Today we are pleased to announce the official launch of our Phix photo and filter sharing service. Phix has been online for quite a bit longer and iPhix for Mac users could enjoy it during that time, but today we feel it’s mature enough to launch officially. Especially since the redesigned homepage went online yesterday. At the moment only two apps support Phix, iPhix for Mac and MonoPhix HD for iPad, but the iPhone version of MonoPhix and others will follow very soon. It’s not out of beta yet, but that’s just because we are still improving the service every day.
What does Phix do that other photo sharing apps don’t?
Phix is not only a photo sharing app, but also allows people to share their complete history of changes they made to the original opened image in a “recipe”. In this way you can show people how you got the result you uploaded and how they can get the same result on their pictures. The online photo viewer automatically detects which app is used and shows the right recipe for your picture. Additionally you can also decide to display EXIF and location data. (Only supported by some apps) But the biggest strength of Phix is that it allows you to upload images without hassle and that you don’t need log in information and that it doesn’t ask for Twitter or Facebook credentials. It just “Share” > Add description > “Upload”. Phix will then return a short link to share back to the app.
How will people find the picture I upload to Phix?
Very simple, you get a shortlink to the viewer page of your picture which you can share on various social networks like Twitter or Facebook. Phix keeps track of all views your picture has and displays them at the bottom of the info box. Additionally, if your picture is nice or artistic enough it can be featured on the homepage mosaic where people can click on your picture and are redirected to the viewer page.
What improvements will be made in the future?
In the future people will be able to leave comments on your pictures and you will be able to create an account on the site where you can add the apps you are sharing pictures from. You will also be able to download recipes straight to your apps and they will automatically be applied. Of course there will also be a greater number of apps you can use to upload pictures.
If you want to try Phix for yourself, head over to the homepage and download one of the supported apps or you can check what other people uploaded.
UIC Phoenxsoftware is known to rise from its ash time after time. that’s why I picked the name in 2005. (Actually it should be phoenixsoftware, but the “i” got lost somewhere along the way.)
We rose from the ash when we dropped windows development almost completely and left a number of successful freeware products behind with it resulting in a stable and self sustaining business on Mac OSX and iOS. We rose from the ash when we were hit by a copyright claim from the nice folks at KONAMI for our most successful product at that time iDuelpro, resulting in a 70% drop in revenue. And now we are ready to reimagine Phoenxsoftware for the third time, this time by rebranding UIC Phoenxsoftware to Phix Software.
This giant step comes not only with a new name, but also with a completely redesigned website and more focus on our commercial products. It also means we will release more serious products and have a bigger budget for marketing and more focused management. With the Mac OSX application we will release in a few days we take a first step in this new era.
Not all changes are positive for everyone. Our Windows users will have to settle with a lot less supported apps and some are even completely removed from our website.
Only the following products will be supported, maintained and get their own spot on the new site: MonoPhix (lite), MonoPhix HD, FlashPhix (lite), GrayPhix, iDuelpro (lite), Lingi, iDuelpro for Mac, Duelpro, 36-image express, SpeedShut, ROC and hur.lu and of course our new app.
The following products have been put on a dedicated “archive” page for deprecated software but are still available for download: 36-image converter, LockPhix, LoadDown, FileTorment, CachePhix, MPhix. These applications are no longer supported so we can’t provide mail support for these and waive all responsibility.
The following products are declared dead and aren’t available for download anymore on our site: FileTorment Suite 2006, FileTorment Suite 2007, PhBrowser, Blastgen Beta, older versions of Duelpro, InfoBlaster IN4.
I am certain these changes will benefit the user and will also give us a competitive edge. You can head over to our new site for a look around and check out the products that you didn’t even know existed.
Today we proudly announce our first web service, hur.lu (Hurl u). hur.lu is an URL Shortener that puts the focus on ease of use, simplicity and to some degree design. For people who don’t know what URL Shorteners are, it are small webservices that allow you to create a short URL for all your long URL’s and links to post them to eg. twitter where only 140 characters are allowed. But the short URL service can also be used as a small analytics service to check the amount of hits your link gets.
The hur.lu service was started last week on the 12th of March and in those 7 days we transformed a short URL we acquired into an almost fully functioning URL Shortener. The current set of features includes the basic URL shortener, an info bar with a most popular link and a last added links section, and a small but functional PHP API which allows most web apps and client apps to easily integrate the URL Shortening service. Within the next few says the amount of code examples for the API will be expanded and the support will be increased with eventually a “developers”-page, a bookmarklet to easily hurl links from within your browser, an info page and a simple section to retrieve data and statistics about a certain short-url like eg. amount of hits, visitor return rate, rank, date added, description and channel (web/API/app).
The service isn’t quite stable yet and hence has a beta tag, but it provides shorter URL’s than most services which on average means two extra characters you can use to tweet and it’s faster than most other services. You can find hur.lu at http://hur.lu/ of course.
Today we succeeded into resizing images of 2000×2000 which was an issue because the new engine has problems with the delay which is caused by these enormous images. <technical alert!>Short : When a large image is opened or saved you get a delay, but the cache save to make sure that the image can be reset is activated directly, but since the image is still opening it can’t detect any active image. So this causes errors and no resize. <technical alert!>
We discovered that by doing a soft reset afterwards, the image is successfully resized and saved. So now we have solved the error by doing a soft reset after a few seconds which displays the image directly. There are still some issues left to be solved. The values which keep track of any changes are incorrect, when doing a couple of resizes, it resizes the image completely wrong and of course there is an issue with the soft reset which causes a resized image not to be reset but to be actually resized. So we still have to fix these things but it seems they are related somehow and by resetting the values, the other bug should be fixed as well.
So no more technical stuff. 36-image converter 4.6 will be released next month with a slight delay when everything is fixed and all functions are properly working we will release a light stable and fully functioning 36IC 4.6 and this will also be the first time you will see the new interface. So you will not see the new interface in any beta theme extra as previously announced but you will have to wait for the final release which will have no beta period as always, it will be tested internally.
The designated website for 36-image converter will also be updated and completely changed. The new website will be online before the release of 36-image converter 4.6 and will also contain nightly builds of the main engine (without the new theme, just the main executable and other updated files).
2008 was a good year for us. 36-image converter reached the top 20 of the most popular image editors with 1800 downloads a week, it was also featured in many computer magazines. We mostly abandoned our old platform for development and started converting all our applications to Delphi for Win32. We released our first OpenSource application : SpeedShut 4.0 and we improved our site’s feedback system by using MySQL. We are currently at a stable amount of +-13.000 visitors a month and it is still rising bringing our amount of unique visitors for 2008 to an estimated 140.000.
Now what’s coming in the near future?
Iphix dev, the new development department of 36-image converter will release a new version of 36-image converter soon. Version 4.5 will be an improvement in many ways. We will also release a light version of 36-image converter in combination with an image library application, it will weigh about 3mb and will be comparable to Google Picasa.
We will release more OpenSource system utilities for windows and the existing ones will be updated. Focus will be also put on ROC.
As you might have noticed, we started development for Mac OSX and other Apple platforms such as Iphone. Soon you can expect a native iDuelpro for Mac OSX and more useful applications too. In a while there will also be an iDuelpro Mobile for Iphone. Hereby we are breaking bounds with the Redmond software giant Microsoft that loyally served us for many years as we royally served it.
Brecht Ceyssens and I are working on a secret project for windows that will shake the entire software-world. This will probably be the top innovation for UIC Phoenxsoftware for 2009. One point of the project is that I’ve found a way to break the batch habits of modern PC’s and execute a large amount of tasks simultaneously thus performing batch tasks within a few milliseconds instead of within seconds, minutes, hours or even days. Using this technique I will redevelop all current batch applications creating some of the fastest applications on this planet. File copiers, backup applications, file indexers, the possibilities are endless.