Friday, December 14, 2018

Purple is new trend?

Some days are double the fun. Today started with two purple dots on my home screen.

Case #1 - Malindo Air, Malaysian Airline app. I have this app only because of the professional purposes (because i have all possible airline apps in the world:). App seems like not changed for me, so let's dive into release notes.

Seems yet, that there are many new features in this major release of version 4.0:

1. Multicity Booking
2. Flight Status
3. Stored cards
4. Malindo Miles login to Profile
5. Manage Booking - View itinerary, Purchase Ancillaries, update pax details

No mention of changes in branding or icon in release notes nor anywhere else, including airline official newsfeed.

Case #2. Peak is brain training app.

Release notes of version 4.3 are following:
Thank you for updating! We are always working hard to improve performance at Peak. In this new update we have squashed bugs and generally tidied things up to make your Peak experience even better.
If you enjoy using Peak, please rate us and review us. It really helps other users find our app. If you have any comments or questions, please email We love to hear what you think!

Should we think, it's better now, because it's purple? Is this change part of the brain game? For me it's easy to remember, how did the icon look before. What about the rest of the customers?

I think, the both cases are good examples of everything this blog is all about - the developers make changes in the outlook of the app just like that, without any good reason or the story behind. At least me as a user/customer have not found any evidence so far, that app-community even tries to explain, why they do changes they do. Seems like the changes are done just "because we can".

So stay tuned. There is more to come. I have small backlog of apps waiting and i'm sure, i'll have more surprises every week. 

Here is little reminder, how both apps looked before:

Monday, December 10, 2018

Black mess - App in the Air

On December 5th i found a intruder from my light sea green folder. What is this black mess in here?

App in the Air is handy, if your preferred transportation method is flying. I'm quite new to the app and it's not in my everyday app list. App is supposed to be "your personal flight assistant" and it does nice animations of your 18'000 miles trips around the globe, you can share in social media to make all your friends jealous.

But since i'm not at the gold or platinum level of any frequent flyer program at the moment, i have to turn to release notes to see, what changed with this release.
Seems, that my app updated a little late, since there was release on November 29th. Version 7.4.6 was released and it contained following updates:

7.4.6 Nov 29, 2018
In the latest 7.4.6 version you can now change app language in the settings!

- New design and colors
- Updated flight feed (new animation and improved airport widget)
- Updated Arabic localization

So, there was new functionality, language can be changed now and new locations were added. But what was wrong with the previous design?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Polar Flow - black is new white

On November 29th, my black apps folder looked like this. Someone at Polar product team had decided to change the design completely - from black to white. Since Flow is not one of my everyday apps, i couldn't immediately say, if there was some changes in the product itself related to facelift or not. I opened the app and the functionality looked exactly the same for me, as it was before.
Polar confirmed my gut feeling - there is no change in the app functionality. Release 4.0.0 included only 2 changes - new app icon and bug fixes. Is this enough for major release of version 4? Last Polar Flow version that introduced some new functionality is from September 20th version 3.7.8. All later updates are only fixing bugs or updates related to app crash problems.

Just for the record, i'm happy Polar user since S520 model. I have had RS800, V800 and many software products, including Polar Personaltrainer and Polar Precision Performance.

Final verdict.

Answer to Big Questions - it's only app icon change, no other major changes made.

Hastag iPhoneScreenMonk

What is this blog about?

There are 2 critical components in #iPhoneScreenMonk - iPhone screen and Monk. Let's start from beginning.

According to Wikipedia was Monk an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series. Adrian Monk was a detective for the San Francisco Police Department until his wife, Trudy, was killed by a car bomb in a parking garage. He believes that Trudy's death was part of a larger conspiracy that she had uncovered during her time as a journalist.

Important attribute of Monk is his OCD and numerous compulsive habits and a number of phobias compound his situation, such as his fear of germs. Monk is afraid of 312 things, including milk, ladybugs, harmonicas, heights, asymmetry, enclosed spaces, foods touching on his plate, messes, and risk.

Now we know a little bit about the Monk part. Then there is an iPhone screen, that is mess out of the box. I don't mean, the device itself is mess. I like it a lot and i don't even consider changing the platform. But there is no zen, if you look at the screen. The applications are not organised and it looks little bit like a mess. Isn't it?

 I'm not exactly like a Monk, but i don't want my everyday primary device screen look like this. So, what can you do about it? You can remove the mess and take the clutter out of the screen by organising the applications to the folders according to the colour - light yellow apps to one and deep yellow to the other. Like this:

Problem solved? Not too fast.

There is so called "third party" in this formula - app developers. Time to time they have money to hire someone called designer, who is stepping in and kicking immediately off his or her first project - total redesign of the product. Everything that was black in previous version, is going now to be white. Because we can.

Normally users wouldn't notice. You open your communicators folder and in a split second you'll still intuitively klick on the right icon. But iPhone Screen Monks will catch the designers immediately. Exhibit A to proof my case:

So, this blog is rendezvous of the Monks with iPhones. But there is more.

Big Questions.

You probably think now - what a big deal. And you are right. It's not a big deal. I can fit this red and white app to new folder dedicated for "red dot on the white background" apps and forget about it. And as i already said - most of the users would not see the difference anyway.

Therefore Big Question no. 1 naturally is - if there is no difference, why to change the icon in the first place? Maybe it's not just the icon? Maybe these changes are related to big releases and there is so much more?

That leads us to Big Question no. 2 - what changes besides the icon? Is new functionality added or any major changes done at the same time they change the icon?

This is what we want to find out here. From release notes and from public sources, news, corporate blogs, social media etc.

And this is not survey across all App Store and millions of apps. I have currently 366 apps in my iPhone and i blog about these. If you have noticed some changes in your app icons lately, let me know and we'll find out together, what are the answers to Big Questions.

If you are inspired about the #iPhoneScreenMonk idea, please tag us in social media. Thank You for joining the Monks!

Purple is new trend?

Some days are double the fun. Today started with two purple dots on my home screen. Case #1 - Malindo Air, Malaysian Airline app. I hav...