in Pressgram

Hello World: Version 2.0

version-20

Hello world. It’s finally here. Within the next few hours you should see an update notification for Pressgram v2.0. I’m somewhat breathless and I’ve been waiting for this moment for quite some time (and let us know when you update via Twitter!).

This is a MAJOR version update with tons of new features to be used and explored. And to be honest, I’m not exactly sure where to begin … and instead of a typical bulleted-list, I’ve decided to give you my candid thoughts – I hope that’s ok.

So here we go:

The biggest change is the fact that I’ve removed the social networking layer entirely. This shouldn’t be a complete shock, as I’ve been speaking honestly about it for a while now as we’ve gotten closer to launch, but I know that there are some who have not kept up with the blog on a daily basis (subscribe via RSS or Email!).

The change is not without cost though, as I know many in the Pressgram community were using the social network daily and with great intent, and I’m sure that more than a handful of users will be upset. Please trust me when I say that I have weighed the cost, both from a figurative and literal perspective, and have come to the conclusion that it would be the best decision moving forward.

To those that might struggle to like me for the decision, I am sorry, and I hope you can find use of the application in this new economy. I encourage everyone to update to the newest version as well since I will close down the now-deprecated API and the service will no longer be active for versions 1.6 and below. March 31 will be the cut-off date.

We have, in short, returned to the original score if you will, the original intent. I resolved many months ago that the original vision was to be the best mobile image publishing system available and that I could do a better job of making that vision a reality.

Consequently, I have increased the number of publishing platforms available to the user by an exponential count. You can now publish to:

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org
  • Blogger / Blogspot
  • Squarespace
  • Tumblr
  • Google+
  • Typepad
  • MovableType
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Any more…? (I’m looking at Ghost, Svbtle, Medium…)

This in and of itself is a radical departure, but a wise one in the short and long-run. It means that more people can enjoy the publishing features that Pressgram has to offer!

In addition you’ll be able to add multiple accounts per technology platform. Although I do not necessarily recommend adding too many at a time, for many reasons, it is quite possible to add an infinite number of blogging properties (I’m sure someone will test this at some point).

If we were to stop here, then Pressgram would be a very unique and powerful application; but I didn’t stop there at all.

The user now has a plethora of new editing features that should make even the “power user” quite happy. I shall make a list of them here because it now makes sense to do so, as well as give a brief description:

  1. Fundamentals – This free pack includes your fundamental editing features like cropping and size manipulation, water drops, focus, and transform.

  2. Core Lighting – Take your mobile editing up a notch with our core lighting pack like exposure management, brightness, contrast, and fade.

  3. Advanced Effects – For those that need an even finer set of tools including sharpen, saturation and temperature controls, and highlights.

  4. Refinement – Get the exact look with universal vignette, orange and green adjustments, clarity, and a grain effect for style.

  5. Borders – Add stylized borders for your images to give them a bit of panache and your own personal signature look.

  6. Text Treatment – While images do in fact speak 1,000 words, we sometimes need 1,001 – add a qualitative text treatment for impact.

  7. Color and Light – Turn a “problem” into a statement with our lomographic-inspired effects. Add a bit of flavor to your already great images.

  8. Textures – Give your images a bit of character through our classic texture treatments and design your own look for personal image branding.

  9. Shapes – Add some fun to your images which will set them apart; besides, you’re already known for being a bit different, right?

  10. Custom Watermarks – Protect your images even more with a customized watermark for your brand, business, and creative work.

Whew – there you go. In addition to retaining EXIF data integrity and variable sizes for your blogging property, as well as customizing each blogging properties tags, categories, and default behavior, it’s a serious image editing app in addition to the native publishing side.

Oh, and the ability to add multiple images to your post was a final addition that really puts the proverbial cherry on top.

I hope that you can understand and somehow appreciate the amount of time, effort, and care that I put into this app in the last few months. I have sweated the small decisions as much as the larger ones, and at every turn I have considered you, my community and users.

I am grateful, period. This app wouldn’t be where it is today without you and your support. I’m so very thankful for all the thoughts, prayers, comments, considerations, and even “negative” press that I’ve received – I’ve leveraged it all to make a better product.

It’s been tough at times, and there have been moments when I’ve honestly wanted to quit. I think this is representative of all that is good about product development and my love for doing work that matters.

If I can ask you to do one thing it’s that you simply enjoy the app for what it is. Publish, daily. Tell stories. Share moments. Live and capture the good stuff, the stuff worth telling and retelling. And if you find enough time at the end of it all, would you mind telling others about it? Many of you have already been doing that since Day #1 and I wish I could thank each one of you personally – I know that would be impossible but perhaps someday technology will allow it.

Pressgram has taught me more about myself as a software engineer than any product previously, and perhaps more importantly it’s illuminated more about myself than I had ever anticipated. Scary, humbling, exhilarating, wonderful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

John