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Hatch Day

It’s a big day for our Fugu and one to celebrate with our friends at Realmac Software… Today is the day we finally get to share it with the world! Here they are, pouncing into the App Store:

Pile of Fugu

Did you adopt? Come hangout with us today on the Hatch Facebook page or on @Hatch on Twitter. You’ll have to let us know what you think!

Heads Up!

A new kind of party game for your iPhone

So this one has been in the works for a while, and we’ve had to keep super quiet with the partners involved… but today, the cat is finally out of the bag, and we get to share our latest app with you!

Heads Up! is a new game for iPhone we’ve designed and developed for the Ellen Degeneres Show.

It’s a social game in the original sense of the word – a game to play when hanging out with friends, rather than “with friends”, which is a kind of experience we’d like to see a lot more in iPhone gaming. If you share that sentiment, you’ll like this one a lot.

Here’s Ellen announcing it on her show:

Sometimes everything lines up, and this was one of those cases. The Ellen Degeneres Show has been a fantastic creative partner, and we were particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to team up with talented friends Austin Sarner and Alexa Grafera on the project, which means Heads Up! is not only fun to play, but addictive to play with. It’s that nice, and we could not be prouder of how this one has turned out.

Now it’s your turn to try it out! Here it is on the App Store. Enjoy!

Hatch

Once upon a time, we just couldn’t shake a simple idea.

David and I felt strongly that the iPhone was the perfect home for a pet, and that nobody was tackling it with the attention and care the idea deserved… We knew we needed to find the right partners to make this dream a reality.

As it turned out, we shared a friend who connected with this vision: Dan Counsell of Realmac Software.

It was both an almost childishly simple idea and our most ambitious rabbit hole yet. Everything about it felt right, and after pitching him the project in more detail he was in.

From that point on things began to move. Dan recruited talented game developer Ted Bradley for the project and we embarked together, in secret, to create the first app that loves you back. We called it Project Hatch.

Through its ongoing development Team Hatch has grown to family size and we are now lucky to have talented engineers and friends Raphael Mun, Karl von Randow and Jay Meistrich helping us bring our pet to life. The app has a sound, thanks to master sound designer Emily Ridgeway, a beautiful soundtrack composed by Josh Mobley, an adorable creature voice provided by voice actress Jorjeana Marie, and a friendly guide in Max, voiced by Lisa Biggs. We are all pouring a lot of love into this app!

And today, we’re ready to share a sneak peek at what the team has been busy incubating.

Say hello to our little friend at HatchPet.com!

Egg-twitch

Clear: Now Mac Friendly

This spring, the Clear team started thinking a lot about the way we use our Macs, and how Clear might best fit into this very different platform.

As we dove into this new problem to solve with Dan and his crew at Realmac Software and Milen and Chris of Helftone, we learned that the puzzle unique to this platform is the many different ways people like to interact with their Macs, so we made sure the app was fast and friendly to use from many angles.

We chased questions like, “Why can’t new items simply appear as you type?” and “Why do we need to click things to select them, can we cut that unnecessary step?” to some interesting new places:

And now it’s finally here! Check it out directly on the Mac App Store! Remember, the $6.99 launch sale ends tomorrow night.

We look forward to your ideas on making it even cooler.

• Clear Mac launch post on Realmac Software
• Clear Product Page

A Peek At Clear Mac

Clear Mac with iCloud launches on the App Store next Thursday for $14.99. In the meantime, head over to the Clear product page and sign up if you’d like an email as soon as it’s out!

2012: The Year Scam Apps Killed the App Store

Drafting this one for 2014, because we like to write our blog posts a couple years early at Impending. Let’s hope I’ll never have to dig it up again.

As we’ve learned from Apple’s latest earnings call, App Store revenue growth for developers has begun to stall and slip behind device sales. We all saw this coming, with dozens of beloved indie studios closing shop or selling to larger companies after folding to the pressures of shrinking sales and vanishing profit margins this past year.

Considering the past couple years, rife with hundreds of scams, fraud apps, hoaxes and clones that have hit the top of the charts, it’s no surprise the atmosphere in 2014 among both App Store customers and app developers can be described as cynical.

Most significantly, what we once took for granted before 2012, the “impulse buy”, has largely evaporated. Consumer trust in apps is now completely broken, and even customer reviews can’t be trusted due to more and more elaborately sleazy services for hire to game the system. In this fallout, we have come to understand how important the impulse buy was in a market environment dominated by rock bottom pricing. Developers have raised app pricing to compensate, kicking into effect a feedback loop resulting in sustaining revenue (for now) but plummeting sales, reach and cultural relevance for popular apps.

Customers have also in turn begun to rely more and more heavily on existing giant brands, and are avoiding less known independent developers and studios, and apps that stray from the familiar. As a result innovation in the App Store is in a slow death spiral.

I remember early in 2012, which we can now recognize as the peak of an App Store bubble, when what felt like a utopia took a distinct left turn for the worse with the first wave of scams. Now that we’re stuck in this hole, the road to recovery, if it exists at all, will be painful and take years of education and pro-active improvements from Apple.

But I can’t help but imagine how things might’ve been different… Continue reading

Clear for Launch

Three months ago, my friend Dan Counsell at Realmac Software hit me up with a mockup for a goals-focused todo app he was tinkering on with his engineer friend Milen Dzhumerov. It was simple, and it looked different.

I was intrigued, then over the span of an hour chatting with Dan, became obsessed with a feverish vision that can only be described as “without buttons and chrome and extraneous features or distractions”. So David and I promptly became sucked into the project and carried away.

Fast forward to today, and I’m proud to announce that Clear, an Impending-infused take on todo lists, is finally available on the App Store!

With Clear, the mission was pretty simple. Get rid of the bullshit, and focus on easy, quick and flexible task entry and management. We looked at what was out there, and began by forgetting everything we saw.

Clear does not support recurring tasks, or scheduled appointments, due dates, tagging, searching, nested folders, or notes. We understand these things can be useful. But we contend they can also be distractions, microdecisions, and UI clutter that add up into just another form of procrastination.

What Clear does support is doing. Simply, rapidly, and in a satisfying way. Here’s how it works:

Our goal was not to one-up the myriad of more complicated and featured GTD solutions out there, but rather to improve on the pencil and notepad.

We’re curious to hear if you think we succeeded. Try it out and let us know what you think!

And be sure to check the announcement blog post on Realmac Software’s blog: Clear is Here

The Talk of the Town

The Internet reacts to Clear:

Clear IconThe interactive elements of clear are absolutely incredible… It’s actually ruined me for other list apps.
TheNextWeb

It’s about as minimalist as you can get, and seems to lack the usual task manager visual bric-a-brac, instead opting for an interesting set of gestures for navigation
The Verge

The truth is that the gestures Clear takes for granted are the same ones we’re all starting to take for granted with touchscreen interfaces… Sure, an ancient Greek might be momentarily perplexed by a modern doorknob if he were to be teleported into the 21st century. But that doesn’t mean no one should have ever invented doorknobs.
Fast Company Design

Realmac product manager Nik Fletcher gave Ars a preview of the app on the show floor… Because of the app’s simplicity, though, it didn’t take him more than about 30 seconds to show us the entire functionality. That actually speaks volumes about the app’s design—it gets out of your way so you can spend more time doing and less time making lists and sorting them.”
Ars Technica

While this isn’t a review, let’s just say that I wish every developer put this much time and attention into making apps that are intuitive and simple to use.
TUAW

The response has been absolutely incredible. More after the break!

Continue reading

The Future is Impending

Welcome to Impending, Inc., a new studio formed by Phill Ryu and David Lanham.

You probably don’t know of us by name, but there’s a chance you’re familiar with a product we’ve worked on in the past – MacHeist, The Heist, Classics and Twitterrific are our calling cards. We are crazy proud of them and especially proud of the millions of happy customers these products have served over the years.

But the two of us feel ready for something different. Despite some past success, we share an unshakable feeling that now is the time to take things to the next level.

So we formed a new studio. It’s called Impending, Inc. or Impending for short.

At Impending, we are going to tackle and wrangle into existence what we believe the near-future of apps should be, on our favorite devices.

We’re busy right now putting the finishing touches on our first creation with our friends Dan Counsell, who runs Realmac Software, and Milen Dzhumerov. It’s called Clear, and here’s a sneak peek:

Stay tuned by following us on twitter @impending, and thanks for stopping by!

- Phill & David