The Magic App Bundle is here, plus an update on updates

The Magic App Bundle
The Magic App Bundle

One of the new things to come with iOS 8 is the App Bundle—a way for developers like Magic App Factory to bundle a group of apps and offer them at a discounted price. We’ve been experimenting with a number of bundles, but by far the best value is the Magic App Bundle which lets you get Reverser, Flow, SuperSlo, Superburst, and SnapStill at a huge discount.

Plus, if you’ve already paid for any of the apps, you get a pro-rated credit (calculated by the App Store), so the price is even lower to complete your bundle. If you don’t want the full meal deal, there are some mini bundles available, but you can’t go wrong with the Magic App Bundle.

In other news, iOS 8-friendly versions of SnapStill, Reverser Cam, and SuperSlo are now on the store. We’ve got a new version of Superburst just about ready, but it needs a little more QA before we’re ready to release it. There’s also a new version of Flow coming which has some terrific enhancements—it’s not only faster and more stable, but it’s easier to tell when you’re changing speeds. (Update: It’s finally here.) Finally, we’re preparing to release new versions of Reverser and SnapStill that will let you reverse and snap videos without ever leaving the Photos app. Those versions are currently under review by Apple, and if all goes well they should be released in about a week. We haven’t forgotten about Supercut, though it’s going to take a little longer to finish up the iOS 8 updates for that app.

iOS 8 updates on the way

Every Magic App Factory app has been updated to take advantage of iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices—it will take up to a couple of weeks for the updates to be released because they need to go through the app review process, but they’re coming.

One unfortunate development that I’ve noticed in crash reports is that 32-bit devices on iOS 8 (iPhone 5c and earlier + iPad 4 and earlier) have been intermittently crashing when loading the Camera Roll. Fortunately, this only happens sometimes, but it appears to be related to the changes in how the Photo Library is handled on iOS 8—these crashes never happened on iOS 7. The good news is that Apple has developed an entirely new framework for accessing the Photo Library in iOS 8 and all of the updated apps use that framework, which should resolve the issue.

In addition to iOS 8 compatibility, these updates bring some cool new features and enhancements of existing features, especially for SuperSlo and SnapStill.

For SuperSlo, the iPad will be supported. You’ll also be able to record in 60 FPS on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and you’ll be able to choose whether or not to enable cinematic stabilization. You can also choose how SuperSlo handles audio pitch—whether you want classic slow-mo “growl” or if you want to keep the pitch constant, so slower scenes don’t sound deeper. In addition, when you save a video you’ll be able to choose between lossless variable framerate output, which is recommended in most cases (better quality and faster output), or 30 FPS fixed output, which is helpful for compatibility in some cases.

For SnapStill, there’s a subtle but incredibly helpful improvement in gesture handling while you’re snapping. Two benefits: First, SnapStill does a better job of knowing whether you’re trying to hide the top bar or not so you won’t have that annoying effect where you’re trying to scrub to a frame but instead of getting the frame you want, you end up moving the suggestions bar. Second, it’s easier to get absolute precision on the frame you want. Also, the update fixes a couple of bugs that you probably didn’t notice, but which will result in more efficient operation on your device.

There aren’t any major changes to the other apps, but aside from taking advantage of iOS 8 and the new larger iPhone screen sizes, there are a bunch of little bug fixes that should help you get more out of them.

One last thing of note, well-timed for iOS 8—the other day, Magic App Factory hit 800,000 downloads (excluding updates, of course). Thanks for your support!

Introducing Flow – Slow Motion Camera

320We’ve got a new camera app for all you slow-motion video buffs: It’s called Flow – Slow Motion Camera and it lets you record directly to slow motion—no editing required.

You can switch speed as you go—slide while recording to choose slow, fast, or normal speed—and when you’re done, Flow takes care of the rest, saving directly to Photos.

Here’s a (simulated!) screenshot to so you can see how Flow works:

flowskater

Just slide the speed controls to change speeds, and Flow automatically exports a video exactly as you recorded it.

If you’re a video geek, you’ll be excited to know that by default, Flow exports your video using variable frame rate encoding, so your final video is truly lossless. You can enable a compatibility mode with fixed frame rate 30 FPS output for working with legacy video apps. You can also choose the audio time pitch algorithm to enable or disable pitch correction—basically that lets you go with the traditional slow-mo growl, or to try to keep pitch constant.

Please send your feedback along on the app—it’s a different way of looking at slo-mo and there are a lot of different directions it can be taken.

Flow is a universal app and is available now for $1.99.

Over 700,000 (and counting)

Another day, another milestone for our little software company: We’ve now had more than 700,000 unique downloads of Magic App Factory software through the App Store (excluding updates and redownloads, of course—the number is more like 2 million if you were to include them as well).

Since July 1, our two most popular titles are SuperSlo and Reverser—between them, they’ve been downloaded nearly 200,000 times—but SnapStill and Superburst Camera don’t lag far behind. Supercut Video Toolbox is a different story—it’s a great app, but it’s a little more complicated to position it correctly in the App Store so that people can find it, but I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about that in the not-too-distant future.

600,000! (And an appearance in an App Store Top Ten list.)

Yesterday was another milestone of sorts: The 600,000th copy of Magic App Factory software was downloaded on the iOS App Store. Magic App Factory’s first download was 16 months ago in April, 2013 and half of them have now come in the past 3 months.

The app driving the latest round of downloads is SuperSlo, which went free a couple of days ago and on Saturday morning reached the #10 position in the Photo & Video category of the U.S. App Store.  My current plan is to return it to being a paid app starting on Monday at midnight, but that’s not written in stone, though if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you’ll have at least until then to get it free.

SuperSlo 1.0.3 update

Today we released a (mostly) minor update to SuperSlo—it removes the watermark as an in-app purchase option as we are currently offering SuperSlo as a paid app, delivers a bunch of small bug fixes and performance improvements, and also adds an experimental feature that is pretty exciting—lossless variable framerate export. For now, you can only enable that feature in the settings app, but if all goes well, it will be the default export mechanism. The advantage is that by losslessly exporting the video, the end result is better quality and much faster export times. The challenge has been with audio and speed changes—the resulting files play fine in certain apps, but not in the Photos Library. But 1.0.3 takes an approach to lossless encoding that should avoid that problem. If it works as expected, in 1.0.4 or 1.1, we’ll make it the default way to export videos.

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