MailShot Pro Sends Group Email Around The World

A new version of MailShot hits the app store today, adding support for French, Spanish and Chinese languages.

We are really excited to introduce MailShot Pro to a wider audience of French and Spanish speakers, and into China, one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The worldwide reach of the App Store gives a small developer like us a global presence in markets that we simply couldn’t enter on our own.

You can now find localised support for MailShot in French, Spanish, Chinese and of course English.

This release also fixes an issue that a few users have experienced when naming their MailShot groups.

As always, if you find MailShot useful, a review on the App Store is always very much appreciated, as each new release tends to hide the fantastic reviews we have received so far.

MailShot 1.60 Brings Larger Groups For Many Users

As thanks for helping us reach over 50000 users, and to celebrate our first year on the App Store, we have just launched another update to our popular “MailShot Pro” and “MailShot” group email apps, bringing increased group sizes and a number of other exciting new features.

NOTE: We recently renamed the in-app upgrade for the free version of MailShot to “MailShot Upgrade”, because a few users were confusing it with the “MailShot Pro” app, and were downloading (and being charged for) both. The upgrade still includes all the same great features as “MailShot Pro”.

New features in version 1.60 include:

More Groups.
The number of groups you can create in the upgraded and Pro versions has now been doubled, to 100.

TIP: Groups can be sorted into any order using the “Edit” button on the groups page.

More Contacts.
We have changed our address format, which will now allow you to address as many contacts as your ISP permits from the group contacts created in the new upgraded and Pro versions of MailShot. In many cases this is now 100 contacts.

We also added a warning when you exceed 100 contacts, which can be turned off in the Settings app.

NOTE: you can send to groups with as many as 500 contacts through Google Mail by connecting to it using the “Exchange” instead of the “Gmail” protocol, Here are the instructions. (For simplicity we suggest you don’t enable contact sync over Exchange if you don’t need it,  just enable it for email). Be careful of the daily limits on Google Mail.

Use MailShot group contacts from a Mac.

Contacts that you create in MailShot on your iOS device can also now be used from Mail on your Mac, too. Note that you will need to tap “update” on each group in the new version before using this feature.

See here on our support page for more on this.

Removing Someone From A Particular Email

You can now exclude a particular contact, or contacts, from a group before you send it.

Just tap “Cancel”,  save your email to drafts, then reload it again. You can now see all the contacts in the group by tapping on the address line, and can select and then delete them individually from the email.

See our support page here for more details.


Better handling of in-app purchases.

We now provide a clearer indication to users when an in-app purchase is successfully processed.

A “Restore purchases” button on the title page also enables you to restore a previous upgrade to a new device without any fear of being charged twice.

Importing MailShot groups back into MailShot.
Attempting to add a MailShot-created contact will show a list of the contacts it contains, for you to select contacts from.

You can use this feature:

  • To combine groups into larger ones
  • To import and manage a MailShot group someone sent you
  • Or to rebuild groups in MailShot after a backup failure or similar disaster.At a pinch you could use this to manage a group from more than one of your devices, though it is not recommended for that purpose (TIP: if you do try this, use a different name for the new group on your second device to avoid deleting or overwriting the original group)

Note that this feature can’t name the first contact in a group, as that isn’t stored, but it will restore their email address.

*TIP: You can easily share a MailShot group contact to someone else using the “Share Contact” button in the Contacts app- they don’t need to have MailShot installed to use it themselves on an iOS device or mac. (though they’ll need to store the MailShot contact in an address book which isn’t synched with Exchange,  iCloud is fine for this)

Add contacts from a button.
There is a new “+” button provided at the bottom of the page that lists contacts in your groups. This allows you to easily add a single contact to a long list without needing to scroll all the way to the bottom of that list

If you have any questions, problems. or suggestions please check out our support page or drop us a line on support@solubleapps.com. We are always more than happy to help. We also run a mailing list which sends updates like this out to you every few months, simply send the word “Subscribe” to mailshotlist@solubleapps.com, and we will add you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

We hope you find the new features useful, and as always we really appreciate it if you can take the time to review MailShot on the App Store, or update an older review, as all of our fantastic reviews  are moved from  the main page whenever we update, and we depend on your reviews to keep developing MailShot. Here are links to the App Store for “MailShot Pro” and “MailShot” to make it easier for you to review us. As always, many thanks for those that do, it means a lot to us.


MailShot Sails Past 50,000 Users!


It’s great to hear that we have just passed another milestone for “MailShot Pro” and “MailShot”,  with over 50,000 users now enjoying our unique group email solution via the App Store.

We are celebrating with a new free update for both versions within the next few weeks, bringing larger groups for many users, better handling of in-app purchases, and more in-app help and error detection. We’ll let you know more about it when its available.

Thank you all for spreading the word about MailShot to others, its great to see how it has steadily grown more rapidly each month, and much of this has been by word of mouth.

If you need any assistance with MailShot, please see our support page or drop us an email,  we’ll do our best to help you.

MailShot and iOS5

Upgrading to iOS5 brings a number of great new features to your device, including iCloud contact sharingDocuments in the Cloud, iCloud backup and Siri Voice Recognition. iOS5 is a free upgrade for all iPads, and all iPhones more recent than the iPhone 3G.

This post is about how these new features interact with the current versions of MailShot and MailShot Pro.

Migrating to iOS5 from iOS4.

Don’t forget to backup your device to iTunes manually as a safety precaution. (iTunes should do this for you too, but a backup is sensible.) Make sure that you select “restore from iTunes” after the upgrade and not “restore from iCloud”, this step restores the data for MailShot and your other apps as your data is not yet in the cloud. Take care not to unplug your device from iTunes until the restore process is complete.

In some cases apps may take a while to sync to your device wirelessly. If this doesn’t happen and you need to manually reinstall MailShot, please take care to get the correct version between “MailShot” or “MailShot Pro“, as the AppStore regards them as different apps and charges for them separately. See this entry for more on upgrading if you want to know more.

If you see a message about “no suitable address book” after upgrading, try enabling iCloud for contacts on your device.

If you have any other problems when changing to iOS5 see our support page, or drop us a line if you still can’t solve it and we’ll do our best to help.

Siri 

Siri is the amazing new voice assistant (for iPhone 4s users only, at the moment) and, even more amazingly, we are happy to announce that you can use it to dictate and send an email to a MailShot group that you created. Simply say “send email to groupname” to Siri, using the MailShot group name just like a contact, and it will be sent to that group.

We are not aware of ANY other group email app on the Store that could work with Siri!

iCloud Contact Sharing

iCloud Contact Sharing will enable you to share MailShot contacts created on one device to others using the same iCloud account, wirelessly. Ensure that Contacts is enabled in the iCloud tab in Settings to use it

As everyone can now use iCloud.com to access their contacts, this makes it easy to create address book groups in the iCloud web apps if you have access via a PC or mac (something you could not do on your device with the default apps). If you create any groups in this way, you can quickly import them into MailShot using the “Import” button.

iCloud Backup

Once you have upgraded, your MailShot data will backup to the cloud automatically. The data itself is fairly small, so should not have much impact on the 5M of free storage that Apple give you.

Backup can be enabled and disabled from the Settings app under “iCloud”/ “Storage & Backup.”

Mail

Mail is gaining usability improvements such as the ability to format text using bold, italic and underlined fonts, and better control of indenting. You can still send mail to your MailShot groups from Mail, just as you did before, and take advantage of those new features.

Mail now allows you to drag contacts from one address line of an email to another (say, from “to:” to “bcc:”) this works with MailShot groups too, though you cannot move the individual contacts within a group around because the group is one person, as far as iOS is concerned.

Documents in the Cloud

Documents in the Cloud allows apps to sync data between multiple devices using the same iCloud account. However all apps need to be rewritten and have an update released to take advantage of it. Developer support is still scarce, but we plan to add support for this feature in an update before too long.

For now you can move data between devices manually if necessary using iTunes file sharing, but we still recommend that you only manage each group on one device, any contacts they create will synch to your other devices anyway.

Reinstalling Apps

The App Store makes it much clearer if you are reinstalling an app, as you can now bring up a list of the apps you have downloaded previously, and the button you would press to download in the App Store will also now say “install” instead of showing the price if you have already paid for an app. Hopefully this will prevent some of the confusion some users experience between MailShot and MailShot Pro, although it won’t help with in-app updates.

We have been using iOS5 for testing here for well over a month without too many nasty surprises, but please let me know of any changes, tips or problems you encounter with iOS5 with any of our products, and we’ll do our best to help you resolve your problem.

Welcome to our first 10,000 MailShot Users.

We have just heard from Apple that over 10,000 people are now using MailShot after its first few months on the App Store. We hope you are all finding the unique way you can send mail to groups from within your applications useful, especially with the new features we just added in our most recent update. You will find that it is an app you can continue to benefit from, month after month.

We always love to hear from you. Please get in touch to tell us how you are using MailShot, to request features you’d like to see, or to ask for advice or help with a problem.

We have just produced a comprehensive User Guide, so take a look if you haven’t seen it yet, you are bound to learn something. You can also still find advice and many answers to the most common user questions on our support page.

It’s great to see how MailShot continues to grow, and we plan to continue to support it with updates in the future (we have updated five times already!). 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.  Many thanks go out to all those that have done this, it’s always appreciated. If you haven’t, please review us if you get the chance, as all the great reviews we have received so far are harder to find when we put out an update.

Thanks again. We hope it won’t be too long before we are welcoming the next 10,000 users.

MailShot returns to the App Store with the best update yet

Over the past four months we have released five updates to MailShot, adding new features for our many thousands of existing users each time. The update released onto the App Store today marks the biggest change yet for most of our users- here is what it adds:

Quick Add For Contacts

When adding a contact with a single email address, MailShot will now automatically add that contact and return to the contact page in MailShot without needing you to select the address (if you would prefer to see a dialogue for confirmation, just disable “Auto-add contact” in the Settings app)

When you add or edit a contact with multiple email addresses, MailShot now pops up a dialogue showing all known email addresses for that contact. By toggling the checkmarks you can easily add, delete or exchange the addresses.

You can also now have MailShot automatically add all known addresses when adding or importing a contact with multiple addresses (enabled as “Auto-Add all” in Settings.)

Import Groups Into MailShot

This new feature lets you import an entire group into MailShot in one go.

If you already have conventional Groups set up in the address book on your device, tap the “Import” button in MailShot, and select the Group. MailShot will scan through the Group, automatically skipping over contacts with no email address, adding any unknown contacts with a single email address and allowing the user to choose which address to use for contacts with multiple email addresses (or to automatically add them all, if enabled in Settings)

You can re-import the group again at a later date to pick up any additions. (A user setting controls whether MailShot ignores contacts with multiple addresses that are already known, rather than prompting for an email choice again.)

If you have not upgraded MailShot yet, the usual limits apply to the maximum number of contacts in a group.

For more information on this feature, see this entry on our support page

Highlight obsolete contacts

To make it easier to keep MailShot in sync with changes in your address book, we now highlight any email addresses that aren’t found in your local address book in red when viewed in MailShot.

To keep MailShot as responsive as possible with larger groups, this status is only refreshed when MailShot starts up, and when you visit the contacts list for a group.

TIP To refresh the status for all the groups on the groups page at once, tap “Home” and then return to the groups page.

Don’t worry if you intentionally removed some or all of the original contacts for a MailShot group as part of your desired workflow. this isn’t a problem – MailShot will continue to work as before, despite the red text. (NOTE: This will also occur if you added a contact from a “Global Address List”, so it is not stored locally on your device)

Use more than 50 contacts in a group

A side effect of being able to import contacts from groups is that more users may now need the ability to manage larger groups than the current in-app upgrade allows, so we have removed the limit in MailShot. Of course you will still be at the mercy of any limits your email provider may impose for a single email (I hear that Google set their limit at 100, for example).

Its Good To Be Back

This release fixes an issue with the update early last week that affected a minority of users using Exchange Wireless Synch.

As soon as we discovered the issue we pulled MailShot from the store, before most users upgraded, and prepared this new version for release. Big props to the Apple approvals team for testing and approving this update for us inside a week. Thanks for that!

Help Us To Help You

We hope you enjoy the new features, but every time that we update we lose all the fantastic comments you have made in the past, so we would ask that you please support us by rating and reviewing the new version on the App Store if you can, and helping to spread the word about MailShot so we can keep the updates coming in the future. Please let us know on our support email address if there is anything you’d like to see in those future versions.

If you haven’t tried MailShot yet, where have you been? It’s currently free to try on the App Store. Head over there and try it now, to see what you’ve been missing.

MailShot 1.40 Released- Now You See It On The App Store, Now You Don’t!

Monday 17th May– Just after update 1.40 went live, we learned of a possible issue affecting some users using Exchange for wireless synch of contacts. As we don’t want our Exchange-using customers to receive an undesirable update, and there is no way to roll back a version, we have temporarily suspended Mailshot sales from the App Store. We apologise for the inconvenience, but it is the right thing to do. We’ll be back very soon.

Tuesday 18th May– A new version was submitted to Apple earlier today. We’ll be back on the Store as soon as it’s approved. If you use Exchange Wireless Synch and are getting crashes, please see this page for our recommended workarounds.

If you need early access to version 1.41 to solve a pressing need or would simply like the opportunity to participate in it’s development, please drop us a line and ask to join our free test program, we have a few spaces available.

Monday 23rd- “We’re ba-ack!???” The new version of MailShot is in its final testing stage at Apple. I hope we’ll have good news in the next few hours. See this post for a full run-down on the exciting features in the new update.

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.