SSH: From none to wow

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by canadacow, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. canadacow macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    So we went from not having any SSH clients to four over the span of a month.

    I just recently released my latest version 1.1 of iSSH, which fixed issues like non-standard ports and added automatic public key exchange and multiple simultaneous connections.

    TouchTerm 2.0 was also recently released, taking their app from what began as a hackjob (no terminal emulation at all) to a half decent client (I'm a little biased, of course!). They added key generation and exchange and a connection list.

    pTerm, the first SSH client with terminal emulation has been holding strong with their comparatively old 1.1 that fixed some major stability bugs on the first release.

    Finally, another hack job (dare I say, scam) SSH was released as well. This client is nothing more than an SSH version of the Telnet client that they release a month earlier. No new features compared to their "terminal emulation-less" client, and no UI to speak of. Not going post a link because their site doesn't even mention it.

    So what's the consensus on the current state of the SSH clients? What's still missing? What do you all like and dislike about each?
  2. enklined macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    canadacow, I've been waiting for a thread like this for awhile.

    I want to buy iSSH SO bad, but because of the higher cost, I just can't do it. If you were to lower the cost of your app down to what TouchTerm charges, I bet you'd see a very steep increase in sales.

    Your app is the most expensive SSH app. For people like me, who only need SSH in emergency situations, paying $2 more for what has been said to be the best SSH app out just isn't worth it.

    EDIT:: Needless to say, I haven't bought any SSH client yet, but am just about ready to pull the trigger on TouchTerm. I've been holding out for the last couple weeks, hoping you might lower your app's price :p
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    @enklined you know in the time it took you to write that post you could have earned the $4.99 for iSSH... I just don't get where people are getting the notions that app X is only worth Y dollars when just about all iPhone apps are priced considerably lower than applications on any other platform out there.

    In answer to the original post though, personally I'd love to see a popup keyboard where if you press and hold a circular menu pops up with the special keys (CTRL, TAB, ESC etc) implemented like in the jailbreak app mobileTerminal so that top row (in portrait) can be used for more screen real estate.

    Also with the key exchange I noticed a few bugs (likea dialog said press accept when the options were cancel & once and I had some issues with the server not accepting my public key after uploading it) when I was trying it on the bus this morning, will have to try again and document them better plus it is a bit confusing when setting up a server as you select use the public key and it hides the password input, which is required when you try to exchange your key. Just need to tweak that process a little.
  4. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I don't know what your price is, but if it is only $2.00 more and you feel you have the superior product and will continue to expand on it, DO NOT LOWER THE PRICE.
  5. genshi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I too don't use SSH much except to practice my unix commands (I do have two unix shell accounts that I have used for years, just not regularly) but I did want something for when I'm away from my Mac and for me, there is nothing better than iSSH, so that's what I wound up getting (for a very fair price I might add; don't listen to these cheapskates!) and it does exactly what I need it to.

    I agree with jaseone about the ctrl, tab, esc keys. Another good implementation of a pop up keyboard like he was referring to is in the Flipbook app. Just press and hold on the screen and a horizontal bar appears where your finger is; with 5 or so icons/keys that you can choose from (see example video at 00:40 here.) That would be an elegant way of accessing the ctrl, tab, esc keys so to free up that top area as jaseone pointed out...
  6. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Have only used iSSH so far on iphone but I'm happy with it for $4.99

    Right now my main this is the font is a little too small but looks like this will be changed in future version.
  7. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007
    CanadaCow, I really want to like your iSSH app, but until you can re-add the telnet and raw tcp abilities of Putty I have to use iSSH *AND* pTerm. Don't lower your price at all, just please please please add these features I need :D
  8. canadacow thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Your wish is my command. See it in 1.2. :)
  9. Going Nocturnal macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2008
    Ok since you are lacking things to do, here are a few feature requests (not really priority order but numbers looked better).

    1. rdp client (winadmin is suposed to go international soon but I would really prefer having all system administration tools only taking up one icon)
    2. subnet calculator (asubnet is out but really how often is it needed? + same reason as 1)
    3. vnc (same reason as 1)
    4. checkpoint vpn that can connect when firewall is only configured for checkpoint vpn client (killer feature)
    5. macros
    6. copy paste (from screen to email, other way would be great as well)

    CommanderData, could you please wish for some of these features aswell :D

    I don't think any of the others have been released international yet so you don't have any competition outside of the US and you are No. 26 in the Australian store.
  10. canadacow thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I was the #1 paid app in Finland for about 6 days there! Do these guys not know how much more fun Koi Pond is than iSSH!?!?!! :eek:
  11. nutts macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Canadacow, thank you so much for adding key support to iSSH. I had been waiting for v1.1 to appear before I bought it, which I did this morning. :D Now I've set up the connections to my servers. Looking forward to having longer key lengths and DSA key support in v1.2.

    However I am finding myself using portrait mode all of the time as landscape mode really isn't working for me at the moment. Please fix the bug where the top few lines of text disappear (under the top buttons I guess) when you switch to landscape mode. Also, as some others have said, if you can implement auto-hiding top buttons by 'holding' there, that would give more screen real-estate when using landscape.

    Other than that, very happy to have the capability on my iPhone finally, thanks for your hard work. I think you have a huge advantage still being the only SSH client to be available outside of the US. ;) (I'm not including the 'scam' SSH which is also available.)

    PS I don't think you should lower the price. I was very happy to pay the measly £3. I can't believe somebody willing to spend around $2000 over 2 years for an iPhone is bickering about paying such low prices for software, but you're always going to get such behaviour!
  12. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007
    A million thanks! I can hardly wait :)
  13. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I won't pay for a SSH or a Telnet client, PERIOD.

    Someone needs to come up with a freebie. Nothing is so important that it can't wait until I get home and fire up a client. If worse come to worse and I NEED to do something immediately, I can VNC in to a box and run a ssh client from my phone.

    Would be nice to see a free version of one of these apps thats a fully functional ssh client, but maybe doesn't have a server list or anything fancy. Just a 'type in the address, do your thing and quit' type of app.
  14. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007
    You can buy a phone for anywhere from $200 to $600 (depending on when you bought it) and a minimum of $60 a month for service, but you can't pay a $4.99 one-time only fee for an app? Either you're the biggest cheapskate alive, or you're just a kid/PC hobbyist. It's obvious you don't really need this, if "there's nothing important that can't wait until you get home". Professionals do need this stuff and need to fix something immediately when the call comes in. Five bucks is a laughably small amount for the ability to save people thousands of dollars an hour from anywhere. [end rant mode]

    CanadaCow, don't let people like this get you down. I can hardly wait for everyone to tell me I should be giving away my apps once they hit the store. :D
  15. ayasin macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2008
    My response to posts like this or "information wants to be free" posts is to ask "how would this work at your workplace?" What if your boss came to you and gave you 10% of your pay and said well only one customer paid, the others believe that labor wants to be free and that a job well done is it's own reward. Usually at that point there's some whining justification why my efforts don't deserve compensation while theirs do, but they have yet to come up with a reasonable answer to it (hint: there isn't one) ;).
  16. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    The iPhone is not my first go-round in the smartphone space. I've used WinMo devices since 2003. In fact, all my phone purchases since the Toshiba 2032SP have been full-priced upgrades (not counting the iPhone, that I switched to AT&T for). But I don't really feel the need to explain to you what my job function is and how I use ssh on a daily basis. There have been times that I've had to stop everything I'm doing, wether it's eating, in a movie theater, etc, and go home to fix a problem. But there is nothing in the span of 10-15 minutes it takes me to get home that is so business critical that it causes the loss of thousands of dollars, and guess what, I work in a 24/7 media operation.

    Now, the people on the other end of the line like to make it out like it's the end of the world if their problem isn't fixed within 30 seconds, but thats never the case. It's never something that can't wait 15-20 minutes.

    All I'm really saying is that I refuse to pay for basic functionality because the AppStore is 'new'. Basic functionality SSH/Telnet/FTP/VNC clients have been available for WinMo phones for a couple of years now. The same thing happened in the WinMo space, people thought they could make a good living selling their apps and it just didn't work out. Free versions of these apps will come, it's just a matter of time.
  17. canadacow thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm actually quite surprised about the apparent effect price has on the number of purchases. The free apps are "out-selling" the paid apps by an order of magnitude. Similiarly, TouchTerm is outselling me (so far just in the United States) even though most of the reviews are in my favor, probably due to price alone. (If there are other factors, let me know and I'll certainly correct them soon!)

    It's certainly been an interesting trip. I'm looking forward to your Apps, CommanderData. I hope they're free! :D

    I didn't originally set out to make a "for-fee" SSH app. Really, I just wanted one for myself. But it turned into something bigger. I have a history of "free" software and have made many contributions to the open source community. However, in instance, charging makes sense, as

    a) I have to provide support for my app.
    b) Lawyers had to get involved.
    c) I have a wife.
  18. ayasin macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2008

    There are lots of times it can't wait 15-20 minutes. Have an entire trading floor at a brokerage wait 20 min for you to drag your ass to a computer and see how much money is lost. Also I find your point about Windows Mobile software to be laughable at best. There are LOTS of people who make a good living in the mobile space and have been for a long time, and for what he's asking you can't even get a freaking happy meal. The iPhone is new, there are lots of people in it and prices are currently all over the place. I predict that it will shake out and this time next year you'll see the players here who 1. properly priced their apps and 2. actually put time and effort into making something of quality.


    Just keep making great software bro, you don't have to justify your charging for your efforts any more than any businessman has to justify wanting to make a profit.
  19. jediknight0 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    Agreed. At my work, when you are on-call you are required to be online within 5 minutes after our NOC escalates an issue to you. Failure to do so just two times would be grounds for firing.

    So... you never go anywhere more than 10-15 minutes from home? Granted, I would never go further than that while I was on-call but when not on-call I still have to take a call if it comes in. The only difference is that I won't be fired if I can't get to a terminal in 5 minutes, but it's understood that I should never be more than 10-15 minutes away from some terminal. That's why they give us all laptops and wireless cards for those laptops (which I typically keep in my trunk).

    But with an SSH app on my iphone, I won't even need to go the to car.

    Bearxor, compared to my defination you don't work in a 24/7 operation. :p
  20. islandsnow macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2008
    if you all can wait, mocha telnet is supposed to add ssh support soon. mocha telnet lite is free

  21. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I'm sorry, of course you guys are right, your opinions reign supreme and mine means absolutely nothing, not even to myself.

    I'll just go back to my hobbyist-know-nothing-of-the-real-world-life and let the adults talk about the things that really matter. I'm sorry for interjecting.
  22. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    So your time is worthless. That's cool.

    A lot of other people have a bunch of $200/hr consultants (or thousands of dollars of online business) potentially idling during some system problem. Just a couple minutes of time would save the company far more than the cost of all these apps combined.
  23. canadacow thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Just to get back on track... besides the ones mentioned so far, what are the features you all think are missing in an SSH client?
  24. DaveBr macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2006
    As our company vpn doesn't play nicely with the iPhone it would be great to have a vnc client built in, tunneling through ssh.
  25. Going Nocturnal macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2008

    password generator (well not really missing but would be a nice extra),
    but really the x-server is properly the most useful feature you can add as it will instantly add rdp and vnc to iSSH (ssh to server rdesktop from there).
    upload/download of files (photos, text files)

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