Stickyboard 2.0 has been released!

by qrayon 20. May 2010 20:28


This major update includes free-form drawing with the Marker tool, and the ability to email boards as PDF files.

Download it now for FREE from the App Store.

Read more details on the new features in this post.

Thanks for using Stickyboard! We are already hard at work on the next release. Stay tuned.

Under the Hood: Insight into App Crashes - It’s all about the Memory

by qrayon 10. May 2010 00:00

In building Stickyboard and Quarter Shuffle, we’ve had to work very hard to optimize dynamic memory (RAM) usage on the iPad. Dynamic memory is not the same as storage memory (i.e. the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB of flash ram), which is analogous to hard drive storage on your laptop computer. All versions of the iPad contain only 256MB of dynamic memory, the same as the iPhone 3GS (the iPhone 3G only has half as much). In comparison, a typical laptop computer has 8 or 16 times that amount of RAM.

Actually, it’s worse than that. The base operating system on the iPad takes up over 100MB of that memory, which leaves around 150MB for services and Apps.

What makes things interesting is that certain built-in apps, namely Safari, Mail, and iTunes, actually run in the background and take up memory even when not active! Here’s a snapshot of one of our test iPad’s memory usage (using the Instruments tool):


Here, those 3 apps take up another 50MB of memory. After subtracting out all the other miscellaneous services (e.g. Bluetooth, DRM, location services, etc.), Apps are only left with around 50MB of memory to use. If an App ever tries to allocate more memory than what is available, it crashes, usually without warning.

The problem is that because background memory usage can vary quite a bit, it’s very hard for App Developers to predict what a safe maximum available memory is. For instance, you can see above that Stickyboard is taking up around 27MB of memory as a baseline. However, this can spike when loading boards, drawing lines, etc. In our testing, we’ve made sure not to exceed around 40MB of memory to leave a safe buffer. But if someone were to have a lot of tabs and complex pages open in Safari, or a large email active, available memory could possibly be lower than what is expected.

Tip: If you ever find your Apps frequently crashing on your iPad, try doing a hard reset. Hold down the Home and Power buttons down simultaneously for around 15 seconds until you see the Apple logo. This should reset background Apps enough to free the maximum RAM available.


Jailbreakers Beware

While we haven’t done any testing on Jailbroken iPads, we know that one of the top features is the ability to run apps in the background. This is going to dramatically reduce available memory for the foreground app! If you are running J/B, be careful about monitoring available memory. While we wish running any app in the background were possible today, it’s pretty clear that the planned multitasking services in iPhone OS 4 are the right way to deal with the very limited memory on the iPad and iPhone.

Let’s hope that the next version of the iPhone and iPad come with much more dynamic memory. Especially if the rumors about higher resolution screens and cameras are true, this will almost certainly require double or quadruple the RAM needed, just in order to deal with higher resolution images.

Stickyboard Sneak Peek: Email PDF

by qrayon 6. May 2010 07:14


This has been a top hotly requested feature by our beta testers since day one. We’re happy to announce that the feature is now ready and will be in the next major update. What do you think of the icon?


We wrestled between choosing to implement different means for sharing Stickyboard content, including file-sharing via iTunes, sending images, and integrating with upload sites like Flickr. Our internal testing found email to be far and away the most convenient method that we chose to use daily. Our iPads are always connected via WiFi, and rarely docked with iTunes. To be honest, we struggled quite a bit to use the file-sharing feature on other Apps. It’s not very easy to find or use on the current version of iTunes.

Emails in contrast are fire-and-forget. Sending them from in the app feels very much like a slightly fancier save-as dialog. Emails are also a very convenient way to archive boards that go through successive changes, like our scheduling boards. They server as an official record of what was agreed upon at a given time.

What file-sharing features do you find you use the most on iPad apps? What has been your experience?

We hope to have this out and in your hands within a couple of weeks (that’s the nature of working with the Apple review and deployment pipeline). We are also working on a couple of other really cool features that will be out soon. Stay tuned!

Stickyboard is a Top 10 Productivity App!

by qrayon 29. April 2010 07:57


Thank you everyone who downloaded Stickyboard!

We’re hard at work on the next version. Sneak peek: Emailing boards as PDFs is coming soon.

What other top features would you like to see in a future release?


Stickyboard | iPad

Stickyboard is now available in the App Store

by qrayon 27. April 2010 21:34


Stickyboard has just gone live! Download it free now from the App Store.

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