Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Working at Final Draft

I got to work with the coolest cats to develop Final Draft Reader iPad app. We are not getting the best reviews in the app store right now. In fact, a lot of the reviews suggest firing the developers (um...that's me and my team?) and hiring some real developers. That is really a shame because it's a pretty good FDX reader!

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People reviewing this app with a one star review are judging it on two things:
  • its ability to edit screenplays
  • how long it took to develop.
To address the first complaint I just have to point to the name of the app. It's a Final Draft Reader. Now, I understand that a reader app may not be useful to a screenwriter. (Psst! Don't buy it if you need an editor!) But the name and the description of the app are not misleading about what the app does. So, it's a little frustrating to us, as developers, to keep getting feedback about lacking features that the app does not claim to have. Yes, we know it does not edit. That's not a bug, it's expected behavior (or should be expected, even if all you read is the name of the app).

The second complaint is the time it took to put the app out. To a loyal Final Draft customer who has signed up for development updates it appears that it took us 2 years to develop a reader. That sounds like an enormously long amount of time to do something so basic. And if it took us THAT long to do the reader, how much longer will it be do develop an editor?! That would leave me pretty disappointed with the company, for sure. I can't really speak to what happened before me, but I can say that I got hired at the end of June and that's when we started the project that became Final Draft Reader. We went into testing in January. So, really, the time of development for this project was roughly 6 months.

Now, if you want your page breaks to be the same on your iPad as on your desktop, and if you want to navigate your script with ease - you should check the Final Draft Reader app out! I think it's awesome.

We are working on being able to edit right now, and I cannot wait to release the next app. But for now, I just wish we would stop buying shoes and then complaining about them not fitting on our heads.

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