After beta 1 in January and beta 2 in February, we launched beta 3 of swapit three days ago.
It took pretty much a full month to get from beta 2 to beta 3 which was slightly longer than expected, but software development always takes longer than expected. If having been in the business for over a decade has taught me one thing then it is that “it’s good to have deadlines, but don’t expect to hold all of them”. Well, we still try our best to hit our targets and we also try to set our targets realistically.
So back to beta 3: We launched this new beta with a set of new features. Based on the great feedback of our beta testers and especially the beta surveys we ran already, we were able to prioritize our feature-roadmap accordingly. That being said, you can be sure if you’re a swapit beta tester that your voice is heard and you have direct influence on the development and feature set of swapit! Wanna join? Just request your invite here: http://swapit.la
Beta 3 introduces full-text search of items. Besides search being one of the most essential features of a buy & sell app, it was also one of the most requested features in our surveys. Hence, it was a no-brainer to prioritize “search” high up in our feature list. Right now, you can search all items by title and the result will be presented to you sorted by distance from your current location. Of course, it is also possible show only your results on the map.
As a first we introduced a rudimentary filter that allows you to switch between showing only items that are still available (i.e. sold and unsold) or all items. Eventually, this feature will be expanded into a much richer one allowing more sophisticated filters like price range, product category, seller, and some other filters I’d like to keep a surprise for everyone. If you have any ideas about what kind of filters would make sense to you, please do feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post or write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Multiple Pictures & Gallery
This is also a rather obvious feature to have, but it is also a very important one. Items that are being offered through swapit need to be presented in the best way possible. Having the possibility to post pictures from multiple angles makes a huge difference. Yet, it is very important to upload such pictures easily during the item posting process — remember, our goal was and remains to allow you to post an item within 30 seconds; including taking photos. That is very important! No fuss! No transferring photos from your phone/camera to your desktop computer to upload them (like you would need to do when posting on Facebook). At the same time, it is utterly important to present a number of item pictures in a beautiful and panoramic fashion. Each post detail view now sports an automatically revolving gallery that after tapping any picture opens up a full-screen picture viewer.
While I am personally not a Pintrest user, their list layout and the way they present their content is absolutely beautiful, logical and has become a layout many folks are familiar with. To ensure our users feel right at home in a beautifully designed app, we have re-designed the item list – which is the first thing users see when they open the app for the first time, and it is the view they will spend most time on. We have borrowed several design concepts from such commonly known list layouts and have applied them to swapit.
We hope you love it as much as we do, but let me assure you one thing: we will keep working on this and improve it bit by bit. So please expect changes and improvements to this over the next betas. Again, feel free to suggest changes if you think they make sense.
Swapit beta 3 has also been fully tested on Android 5 Lollipop now. While an app like swapit should be running easily on any Android version, there are always slight differences between Android versions. It shouldn’t be like that, but it’s just a pure fact that Android is a defragmentation nightmare. Mainly in terms of devices, but to a slight bit also in terms of the OS and its software architecture and design. It’s manageable, though, and therefore, it wasn’t too hard for us to make sure swapit runs flawlessly on the latest Android 5 Lollipop.
Of course, there are many other small features and improvements that went into beta 3, like a new notifications view (for comments and new items), characters left counters for input fields (like in text message or twitter tweet fields), super fast list loading, map view improvements with custom icons, user profile view as well as a ton of bug fixes and small user interface improvements.
We are quite happy with our beta 3 of swapit. We launched it a couple of days ago and two after that we pushed another beta “3.1” out which right away fixed some issued we noticed with beta 3 on some of our beta testers’ devices. That’s what a beta is for, figuring out issues, introducing new features, testing them, getting feedback, and iterate to the next version.
Quality is Paramount.
Thanks a lot to all of our beta testers for their time and effort. We love all of you and your great feedback. We will be in touch with the next beta 3 survey to determine the next steps moving forward.