PassVerse.com – the end of active support and development

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PassVerse has been part of my life since I first sketched out the idea on a Virgin flight to Las Vegas in the summer of 2012.

It has grown and morphed over the intervening years, taught me lots and made me feel both despair and joy! Alas, all things must come to an end. I’ve been putting this decision off for the past couple of months, but the time has come to procrastinate no longer.

With today’s release of version 1.5.0, I’ll no longer be supporting or actively developing new features.

I have come to realise that  my interest and passion lies in writing code and solving technical problems. This is just who I am and acknowledging I have no interest in advertising, marketing, self promotion or networking is something I needed to do. These things are vital to building a business and simply hoping that technical brilliance will suffice, is just silly.

I have avoided this acknowledgment because I saw it as an one of failure or as something that would prevent me from ever trying again. I haven’t failed. PassVerse didn’t become a sustainable business, but if I’m honest, I never wanted it to. I never committed to it. I actually felt guilty that I wasn’t updating it more frequently. Once I’d admitted that stopping wasn’t the same as giving up, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

I feel that PassVerse still has a lot of potential. The website generates logs of organic traffic and with the Apple Watch supporting Passbook, I’m sure interest will grow after its release. Because of this, I’m going to sell PassVerse, lock, stock and barrel, to anyone interested in taking it forward. I’d rather see somebody take ownership of it rather than let it gather dust. If you’re interested, please drop me a line.

I’d like to end by saying I’m very grateful to all those who have purchased PassVerse and I hope you don’t feel like I have left you down.

From Barcode to Passbook

My prototype app based on the MakeMeAPass website is up and running. You simply select the card type, use the camera to scan the barcode and hey-presto, you’ll have a passbook pass to add.

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The usual issues still apply, such as some scanners being unable to scan barcodes on Passbook.

I’m planning to add simple location awareness too, once I get version 1.0 into the store. It will be available to download for 99p.

PassVerse is for sale

After many months of soul searching, I’ve decided to sell my PassVerse product.

I’ve been working on PassVerse for over two years and it has changed from a SaaS product to a standalone software product. I’ve learned an awful lot about selling software and I’ve some happy customers who use PassVerse within their own businesses. As I’m focused on my freelance work at this time (I need to get a mortgage!), I don’t have the necessary time to grow and support PassVerse. I’ve placed it up for Auction and you can check it out at https://flippa.com/3925348-passverse-over-8500-dollars-in-software-sales-since-nov-2013

If you’re interested in becoming the new owner of PassVerse and taking it forward, please check it out!

Put your Clubcard in your Passbook!

Earlier this week I was chatting with somebody on Twitter about how they had lots of barcodes that they’d like to get added into their Passbook on iOS6. Since Passbook doesn’t officially support 1 dimensional barcodes, this is a problem. Whilst thinking about the problem I came up with a simple alternative.

I humbly present http://makemeapass.azurewebsites.net

Rather than using the standard Passbook barcode location, I generate a new barcode and place it as an image directly into the pass. This gives you your Tesco ClubCard barcode, but within a Passbook pass. I went one step further and also allow you to select a particular Tesco store location. This means the pass will appear on your lock screen when you’re near this store!

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Check it out and give it a go. I’ve had success using this pass in Tesco, but others have reported problems. This is down to the type of scanner being used. Some of them just can’t read glass very well.

Please let me know in the comments section what you think and if you do try it, let me know if you have any success!

Tom

Building a Cineworld ticket using PassVerse.com

To demonstrate how simple the PassVerse pass designer is to use, I’d put together a small walkthrough of the Passbook designer that I have created. Whilst Cineworld don’t offer tickets in Passbook fashion, this video shows how you might build a pass.

A short walkthrough of making a cinema ticket with PassVerse.com

Here is the completed pass, visible on the phone. It’s not 100% perfect, but I think it demonstrates how useful Passbook could really be.

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If you’re interested in using Passbook to help your business, please get in touch – tomas@passverse.com

PassBook Designer for PassVerse

This weekend I’ve been working hard on my PassBook designer for PassVerse. So far, I’ve gotten the Coupon designer working and I’m pretty pleased with the results! You can compare my CSS based view on the left to the what is actually produced on the right. I have a few tweaks to make, but it’s about 90% of the way there!

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I’ll be posting a video of the designer in action once I’ve worked out a few bugs in the image management.

PassVerse.com allows businesses to create and manage Passes for Apple’s Passbook. If you want to use Passbook with your business, PassVerse can help. To discuss your requirements, drop me an email to tomas@passverse.com

I May Be Late walkthrough of v2.0

I’m very close to submitting the complete rewrite of my I May Be Late application to the AppStore, so I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick run through of the application, pointing out what I have changed and highlighting new features.

Status

The first change I’ve made is to the Status screen. I’ve decided to just show the status without making the user login or signup. By doing this, I hope I can show that my status screen is nice and bright and easy to use. I’ve taken the idea from Instagram and displayed a help popup, that gives a quick explanation of all the features of the app, hopefully encouraging people to signup!

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Clicking through a line status row will now present you with both the status of the line and the status of any affected stations on that line. I think this is the first thing that differentiates my app from the competition. Station closures do happen and can totally derail your commute (pardon the pun!).

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The second major change to this screen is the inclusion of the Commute filter. This won’t do anything until the you’ve logged in and added your commute, but it will then show you the status of the lines and stations on your route.

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Once you register, you’ll be able to see the full set of tabs that show all of the features.

Commute

The first tab deals with your commute. This will let you add your journey by choosing where you start and end your commute. I’ve hooked into TFL’s journey planner to make this selection process as easy as possible.

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Days of the Week

This screen remains unchanged. You just select the days of the week that you commute on. Simple choose the days.

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Notifications

I’ve create a separate tab for the notifications to make them more accessible. I’ve made it simple by only giving two choices. You can switch on Advance Notifications for each direction of your journey. There are two ways to notify others – email and SMS. SMS is only available to Pro users as it costs money to generate the text messages. I think that most people will find the advance notifications the most powerful feature.

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Settings

The settings screen remains mainly unchanged. I’ve moved to using Apple In-App purchase mechanism. This is to make it easier for people to upgrade their account. It is also less code to maintain than the existing PayPal mechanism I was using. I’ve also made it easier to manage all the global settings for your notifications, making it simple to turn them off all in one go.

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Notifications

Notifications have been enhanced, so that there are two types of notification available to you.