Thursday, March 12, 2009

Releases

We're about to roll out a set of updates to GasBag and GasBag Pro, so I wanted to briefly fill you in on what to expect, and provide some rationale for the process we're going to use to get these releases into your hands.

First up, what's changing: this is primarily a bugfix release, intended to target two issues that have been frustrating users since the 2.0 release: we call them "the Sydney bug", and "the price update bug". The "Sydney bug" is where the app will unpredictably jump over to Sydney, Australia, without any really good reason to do so. This is very frustrating except for a very small percentage of our users who also happen to be at that location* :). The "price update bug" is an issue we inadvertently introduced in the switch over to the new map technology. In short, when you enter a new price, that update isn't reflected on the map when you go back to it. The prices are getting to our server just fine, but no-one has any way to know that.

We're still debating whether to add a couple of small pieces of functionality, but if we do include them, we'll be sure to let you know. We're hoping that the new release will be out late next week, but as always we're subject to Apple's approval process, so we can't give any guarantees.

But the more important part of this release is that we're experimenting with a new, staged release cycle. The idea is that we're going to roll these new features into the free version of GasBag, and assuming that all goes well, we'll fold them into Pro a little while later. If it doesn't go so well, we'll repeat the process until we get it right. Why? Well, we've had a lot of feedback about our apps, on everything from our icon to our database, but nothing angers people more than unstable software (and rightfully so). Now don't get us wrong, this release has been through the same testing process that all our software goes through, and we think it's solid, but it's also true that every time we've done that, you guys have managed to find something we didn't think to test for. While we hugely value all our users, we feel that it is fair that people who have actually put down hard-earned cash get the benefit of this "crowd-testing". Ultimately, this is a bugfix release, so we're hoping that no-one's going to be missing out on anything too critical, and we're only talking about a week or two.

So if you're on GasBag Free, look forward to an update in the next week or so. If you're on Pro, you'll get the update as soon as we can manage, and you can be sure that it's ready to rock when it hits your phone.

Let us know what you think of the new release process in the comments -- we're always trying to do the right thing by our users. Let us know how we're doing.

James -- Co-founder and CTO.

[*] as it happens, I live quite close to the area where "the Sydney bug" dropped you, so for a long time I wouldn't believe the rest of the team that there was anything wrong!

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