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Knots 3D: Amazon Free App of the Day
Started by dvboren Jul 18 2012 01:37 AM

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#1

dvboren

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Knots 3D is being featured as Amazon's Free App of the Day (FAD)! If you have an Android device or a Kindle Fire, this is your chance to get a pretty cool app for free!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00701L5XS?ie=UTF8&ref=mas_faad

This is the full 70+ knot version that is normally $1.99.

Sorry for the short notice, Amazon was originally going to do this promotion tomorrow but bumped it up a day.

As always, any kind reviews and/or stars would be much appreciated!

Thanks! -Dave
uid: 17130 topic_id: 28761 reply_id: 328761


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#2

peach pellen

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peach pellen
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Huge congrats Dave, that's just awesome!
uid: 52491 topic_id: 28761 reply_id: 116051


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#3

aidanmack

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Nice app Dave !
... actually went to the trouble of finding me some rope at home so I could play boy scout for a bit.
Works great on my htc desire hd by the way.

one question though... how did you manage to make use of "toast notifications" in your app? I caunt find any corona api methods for this?

Thanks
Aidan
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#4

jfb

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I just followed the link and it seems reviewers are all complaining about spyware. A lot are saying "I'd give it 5 stars but because of spyware I'm giving it 1 star". I know Corona apps generate analytics, perhaps these users are confusing this for spyware? It's a serious issue if Corona's analytics are scaring off users like this. How does these (unusually knowledgeable) reviewers know about this stuff anyway?

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#5

gtt

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Hey Dave, Cool app, cheers for the FAD promotion, it's awesome.

I also followed the link and saw the amount of 1 star reviews because of permissions that are basically auto-on in corona.

I would like to point out, we have had several FAD promotions on Amazon, and we received very similar reviews. the fact that corona builds with auto flurry, auto OpenFeint hurts this kind of promotions.

We decided to remove all those and since then we usually ship with EXTERNAL STORAGE permission only. we use multitool to adjust the manifest for that.

jfb - it's pretty easy to take a built apk and decompile it using multitool (windows machine only if I remember correctly), then you can check the manifest.xml and see what's there..

I hope this helps some..

Gury
Remarkable Games
uid: 80469 topic_id: 28761 reply_id: 116083


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#6

dvboren

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Aidan,

I'm not using "toast notifications". What (and where) are you seeing that leads you to think that I was?
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#7

dvboren

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Thanks Gury. I had seen some previous FADs get slammed due to these libraries being included so I was expecting some of the negative reviews. Some of the vitriol and hate directed towards me personally is amazing. I am frustrated with Corona that these unneeded libraries and permissions are added by default and cannot "easily" be removed. I am doubly frustrated that this has been discussed on these forums for at least a year and nothing has been done to address it. This is a big deal. I totally understand where the users are coming from. This is a black eye on my app and thus a black eye for Corona. You'd think they would want to fix this. Like you said, many of the reviews said they would have given the app 5 stars rather than one, save for the "spyware".

Last night after reading the reviews and feeling a bit beat-up I went and researched alternative frameworks. I would just as soon stay with Corona but this has got me considering a change.

I have a Mac but I'll look into the tool you suggested. If I remove just the offending entries (permissions and libraries) from the manifest, is that enough? Or do I need to remove the actual libraries themselves from the apk?
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#8

aidanmack

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Im sure at some point your app gives a tip as to how you can zoom in. Its just fades quickly on to the screen for a bit and then fades out. Its stopped doing it now. But it looks like a toast notification.
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#9

jfb

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@gury

Thanks for your advice re multitool. There are also some setting in build.settings etc. Do these not work? Any idea why people are getting this problem only on Amazon? I assume its exactly the same .apk so perhaps Amazon has a bunch of influential loudmouths who enjoy trolling...? (I'm sure none of these tub thumpers would recognize genuine spyware)
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#10

jfb

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@dvboren

I've been checking the Free App of the Day section for a few days and reviews are indeed dominated by a couple of hardcore trolls who think it their mission in life to mark down every single app. So if it's any consolation you are not alone. Almost every app gets blasted every single day and not because of the nature of the app but because of the agenda these guys have. For instance they hate in app purchases and thing that by giving every such app 1-star (without even trying it) they'll bring this system to it's knees. Unfortunately, amazon's system of flagging most helpful review and top reviewers gives these propeller heads undue influence. Amazon needs to sort out this mess.

But this is not an excuse for Corona. Clearly some people go crazy over permissions and Corona needs to put a "no analytics" option in Android builds. There have been so many threads flagging this problem as "show stopper" and yet no reply from Corona staff?
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#11

SegaBoy

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100% agree with jfb on this - there's some morons on Amazon that get in a whoop about Spyware, without actually knowing anything about it.

However... it is obviously an issue that needs discussing, because evidently there are a lot of people who have this opinion. I guess in an ideal world, a paid-app would allow us to completely disable all offending 3rd party libraries - regardless of the fact that they're not actually the end of the world that some Amazon users seem to think they are.

I must admit the whole Android market really puts me off releasing apps on that platform; add in the whole "collect tax" fiasco and you have to wonder whether it really is worth the hassle for some developers. But that's a bigger issue for Google to address.

Hopefully one of the Corona people will take a look at this thread and we can have a discussion on this matter - developers really don't want this type of feedback, regardless of whether it's justified or not. dvboren has created a great app and users aren't even considering that, just spouting some misinformed crap about something that he has no control over whatsoever.
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#12

gtt

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Hey all, an important update on the subject...

The solution I proposed earlier has become obsolete in Jelly Bean.

If you remove INTERNET_PERMISSION using a 3rd party tool, it seems Corona will keep trying to transmit information over the internet.
Since Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) when an app tries to do something it has no permission for, there is a hard exception and Corona crashes!!! It seems even when it worked what happened behind the scenes was, corona tried to send information and it was silently ignored by the os if the app had no permission. anyway this stops working and crashes on 4.1

I wrote a different post in here you can check it out at: http://developer.coronalabs.com/forum/2012/07/22/very-disturbing-hidden-network-traffic-corona-sdk-breaks-jellybean

Please share your thoughts on this, I think, all in all, this is much more important than any other feature we are waiting for... We cannot resolve this on our own.

-Gury

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#13

peach pellen

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@SegaBoy - we are aware of this and I posted a few details in this thread; http://developer.coronalabs.com/forum/2012/04/22/default-android-permissions#comment-116235 we're looking at how we can do something about this without creating more issues in the process.

@Gury - I have passed on your thread to the relevant members of the team (I do not personally work with this kind of thing) so hopefully you should get a response ASAP.
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#14

SegaBoy

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Hey Peach - I had no doubt that the powers that be are taking into consideration all the concerns Corona developers have.

I would say one thing though - since Carlos left it seems the lines of communications between the uber-powers and us mere developers have dropped off somewhat.

I'm presuming the team are hard at work on things at the moment, as it seems we don't see too may hanging out in the forum or keeping the daily build page updated :) So I wouldn't want to complain, just a little constructive feedback. You always do your best to keep those lines open, but I got to admit I miss Carlos chipping in with a cryptic clue every now and then :)
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#15

gtt

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@Peach, thanks! that's great news.
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#16

dvboren

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One negative commenter mentioned an app named "Addons Detector" that identifies bundled libraries and lists them out.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.denper.addonsdetector

He posted a screenshot for the ones found in my app.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Xws9gciLL.png

Some of the listed ones are (I use none of them):
AdKnowledge
InMobi
Inneractive
Flurry
OpenFeint
Papaya Social
Zong (Super Rewards?)

It also shows the permissions:
INTERNET
READ_PHONE_STATE
ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE

This guy was one of the first to comment and then I think a lot of the others just jumped on the anti-spyware bandwagon. Simply the accusation of "spyware" is kind of like calling someone "racist" or "anti-dentite"! It effectively ends the conversation and there isn't much you can say to counter it or change people's minds.

I am on build 704b since it offers me access to some of the older iOS versions and devices. I know some of the above libraries have been removed since that build but I think others may have been added. Whatever the case, we need to be able to omit this stuff if we don't need it.

@jfb I think the reason this happens more on Amazon is that the FAD is a highly visible target for trolls. Also, just the sheer number of downloads (more downloads in an hour than the last 6 months combined) means you are gonna get more bad reviews.
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#17

gtt

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Just to update on our case, I feel really bad for bashing Corona like that :(

It seems in our case a library we used was causing a http request we were not aware of (crawlspaceLib calls a function called checkIfInternet that calls google.com)

I feel like I behaved worse than those 1 star amazon trolls :(

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#18

peach pellen

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@SegaBoy - Indeed, the team is very, very busy and everyone is working incredibly hard, as a result there are less people around the forum. A lot of people miss him, myself included - he was very good with communication, no doubt.

@gtt - I'm glad to hear you managed to figure this out, don't beat yourself up over it, clearly it was a very stressful issue and you actually came and posted that you'd figured it and it was a user error; a lot of people wouldn't do that. Good for you!

Peach :)

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#19

dvboren

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I thought I'd post an update to this post to help out others trying to remove these libs and permissions. Following the instructions Darren posted on his blog, I was able to remove both the permissions and 3rd party libraries and it wasn't as difficult as I had expected (though still a hassle).

http://www.ludicroussoftware.com/blog/2012/05/08/remove-unused-libraries-from-corona-apps/

Once the libraries were removed, the reviews on Amazon have been great. Unfortunately, only five of the 1 and 2 star reviews from FAOTD have been updated to 5. The damage has been done and it may take some time to bring the current 3.5 star rating up to the 4.5+ as found on the other three app stores.

For those that are curious, the FAOTD resulted in 115k downloads of Knots 3D. It is pretty cool to say your app was the #1 downloaded app on Amazon -- even if it was only for a day. :) Unfortunately, due to the negative reviews due to the third party libs, sales were worse after the FAOTD, ie half of what they were prior to the promotion. A couple of weeks ago I released a new version with the permissions and libs removed . I also actively commented on the negative reviews explaining the "spyware" concerns had been addressed. Sales are now back to where they were from before the FAOTD and may even be slightly better.

FWIW -Dave
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