I have been sitting on my hands just a bit before releasing this next post, and am very pleased, excited, and grateful to see the recent reviews of Informant 5.2 for iOS coming in at primarily four and five stars and an average rating of 4.6 stars. So now I think it is time to let out a few more details of some of the plans for the future that we have.
First, lets give a bit of a summary of some things that have happened over the past 6-9 months.
We launched Informant 5 for iOS back in late November early December 2016. Although we were pretty excited to release it (because it had taken 18+ months to get there), and we had some good success, we were also greeted with some lackluster reviews in iTunes and had some pretty major criticisms of the app (Date picker, View picker, watchOS, etc) Chris wrote a blog post summarizing some of the issues here.
At nearly the same time, we also announced the merge with Complete XRM in Alex’s post about “A New Chapter“. Some of the criticism around the Informant 5 release was blamed on this and there was a conspiracy theory that the quality issues were somehow tied to this new regime. As the CEO of this new combined company I felt attacked, vulnerable, or maybe just exposed with some of the comments. We were at a point where I wanted to talk about all the BIG PLANS we had for the combined company and I did not want to let customers down. At that point, I did feel like we were letting people down and we wanted to fix that. So, we went to work….We then released 8 more update in the following 7 months.
- Informant 5 for iOS( 5.2 July 21, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS( 5.11 June 12, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS (5.1 June 6, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.05 Now Available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.04 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.03 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.02 Now Available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.01 Release Notes)
The newest version of Informant 5.2 has a 4.6 star rating in its first 48 hours has over 700 Four and Five star reviews (92%) or average of 4.6 Stars.
Average Rating: 4.6 Stars:
(screenshot as of July 28 at 4pm, showing all territories)
Now, a few housekeeping items: I realize that we have been discussing but deferring on the topic of pricing. I had said things like “we want to focus on getting informant back to a 5 star app, then we will address some of the pricing issues”… Well, I think we are basically there. So for those of you who are still interested in our thoughts on pricing, we have created a specific blog post dedicated to that topic here.
Now, lets talk about what is coming next for the Informant product line:
Where is Informant going?
-We want Informant to be known as the Best Calendar and Task App for iOS, macOS, and Android.
-Our target market is: Power Organizers: people who think “staying organized” is a big deal.
Informant has always been, and will continue to be driven by the needs of the customers. Based on that we are continuing to take the top issues from the feedback forum and incorporating that into our road map.
Here are the links to the feedback forums:
- Informant 5 for iOS feedback forum
- Informant for macOS feedback forum
- Informant for Android feedback forum
-Informant 5 for iOS: here are some of the items on that list. Please feel free to go “vote” for the issues that you want to move up in the queue.
We will continue to take feature requests and make updates based on the most popular requests from our customers. We did this from 5.0 and will continue to do it. If you would like to see the items under consideration you can check out our feedback forums here. You can add your vote to each of the items below
- Smart Filter based on Tag
- Convert Email to Calendar Event
- Attach PDF Files (yes , any file type)
- Sort Tasks in Calendar View
- Drag & Drop Tasks by priority
- Left Handed Navigation option
- Print Month View
- Task Sharing or Task Delegation (List Sharing)
- Change Time Picker: What do you think about the Time Picker in 5.2? (We aren’t totally happy with it either)
-Informant for macOS –
Our goal is to make it “The BEST Calendar for macOS” , and it is now getting full attention right now and for the next couple months. In fact, a few days ago we quietly released a beta version that was able to incorporate many of the shared fixes we made in Informant 5 for iOS 5.2. Some things to expect: We are currently working to put out another “General” release for everyone which will primarily be a bug fix release based on some things we’ve seen in support. We are then focused on the remaining major features that will get us to version 1.0. We are hoping that we get to 1.0 by September-October-ish. As has always been the case, anyone who buys Informant for macOS now, will get free update through all the 1.xx releases and the product is very stable now, so don’t wait if you think you can use it. The best time to buy it is right now.
0.8.5.1– primarily bug fixes
M9 – Major remaining features and improvements to get us to version 1.0
- Migrate from Templates to Triggers (to be inline with Informant for iOS)
- Saved Filters
- Tag Filtering for Events
- Attendees (send out meeting invites for accounts that support it)
- Basic Franklin Covey support
- Support photo/contact attachments (for accounts that support it)
- Make it available in Mac App Store
We have a lot of plans to continue to add value to our Informant Sync service. We are doing this by adding additional sync targets (places that you can sync your Informant data to/from). We are starting with Outlook Desktop, and then we may add Outlook 365. We are event researching if it’s possible to support Outlook on macOS – but we don’t have a definite answer on that just yet. What other places would you like to see Informant sync to?
-Outlook Sync: We are currently beta testing a version of Windows Desktop Outlook Sync. That beta is going pretty well so far. We have about 50 people testing it right now, and are adding more over the coming weeks. We are planning to introduce this in the next few weeks at an initial price of $39.95 which includes a free year of Informant Sync (which, incidentally, means that you’re getting a free year of Informant for iOS during that year as well!). Our eventual price for this product will be $49.95 so the $39.95 is an incentive and reward to early customers. We are really excited about this new product and can’t wait to roll it out to everyone.
-Start down the path of a web based app. We haven’t picked this project up officially but the work we are doing to extend the Informant Sync service is moving us in the direction of making a web based app available. We have plenty of decisions that need to be made here. What do you think the price should be for a web based app? Please comment on if you want a bundle with a web based app, or if you want options to just buy the web app separately. This is all just a discussion at this point.
-Task Delegation & Task List Sharing – these are features that Fanatic Software has dreamed about for a while now even prior to the merger with Complete XRM. As part of being able to leverage the best out of our two companies, we would love to finally make these dreams a reality.
Informant for Android:
For a while now Android has been on the back burner. We have been super focused on the iOS launch and in all reality, we hoped we would be at 4-5 star reviews sooner than we did. So, this has delayed the dive into Android. Historically, Android is a tricky development platform to sustain as a developer because although Android has “greater market share”, typically fewer people are willing to spend money on Android apps. Far fewer. Now I realize that these statements are stereotypes and that our “premium customers” who are serious about organization WANT an Android app and are probably willing to buy one that meets their needs. Please comment on this.
Finally, let me point out that very rarely will developers tell you “what they are going to do” and even more rare is to commit to a deliver date. So, as much as I wish we could commit to specific dates on any of these projects, I can just tell you that we are working on it and that I will update the schedule as things get closer. As a company, we have finite resources, so we choose to invest our time and money on what we believe our best next step will be that is both strategic and exciting to our customers…and often times as we continue to develop and talk to you guys, our priorities will shift from time to time. If you have other questions please ask them here in comments. As is the Informant tradition, we plan to continue to be as open as we can in our communication and planning about what we are doing and where we are going next.