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Fleetway Sonic the Comic iOS App - Beta Testers Wanted

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Twimfy, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Twimfy


    Sonic the Comic stuff
    MODS - Please move this if not in the right forum/inappropriate.

    Many years ago I put together a Fleetway Sonic the Comic app (video of it on YouTube:
    [media][/media] ) it wasn't fit for distribution as at the time I was relatively inexperienced and I embedded all of the comics into the app which made it too large to share.

    While I still have the code, it's sadly unbuildable as the iOS SDK has moved on so much since then.

    So this week I rebuilt it from scratch using offshoots from a commercial project I worked on a while back. The app now loads issues from a Server which can be downloaded and stored on an individual basis.

    Although I'm fairly confident I can get it polished up on my own, I'd love to invite people to try it out and give feedback. I'm not quite sure what my end goal is here but I'm hugely passionate about STC having bought the first issue on the day it came out when I was 8 and having gone on to collect every issue and related publication since.

    Maybe with enough attention, it could become a general release, although I have contacted Sega a few times with various ideas regarding STC, none have gained traction, an app might make them sit up and listen.

    In order to test the app, you'll need to be willing to provide me with the email you use as your Apple ID and your first name (Apple requires a surname but I'll make it up if you don't feel comfortable).* The app will then be distributed to you via email and then Apple's own TestFlight app (it's really straightforward to setup, the email explains everything). Each build has a use time of 90 days before expiring and uninstalling, however assuming I keep uploading builds you should be able to use it indefinitely.

    There are a few issues with the app that I am aware of and will be fixed:

    • Only legacy issues are available, I have not approached the new STC producers about including their comics but I'm very interested in doing so.
    • The design of the app is very bland, this will change over time so look out for updates.
    • There is a 'restore purchases' button in the menu, this is a leftover from an old project and needs to be removed, there's no purchasing involved.
    • Text, titles and descriptions are a bit broken/messy. The XML file which controls the whole backend is HUUUGE and I've only got so far as entering dates and issue numbers so far. In time I will fix the text sizes, spacing and start entering descriptions.
    • The white space at the top of the app is for a slider menu which I'm hoping one day will switch between the legacy and the new comics. At the moment tapping in this area will take you to this post in a browser.
    • The quality of the comics isn't great. I have my own personal scans which are slightly higher quality but I haven't gotten around to compressing them yet for upload. The scans provided are old and from some site, I came across years ago.
    • The PDF reader is the default Apple one. I intend to replace this with a better library I have but haven't got around to it. It needs to be done as I'm not happy having the share sheet accessible at the moment.
    If you'd like to get involved please PM me with your name and Apple ID and I'll put you on the distribution list at some point on the same day (although I am at a wedding on the 4th and 5th of August so expect delays). It works on iPad, iPhone or iTouch on iOS 9 or greater.

    My only request is that people don't go mad on downloading and deleting and then re-downloading issues as Amazon S3 costs can escalate quickly and I'm not a rich man (if anyone is interested in donating to help me tick the servers over, it'd be much appreciated).

    Please direct any feedback, bugs or suggestions to this forum post. At the moment I'm mainly on the lookout for problems with issue numbers, covers and pdf mismatches. Everything else I expect to work ok.

    *I appreciate this may make people uneasy but it's the only way it works. Your email will be stored securely in my developer account which is protected with two-factor authentication. As far as running the app on your device, the only information I can see is how many times you've used the app and how many times it's crashed. I get no analytics about your device or any other behaviour. I'll delete your email address immediately if requested and it'll never be used for anything else. For a bit of extra peace of mind you can find me on Twitter: @tim_hugall or contact me personally at tim.hugall(at)me(dot)com