Introducing… Ship Mate 4.0
We have some BIG news… but first, a story.
A couple months ago, I went to my dentist and asked him something I’ve always wanted to know… “Hey doc – half of your office is filled with boxes of patient’s files. Why don’t you digitalize all that stuff? Wouldn’t it be much more efficient?”
His reply made perfect sense.
“Yeah it would, but that would also take a year to complete… I’m old. I have a couple more in me, then I’m done with the dentist game.”
Why do I tell this story? Because I need dentist recommendations.
And, also as a less geeky comparison to Ship Mate’s situation. A year ago we made a decision to upgrade our Ship Mate filing system. Facebook purchased our database provider and decided to shut them down. They gave us one year to find a replacement.
We had the option of using another database provider (very limiting) or to build our own (possibilities are endless) in that 12 month window. That may seem like a long time, but the original Ship Mate took over five years to build… so we’d have to work 5x as fast. And, we were already stretched pretty thin. But, we took the challenge.
For the past 12 months, we’ve been rewriting our entire database to make things much more efficient for the future. Why? Because we’re playing the long game… unlike doc, we have way more than a year in us.
You might have noticed that no new features have been added in a while. That’s going to change! We have all kinds of great improvements planned now that we have our ducks in a row.
But first, we have to get past this launch. As with any new technology, there’s bound to be some problems. To return to the metaphor, in this first month we could be battling some relatively harmless plaque… or it could look like we took a fastball to the grill… T.B.D.
To get started in the new app, all you’ll need to do is to update your existing Ship Mate App. The new (and hopefully much improved) app will replace your existing version.
Here’s a sneak peek!
24 HR UPDATE: Umm… well, this is about as fun as going to the dentist. Here are items that we weren’t able to get into the launch in time, but will be adding asap: Packing Checklist, Ship Horn, and Notes sections. Also, the ability to access “liked’ photos. You let us know that these are very, very important to you. All of those will return asap! Also, we have some known bugs with itinerary times. Those will be fixed next update. With the update, some users aren’t seeing some of their uploaded photos. That should be fixed today. And for P&O ships, ports are missing from itineraries and web cams and location will be a couple days to fix. Please bare with us! We’re doing our best to fix these items!
48 HR UPDATE: Last night we sent a push notification out to WAY too many people. We thought it would only go out to those on the old app, but it went out to millions. As a result, we had a traffic spike like 7-11 on free slurpee day. This broke our log-in system and started popping up “token errors” and other issues in the app. This brought on the next round of infuriated emails. I’ve learned that the free app game is not for the thin-skinned. We’re powering through these emails and problems (with tissues in hand), but now considering an Amish life-change.
72 HR UPDATE: I think we’ve turned a corner. Most fires are put out. We’ve actually received one or two nice emails from users enjoying the new app. All hope is not lost.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any issues. You can do that through the new “Profile” tab. We read every email and do our best to respond asap. Please know that this small team continues to do its very best to serve our amazing Ship Mate community. If you’re enjoying the app, please take a minute to rate us in the app store. It really goes a long way to keep us motivated. We read every review. If you do post an App Store Review, please let us know in the comments below!
Thank you, ship mates!
Now go download the real thing and give it a spin. To help you get started, we put together some instructional videos and posts to walk you through the sections seen above.
Feel free to check those out using the links below.
- Getting Started – Basic Navigation, Creating and Account & Updating my Profile
- Adding my First Cruise
And remember… nobody likes gingivitis.