In The Works- Exciting New Features For MailShot

I know a lot of you are enjoying using MailShot for group email within your favourite apps right now, but we still keep striving to make it an even better experience for you.

We thought you might be interested to hear about some of the fantastic additional features we have been working on for the next free update to MailShot (1.40), which is due to hit the App Store in a week or so’s time.

  • Fast selection of contacts with multiple email addresses (using checkmarks)
  • Import existing address book Groups into MailShot* (!)
  • Highlight redundant email addresses that no longer exist in your address book
  • Manage over 50 contacts in a MailShot group (with the upgraded version)

MailShot will remain free to try on the App Store until the update. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?

App Store Reviews, Part 3 (in 3D!*)

Now that version 1.30 of MailShot has been out for a few weeks I thought it was time for another roundup of user reviews around the world’s App Stores.

In general they are fantastic, thanks to you all for your kind words. As usual we also include the few isolated negative ones we have had, with our responses- in most cases we could probably have solved their problems if they had contacted us on our support page.

If you are already a satisfied user please take the time to add your opinion and rating on the App Store. We need and value your support, especially each time a new version is released as this hides the previous good reviews on another page.

USA Store

FatherWarrior *****
Group emailing FINALLY!
It works perfectly on my iphone4. Upgrade to pro version is totally worth the $3.99, if you have large email groups like I do. iOS should have had this feature from the beginning. Apple will probably buy this app’s code and call it their own like they usually do.

PJ- I wish!

Well, they know where to find me…

Nashville JZ *****
Great
As promised. Simple. Easy to manage. Works like a charm.

Ddlj81 *****
Very useful
Does what it says. Just that the free version can only store 5 max on a group.

Bronzit *****
Excellent ‘Gap’ Filler!
Works very well. Easy to use, in The Mac Way. I expect Apple to make it obsolete, soon, though.

CatkissinAustin *****
Just what I needed
I’m not a tekkie and I don’t speak Mac altho I have a Mac and iPhone. This worked easily and quickly for me.

Dakota Roemer****
Well Done!
This sucker keeps me sane. A very well executed and much needed app. Woot!

Yptcn *****
GREAT !!!
The app that was missing . It does everything it says.Thank you :-)))))))))

pinki101 *****
Now Even Better

This is just about the most important app I’ve purchased. Lots of apps let you email to groups from their apps, but this is what you need to forward easily forward email to your groups from the mail app. It’s simple, it’s smart, and it works. I rated it five stars before the last round of improvements, and now with sort ability and both emails and names showing for edit, it’s that much better. Thank you!

EuRisk0 *****
Perfect iPhone add on
Great job

Schreibs1 *****
A must-have for productivity
This app works seamlessly when following the web support page. I now have email group function on my iPad. Previously, I was relying on my PC for emails to over 10 groups. I maintain my zero stars rating to Apple for not building in this function.

PJ- It was great to see a reviewer who only awarded us a single star in an earlier review because “the functionality should have been provided by Apple” come back and change it. Much appreciated, thanks.

Mkirse *****
Thank YOU!!

I’m thrilled to find this app!! This issue has been driving me crazy – can’t believe that apple didn’t include the ability to forward emails to a group themselves. Now my iPad is finally a functional tool for my business on the go. Thank you!!!

IncredulousAlien ** v1.20
Good effort, but . . .

This app has some potential, so I gave it a two rating. And yes, it does have the currently unique ability to use group lists for forwarding email. Unfortunately, there appears to be no method for “on the fly” deletion of addresses from a group (e.g., in the process of adding a group to the bcc: field when forwarding in Mail). This means that, in cases where the incoming “from” address happens to be included in the group selected for forwarding, the email will be sent back to the incoming “from” address. Not useful, and certainly not polite in an age of humongerous attachments and bulging inboxes. This may not be a flaw for some uses, but it is a fatal one for the way I use email. Bottom line: I wish I had my money back.

PJ- Slightly over-the-top criticism, perhaps, and the functionality IS actually provided for this if you are concerned enough about it to want to deselect people from an email. (Use the checkmarks provided in MailShot to temporarily deselect a person from the group, press UPDATE, send your email to the group, reselect the person and press UPDATE again.)

Bob Kroghs ***** v1.20
Great app.

Once I took the time to read instructions carefully it worked perfectly. Took a half hour to learn.

Craig Symons ** v1.20
Not bad but crashes constantly
After entering addresses and it crashing, I finally ended up entering one address and updating each time for a total of 25 updates. Then going back to find out how to send an email I noticed that nearly ALL of my entries were gone. Very frustrating!!

PJ- Always sorry to hear it when a user has an experience like this. From the description it sounds like an issue we have seen occasionally when adding badly-formatted contacts in the address book (often created in MS Outlook). Some code we added in 1.30 seems to have helped with this, but if this user had contacted support or read the support page I am sure we would have been able to help him.

bakerbear ***** v1.20
Free version gave me great idea of how it worked.
I will feel much better about emailing groups now… No one forgotten, no one included without need. App works smooth and has great help page (I had one contact w some nonstandard entries that were easily fixed). Didn’t take more than 1 minute to be fully working!!

Woogetybop ****
MailShot
Simple free app that is really $3.99 if it going to be functional. After paying the $3.99 it let’s you create 50 groups of 50 contacts that can be used with most other app’s. That’s the key here. Most other mail contact apps make you use their emailer, which I find unacceptable. 4 stars for being a simple program, needs more options like CC BCC in contact groups.

PJ- Actually you CAN place MailShot groups in the BCC and CC lines, just as easily as the TO line.

Also, apparent “simplicity” is actually an aim for mobile apps and one of the hardest things to achieve. We often work hard behind the scenes to hide the complexities from the user. I guess I’ll take it as a compliment, not a criticism :).

Penta Huang *****
Good 
I just download, very good embedded to iPad mail app

UK Store

Andrez_99 **
Poor
Incredibly frustrating that you can only add one contact at a time from the address list to a group. This app needs a tick box next to those address names with emails. You then want to add all of those ticked.

PJ- Actually this feature is already coded and will be added in the next update- (1.40)

DWoodthorpe ****
Great help

This app is just what I have been looking for. I can now email all my golfing group in one go. I would give it 5 stars if I could have had more than 5 members per group. 10 would have been more realistic for the free version.

This facility should have been part of the mail program from the start. Well done.

PJ- I do make my living from writing software, and it takes some considerable time for us to support users and add features to MailShot even now, months after the release. I needed to set the user limit to one which will let people try it out for free and see its advantages, but will also give them a reason to pay a small upgrade fee if they like it and want more. Around 20% of our users upgrade, so I think that means we have the balance about right, as it is a lot higher than figures I have heard for other apps.

Unfortunately I think people can interpret the “free” download icon as meaning completely free, rather than “free to try”. It would be nice if Apple could change that. 

Tim, Scotland *****
Brilliant App
This is a brilliant app and just what the iPad was waiting for. It enables you to create Groups in your Contacts list and access these from within the iPad’s email app. The Groups appear in your Contacts list as a single entry (say ‘Family’), but contain multiple email addresses. So, when you’re in the iPad’s email app, just select ‘Family’ from your Contacts list (remember, it looks just like a single email address in the contacts list) and your email will be sent to multiple recipients. Best of all, when you look at your sent mail, you’ll see all the recipients listed separately. You can edit existing MailShot groups from the app – say adding or deleting members individually.
The basic app is free to let you evaluate it for a few small groups, but an in-app upgrade (very reasonable) releases the full potential (up to 50 groups with up to 50 members per group). An absolute must-have.

David Hillyer *****
Wonderful x 2!

It’s great to see a new version created so quickly in response to user feedback. I stand by my earlier posting on v.1.13 even more:
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
in the v1.13, I had problems upgrading for 5+ names. I contacted Peter,
who then appeared to work night and day to fix the problem – I felt as
though I was at the cutting edge of app development! We got it sorted, and I
am very pleased.
I’ve seen a few negative comments from users – all I can say is that I guess
in the early stages apps may need a bit of tweaking; so my advice would be
to make contact with the designer, rather than moan about things online. And
as for criticising the cost: an app costs peanuts, and they can be very
powerful tools. MailShot certainly is one of my best buys!

Canadian Store

Sd37lafont *****
Mailshots

Amazing the way they organize the address book of contact from all sources.

garyludwig ***** v1.20
Exactly what it should be

I’ve been looking for an app that would let me make email groups on my iPhone I could use in all my other apps. This one is exactly right — just what I wish Apple had built in. Simple, intuitive, and versatile. The graphics make it look cartoonish but don’t be fooled.

PJ- Cartoonish? I was aiming for non-threatening :).

I am also a fan of Rene Magritte, and subconsciously had some of his recurring themes in mind. He had more than 72*72 pixels to work with, though.

Rest Of World

Florian Prelle ***** Germany
Super 

Fantastic app to create mailing lists

David BOULANGER **** France
Great

Great ! but expensive ….

JRK1 **** Australia
MailShot

Brilliant app and great support service, much appreciated.

* And if you are wondering why “in 3D?” its simply because this is a sequel to a previous post, and in eighties cinema the third part of a franchise was often in 3D, unlike now when it seems to be on nearly every new release, whether it needs it or not.

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 *****
Boss
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 *****
Wonderful!
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 *****
Saviour
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- *
oops
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 *****
TIME SAVER!
Should have been part of the iPhone email feature set from the outset. This is a GREAT utility!

UK Store

David Hillyer *****
Wonderful!
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 *
What!!!!!!!
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 AppFigures.com)

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.