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Thermo

February 3rd, 2011 Jeremy Jeremy

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Once in a while I am so inspired by a new app that I post it to the blog. Now is such a time, with Robocat’s latest app Thermo – an app that is so beautiful it will make you want to check the temperature outside. It’s an app they’ve been blogging about for a while and now it’s finally on the app store!

Three notes:

Does one thing and does it well

It is very targeted: it’s just for those of us who want to know the temperature outside. A novel thought: compete by providing less features, not more.

Attention to detail

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Take a look at the icon (above). As Mike Rundle noted, “A close-up shot of the Thermo app icon really looks like a spherical glass bulb with a scenery reflection. Amazing.” Michael Flarup, you are insanely talented. A message to developers: it’s difficult to find really awesome designers like Michael but you have really got to do your best to find one because design is everything in iPhone apps.

Also, check out the page to select a new location (right). It would have been perfectly usable without the faded Google map but they decided to go beyond usable and delight their users.

That is not to mention the main interface. Just awesome (pic from Giz):
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We are mainly talking about visual attention to detail but you can also impress users by including little touches in the user experience that save them work, make things simpler than expected, prove you have thought about them, etc.

I have no doubt that next week we’ll see Thermo in Apple’s coveted “New and Noteworthy” section. This is what you do if you really want to be featured by Apple.

Free + ads -> Paid model

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I was really intrigued that Thermo is a free app. I haven’t seen too many really beautiful apps try doing the free+ model (who wants to ruin an awesome interface with ads) but I think Thermo did it in a very clever way. When the ad pops up, just above it there is an “x” that users can tap to get rid of ads buy paying a buck. The app functions great even with ads but the ad covers up the bottom of that beautiful thermometer, giving frequent users just enough motivation to pay that measly buck. They may end up making more money from folks removing the ads then the ads themselves.

In case you haven’t been watching “An App Story”, this is the same model we will be using for Grades 2 so I’m quite interested to see how it pans out for them. By the way, you can check out an interview I did with the Robocats guys a while back over here.

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