Create High-Resolution Mockups for Your App or Site with Promotee

When it comes to promoting your site or app, it’s important that your renders are high quality and accurately portray what your customers should expect.

Promotee is a Mac application to create pixel-perfect and professional looking artwork for iOS, Mac and Android apps. Just drop a screenshot from your app onto a template in Promotee and our graphics engine will blend it into the template to generate a gorgeous looking result.

Promotee has one goal: to do exactly what I said without breaking the bank of paying for renders or shooting your own devices, wasting valuable time. I sat down with the app and here’s how it went.

When you launch the app for the first time, you’re dropped right into it with no fuss. You’re given an interface that allows you choose from iOS, Mac, and Android devices. By default, all three categories are selected under the “All” tab.

Over the top of the window is side-scrolling menu where you can choose the device and layout you desire. This list includes iPads in both horizontal and vertical arrangements, a three-way iPad setup, iPhones in both black and white, and more.

Because I’m about bullying testing it out, I took three screenshots of my homepage for the 3-way vertical iPhone arrangement. The middle image aligned properly, but the side two did not, leading to a less-than-ideal visual:

Screenshot 2015-05-03 15.45.32Hoping that it was just a bug, I moved to a single device both vertical and laying flat, both iPhones. This time, I had success both times. All hope was not lost on this app. When dragging the image into the zone marked on our mock device, it took next to no time at all for the render to complete. I suspect this is because re-orienting an image within bounds is trivial. I don’t foresee any issues on even lightweight OS X systems like a Macbook Air. My Macbook Pro is four years old and it was just another day in the life.

Speaking of OS X devices, I wanted to see how well Promotee could churn out mockups of a Macbook Pro. I selected the Mac category and found a mockup of a Macbook Pro (non-retina) just like what I own.

Since we had trouble with the 3-way iPhone setup earlier, I wanted to try again with the 3-way iMac setup. Unlike our iPhone setup earlier, this mockup was flawless.

Android devices get some love, too, so don’t worry about that. If you’re looking for additional devices and you bought the App Store version, you can pick up the 5C/iPad mockup and the Macbook Air (perspective) mockup for $0.99 each via an in-app purchase. If you bought the app right from their site, you’ll have to go back to their site to get your mockups, still $0.99 each.

I’ve included images below from the app below that I created in the process of writing up this review.

All in all, this app is pretty slick. It does exactly what the developers claim it does, albeit with a hiccup here or there. I suspect whatever bug is plaguing the app will be fixed at some point in the future. For right now, It’s a maybe. It’s $4.99 on both the App Store and straight from their site. It’s possible that by the time you read this, whatever issue I experienced is now fixed. if that’s the case, I’ll update this article accordingly.

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Hands on with GAget

Recently I wrote a couple blurbs about an iOS app and OS X notification widget called GAget. I received the opportunity to get some hands-on time with it and now I’m ready to share with you my experiences.

iOS App

First let’s start with the iOS version, simply because I have my phone in front of me. When I first wrote about GAget, I had an iPhone 5. Now I have an iPhone 6. The app isn’t optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6+ but no matter as it still looks pretty dang good. 

Setting up the app is dead simple. You’re asked to go in to a Google account (ideally one that has access to Google Analytics) to get started. You’re taken to a Google sign in page where you’re instructed to enter your credentials. If you have two-step authentication enabled on your account like I do, you’ll have to take care of that, as well.

Upon verifying your credentials and accepting the app’s request to view your Google Analytics data, you’re taken to a wonderful home screen.  All the essentials you need to keep track of visitor history is right there. This app isn’t for those who want to have super granular campaign data or do whatever they do with behavior tracking. That’s not what this app is about. GAget is for those who want the basics and they want it without fuss.

You’re presented with a line graph of historical data regarding visitors, and are shown the most recent entry, which should be the same day. As you scroll down, you get to see things like overall stats for the last two weeks including visits, unique visitors, and total page views among said visits.

Next is you’re given some nice circle-based metrics (a.k.a. a pie chart) showing more visit and exit percentages. Follow that up with some averages and a detailed traffic breakdown and you’re on your way! Need a refresh? just shake.

The app is lightweight, super smooth, and supposedly comes with the ability to use your site as a background. I was unable to get this to work, however, but I imagine it looks good, too. 

GAget will allow you to view multiple sites, if you have more than one present in Google Analytics. All you need to do is swipe left and right to move through them!

OS X Widget

The widget that sits in the OS X notification center functions a lot like the iOS app in that it shows you a lot of the same information, only if you request it. The widget sits in the Today section and by default only shows you your visits for the day, but when clicked, expands to show recent history, as well. It doesn’t have the same granularity in terms of sources of traffic but everything else seems to be present. 

The widget is really meant for a quick glance at the action taking place on your site and how many millions of people you have coming to see your wares. It’s ok if you don’t have millions. It don’t, and it works for me, too.

Both the iOS app and the OS X widget are priced well, at $1.99 and $2.99 each. The iOS doesn’t have a free option nor does it have any kind of ads present, so it’s really one of those pay-once-enjoy-forever deals that I personally really like. 

I’ve spent a week with both versions  and I like each in its own way. They make glancing at your data easy and painless and for the price, you really can’t go wrong with that much more convenience. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can have both apps. For the price of a vending machine snack, you can have your Google Analytics data in your phone without the fuss.

Update: I received an email from the App developer and clarified a couple points in the article.

Getting Started with Loggly Part 2: The Cool Stuff!

This is a continuation of part 1: Getting Started with Loggly.

Note: Apparently waiting hours for account generation isn’t a thing according to the fine folks on twitter @loggly.

@_JohnathanLyman Creation takes a few sec so likely something happened during form validation. Perhaps try again or DM us the subdomain you typed in

— Loggly, Inc. (@loggly) March 15, 2015

Now that we’re signed up, let’s get down to the good stuff!

The first thing I want to do is start tracking Linux. The core of my site is Ubuntu (among other things). Loggly makes this easy. All I need to do is click the Linux icon on my account’s main page.

It really is as simple as copying the two lines of code and running them with superuser access. Within a few seconds, Loggly grabbed a hold and started showing me cool stuff!

It’s pretty empty now, because I literally just started tracking and I’m only tracking Linux. With time this will become more populated and more interesting to parse through.

Moving on to other applications, now. I want to start tracking nginx. Nginx is just one of the apps Loggly can track. The list is massive.

Getting Nginx set up was just as easy as Linux, although Loggly believed my Nginx logs weren’t of a proper format. No matter, they’re coming in great.

Getting MySQL set up isn’t a one-click process like the others. This requires MySQL to do some extra work and get a bit re-configured. No worries, it’s nothing extravagant.

Setting up PHP was a breeze, and I like a good breeze.

Once everything was added like I wanted, I started poking through my logs to see if I could really find good data without hassle. Turns out, I can.

What’s better than watching someone from China try to hack into your system via SSH by trying to log in as the root user?

Nothing 🙂

I’d recommend Loggly to anyone who wants to consolidate and be able to parse and search through their log data. You might not need the heavy plans, I know I don’t. It’s still good to be able to look at events as they happen in real time with an interface that doesn’t suck and from anywhere in the world without having to log into your system.

Go check out Loggly, right now. You’ll enjoy it, for sure!

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