24 January 2006

Help us out... (and get Undercover for free)

As mentioned in the previous post, iSight support will be the major new feature in the next version of Undercover. Development is going great, but for our test phase, we are looking for someone with an iMac Core Duo. Basically, the only thing you'll need to do is help us test/verify a couple of things. As we see it now, it won't take you more than one hour.

Some rules:
- We only need one person / iMac
- You must have an Intel iMac (iMac Core Duo). no PPC iMac, no MacBook and of course err... no Dell
- If interested, send us an email and include a screenshot of the About Panel of your iMac Core Duo.
- The first reply we get, wins. I apologize in advance to all other participants.

In return, you'll get a free Undercover household license (a $44 value).
Start emailing.... now

[UPDATE: Brian Warren was the first to contact us. The contest is now closed (it only lasted for 29 minutes)]

iSight insight

Almost a week after the release of Undercover 1.0, I can say that the application has been very well received, both by the press and by our users. What makes us even happier, is that there have been zero support incidents to date. Of course, we have received many questions, suggestions and comments (which is great!) but none of our customers have had trouble installing the application.

Of the suggestions we received, almost 50% were about one specific feature: iSight support. Many users would be delighted to see Undercover taking pictures of the thief (and his surroundings). Today, I can confirm that we are working on this feature and that we are very far along on this. It will be part of the next Undercover update (which will be free for all registered users, of course).

Even during the planning phase of Undercover, iSight support was high on our list already: the major new feature I wrote about in my previous post was referring to iSight support as well. iSight support did not make it into the 1.0 because we wanted to get an Intel-compatible theft-recovery application out as soon as possible. Now that 1.0 is out of the door, we are ramping up development efforts to release Undercover 1.5 by the time the MacBook Pro will hit the market.

18 January 2006

Unveiling Undercover

It's here! After months of hard work, fine-tuning and beta-testing Undercover is now available to everyone (at least, to everyone using a Mac with Tiger, that is). I won't discuss the product's features here, as you can get all the information you need on the Undercover pages.

Instead, I'd like to stress that this is just the beginning for Undercover. This morning, we started working on the first Undercover update, in which we will introduce a major new feature that will set us even more apart from the other solutions out there. I can't be more specific as the competition is probably reading this blog too, but I hope to post more information as development progresses. Needless to say, the update will be free for all registered users.

I promised not to talk about Undercover features just two paragraphs ago, but I'd like to mention one thing that I don't really consider as a feature: Undercover is a universal binary. In English, this means that Undercover runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel based Macs, so it can be used to protect your new iMac or MacBook. Since Undercover is the first theft recovery application to be universal, I thought it was worth pointing out.

Lastly, I would like to thank a couple of people: in the first place, I would like to thank all beta testers. Special thanks to Dan Wood, Vincent Merckx and Jan Morren for their great suggestions, they really improved the product. I'd also like to thank Geert from Easyware for providing me with everything I needed to test and debug Undercover on Intel.

13 January 2006

Post #1

Since this is my first post to the brand new Orbicule blog, I would like to briefly introduce myself and the company. I'm Peter Schols (28) and I'm living in Heverlee, a small town close to Leuven, Belgium, Europe. On January 3, 2006, I have founded a new company: Orbicule.

Orbicule is dedicated to developing innovative, high-quality and fun software for Mac OS X. Although Orbicule is barely three weeks old, these are not my first steps into the world of software development. Back in 2001, while doing a PhD at the University of Leuven, I studied Cocoa and developed a couple of scientific apps, mainly for in-house use. During my PhD, I also started the BioCocoa project, an open-source Cocoa framework for biology and bioinformatics. After my PhD, I started development of iMap, which has been honored with an Apple Design Award during WWDC 2005. Getting this recognition from Apple was a big step: it helped me in taking the decision to start as a full-time, independent, Mac OS X Cocoa programmer.

I will use this blog to talk about our products, but also about being an indie Mac developer and about everything that's going on in the Mac universe. Feel free to leave comments and link to this blog. I hope you will enjoy!