one four weeks ago, as people don’t often get the chance to see the reviews that are published  on other App Stores around the world.

They are mainly very favourable, but I also included the two that weren’t so that I may respond, as the App Store doesn’t provide a way for developers to do this.

They are split by country- US, then UK, then Rest of World.

US Store

HCathey *****
Works as advertised, very intuitive, low price – what more could u ask for?

mcginnmk *****
Great app and support!
This app is a great patch for the void Apple and Outlook left in it’s software. Not sure why generating groups to synch with your iPhone was such a big deal, Peter obviously had no problem figuring it out. Also great support. I had trouble downloading the in-app upgrade, contacted Peter and had an answer within hours of my inquiry. If you have numerous contact groups this app is a must if you want to easily correspond with them remotely.

JPhil99 ****
So far, so good…
The free version is too limited (only 5 contacts per group, only 3 groups allowed). They don’t tell you these limits in the description. But you can get a good taste of the product. The pro version works well, AND IT WORKS WITH MS EXCHANGE emails, which no other group email app can figure out.

I use this for work distribution lists (I have 24 reps) and I used to hate sending group emails from my iPad. Now, its a snap. I also have a family group set up for sending pictures and messages about our kids.

Very simple and worth the $4, if you need more than the FREE version.

PJ- We do mention the limits of the free version in all descriptions on the App Store, but it is a lot of text so I can understand if someone didn’t read it all, or missed some of it.

NoName- *****
The proper Mail/Contacts
With this app, Peter has made Mail/Contacts into a proper email program. Thanks! And it includes embedded tutorials & a link to a super support page. I had a truly anomalous problem and Peter responded with a solution while I had dinner! That’s support!

Don’t worry that the first recipient’s literal name is replaced by the Group Name — everyone will get your group email.

Petsyrah ****
Great timesaver
Thank for developing this great app. I installed the free app and created a group, which is now in my contacts, in about 1 minute. Found it to be quite intuitive, didn’t need instructions. Will try this version out for a bit, then will likely upgrade to Pro.

Cdog127 *****
Finally, the ability to set up groups in the native contact app. I now have the ability to send group emails from any app on my phone. Had one issue setting up my groups, but a simple email to support and it was resolved. Also, when I emailed support, I had a reply with step by step directions IN UNDER AN HOUR! anyone who is looking for group emails, this is the app for you! Could not be any easier!

morningbell *****
When I realized I did not have “Group” capability on a trip that meant, communication with several people at once, I freaked! I immediately started the search and found MailShot! Excellent and easy for the less inclined. I was able to send to many people at once, while keeping their privacy intact.

Schreibs1- *
I was really excited about finally being able to create my email groups; shame on me for not reading the app’s description more closely. After I created my 3 smallest groups, I realized that I could not create my nine additional larger groups without purchasing an upgrade. This app does work seamlessly when following the web support page, and the groups DO show up in my contact list. So, one star to both MailShot for very limited function, and one star for myself for not reading all of the details. And zero stars to Apple for not building in this function.

PJ- This seems really unfair. He admits that the app works exactly as its supposed to, then awards it one star because he begrudges spending the cost of a cup of coffee on software that he can benefit from again and again?  Just a bit sad really.

Gregg Murphy ***
Crashes when adding some contacts
I like this app. Because it is very simple. Let’s you put groups into your address book. It does crash when adding some addresses. I had to create a new address for the person and then add it? Could be better with some work.

PJ- the cause and solution to this problem is on our support page if anyone encounters it themselves.

PNort *****
Should have been part of the iPhone email feature set from the outset. This is a GREAT utility!

UK Store

David Hillyer *****
I love my iPhone, and find I’m doing more and more emailing from it. To not have a group email-send was a problem. So finding MailShot was great… But I had a few problems upgrading for 5+ names. I contacted Peter, who then appeared to work though the night to remedy my difficulty – I felt as though I was at the cutting edge of app development.

We got it sorted, and I’m very happy. And the price of the upgrade is nothing compared to how my emailing has been helped. Brilliant!

Hopbackguy *****
Latest release now works well for me
The latest release has solved the problem which I experienced previously, which many others were also having, and the app now works great for me. I’ve upgraded to the paid version as I have a couple of largish distribution lists… My only criticism is that the full version is a tad expensive. I really don’t get the recent one star review.. it’s clear what the app does, and therefore whether it might be useful, and it works well. Its patently NOT ‘rubbish rubbish rubbish’. So why the diatribe?

Big Tithe *****
Better than ever!
The first release was brilliant but the updated version resolves the issue that you could see sometimes with the format of e-mail addresses that occurred in a few situations. Sorted!

I can’t understand the review comment suggesting it takes a long time to set-up. The first time you use it, it takes as long to create a group as it would to list all recipients in a standard e-mail but then that’s it, you’re done! As for the price, if you’re Billy-no-mates, why would you be using this app. anyway?

Buy it and spend the time you’ll save enriching your life or just patting your dog (no euphemism intended)!

Alacasam *
This app is really worthless I mean I probably spent more time working creating the groups than I actually saved time.I bought the add on thinking it would help but I don’t even email 50 people at once so I suggest you really don’t get this app and especially don’t get the add on.anyway what it costs £2.29 or something absolutely rubbish rubbish rubbish rubbish

PJ> Again I am also including the rare bad reviews here too so that I get the chance to respond.

I really can’t understand this guy- he claims he liked it enough to upgrade, then he derides the app as worthless “because he doesn’t have 50 friends?” As another reviewer observed, you only need to add people to a group once, how is this not faster than doing it every time?

It makes no sense at all, and I can only wonder what his actual motivation for writing this review is.

Rest of World Stores

Canada- Curtis Bayne *****
Finally able to use groups in iPad email!
I also love how it puts the list into the built in Contacts App! So far works flawless. Probably should give it 4 1/2 to 5 stars, but I just got it, just made three groups and am very pumped that I had to share. Will be so sweet to type one letter, then choose the group contact, when sending an email to my 10 collegues instead of entering the first letter of 10 different names.

Argentina- Relenti****
Great and simple
The app is basicaly an script. But it’s a great idea, and works fantastically. You create a group with your contacts an the group is a new contact with multiple mails. It’s simple. What’s the great idea: you use the usual mail, and you can forward a message to a group, and you can’t do it in group apps like abcontacts, groups or powercontact. And it’s free!!!

Spain- Curro Dorado****
MailShot Pro
Justo lo que necesitaba. La app hace exactamente lo que dice su creador: crear listas de distribución de correo. Sería perfecta si se pudiese abrir desde ‘mail’ y no como app externa.

(the above translated from Spanish, with help from

Just what I needed. The app does exactly what it’s creator says- create mailing lists! It would be perfect if it could be opened from ‘mail’ and not as an external app.

I would really like to thank those people who have taken the time to share their experiences so others may benefit. And also to thank those who have got in touch so we could help resolve their problems and build up a support doc for everyone to use. Its been a pleasure to help.

*And if you are wondering “why Electric Boogaloo?” its the tagline from the dodgy dance movie “Breakin’ 2”. As this is a sequel to a previous post- it was that or “Die Harder” and I thought even fewer people might get that one.

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.)

Suggestion Box is live on the App Store

Suggestion Box went live yesterday- Yay!

Here is the promo video I made to illustrate its features.

UPDATE: and I got my first review, a 5-star, without any funny
business required. Thank you “Pupslover”, whoever you are!

Suggestion Box approved for the App Store

Apple approved Suggestion Box, my first app, for the App Store over the weekend. I’ll be setting it to “available” when I return from my weeks holiday, so I have time to complete a promotional video for it and prepare press releases etc.

It’s a busy week for me, I am also hoping to have MailShot ready for submission before I go, so that it doesn’t get caught in the AppStore backlog over Xmas.

Narnia on Tyne

Haven’t blogged in a few weeks, so I thought I’d better get on with it.

The North of England has been in the grip of winter storms, which hit us out of nowhere at the end of last week. Schools are closed, and it can be hard to get about.

Weird thing is that the previous weekend I drove a 300 mile round trip to go to an artificial indoor snow slope (Xscape in Castleford) to get some snowboard practice in, little did I know I’d be doing it on our local hill the following weekend.

NFM Hoults Session

I was invited to a marketing seminar at Northern Film + Media hosted by Ewan McIntosh, formerly of channel 4’s 4IP investment scheme. It was an enjoyable and interesting day, though it took me around 4 hours to prepare the PowerPoint slides we were asked to bring, working until 1am the previous night, only to find I didn’t need them in the end. Doh!

Still, it helped me think through a few things to get the best out of the day.

Source control

Managed to get source control set up for my iPhone app yesterday, not as scary as I was expecting, thankfully.

Only took half a day, although I did get into a tangle through moving all the files between directories- I must remember to do that via the GUI not Finder!

I used “Versions” as a GUI and “Beanstalk” for offsite hosting. Versions is a freebie for 20 days, then $39. Beanstalk is free for one repo.