[post edited 9/18/17 to add additional links]
I have been sitting on my hands just a bit before releasing this next post, and am very pleased, excited, and grateful to see the recent reviews of Informant 5.2 for iOS coming in at primarily four and five stars and an average rating of 4.6 stars. So now I think it is time to let out a few more details of some of the plans for the future that we have.
First, lets give a bit of a summary of some things that have happened over the past 6-9 months.
We launched Informant 5 for iOS back in late November early December 2016. Although we were pretty excited to release it (because it had taken 18+ months to get there), and we had some good success, we were also greeted with some lackluster reviews in iTunes and had some pretty major criticisms of the app (Date picker, View picker, watchOS, etc) Chris wrote a blog post summarizing some of the issues here.
At nearly the same time, we also announced the merge with Complete XRM in Alex’s post about “A New Chapter“. Some of the criticism around the Informant 5 release was blamed on this and there was a conspiracy theory that the quality issues were somehow tied to this new regime. As the CEO of this new combined company I felt attacked, vulnerable, or maybe just exposed with some of the comments. We were at a point where I wanted to talk about all the BIG PLANS we had for the combined company and I did not want to let customers down. At that point, I did feel like we were letting people down and we wanted to fix that. So, we went to work….We then released 8 more update in the following 7 months.
- Informant 5 for iOS (5.30 Sept 18, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS( 5.2 July 21, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS( 5.11 June 12, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 for iOS (5.1 June 6, 2017 Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.05 Now Available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.04 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.03 Now available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.02 Now Available – Release Notes)
- Informant 5 (5.01 Release Notes)
The newest version of Informant 5.2 has a 4.6 star rating in its first 48 hours has over 700 Four and Five star reviews (92%) or average of 4.6 Stars.
Average Rating: 4.6 Stars:
(screenshot as of July 28 at 4pm, showing all territories)
Now, a few housekeeping items: I realize that we have been discussing but deferring on the topic of pricing. I had said things like “we want to focus on getting informant back to a 5 star app, then we will address some of the pricing issues”… Well, I think we are basically there. So for those of you who are still interested in our thoughts on pricing, we have created a specific blog post dedicated to that topic here.
Now, lets talk about what is coming next for the Informant product line:
Where is Informant going?
-We want Informant to be known as the Best Calendar and Task App for iOS, macOS, and Android.
-Our target market is: Power Organizers: people who think “staying organized” is a big deal.
Informant has always been, and will continue to be driven by the needs of the customers. Based on that we are continuing to take the top issues from the feedback forum and incorporating that into our road map.
Here are the links to the feedback forums:
- Informant 5 for iOS feedback forum
- Informant for macOS feedback forum
- Informant for Android feedback forum
-Informant 5 for iOS: here are some of the items on that list. Please feel free to go “vote” for the issues that you want to move up in the queue.
We will continue to take feature requests and make updates based on the most popular requests from our customers. We did this from 5.0 and will continue to do it. If you would like to see the items under consideration you can check out our feedback forums here. You can add your vote to each of the items below
- Smart Filter based on Tag
- Convert Email to Calendar Event
- Attach PDF Files (yes , any file type)
- Sort Tasks in Calendar View
- Drag & Drop Tasks by priority
- Left Handed Navigation option
- Print Month View
- Task Sharing or Task Delegation (List Sharing)
- Change Time Picker: What do you think about the Time Picker in 5.2? (We aren’t totally happy with it either)
-Informant for macOS –
Our goal is to make it “The BEST Calendar for macOS” , and it is now getting full attention right now and for the next couple months. In fact, a few days ago we quietly released a beta version that was able to incorporate many of the shared fixes we made in Informant 5 for iOS 5.2. Some things to expect: We are currently working to put out another “General” release for everyone which will primarily be a bug fix release based on some things we’ve seen in support. We are then focused on the remaining major features that will get us to version 1.0. We are hoping that we get to 1.0 by September-October-ish. As has always been the case, anyone who buys Informant for macOS now, will get free update through all the 1.xx releases and the product is very stable now, so don’t wait if you think you can use it. The best time to buy it is right now.
0.8.5.1– primarily bug fixes (Informant for macOS 0.8.5.1 Release Notes)
M9 – Major remaining features and improvements to get us to version 1.0
- Migrate from Templates to Triggers (to be inline with Informant for iOS)
- Saved Filters
- Tag Filtering for Events
- Attendees (send out meeting invites for accounts that support it)
- Basic Franklin Covey support
- Support photo/contact attachments (for accounts that support it)
- Make it available in Mac App Store
We have a lot of plans to continue to add value to our Informant Sync service. We are doing this by adding additional sync targets (places that you can sync your Informant data to/from). We are starting with Outlook Desktop, and then we may add Outlook 365. We are event researching if it’s possible to support Outlook on macOS – but we don’t have a definite answer on that just yet. What other places would you like to see Informant sync to?
-Outlook Sync: We are currently beta testing a version of Windows Desktop Outlook Sync. That beta is going pretty well so far. We have about 50 people testing it right now, and are adding more over the coming weeks. We are planning to introduce this in the next few weeks at an initial price of $39.95 which includes a free year of Informant Sync (which, incidentally, means that you’re getting a free year of Informant for iOS during that year as well!). Our eventual price for this product will be $49.95 so the $39.95 is an incentive and reward to early customers. We are really excited about this new product and can’t wait to roll it out to everyone.
-Start down the path of a web based app. We haven’t picked this project up officially but the work we are doing to extend the Informant Sync service is moving us in the direction of making a web based app available. We have plenty of decisions that need to be made here. What do you think the price should be for a web based app? Please comment on if you want a bundle with a web based app, or if you want options to just buy the web app separately. This is all just a discussion at this point.
-Task Delegation & Task List Sharing – these are features that Fanatic Software has dreamed about for a while now even prior to the merger with Complete XRM. As part of being able to leverage the best out of our two companies, we would love to finally make these dreams a reality.
Informant for Android:
For a while now Android has been on the back burner. We have been super focused on the iOS launch and in all reality, we hoped we would be at 4-5 star reviews sooner than we did. So, this has delayed the dive into Android. Historically, Android is a tricky development platform to sustain as a developer because although Android has “greater market share”, typically fewer people are willing to spend money on Android apps. Far fewer. Now I realize that these statements are stereotypes and that our “premium customers” who are serious about organization WANT an Android app and are probably willing to buy one that meets their needs. Please comment on this.
Finally, let me point out that very rarely will developers tell you “what they are going to do” and even more rare is to commit to a deliver date. So, as much as I wish we could commit to specific dates on any of these projects, I can just tell you that we are working on it and that I will update the schedule as things get closer. As a company, we have finite resources, so we choose to invest our time and money on what we believe our best next step will be that is both strategic and exciting to our customers…and often times as we continue to develop and talk to you guys, our priorities will shift from time to time. If you have other questions please ask them here in comments. As is the Informant tradition, we plan to continue to be as open as we can in our communication and planning about what we are doing and where we are going next.
To get you money, new users and word-of-mouth from PI5, you really need to change the current app icon, any design will do better than the current one. Seriously, the current app icon is hindering your business and will get you nowhere. A simple action can change your situation. Gotta change it asap.
Maybe I’m the only one but I greatly prefer the new icon to the old one. Looks clean and modern to me!
The new icon with laser elements looks from last century
Or looks like monochrome CRT screen
* Think *
109 ratings and only 9 reviews!
I apologize, but I have greatest doubts!
Forgive me if I misinterpret your comments but it seems like you may be trying to cast doubt on the authenticity of our reviews. I can simply state that you are dead wrong! The reviews are 100% authentic.
Here are a couple of points for you to consider:
#1) There is NO WAY we are going to jeopardize our entire business by playing games or otherwise creating false reviews for apple. Apple would shut us down in about 5 minutes if we did that. That is not something we are going to play with.
#2) I don’t even know “how” we would do that, especially in the Germany app store. While it is true that we DO encourage our own employees to encourage reviews for our apps, that only accounts for a handful of reviews with each release and it is not mandated so I don’t even think everyone does it. If we wanted to try to create more reviews we would need to create many icloud accounts and that would be entirely too much work, and completely not worth the result. (See point #1 about us not wanting to risk our business with something so dangerous to the business)
#3) Integrity. Our team has integrity and just wouldn’t falsely create reviews for the product.
#4) I don’t even know how to submit a review on the Germany app store. I think you have to have a credit card with a germany address or have a Germany IP. If there is a way to do it other than that, I am not even sure how.
#5) Informant is a really good app. It may not be 100% perfect, but if you were grading it on a 1-100 scale, I believe it is worthy of a 93%-96%. In fact, 92% of our reviews so far agree with a 4 or 5 star rating.
So, maybe you have some complaints, and I encourage and respect your right to share them. Especially if your comments can help improve the product, but it is just not accurate or appropriate to call in to question the integrity of our team. It is just not accurate.
If you (or anyone else) really feels the need to “investigate” further, I encourage you to contact me and I will personally walk you through the entire review process and provide visibility into our world wide reviews.
1.) I do not impute anything to anyone, I doubt.
2.) Germany is the example, because i live in. Sensortower shows similar in other countries.
3.) Above average many 5-star ratings, in such a short time, with only 10% complete reviews are, statistically speaking, far from the norm range. I find that strange. Sorry!
Perhaps, you should read the reviews, especially the ones that have been submitted by people other than your employees, and those that have some “meat” to them. A five star rating that is accompanied by a review that has a thumbs up emoji followed by the word good is not really meaningful.
You have written “we DO encourage our own employees to submit reviews for our apps, that only accounts for about 10 reviews with each release”. I think that Apple’s developer contract forbids this. You might not know, but Alex or Chris should be able to comment.
I suppose I could put together a blog post showing all (or at least more of) the reviews (and ratings) from around the world. Our team doesn’t even have the ability to submit reviews or ratings in these areas you are speaking of.
m_g58, what country are you in? I think Terminus is in Germany, where we have zero employees and zero internal reviews.
I think this is kind of silly to be spending so much time defending the reviews that are submitted by over 1200 people across the world. The bottom line is that Informant 5 is a very good app. You should stop being so cynical.
I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. If you want to comment on the app, or the pricing, or even about me, go ahead. We welcome your comments and specifically the ones that help make the app better… But it just sounds silly for you to say that you “don’t believe the reviews because they are too good”. What do you have against us? Why is that so hard to believe that people might want to give us a 5 star rating because the app is a great app…. It is a great app.
Your defense is beginning to sound like the tweets of you know who.
I am actually quite flattered that you think that are reviews are “too good to be true”. Perhaps the conspiracy theory might be good for business also.
People need to be very cautious not to expresse this kind of damaging message in public without concrete evidence.
I’m the first person that wants some of these features especially Smart Filters for tags and Smart Filters for the calendar.
However as much as I want these features, what frustrates me is the lack of polish around the features that are there now. Two examples. The current issue around multiple notifications. This was a known issue when 5.2 released and I was amazed that a RC build was produced and feedback provided that this issue still existed and yet there was a decision made to release with the defect there. I work in the software industry and generally you wouldn’t release with known defects of that level of severity.
Second example is the Watch App. In 5.0 it wasn’t there at all. 5.1 with lots of missing data being synced, it was unusable. 5.2, the data is more complete but it still is crashing regularly on sync and crashes every time when new IOS reminders are added. 5.21 is about to come out and once again it’s progressing to RC and it seems like a decision is made again to release with these bugs in place.
So, my appeal would be that before you add additional functions which like the UI changes in 5.0 inevitably break things and stir up user feedback that needs to be addressed that you at least bed down and get stable all of the functions that you have introduced to date with 5.x including the Watch App. I’ve been looking forward to this feature ever since 5.0 came out and at 5.21 it’s still unusable.
I don’t like the parlance “we want a 5-star app” introduced by you and never used by Chris or Alex. Rest assured PI5 is *NOT* a 5- or 4.6- star app anyway. It is still far inferior than PI 4.9, I am still using 4.9 and regretting you are actively developing only 5. I would even be ready to pay more than what you are asking now for 5. If all the reviews/ratings are legit, I can only imagine with 5.2 people are happy to be somewhat out of the crap they’ve been forced into with 5.0. It is also difficult to find a good alternative in terms of functionality.
If the BIG PLANS you were dreaming of when merging are what you outline above, then this is a huge disappointmente. I want gantt charts! As Chris knows, I’ve been waiting forever for AND/OR filters and it looks like I will never see them!!!
Outlook Sync is good but it is so expensive that I won’t buy it
Web Based app is a good idea, but I would infinitely prefer a Windows app.
Task delegation and task list sharing is of no interest to me.
It is also clear that the yearly subscription doesn’t give it all. If I want to sync with Outlook I need to pay extra, if I want to sync with web based app I need to pay extra again. And you shove weather down my throat. Not an asset but an annoyance.
You are starting to look at your customers as cows to milk. This is not a problem of survival of a business model, this is an attempt to extort as much as possible from customers. Never have I felt more humiliated by a software company I am supporting
You are completely right. I also have Informant 4 installed even that i payed for informant 5. Informant 4 is better looking an better handling. I just want a good calendar app with toodledo sync for a fair price. The support team told me, that they can not update informant 4, because it is on an old framework and that same features will not work in iOS 11. I am using iOS 11 beta and everything I need is working. So the support is telling just crap.
I still hope that there will be a better development and pricing model in future or an other company developing an app as good as informant 4.
Thank you for pushing users to the feedback sites for feature requests. I think that is a much better process than keeping the discussion on this blog. Well, it can be discussed here! But the feedback site should carry all the weight of influence. The blog is not a great place to measure user’s feedback (cause loudness and eloquent arguments of a few can sound very important versus what MOST people actually want).
Please keep directing users to the feedback site for voting!
I loved and used Informant for a long time. However, I am and always will be an Android person. I am however very willing to pay money for apps that I can utilize in my work and daily life. Because the Android sector here has been so neglected, I have been forced to look elsewhere but I keep hoping Informant will eventually come around. I await that day.
We do have a small update coming for Android soon. Keep an eye out.
I just began using Informant 5 on my iPhone, iPad and Mac laptop and after spending the last couple of days learning how to use it and customizing it, I’m here to say I love it! I don’t have any suggestions for future versions or improvements. I just wanted to express my delight in discovering such a great app on which I will be heavily relying, especially as I’m about to start another semester of graduate school and need the app to keep my schedules up-to-date between school, work and my personal life. As I’ve learned to use Informant’s many features, I’ve asked a lot of questions of your support staff and they’ve answered each question quickly, completely and very politely. I really appreciate Informant and the work you are doing on it.
Thank you for the kind words. I am very interested to hear a bit more about “how” you use Informant for school. My daughter is just starting college and I was doing some training with her on her new iPhone with Informant 5.
Are you using TAgs for each class, or maybe projects. I’d like to write a blog post titled “how to use Informant for School”. Perhaps you can give me some tips.
I’m a 16 year user of PI and a 5 star reviewer of the latest release.
In December, when PI5 was introduced, I was pretty disgusted and like others, I stayed with 4.9. Based on my disappointment with the new PI5, I suspected the recent merger may be the demise of PI. I also submitted a rating of 2 stars at the time because it was a inferior user experience compared to 4.9. I also had my doubts about this Keith fellow. Many PI users have been around a long time and had a long time active forum, getting and giving plenty of feedback from Alex. So now we’re introduced to Keith about the same time we get the underwhelming PI5 and I associated the two and began looking for a new PIM because I thought I saw where this company was headed…and it wasn’t looking good.
Clearly I WAS WRONG. It’s obvious that Keith was paying close attention and I’m impressed and very pleased with the improvements to PI over the past 8 months. Not that it’s everything I want (although I’ve removed PI4 in favor of PI5 now), but the Fanatic team has responded and and continues to communicate. As the improved updates continue to come, I sense a lot of passion from Keith and the developers of PI to continue making it the greatest task/calendar program and I’m staying here for the ride. Good job on your progress…that’s why I recently gave it 5 stars.
I am also a long time informant user and I also deleted informant 4 weeks ago. I was a beta user of iOS 11 and hoped that the problems are fixed until the final is out. It is not. Still the view problems on iPhone. Es-specially when you want to change settings and have to change before to landscape mode to reach the most top setting, is like in a better software. The toodledo sync – this is the on fact I still stay with informant and pay a lot of money – does also not work correctly and every time. Every other app I own, updated regular the last weeks so they work perfect in iOS 11. Not one update from informant. So what the guys doing for there money?
We just released Informant 5.3 today. It is the iOS 11 compatible version. Please try that to see if your issues are resolved. If not, please report them to support. We will fix them…It’s just what we do…
Thanks for your input!
nkraus…I am not in any way associated with Fanatic Software, but please see this:
Where are the release notes for 5.3?
Release notes are here: http://staging.pocketinformant.com/release-notes-informant-5-30/
Sorry, You are not crazy… I was a bit late getting them posted.
Thanks, but I am interested in release notes for iOS 5.3 not PI for the Mac.
Oops. Here is the right one:
For what it’s worth, here is my take:
Desktop Informant: Highest priority is to get it to parity with I5 and release it. This beta is taking a lot longer than anyone envisaged and new bugs just keep getting in the way.
Informant iOS: Sort out the bugs – UI/UX is causing too much pain for established users. Yes, it gets high ratings, and we know everyone at XCRM is very happy, but long-time users are not – I know, I am one of them.
Informant Sync: I get it, we have all got to eat, but price point is much too high. If you are looking at ongoing revenues from this aspect alone, pricing yourself too high at the offset is going to alienate the very people you need to try to keep. Look at how people outside your business use the product – most do not use Outlook. Most just want to keep sync between iPhone and iPad and Mac.
Android: If your mission includes Android, then it needs to be as close to iOS as possible.
ISFO: Really not a high priority outside O365 user base in the business world. Price is OMG! If you are going after gSyncIT’s market, you are not going to do it with that price – seriously. Also, see my comments on Informant Sync. Obviously this is one of the acquiring company’s priorities, but it should be a consideration AFTER getting the core products working properly.
Web App: No. Quite apart from the serious security concerns, why? What possible benefit can it give? Focus time on the current apps and their issues before going down the “New app for no reason” road.