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Newsletter
Thursday
Aug252011

My Vacation featured in iPhoneAppCafe Top 5 list

The folks at iPhoneAppCafe have included My Vacation in their top 5 list for July!

Not only does this application provides you with packing lists or photo organization, it is also well-rounded, sweeping in its scope, and surprisingly all-inclusive.

Thanks for the mention!

Sunday
Aug072011

Tip #11: There's a Setting For That...

There is divided opinion on where app settings should reside. The 'Apple' way is for them to reside in the Settings App - i.e. outside the app. This is how it's done in My Vacation and My Vacation HD.

If this is news to you then you should head over there and find out what you can change in other apps, not just My Vacation! From some of the support queries we receive I can tell it isn't always natural to look there, although it does help to keep the interface uncluttered within the app.

To access the Settings click your Home button, then find the Settings App. Click on the Settings icon and scroll down to My Vacation:


You'll then see a page with some settings for My Vacation:

  • Saved Image Size - This allows you to change the maximum size of the photo stored by the app when you take a photo with the camera, or import from the Photos app.
  • Image Cache - This can improve the speed of the app by caching images as you go through the app. It can cause the app to run out of memory if you have a lot of other apps running so if the app quits while using this it's recommended you go back and disable this setting.
  • Traditional Picker - The traditional picker option refers to the photo picker used when importing photos from the Photos app. The traditional picker only allows you to pick one photo at a time, whereas if disabled a custom picker will be used that allows you to pick multiple images at once. You may want to use Traditional if you are importing from a camera roll with a large number of images.
  • Distance Unit - Pick between kilometres and miles when viewing the map screens.
  • Weather Unit - Pick between Celsius and Fahrenheit when viewing weather reports.
  • Journal Font - Pick from American Typewriter (serif), Georgia (serif), Helvetica (sans-serif), and on the HD version only - Bradley-Hand (handwritten style). This affects the font used when typing your journal.
  • Playback Font - The same choice as for the journal font, and this affects the font of the journal that scrolls up the screen on playback.
  • Slideshow Interval - This affects the speed of the full screen photo slideshows.
  • Playback Photo Flip Speed - This affects the speed of the photos flipping over during playback.
  • Playback Journal Scroll Speed - This affects the speed of the journal scrolling up the screen during playback.
  • Send Crash Reports - Enabling this helps us find problems that are causing the app to quit. For more information about this see here.

If you have any other settings you would like to see included feel free to comment below.

Friday
Jul292011

Tip #10: Blogger's Delight

I would imagine a large proportion of blogs are created to share travel experiences.

A blog is a great way to show off your trip. It can be styled personally and viewed by all.

My Vacation and My Vacation HD allow you to select the best of your photos and the app will intersperse these with your journal excerpts, then create a blog post - all from within the app.

Currently the app supports the main two platforms Blogger and Wordpress.

On each one you select which days and photos you want to publish. Let's remind you how to get to that stage first:

  1. Go into the main summary screen.
  2. Click on the Publish button.


  3. Select Blog
  4. Select which days to publish
  5. Select which photos you want for those days based on rating.
  6. Select your blogging platform (Blogger or Wordpress). For Wordpress there is the choice of a blog hosted on Wordpress as opposed to one hosted on your servers.
  7. Enter your user credentials
  8. For Blogger select which of your blogs to send to (some people have more than one)
  9. Choose a post title
  10. Choose whether you want to publish as a draft
  11. Pick between showing larger photos within the post, or thumbnails linking to the larger photos.

A quick note for Blogger. When you send photos to Blogger they are hosted by Google's Picasa service (automatically linked to your Google account). Videos and audio are not compatible at this stage sadly.

The styling of the post is intentionally minimal because with everyone's blog having a different style it would be hard to please everyone. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to hear some feedback on the layout (maybe comment on this thread or our support forum). If you have adapted the style in your blog and would like to share your post with others then likewise let us know!

Let me start - here is the result of me using this feature on my New Zealand trip earlier this year.

Thursday
Jul212011

Tip #9: Sending to Tumblr (for the trendy people)

What? My Vacation can update your Tumblr blog too?! Indirectly, yes it can - via email. Proper integration may come later but in the meantime here is how you can link Tumblr to My Vacation (which is also for trendy people).

A little intro may be needed first off. Tumblr seems to be growing rapidly in popularity, surpassing Posterous as a low-effort blogging tool pitched somewhere between Wordpress and Twitter. You can see our own fledgling blog containing all these app tips here: http://jasperapps.tumblr.com

I've just mentioned Posterous, and indeed last year I wrote a blog post on sending journals to Posterous. It's through a similar method we can send to Tumblr.

From your Tumblr Dashboard, scroll to the bottom and click on 'Goodies'. Find where it says 'Post by email':

The email address shown can be used in My Vacation to send your photos or journals. You'll see in the previous tips how to bring up the publish options for an individual or selection of photos.

One word of warning when sending a selection of photos and journals. The email import doesn't work as well in Tumblr as for Posterous. If you add photos to your email, all the journals will be ignored. To send the journal text to Tumblr, select which days you want to send and don't select any photos (send these as another email). You will have to address some formatting issues too in the text as paragraphs don't appear to be understood in Tumblr either :(

Nonetheless I hope this is helpful to those of you who want to publish to Tumblr. Feel free to contribute to a thread in our support forum on how we can do the full integration.