Our new native app: CardStar

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by mesa, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. mesa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    Hi everyone, I'm excited to announce the release of our first iPhone application, CardStar. CardStar is a club card / reward card / membership card manager. We have a built in merchant list of over 100 companies to make card entry as easy as possible: just select the merchant and enter your membership number. CardStar will generate a barcode to match the one on the back of your card. Most merchants can scan your card from your iPhone screen (which is very cool, for you and the cashier), but if that doesn't work, it's still a handy place to keep your membership number to enter manually.

    It's 0.99 and available now at the iTunes store. Thanks!
     
  2. detz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #2
    Does the barcode reading work on all 100 merchants you have in your list? I've tried the other apps like this and not one of the barcodes worked.
     
  3. KRAPPS macrumors 6502

    KRAPPS

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #3
    Very cool - thanks for the heads up ... I guess the "key" (no pun intented) is to have the potential users grocery store on your list since I would assume this is the #1 card carried on one's keychain (unless you are a lush like us - BevMo) ... great work, thanks!
     
  4. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

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    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Troy, MT
    #4
    Just sent you two more cards that are not listed in your list of merchants.
    I have not purchased app yet...but I am tired of lugging all that plastic around.
    Any promo codes since its a new app?

    Waiting for reviews before I purchase to see if bar codes work as advertised.

    They also have a video on the web site that I have linked above.
     
  5. mesa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2005
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    #5
    Thanks, everyone. There are definitely some merchants where it won't work because laser scanners cannot scan off a glass screen (most often the supermarkets use these so they can ignore which side is up). The scanners that work are the optical kind (hand helds espcially) that "look" at the barcode.

    Our testers have been noting (in our database) which ones do work (for example, I tested the CVS barcode locally here in DC and it works 100% of the time) and which do not. As we assemble this information we'll probably indicate which merchants are known to work.

    Understanding these limitations we are 1) indicating that our "main feature" is storing cards (and eventually coupons) for your favorite stores and a secondary feature is providing the barcode and number for scanning/entering; and 2) making the app as inexpensive as we can make it (99 cents).

    I'd love to hand out promos, but they're in reserve for our marketing people to give to press/reviewers. If we end up with extras I'll let y'all know.
     
  6. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #6
    That's Pretty cool!

    Not sure how I feel about some grubby teenager touching my phone though!
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    Ok so esentially this app would prefer the bar code to be scanned with a handheld scanner. Of the 100 stores if the ones I use club cards for do not have handheld scanners or more often than not don't bother using them unless the items are bulky, then why would I bother?

    Storing my club cars in a database is silly. Storing them in a database that allows me to use my phone as I would the club card is brilliant.

    I don't want a free promo code (though let's be honest and say your answer is silly as to why you won't give them out), but I would love to see some reviews. So please, hand out those promo codes so we can see if this works.

    The key to salability here will be listing every store that is available and whether or not the code can be read with a handheld or the pass thru method because again, if my stores aren't listed or if they're there but they don't work with either method then it's a no go, even at a buck.

    I would also recommend that you give this app to people is various areas that can test for you. Here I have Food Lion and Harris Teeter that I tend to shop at. Back home there was Vons, Ralphs, Albertsons, etc.

    Edit: Your site, that damn pop out window to check to see which stores are available is annoying and difficult to use. :D
     
  8. KRAPPS macrumors 6502

    KRAPPS

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    Hmmmm ... ok, now you got me scratching my head :confused:

    So the MAIN FEATURE is storing cards .... but isn't there plenty of apps that already do this: Evernote, eWallet, etc.??? I would think the secondary feature you mention above should really be the primary feature ... if not, it's just another "memo" app ... again, maybe I'm missing something :confused:

    Finally ... don't be underestimate the Marketing power of giving out promo codes to "non-press" ... word of mouth is HUGE, especially in eWorld ... many folks engage Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or other social media and even though not "press", there influence is HUGE .. ever hear of Motrin Moms - yeah, Motrin has.
     
  9. mesa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Well, I'm only the developer, but I'll forward these suggestions to marketing. I agree that social media / forums is a good outlet for word-of-mouth!

    Thanks for everyone's feedback!
     
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #10
    Feedback?
    What I'd like is an actual developer to come here, pimp their app and actually respond to some of the replies made. Whether the app is $1.00 or $10.00, I think this is a lame attempt to get noticed and shows complete lack of developer support.

    "pass it onto marketing" gimme a break. :rolleyes:
     
  11. mesa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2005
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    #11
    Yikes, Jessica, didn't mean to get you all bothered.

    We've been developing apps for OS X since 2003 and believe me, developer support is something which we've tried to provide in earnest. However, CardStar is not a Mesa app, it's a joint venture with another company, so even though it seems to piss you off, the fact is I don't have 100% say on how this app is being marketed. Everyone's feedback (including yours) is sincerely useful, and that was simply my aim in posting here.
     
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #12
    I'm not "bothered" really and we're not talking about how it is being marketed, we're talking about functionality, which is one of the key responsibilities of the developer. What I find amusing is that you're very focused on marketing. Being in a world where some marketing schmuck sells a major organization on an application that doesn't actually have any real cost benefit I'm highly critical of those who push everything off on "marketing". You're the developer, you answer the questions about how it works or get your so-called marketing guys in here so that we can ask, you can send them the answer and they can answer ... if you need that many layers in your organization. Promoting an application is one thing, but disclose early on that you're nothing more than the developer and any questions or concerns will have to be sent to "marketing". Still, that's sad to see as you're the brains behind this project, but to me telling people that their "feedback" will go to marketing is like telling me Steve Jobs himself will call me to discuss the next revision of the iPhone software to see if I'm on board; it's fruitless.

    I'm not pissed off, you'll know when I am, but I believe I can safely speak for a number of customers today when I say that there is so much crap in the App Store that having an actual developer come here and really hold our hands and show us the benefit of their app would be nice. Your lackadaisical attitude of "I'll let marketing know" isn't what a consumer needs.

    I understand this is a joint venture and there's some "marketing department" who is employed to respond to such feedback ... but again, I say bring them here if it is so important for them to be the face of CardStar. I seriously believe this app could be great and as I fumble with all my cards and my wallet gets thicker and thicker I start to wonder if this isn't the saving grace we all need. I would love my iPhone to "work for me" and if this is just another opportunity to have it do that, then great. I believe I said that early on that the idea of this app is brilliant. Or something to that affect.
     
  13. LostLogik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #13
    Must admit, the comment that this app won't work with laser scanners really does negate its usefulness. More and more retailers use laser scanners now and to pull out an iPhone to have my loyalty "card" scanned, only to find that it doesn't work would make me look a right numpty. And so I'd need to carry around some of my cards and just use this program as a dB to store info, which I do already with eWallet.

    Needs a lot more info / positive assurance that this app works as described (your website says "Tired of having to carrying around all of those pesky membership cards.." implying it is a replacement. Except it would seem it isn't. Clarification please.
     
  14. mesa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Jessica, thank you for explaining your position. I've gone back through this thread and it appears that all the questions being posed were marketing questions (promo codes, verifying which merchants work, testing in various locations across the US, etc.). You're 100% correct that -- as the developer -- it is my key responsibility to answer any and all functionality questions. All email directed to support is read by me and I answer each one as diligently as I can. If I missed a development question here, please let me know and I'll answer it. Thanks!

    Yes I agree, but unfortunately it's not possible for us (or any one else) to get around this limitation on the iPhone.

    Actually we've been finding that the opposite is true: laser technology is being phased out for optical (which is good for us). Where our testers have experienced failures, the cashiers tend to remark that the idea was cool, so it can actually be a fun thing to try.

    You may be right that people who've already spent $ for eWallet probably aren't interested in spending additional $ for the chance that they can scan their cards at the register from the iPhone. And that's something I can take back to marketing.

    I suppose it is a replacement in this sense: if you want a replacement for your plastic club cards, then CardStar can do that for you, and as a bonus you may even find that the barcodes are readable electronically. Those that are not can still be entered manually at the cashier since the membership number is displayed on the screen as well. Is that worth a buck? I'm honestly not sure. I hope so! :)
     
  15. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    #15
    Okay, I'll chime in on this one. I hate having to keep those membership cards, so I bought this app right away yesterday. Since I needed to go to the store anyway, I entered my Food Lion and Harris Teeter info and gave it a shot. The barcode on the phone would not scan at either store, as they use that 'drag across' scanner, which I assume is the laser scanner that was mentioned. I have no doubt that it will work with the handhelds, because I actually have experience with handhelds scanning barcodes through glass. That being said, the app is still useful for ME because I still have the info on all my cards right on my phone, so I never have to worry about taking a card in with me again. Yes, I could have just entered the info in the Notes app, but CardStar has a nice clean interface, it has the corporate logo for each store, plus you get the barcode. If the barcode works, that's great. If not, you've still got the card number, which can be entered manually in about 10 seconds. For me, it's worth the dollar.
     
  16. vRobert macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #16
    I was using cardstart app for my iphone till i find the Cardmobili app, that is already available in USA.
    This is the loyalty card's app that i was looking for, its fantastic, there is more than 300 loyalty cards available, contains barcodes, i can share cards with my friends, add new loyalty program using the site www.cardmobili.com and it will be automatically synched with my iphone, and lots of more features.

    Its totally FREE and its already available for Iphone, Blackberry and Java cell phones. Very soon will be available for android and Windows Mobile too.

    Just check this video and you will see what i mean: http://vimeo.com/12591078

    :D:D
     
  17. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #17
    thx

    i have to restore my phone as new in the next few weeks and dreaded having to reenter some data. and i don't trust the iphone backup to be stable
     
  18. OC513 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    I have had this app for awhile now and I love it......made my keychain a normal size now instead of having 20 mini club cards on it. It works at many places by me.....including Toys R Us, Babies R Us, CVS and Stop&Shop.....where it doesnt work they just manually enter the club number.....still better than having a keychain or wallet full of crappy club cards. I use mine a few times a week and think its great.
     

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