NextPage Version 2 Back Story

If you’ve found your way here, it’s more than likely that you’re an owner of NextPage. If you’ve ever contacted us via email, we’ve done our level best to reach out to you regarding this post. Let me again thank you for your support and patience as we’ve transitioned NextPage to iOS 7. We know that many of you have been suffering with some rather annoying issues with NextPage since upgrading to iOS 7. So we’d like to share with you what’s been going on, and what you can expect in version 2.

NextPage V2

First off, you may be wondering why we’re about a month late with an iOS 7 compatible version. To be frank, Apple quite literally caught us off guard with the release date, and we underestimated the pressure it would put on the resources we depend on to put a new release together. Apple never shares exact dates with developers, so we were working in reference to past history for major changes to iOS, such as iOS 5, expecting them to release sometime in mid-late October. Had that been the case again this time, we would have been right on time. As it turned out, however, we were caught a bit by flat-footed with about 10 days effective notice from Apple – not nearly enough time to get NP2 finished. We decided that rather than rush something shoddy out the door, we would stick to our original schedule and bring you a quality upgrade. We believe you be pleased (or as Apple would say, “delighted”) with the results.

Next, we had conveyed to some of you who had asked about NP2 that it would be a new app in the store for iOS 7 only. Since Apple doesn’t allow upgrade pricing, that would have meant you would have had to buy the new version at full price to get the new features and iOS 7 support. We’ve changed our minds about that.

Because our delay in getting NextPage 2 shipped has caused trouble for many of you who’ve updated to iOS 7, we’ve decided not to charge you for the new version.

Despite that fact that we had to make significant financial investments to accommodate all of the changes that iOS 7 brought, plus the tremendous amount of time we invested in the new, faster page turning engine, we just did not feel that charging you was the right thing to do. We will likely raise the price of NextPage for some period of time to recoup our development costs, but we will not be charging you, our faithful existing customers. It’s the least we can do to try to compensate you for any trouble you’ve experienced.

While free to you as an existing customer, NP2 is an iOS 7 only app. Customers who must remain on iOS 6 because their iPad can’t run iOS 7 will unfortunately not receive further updates. We originally wanted to release the faster paging engine to NP1 owners as well, but the shortened time schedule and Apple’s new rules regarding iOS 6 apps necessitated we change those plans.

Looking Forward

While it will look a bit different (our designer calls the new color “Violin Red”), NextPage 2 works just like the NextPage you already know. Our goal has never been to have the most features or get involved in a features “arms race” with competitive apps – that does not serve you. Instead, we are focused solely on providing you with a simple, reliable sheet music app geared for live performance. (If you’ve not heard it before, NextPage was born out of my own frustrations with paper music at the piano. I have sketches of sheet music “apps” that go back to the early 80’s, when apps were called “programs” and computers were too clunky and unreliable to trust during live performance. I’ve written about that once or twice before).

NextPage has been built for one purpose: to help those of us who need music to perform better.  We are not trying to get featured by Apple, be the app with the most bells and whistles, the coolest user interface, or be featured as a “must-have” app in the trade press. We are not interested in any of that (but if it happens, we won’t complain…) It’s about playing music better. That’s all.

Here are some highlights for version 2:

  • New graphical design for the look and feel of iOS 7.
  • A redesigned page turning engine (aka “Lightning”) that actually gets faster as you use it.
  • Simplified markup tools that require much less effort to use.
  • Faster startup time with larger numbers of songs.
  • Add information to each song, including key, tempo, transposition, score type, composer, arrangement, and genre.
  • 3-finger swipe to move forward/backward one song.
  • Backup/Restore of Set Lists, markups, and annotations to Dropbox.
  • A slew of usability improvements.
  • A beautiful new Quick Start Guide as a downpayment on a more comprehensive manual in both PDF and iBooks format.
  • iOS 7 only.

Those of you who’ve been with us for a long time know that we talked about doing short videos on how to use various features, tips for scanning music, playing with a foot pedal, etc. We did not deliver and we apologize for that.  We will be getting around to that this time.

Real Soon Now

We submitted NextPage 2 to Apple this past weekend. All things being equal, and barring any serious objections from Apple that require significant rework on our part, you should find it in the store within the next 7-10 days.

Thanks again for your support. We look forward to continuing to serve you.

Warm regards,

//Scott

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