I'm interested in hearing about the experience others have had with the Mac app store. I've been giving away promo codes, and that seems to have helped sales by word-of-mouth. Although the app appeared on the daily "Top Paid" and "Top Grossing" chart for its category, that happened with only low double-digit purchase counts. It seems there are fewer people using Mac app store than the iOS store.
Feedback is welcome, and I still have a few free codes left if anyone would like to try it without buying. I set the price point at $5 because it covers my costs (AWS mostly), it's less than an art museum admission, and it is about the same as a Starbucks coffee (hopefully within impulse range for many).
I know it's art but everyone else just sees nudity.
As a random suggestion I feel like if your 'WHY' is something like to "effortlessly inspire with great art during normal computer use" rather than just focussing on an app that changes your desktop background. I like your collaborative filtering idea, and if you're taking feature requests a screensaver/multiplatform port would be nice (e.g. if every time I open my phone the lockscreen background is a different work of art its a pretty effortless way to get more exposure) ;)
I'll have to learn more about what it would take to make a screensaver. Unfortunately the iOS APIs do not seem to expose any programmatic way to change the background or lock screen (I'd love it on my phone too!).
I did something similar as a screensaver for the Mac, but it's some hack based on Webkit, it's stored locally and the range of artists is more limited.
I'd love if Apple allowed this in iOS, but I'm not holding my breath
Great job, btw
Also, MANY THANKS to those who have reported bugs! In my small test group things were working fine, but as with any manufactured good, once you have enough instances of something problems appear at so many sigma. I am investigating the bugs and working to fix them. Thank you for your support and patience. As a solo dev it really means a lot. I am also working to improve filter selection and am tidying up the UI a bit.
Did you come across any good guides for making Swift Apps in OS X?
If not, might I make it a feature request?
Each of the network interfaces have different identifiers and you can get info about them.
Also maybe helpful, many of the apple BSD utilities have a `-C` and `-E` options to prevent binding to a cellular or "expensive" interfaces. For example, `netcat` has this, and is open sourced (part of Darwin), so you can poke around and see how they do it.
(By the way, just bought the app - happy to pay $5 for this.. Good luck!)
Just bought it and stumbled over a minor thing: UTF8 support for the artists name would be great (e.g. Albrecht Durer -> Albrecht Dürer).
Where are you pulling the art work from? Are you hosting the art on your own AWS account or pulling from some sort of art project guetenburg?
Once for having no other option, I glued together RSS feeds + deviant arts + rotate background from a folder... It worked quite well, but some unfiltered deviant art publications were upsetting me, plus a painful maintenance...
It's $5. For what is essentially an infinite supply of high resolution photos of art. $5.
Yes, I know that you are special and you can replicate this with Perl + LWP to crawl and fetch these images and a cron job to blahblahblah [snore]
Stop that. $5. Artwork. And it exists and works right now! You can buy it with 1 click and have virtually unlimited art.
I honestly cannot relate to people who would so undervalue their time. For a Mac app. Honestly I wish I could pay the OP twice.
How many things out there do you blow $1 on and never think about it? Is it worth your time to claw back that type of money?
For this one, specifically, I'm not sure if I want my wallpapers to change all the time. Maybe it would have network issues. Maybe it would show ads. Maybe it has something malicious in the code. Or maybe changing wallpapers would sometimes make it hard for you to see the icons on your desktop.
Do you really want to pay for something with all of these uncertainties? Besides, writing a python script that would do the same might take half an hour, but it would be fun and you would know exactly what it's doing. This is in contrast to making coffee, which - at least for me - is anything but.
a) I probably won't pay to evaluate it. It seems like the kind of app that would be perfect for a cut-down trial version.
b) I wonder how many people - especially this audience - really care about what's on their desktop. I know I barely ever see mine, because I run all windows maximised (or tiled). It's nice to have a good looking image for the brief period of startup/shutdown time during which I can actually see it, and I plump for the Mountain Lion-era space image because I think it's a lot more attractive than the recent mavericks/yosemite equivalents. But anything more, in my book, is overkill.
How many people care about art on their desktop? I don't know either! Seeing more art can only be a good thing. It's a discovery tool for me. I've chanced my Mission Control preferences so I can quickly show the desktop by moving my mouse cursor to the lower left hot corner of my screen.
I do. The duller, the better. Uniform gray is my preferred background (not too bright red on production systems or when logged in as administrator).
Pictures I liked had 'dull' parts in regions where icons tend to show up. An option to reduce (color) contrast would be a nice feature, especially if it were to have some smarts depending on the picture and what icons are on the desktop.
Must say, Muzei is far more in the spirit of open art than Artful. There's a big community supporting the project with additional plugins, sources, etc.
Couple minor, opinionated suggestions:
A) Can we get just a little more information about the piece without having to click? Something like a little badge in the corner with artist, style and year.
B) A settings window without an X is slightly disconcerting. Looking for the red X was my first instinct when trying to back out without committing changes.
Edit: I saw your comment about no iOS API's for setting background and lock screen. That doesn't mean there isn't a benefit in letting the user choose their own from your curated collection. Also look into taking advantage of second screen devices. An app could make a gallery out of an Apple TV or Chromecast.
Bug: on the initial state it looks like everything is included (as it should be). However when I select Styles > Kinetic art, press 'change art now', I get the error message 'No high resolution art found for these filters!'.
Okay, so I'll just select every 'Style' with cmd+A. Same error. Okay, maybe I need to select every item in every filter type so I cmd+A them all. Same error.
Now how do I return the app back to its default state of no filters set? And how do I properly set a single filter?
It seems like checkboxes would be much better for usability. It's certainly a challenge though as you have 100s of artists all available to filter by.
Edit : I see you already do this in the menubar. :)
I'm on Windows though, and currently very happy about Amazing Lock Screen, which takes the daily photo from Bing.com and puts it on your lock screen. If anyone knows a similar app but for public domain art, I'd be very interested.
But then I've bought a 21:9 display and my collection of National Geographics HD wallpapers stopped looking good (I assume Artful would be the same) - now I just stare at Apple's Aqua Blue background from 10.4 again.
I think that even if the original art has no copyright restrictions, the reproductions of it can have some.
You can get a copyright in any creative changes or additions you make to a public domain artwork--the things that you are the author of.
It is sometimes a violation of Internet norms to fail to give credit to someone who has originally scanned something, but this is not copyright.
I currently use and love Momentum - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/momentum/laookkfkn...
-Click 'Next artwork' cycles through 2-3 of the same painting
-Selecting every single 'Technique' throws a 'No high resolution artwork found in those filters'.
For a $5 app this is not good. I've contacted Apple Support for a refund. Sorry to be harsh, but shame on you for selling software that was clearly not tested.
-I just tested it and selecting all techniques does work. Perhaps you had other filters selected that narrowed the return set too much? Try making your filter selections more broad.
What is your specific configuration?
Edit: nevermind, problem came back after a few "Change art now" button presses, even after toggling all the checkboxes in the top-left.
"This appears to be a OSX/Yosemite bug"... I have to wonder. If you didn't test your OSX app on the latest version of OSX... Did you even test it at all?
I had no other filters selected, only 100% of the techniques...
And it is certainly not connecting to any nytimes url. All art is stored on S3, and the only server it talks to should be artfulmac.com Maybe your computer is compromised?
Where did the photos come from? Who owns them? The art is public domain but the photos themselves may be copyrighted.
I would buy it after learning this.
In short, slavish reproduction is copying, not creation of original works.
Exceptions have been made under "sweat of the brow" arguments when museums, for example, make extremely high quality reproductions (or UV images or similar where there is a lot of technical effort involved). I don't really buy the argument, but it doesn't stand here as we're talking relatively low grade copies for small screens.
* For the USA case: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/museum-paintings...
* This museums copyright group tries to down-play Bridgeman somewhat, http://museumscopyright.org.uk/resources/articles/bridgeman/.
* A UK article circa 1996, http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/photographing-artwo....
Also seems to be bugged when clicking the "Next artwork" menu item - keeps on showing the same image every other time, although the title does change to something random.
Second, I'm seeing this bug and yes, in the Desktop & Screen Saver settings, the thumbnail is correct (you can see what it should be by opening the menu bar dropdown and clicking the title of the piece which will open it in the browser straight from s3).
Edit: tried reboot, the app tried to autostart but crashed. Started it manually, it kept crashing a few times. It is now running but still showing a particular image on every other change, even automatic.
It's interesting that no matter how much one tests, bugs invariably appear for some percentage of users, given the configuration of the software and the environment of the machine. I liken it to manufacturing defects that present at so many sigma. It's because of feedback from users like you that things get better, so thanks for taking the time to comment!
Slightly off-topic, but this reminds me of what Electric Objects are trying to achieve: essentially, this same app, but hanging on your wall. The future of art consumption for the masses.
Insure that the art is not being resized out of it's original proportions. Just like how nobody want's to see a pan and scan movie anymore, make sure you aren't robbing the art of it's compositional power by changing it's dimensions.
Also as a visual artist myself, I have actually noticed in the past that having a piece of art as my wallpaper has helped me build a better understanding of a master's work through repeated exposure. I'm just brain storming here, but it would be cool if say over the course of a month I was shown 4 or 5 different pieces (I prefer a long exposure in order to allow my interpretation time to evolve and grow) and each of these pieces were related somehow. It could become a bit of a puzzle to figure out what the last work had in common with this weeks.
Will you be looking into tying this in with a screensaver? It would awesome for the office if it can pull up art into a screensaver.
Can we get a feature to favourite an artwork. And playback only favourites later.
Found a bug, sometime the artwork doesn't change, but a notification pops up. Could actually be a network delay!
First is nailing down subtle bugs that are appearing for a minority of people.
I'd love to see intelligent support for multiple monitors, and perhaps a nice way to avoid such black bars around the portrait-dimension pieces.
Landscape images resized to fit screens in portrait orientation look really bad.
If you have a mixed set of monitor orientations, would you prefer to have a different art piece on each one, suited to the respective orientation, or a piece that tries to fit both (restricting the art to near-square works)?
Not too sure where to start troubleshooting. Any ideas?
Would love the ability to add a folder of my own images, to mix it up a bit.
- Gray boxes around some controls, not around others
- Control layout. What's up with that sea of nothingness in the top right?
- No titles/labels for each odd grouping of controls
- I'm seeing horizontal scroll bars something in the tables, but the text isn't wide enough to need a scroll bar (Yosemite)
- OK button just kind of sitting in the middle?
- No cancel/revert function
- No standard window "close" button, just minimize or that weird "OK"
This is just a bad setting screen layout with really unpolished design. It looks like controls were just dragging and dropped in interface builder. I would suggest that you go and look at the settings dialogs other Mac apps like Mail, etc.
I think you already reuse as much UI cell as you can (wild guess)?
By using this method: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Cocoa/...
If nothing works, a bad solution but an efficient one could be to setup a "load more" or a "paging" UX.
You can go download all those images, and put them in a folder and have OSX rotate on the folder randomly.