Flickr User Gallery

Share your My Vacation photos here by adding them to Flickr with the tag my-vacation-app!

Newsletter
Wednesday
Apr022014

The Future of My Vacation

Dear My Vacation users,

I can announce big news regarding the future of My Vacation! My Vacation was my first iOS app back in 2010 and has been downloaded over 180,000 times!

As is clear though from the lack of activity on this blog my focus has moved onto other projects. I have always been committed to respond to support queries and make sure the app works on new devices. However, that does not go far enough and those of you using the app deserve more.

I imagined how I'd feel if I saw My Vacation updated without my doing, and it would make me feel positively happy :) I'd be pleased to pass on ownership for the good of the app, and of course for the freedom it would give me personally.

I have sold the app to a new company called Pixyax who have assured me preservation of your trips will be a priority and they will start improving the app again over the coming months.

“I am very excited about acquisition of My Vacation App by Pixyax. We will be releasing a new version by end of summer with new and improved photo/video editing and sharing functionality. We like to hear from My Vacation App user’s requests and recommendations on how to improve on this application. Please email your request to support@MyVacationApp.com” Thanks Ben

Ben has just put up a holding webpage at http://www.myvacationapp.com, which should be your port of call now for news on the app. Any support queries should go through to support@MyVacationApp.com.

Thanks for those along the way who helped me take My Vacation from an idea to the app it became. I had some valuable design help from @stevedesigner and @_nickjones, business support from @maxgaet and Pitch & Mix, some intrepid testing by Harry Dixon, and was fortunate to include some superb compositions from @choiby.

Finally thanks to you who bought the app and supported me. I hope you have enjoyed being able to record and relive the memories of your travels, and will do for a long time to come!

All the best,

Tony

Wednesday
May222013

Do Notes

At the end of this month I'm going to remove Do Notes from the App Store. I created the app to solve what at the time I felt was a gap in the market for an app combining notes and lists, and I hope it was useful to others along the way!

It was healthy for me to have a side project to My Vacation, and maybe it was helpful in cross-promoting My Vacation in some way too. However, in Apple parlance, it was effectively a 'hobby' app, and I am focusing my time these days on other projects. I will be still happy to answer any support questions you may have.

Thanks, Tony

Saturday
Mar232013

New Dropbox changes

One of the best ways to publish from My Vacation is to send to Dropbpox: http://www.jasperapps.com/blog/2011/6/2/tip-3-dropbox-your-trip.html

However, Dropbox have changed the way new accounts handle the Public folder. It is hidden by default. To enable this so that My Vacation Dropbox links can be viewed by those you want to share with, you need to click on this link:

https://www.dropbox.com/enablepublicfolder

Monday
Jan282013

Using My Vacation: A Case Study

I have just returned from a trip to Cape Town and Dubai, where I used My Vacation again to create a travelogue. I've exported the journal to Dropbox and you can view it here

I had space to pack my iPad and wanted to use my main camera, so I used My Vacation HD. My camera is a Canon PowerShot S95 which has served me well for the last couple of years, and the successor PowerShot S100 looks to be a good up to date choice too. I did also use my iPhone 4S camera for some shots, especially when the opportunity for a good panoramic photo came about, as you can see from the Penguins photo above!

Using the app I discovered a few little things that can be improved and may also be issues for you using the app. It also got me thinking about the process I go through when using the app, and whether this may be interesting to add as a blog article; a case study, if you like.

Before the trip

I create the trip and set the dates. Things I know at this stage e.g. Fly from Heathrow, transfer to this hotel, that hotel, I put in the title for the day in question. I enter high-level locations, like Dubai and Cape Town

I use the app to create to do lists and add things to pack when I think of them. You can also use notes to keep photos or write reference numbers.

During the trip

I typically update the journal every 2-3 days. It’s best to do it more often but of course, it’s not always easy. In the meantime I’ll be taking photos each day, deleting photos on the camera that I know didn't turn out well.

I’ve purchased an Apple Camera Connection Kit which I insert my camera SD card into, then put the connector into my iPad. The integration is very simple. Photos app automatically loads up and you click on thumbnails of photos you want to transfer. For purists, the RAW images are also transferred, although only the JPGs are handled by My Vacation.

By this stage you have piece of mind that your photos are in two places, so if you lose your camera you won’t have lost those photos.

What I found myself doing was using Photos app to crop photos. I’ll be looking to add this as a feature to My Vacation so this can be done within the app.

Then I go into My Vacation and import the photos. I’ll probably transfer most of the photos I’ve just brought into Photos. With all the photos in place I’ll go through a slideshow of them all. It’s always a nice experience for anyone on the trip to see the photos on a big display before they get home!

Some photos may be slightly wonky and need rotating. Whilst My Vacation cannot crop at the moment, it can rotate. It can also rotate by a single degree each way unlike Photos which can only rotate at 90 degrees.

With the fresh reminder from the photos I’ve just viewed I add the locations travelled to for that day, and then write my journal for the day.

At the end of the trip

After the trip I want to share some photos with friends on Facebook. The easiest way to achieve this with My Vacation is to indicate using the control that you like a photo on the photo view page. Then when you publish the trip you can filter by how much you like the photos and include, for instance any photos with 2 or more hearts.

I tag photos that I wish to export with two or three hearts. If you want to determine which photo is the cover for each day you may want to only tag those with three hearts.

For each of those photos that I give some hearts to I will also make sure the caption is entered and the location is right too. If you are importing photos from a camera that is not GPS-enabled this can be laborious to do for every photo. However each photo can be default take on the location of the previous photo to help reduce the effort placing each individual photo.

In terms of photos, I see the process of creating a good record of your trip is to go through several stages of filtering your photos. I have visualised this in a pyramid to explain what I mean:

Let me know if you approach journalling with My Vacation in a different way, I'd be interesting in your thoughts.