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Helium Foot Software develops MercuryMover: Don't let the mouse slow you down! Move and resize windows on your Mac with the keyboard.
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28 January

Go, Go, GroceryList

Where Keith Jumps on a Bandwagon Just as a New Bandwagon Appears

It's been a long time in coming, so i'll just say it: GroceryList is now available from the iTunes App Store! I've only talked a little about what sets GroceryList apart from the many other grocery list apps (some of which are, frankly, quite good). GroceryList is this: the fastest way to make your grocery list. Here's why you want it:

Fast List Making

As with any app, it starts with the startup. GroceryList starts up fast which means your list starts fast. Then we come to the real secret sauce: Multi-index. Multi-index is a new way navigate long lists of information. With GroceryList you rarely type. Instead, you select from the built in master list of the 1,500 items you would find in a typical grocery store. With Multi-index, you can tap "C", then "Choc" to find items like "Chocolate Chips" or "Chocolate Milk" (can you tell what our favorite food is at Helium Foot central?) It's easier to get when you see it in action, so go forth and watch the screencast. GroceryList also keeps track of your common purchases for quick reference and of course, if you really want to, you can type to search.

Incidentally, i really think that the "long list" problem is an important unsolved area in the iPhone development kit. As such i'll soon be open sourcing Multi-index (as in probably this weekend) so that other developers can use it in their apps.

Simple Shopping

Making a list is only half the battle, and half the battle is knowing, er... i mean shopping. GroceryList will speed you through the store by showing all of the items on your list categorized by aisle and listing all of the aisles in the order that they would be in a typical grocery store. You can, of course reorder these aisles to match your store.


You can add new items, and new aisles. Natch.


I haven't seen a lot of apps include any sort of help. While iPhone apps are very intuitive and discoverable, i still think that a lot of users are missing important features because they just don't know that they're there (or how to use them). To solve this, i included a full set of help videos to show you how to get the most out of GroceryList.

On a final note, there's been a lot of horror stories about dealing with the app store as a developer. However, this recent post on The Unofficial Apple Weblog gave me hope that it was getting better. The fact is that fewer than 48 hours passed between the moment of submission and the moment it went on sale. Us software developers can be tough to please but so far, the app store and i are on very good terms.

Posted by kalperin at 22:53 | Comments (0)
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