Site Updates - Private Messages, iPhone App & How You Can Help

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snide

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Edited By snide

Seeing as it's a slow news day, since most game developers are wary of posting anything around April Fools, I thought I'd post some of the stuff the engineering team has been working on lately here at the office.


PM Upgrades


You can now attach new users onto an existing PM conversation if you want. The process is fairly straightforward, just go to the reply form at the bottom and add whoever you'd like to add in the "add recipients" box. The added user(s) will now be sent a copy of the entire conversation as well as have the ability to reply. Should you no longer wish to be part of a private conversation you can now click the "remove from conversation" button at the top of your PM to no longer receive replies from other users. We're aware of issues with actually finding certain users in the auto-complete drop-down and will have a solution to that out shortly. The new drop-down will search against your friends first before going into the general population results.

iPhone Application Coming Soon


Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
We are currently in the final stages of an iPhone version of Giant Bomb. It will be a full application and not just a web version of the site. Here's the deal: we're tossing around the idea of charging a small fee to access it. I know many of you guys are curious about just how Giant Bomb plans to bring in the loot to support our costs here. The honest answer is, we're trying to think up different ways for sites like ours to exist outside of pure advertising models. While ads will more than likely come onto the site more regularly in the near future, we'd love to find some better ways than the current IGN model of making the site half-ad, half-content. We'd like to at least try out this model with our mobile versions of the site as an experiment. I'll float out a preview in the next week or so with a defined feature list, but I thought it might be a good idea to see what you iPhone owners would like to see in our app. The first version will be read-only and not allow you to log into the site, view forums or access your profiles. Our final vision for the app is much grander, but first we want to make sure there's enough interest in the project and that you can have a simple way to view videos, reviews and news from the site easily on your iPhone. I'd also like to note that we in no way will try to influence or stop anyone from making free-to-use iPhone apps based on our API.

Comic Vine Redesigned, White Version of GB Still Planned


Not necessarily Giant Bomb-related but Comic Vine last week received a similar restyle to the one we had here a couple weeks ago. We've still got to give Anime Vice a similar paint job and then all three sites should be receiving alternate skin colors in the weeks following. If you're curious as to what Giant Bomb in white will look like, take a look over at Comic Vine to get an idea. I'll likely remove the greenish tint and make it a little more Giant Bomby but expect something very similar. In any case I just wanted to make fans of the white version of Giant Bomb aware that we haven't forgotten about you.

New Games Page Could Use Some Help


Lastly, I thought I'd do a short call out for some help with the New Games section of the site. If you weren't already aware, that page is generated by editing the dates of releases tied to games. It is not populated by the "Original Release Date" associated to the game itself. In theory this allows us to show release lists for each major region -- UK, US, Japan and Australia. In practice both the staff and the community haven't been doing a great job with it. If you have any time in the next week or so, I'd really appreciate if some enterprising users could take a look at keeping some of those release dates up to snuff. I'm considering appointing someone as a dedicated mod towards keeping that stuff up-to-date so if you're ever sent me a PM asking how you can help, you now know. Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested or run into any release specific bugs. Thanks.
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snide

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#1  Edited By snide

Seeing as it's a slow news day, since most game developers are wary of posting anything around April Fools, I thought I'd post some of the stuff the engineering team has been working on lately here at the office.


PM Upgrades


You can now attach new users onto an existing PM conversation if you want. The process is fairly straightforward, just go to the reply form at the bottom and add whoever you'd like to add in the "add recipients" box. The added user(s) will now be sent a copy of the entire conversation as well as have the ability to reply. Should you no longer wish to be part of a private conversation you can now click the "remove from conversation" button at the top of your PM to no longer receive replies from other users. We're aware of issues with actually finding certain users in the auto-complete drop-down and will have a solution to that out shortly. The new drop-down will search against your friends first before going into the general population results.

iPhone Application Coming Soon


Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
Quickie preview of Giant Bomb on the iPhone
We are currently in the final stages of an iPhone version of Giant Bomb. It will be a full application and not just a web version of the site. Here's the deal: we're tossing around the idea of charging a small fee to access it. I know many of you guys are curious about just how Giant Bomb plans to bring in the loot to support our costs here. The honest answer is, we're trying to think up different ways for sites like ours to exist outside of pure advertising models. While ads will more than likely come onto the site more regularly in the near future, we'd love to find some better ways than the current IGN model of making the site half-ad, half-content. We'd like to at least try out this model with our mobile versions of the site as an experiment. I'll float out a preview in the next week or so with a defined feature list, but I thought it might be a good idea to see what you iPhone owners would like to see in our app. The first version will be read-only and not allow you to log into the site, view forums or access your profiles. Our final vision for the app is much grander, but first we want to make sure there's enough interest in the project and that you can have a simple way to view videos, reviews and news from the site easily on your iPhone. I'd also like to note that we in no way will try to influence or stop anyone from making free-to-use iPhone apps based on our API.

Comic Vine Redesigned, White Version of GB Still Planned


Not necessarily Giant Bomb-related but Comic Vine last week received a similar restyle to the one we had here a couple weeks ago. We've still got to give Anime Vice a similar paint job and then all three sites should be receiving alternate skin colors in the weeks following. If you're curious as to what Giant Bomb in white will look like, take a look over at Comic Vine to get an idea. I'll likely remove the greenish tint and make it a little more Giant Bomby but expect something very similar. In any case I just wanted to make fans of the white version of Giant Bomb aware that we haven't forgotten about you.

New Games Page Could Use Some Help


Lastly, I thought I'd do a short call out for some help with the New Games section of the site. If you weren't already aware, that page is generated by editing the dates of releases tied to games. It is not populated by the "Original Release Date" associated to the game itself. In theory this allows us to show release lists for each major region -- UK, US, Japan and Australia. In practice both the staff and the community haven't been doing a great job with it. If you have any time in the next week or so, I'd really appreciate if some enterprising users could take a look at keeping some of those release dates up to snuff. I'm considering appointing someone as a dedicated mod towards keeping that stuff up-to-date so if you're ever sent me a PM asking how you can help, you now know. Feel free to send me a PM if you're interested or run into any release specific bugs. Thanks.
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StarFoxA

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#2  Edited By StarFoxA

Please never make the site a paid access one. Having a paid app on mobile phones is a good idea, though.

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Pie

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#3  Edited By Pie

Dude, thats hardcore.

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coonce

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#4  Edited By coonce

pm upgrade..... sweet! gb rawks!

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MattyFTM

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#5  Edited By MattyFTM

I'd totally be willing to pay a small fee for a GB iPhone app. And the PM upgrades are awesome. Keep up the good work duders!!!!

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snide

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#6  Edited By snide

The live website will always be free, no worries.

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TobyD81

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#7  Edited By TobyD81

All sounds good. If the iPhone app version has enough features, it'll be worth a modest fee. Would it be out of the question to allow wiki updating through the app? Also, will the Wiki Pages That Need Help section be coming back soon? Thanks!

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MattyFTM

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#8  Edited By MattyFTM
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KiddSupreme

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#9  Edited By KiddSupreme

I'd pay for the phone app....

for my Blackberry Bold ;)

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thebeast

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#10  Edited By thebeast

Great news all around Snide!

Some notes on the iPhone stuff:
  • I'd be willing to pay for the iPhone app if only to support the site - I can't see myself wanting to pay for it just for mobile access to the database though.
  • Why not just provide a mobile web app? Would the effort not be best spent in something that can be accessed on other smartphones (Android-based, Blackberry, WinMo etc.)?
  • Data plans ain't so great here in the UK - so the option to stream highly compressed/low quality video would be great for watching Endurance Runs on the train...
  • The most common reason I use GB on my iPhone is to check PMs and the forums - no doubt this would be a much bigger undertaking, but it would be nice to see a mobile version of the community side of things in the future.
  • If I'm out and about and want to look up a game it's usually because I want reviews on it - some review aggregator display/prominent average user score would be great to see on these pages.

The new games/browse games sections of the site feel rather useless and broken at the moment - partially down to the filtering problems but also as you say, because of the lack of release dates - I don't personally feel the 'releases' system for games in the wiki is particularly obvious/clear, so I'm not surprised they're not being filled in, but it will be great to see people take this task up!
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wefwefasdf

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#11  Edited By wefwefasdf

I would happily pay for premium access to this site.

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rinkalicous

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#12  Edited By rinkalicous

I'd pay upwards of 2 English Pounds for Giant Bomb on my phone. It'd be worth it for the icon alone. I'd have the most giant bomb iPhone in town!


Also, I have the next week off school, so I'll take a look at the new games stuff, if it hasn't been done by then (which I suspect it will have been- Giant Bombers are such a helpful bunch).
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MattyFTM

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#13  Edited By MattyFTM
SpikeSpiegel said:
"I would happily pay for premium access to this site."
While I would happily pay for this, I think websites separating their user base like that is a bad idea overall. Perhaps paying to get no/less adverts would be acceptable, because that doesn't really affect the site that much, but paying for extra features and things would separate the userbase and would be a bad idea.
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LordAndrew

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#14  Edited By LordAndrew

Not enough people make use of the Releases feature. Get on it, people!

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drewm135

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#15  Edited By drewm135

I would definitely pay for the iphone app. Hands down. As long as I can watch endurance run on my iphone I will be A-OK

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toowalrus

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#16  Edited By toowalrus  Online

I'm definitely interested in the iPhone app. I would have no problem paying a one-time fee, but probably wouldn't sign on for a monthly fee. Yearly, maybe.

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snide

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#17  Edited By snide

@Beast


  • We chose the iPhone for the simple reason that we all own them at the office and it would be something we ourselves would use. We're not ruling out a mobile version of the site in the future, but stuff on the iPhone sure is popular these days and we didn't want to miss the opportunity to be ahead of the curve on this one.
  • Full log in / profile options are being slated for version 2, which we'll likely move to next if there's enough reason to build it.
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TwoOneFive

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#18  Edited By TwoOneFive

awesome, i will totally download the iphone app. can we listen to the podcast directly from the site that way?

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Kohe321

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#19  Edited By Kohe321

Cool stuff.

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pixelsnthoughts

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#20  Edited By pixelsnthoughts

I like the idea of a paid iPhone app. I am curious if you guys have tossed around the ideas of slowly bringing some of the videos over to low-res mp4 so they might be viewable within the app on the iPhone.

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dogbox

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#21  Edited By dogbox

I would pay for an iPhone app in a heartbeat. The design looks great too! 

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C0V3RT

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#22  Edited By C0V3RT

I'd pay for the iphone app.  Glad to help GB AND be able to access the site on my iPhone.

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espiox

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#23  Edited By espiox

I'd happily pay for an Android app, I can tell you that for sure.

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snide

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#24  Edited By snide

@fearxloathing


That's built into v1.
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pixelsnthoughts

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#25  Edited By pixelsnthoughts

@snide

Thanks for answering my question and I can't wait for this app!

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Pkshields

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#26  Edited By Pkshields

I'd also add myself to the paid iphone app. My ipod touch needs more GB. About the ads, I live how clean GB looks and feels, But I think the majority of us are completely fine with ads as long as it doesnt sacrifice the look and feel. Great Job!

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lordofultima

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#27  Edited By lordofultima

If the alternate color looks like ComicVine then it'll be awesome. Just not that WHITE OR DIE layout you had on the old Giant Bomb.

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Matt_H

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#28  Edited By Matt_H

Definately would be happy to help support GB by purchasing the iphone app.  The design looks great and would be nice to be able to access that stuff while away from the pc/laptop.  Bring it on!

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Doublechops

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#29  Edited By Doublechops

I would be more than happy to pay for an iPhone app, its a way we can help the site and keep all the videos and content coming.  Just my quick thought on this.

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megalowho

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#30  Edited By megalowho

Very much interested in an iPhone app for some monies. Lord knows I've paid for a bunch of crap I clicked on probably once and forgot about as it is. A quality GB app would be worth paying for no question.

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Knibbly

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#31  Edited By Knibbly

I'd happily pay for a GiantBomb iPhone app.  Anything to help keep you guys afloat.

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Jensonb

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#32  Edited By Jensonb

I will happily pay for the Giant Bomb iPhone App, if I can support you guys doing what you're doing, I want to.

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iamjohn

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#33  Edited By iamjohn

Here's my opinion: two Giant Bomb Apps.  A free one that lets you see news, reviews, and game pages, and a paid one that gives you editing and forum access, and maybe even lets you watch videos?  I'd pay $5 for that.

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Hamz

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#34  Edited By Hamz

I'll buy an iPhone and pay for an iPhone app for GiantBomb!

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TullyAckland

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#35  Edited By TullyAckland

Totally cool with paying for the iPhone app, looking forward to seeing more.

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mracoon

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#36  Edited By mracoon  Moderator

Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section.

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thebeast

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#37  Edited By thebeast
snide said:
"@Beast

  • We chose the iPhone for the simple reason that we all own them at the office and it would be something we ourselves would use. We're not ruling out a mobile version of the site in the future, but stuff on the iPhone sure is popular these days and we didn't want to miss the opportunity to be ahead of the curve on this one.
  • Full log in / profile options are being slated for version 2, which we'll likely move to next if there's enough reason to build it."
Fair enough - there's no doubt that the iPhone is a pretty damn popular platform (even judging by the interest for it in this topic so far) - it makes sense to get GB on to it, but at the same time, I can't see any benefits (apart from being able to charge) that a native app would have over an iPhone-tailored web app which could work on Android and so on.

I'm still all for paying for an iPhone app though!
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Death_Burnout

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#38  Edited By Death_Burnout

White Site!!!

Too late, it took that long that i am now comfortable on the Black Site.

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Aaron_G

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#39  Edited By Aaron_G

I would pay for a GiantBomb iPhone app. 

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Miniman

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#40  Edited By Miniman
mracoon said:
"Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section."
There always has been, under the releases page.

And ya, I would pay for an iPhone app...if I had an iPhone that is : /
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Fnord

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#41  Edited By Fnord

I would say that the iPhone or Android version should be free to just access the site.  Basically the same thing that could be accessed by loading the site in with a web browser and not logging on.

The paid app should be to actually log into your account, edit the database, etc.  Giant Bomb Mobile (free) should be the IMDB of video games, and, we all know, it all comes down to IMDB when you're with your friends at a bar or restaurant.

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TaintedSun

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#42  Edited By TaintedSun

$5 is as much as I would want to pay for an iPhone app for GiantBomb. Right now I visit the site via Safari, but it's not really that great. Instead of listing what I can't do, I'll tell you what I can do: read articles. That's it. That's also, in most cases, plenty for the time being. However, the idea of watching Quick Looks and Endurance Runs sounds appealing. $5 though, guys. You can go less, but any more and you're pushing it.

@ fearxloathing

I assume by them creating an iPhone application they are altering their player to allow us to watch videos. Otherwise, there is little to no reason to create an app.

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mracoon

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#43  Edited By mracoon  Moderator
Miniman said:
"mracoon said:
"Wait, so is there a way to add a UK (or JP or AU) release date to a game now? Because the New Games page has nothing under the UK section."
There always has been, under the releases page.And ya, I would pay for an iPhone app...if I had an iPhone that is : /"
I can't believe I've never seen that page before. This will help a lot in editing wikis. Thanks.
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MeierTheRed

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#44  Edited By MeierTheRed

Happy that the white design is still coming. I actually do prefer the look of the black design, but my eyes hurt when reading the white text on the black background, witch fucking sucks.

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lightwarrior179

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#45  Edited By lightwarrior179

You guys are doing a good job. Keep up at it!

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Orgun

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#46  Edited By Orgun

Yeah i'd pay for the iPhone app, as long as its not too expensive. About £1 seems good to me.

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MCXCI

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#47  Edited By MCXCI

Haha!

   If you want to charge for the iPhone app, you're gonna have to do much better then that preview. I'm all for supporting the site. But if you're gonna put out some half-assed "read-only" app, then just put up a donate link so I can contribute without ever feeling like you guys have failed me. The editorial and tech team of Giant Bomb has and continues to prove themselves to be capable of much more then that sorry preview pic. The Facebook app is still free and without a doubt one of the best designed apps on iTunes. If you can't design an app of that calibre, don't charge.
   I'd rather GIVE you my money then pay for another half-assed iPhone app under the guise that I'm supporting Giant Bomb. I'm not kidding. I'm tired of people on the web constantly blabbing about the iPhone's potential but doing jack shit on their end (Gizmodo). If you're gonna do it. Do It right.
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FlappyHands

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#48  Edited By FlappyHands

Sweet. I don't have an iPhone so I guess I'll be missing out on that stuff, but the rest is cool. I'll see what I can do about adding release date information for UK releases in future. Cheers, Snide.

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MattyFTM

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#49  Edited By MattyFTM
Pato said:
"Haha!
   If you want to charge for the iPhone app, you're gonna have to do much better then that preview. I'm all for supporting the site. But if you're gonna put out some half-assed "read-only" app, then just put up a donate link so I can contribute without ever feeling like you guys have failed me. The editorial and tech team of Giant Bomb has and continues to prove themselves to be capable of much more then that sorry preview pic. The Facebook app is still free and without a doubt one of the best designed apps on iTunes. If you can't design an app of that calibre, don't charge.
   I'd rather GIVE you my money then pay for another half-assed iPhone app under the guise that I'm supporting Giant Bomb. I'm not kidding. I'm tired of people on the web constantly blabbing about the iPhone's potential but doing jack shit on their end (Gizmodo). If you're gonna do it. Do It right.
"
There will be legal problems with a business accepting donations. Not to mention that it doesn't look good for the site.

Also, snide said the read only app would be the first version, and a full app with login and community features would be the second version. The read only version is only temporary while they work on the full version.
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MichaelBach

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#50  Edited By MichaelBach

I would rather just pay a monthly GB members fee all included. Maby give members stuff like downloadable vids and other extra goodies. I would even pay for the site as is. I look at it like this, I save a ton of money every month on buying magazines, and I get tons more out of the site, so paying 5-10 bucks a month is ok by mee.