MajicRank

Written by David Frampton @ 4:16 am, April 12, 2009

Update: MajicRank 1.3 has been released, and now has it’s own product page.

MajicRank is a free application for Mac OS X (10.5+) designed to give iPhone App Developers an easy way to see how popular their applications are around the world.

It automatically downloads top 100 statistics for any iPhone app, for any categories or game sub categories, for most regions from iTunes, and displays the results in a colored table. Note that though the screenshot only shows 8 regions, the rest can be added in the preferences menu.

MajicRank 1.2 can be downloaded from http://majicjungle.com/MajicRank.zip (0.5MB)

Screenshot:

MajicRank Screenshot

It is likely that at some point Apple will change their formats and the scrapping algorithms will fail. So it’s also likely that at some point this app will crash or give false results or have some other problem. However I will try to keep it working, and please let me know of any bugs you find.

I’m @majicDave on twitter, or you can email me: developer@majicjungle.com

Usage

Press the ‘+’ button to add your app, edit the name by double clicking on it. The name must match exactly the name that is currently called in iTunes. Select the categories that your app falls under.

Every time you refresh or restart the app, MajicRank will attempt to download every category that is selected from every region. Sometimes a download may fail, and a yellow exclamation mark represents this.

The more categories you add, the slower the load time will be. 10 apps all set to Games/Action should be as quick to load as 1 app set to Games/Action, but 10 apps each with uniquely different categories will be 10x slower to load than 1 app.

Every time you make a change to the apps list or an app’s categories the changes are saved automatically and will load on relaunch of the app. If you come across a crash on launch, or want to get rid of your saved configurations for any reason, remove ~/Library/Application Support/MajicRank/appsModel.plist

By default MajicRank will only download the ‘Big Eight’, the eight largest (arbitrarily decided by me) regions. This can be changed in the preferences.

Archiving

There is a preference for Archiving the results (disabled by default). If you enable this preference, every time you do a search, a potentially quite large (200KB-4MB+) file will be saved in ~/Library/Application Support/MajicRank/. This is a gzipped Keyed Archive of an NSDictionary of all all apps in all of the top 100s that have been downloaded. Currently this file is not used by MajicRank, but if you do want to start keeping a history now it may come in useful later.

Future

I would like to add change tracking. A simple trend indication should come soon, but graphs would be better. It depends how high the demand is, and how much I feel like procrastinating work on Chopper 2!









Chopper, Chopper, Chopper

Written by David Frampton @ 8:29 am, April 3, 2009

Firstly, Chopper for iPhone is on sale at 99c. It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last, but it’s as good as any a time to get it - iTunes Link.

Secondly, Chopper for iPhone 1.2 has been submitted. Version 1.2 adds a new control option that makes it so touching the right half of the screen fires the machine gun, and touching the left half drops bombs. I wanted to do this initially, as it is the best way to control weapon fire. The only reason I didn’t make it this way from the start is that it is not obvious you can fire a weapon without having a button to press. As an option, though, it works well. Chopper 1.2 also offers some improvements in performance. The frame rate should be smoother now, and battery usage should go down. This update should show up within the next few days.

Thirdly, Chopper Lite has been submitted. Chopper Lite gives 5 levels in the normal and hard difficulties, and will be free, without advertising. I have been waiting for Apple to provide a fully sanctioned way to offer demo versions, but it hasn’t happened, so I’ve caved and released the ‘Lite’ version. It’s a way to try Chopper out, if you were not convinced by the screenshots. It could be a week or more before Chopper Lite is approved, but this should be the iTunes link when it shows up.

And last, but sure as hell not least, I am now working on Chopper 2. My priority is to release an iPhone version, but I do hope to release a Mac version at a later point, too. Chopper 2 is using a lot of the code and ideas from ‘Chopper Assault’, and will replace it.

I am being completely open about the development process, and the best place to keep up with Chopper 2 as it progresses (and voice your opinion) is by following the @chopper_2 twitter feed. A couple of very early screenshots are available – and more will be added – in the Chopper 2 flickr set.

As a side note, there will not be a Windows version of Chopper 2. Chopper Assault was compiling for Windows, but it was written in C++ with Windows in mind. I am now firmly addicted to Objective C/Cocoa/OpenGL/Apple hardware, and have no interest in doing the huge amount of work porting to a language/API/system I have little knowledge of, for a platform with such high piracy and such (rightly so) low trust in shareware. So sorry, Windows folk. Chopper is not heading your way.