Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

Apple Names Chronicle Herald in App Store “Best of 2013″ List

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Newspaper App by MindSea Ranks Alongside NY Times & Rolling Stone Apps

Christmas has come early to our team and The Chronicle Herald! Apple has recognized the new Chronicle Herald App in the App Store “Best of 2013” list. This was a great surprise as we officially launched the app just 7 days ago.

Herald Best of 2013

Redesigned for iOS 7, The Chronicle Herald app is 1 of only 6 apps in the “Best of Newsstand” iPad app category in Apple’s Canadian App Store. The other apps include La Presse+, NY Times, Martha Stewart Living, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Vanity Fair.

Apple’s Newsstand is an obvious publishing channel for local and international newspapers alike. Many local newspapers are asking the same question: How can we compete for mobile readers when international competitors are just a tap away?

In a joint design workshop, we wrestled with that same question and came to a conclusion: Local publishers can win mobile readers by delivering strong local content with a great user experience.

We aimed to create a ground-breaking app designed for iOS 7, including:

  • Content-focused design emphasizing readability and bold visuals
  • Ability to swipe between sections and stories to see all the latest news
  • Videos and photo galleries within articles to get the full story
  • Integrated Apple Newsstand capabilities including subscriptions
  • Extra! functionality to view augmented reality content in the print edition
  • Breaking news alerts through push notifications
  • Streamlined content publishing with support for reader news tips
  • Supported by revenue from mobile ads and paid subscriptions

From a project standpoint, we started with our blueprint process and a design workshop to focus on key features that would increase reader engagement, ad revenue, and market share. We completed the rest of the project with an iterative approach as per our app design checklist.

We’re honoured to see The Chronicle Herald app ranked alongside major international publishers like the NY Times, Rolling Stone magazine, and Vanity Fair.

Per our portfolio, Apple has generously featured over 15 of our apps in the App Store, but this is the first time we’ve had a newspaper app in an annual “Best Of” list. Our other “Best Of” app is Project Box’s Pocketbooth App, which was featured alongside Instagram as one of the best photo apps of 2010.

We think there are three reasons this project went so well:

  1. The team at The Chronicle Herald was incredibly collaborative and user-driven throughout the process. We worked well together while applying an iterative design and development approach.
  2. We have expertise in publishing and had already launched over a dozen newspaper apps in the App Store. Without an industry learning curve, we were able to invest more time in creating a breakthrough app for The Chronicle Herald.
  3. Timing: The Chronicle Herald is one of the first Canadian newspapers to launch a Newsstand iPhone/iPad app designed for iOS 7. They were able to move quickly and earn a top spot in the Newsstand section of the App Store.

Thanks again to The Chronicle Herald for giving us the chance to work on this project. They’re one of our favourite clients because they’re open to exploring new approaches and asking good questions.

What are your top questions about mobile publishing? And what would you like to see in future blog posts? We’re happy to share what we’ve learned so far – simply email or call us to get started.

This has been an exciting year for our team, and we’d like to thank our clients, partners, and friends for making it possible. We’re looking forward to a great 2014 with new team members, events, and apps.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

View the App Store’s Best of 2013

“Apple applauds Chronicle Herald app” – Full Story at

Notes from a Busy November

Monday, December 9th, 2013

November was a busy month at MindSea. We had lots of work to do, but managed to make time for some special events.

ICE Awards

MindSea Ice Awards

For 2013, the ICE Awards included a new Mobile Application or Website category. We submitted four apps to this category, and were overjoyed to have each of them recognized. MindSea received a Gold award for Etchings, two Silver awards for Transit 360 and Nocturne: Art At Night 2013, and one Merit award for East Coast Music Awards 2013.

A huge thank you to the ICE organization for recognizing our work, and to the East Coast Music Association and Nocturne teams. It’s always easier to make an app stand out when working with great clients.

Mobile Hackathon

MindSea Mobile Hackathon

On November 16th, MindSea invited anyone interested in mobile app development to The Hub Halifax for a day of learning and creation. It kicked off with separate tutorial sessions for Android (led by Mike Burke), iOS (led by John Arnold) and mobile web (led by Gavin Anderegg).

After the presentations, teams were formed and the real hacking began. Some teams hit the ground running, building on projects that were already in development. Others started with the basics, coding their first apps from scratch.

Throughout the day there were many crashes and bugs, but they were all resolved using a mix of teamwork, persistence, and Stack Overflow. Amanda Somers designed some great icons and artwork to add visual polish to the apps, and everyone had an ample helping of the boatload of food provided. We also had a great view of the Parade of Lights.

At the end of the event, seven app demos were presented, such as:

  • a compass which points toward the nearest source of donairs;
  • an alarm clock which modifies your wake-up time depending on the weather; and
  • an interactive map displaying information about all parks in Halifax.

Check out the MindSea Mobile Hackathon page for more information about the event. If you participated and would like your app listed there, please contact us.

Mobile App Marketing Case Study: Etchings Instagram Contest

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Recently we ran an Instagram contest to promote our Etchings App for iPhone and iPad. To help us run the contest we used Statigram which is an Instagram web viewer and social analytics tool for contests & community management. Statigram has over 3.1 million users so their contest platform seemed to be the best way to expose the most people to our Etchings app; there also don’t seem to be any good alternatives in this space at the moment.

Original image by

Original image by


Event Marketing On The Go: Bringing Artists & Fans Together

Friday, March 8th, 2013

ECMA_Screeshot_homeIn partnership with the East Coast Music Association, MindSea designed and launched an innovative app for iPhone and Android music fans. This case study describes how we worked together and what we accomplished.

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) has a unique mission: to foster, develop, promote and celebrate East Coast Music and its artists locally, regionally, nationally, and interna- tionally. Its Eastlink East Coast Music Week has grown to become a must-attend event
in the Canadian music scene and includes a five day festival, an industry conference, and awards show.

Download Case Study PDF


Etchings App Photo Contest

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Original image by

Original image by

We want to recognize the best images made with Etchings ( by holding a contest on Instagram! Use the Etchings app on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to create amazing images and win!

 First Prize: Polaroid Z2300 10MP Digital Instant Print Camera and an 18″ print of your winning etching printed on glass by Fracture (

Second Prize: A 14″ print of your winning etching printed on glass by Fracture.

Third Prize: A 12″ print of your winning etching printed on glass by Fracture.


To Enter:

1. Use the Etchings App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with your original photo to create an amazing image.

2. Upload your image to Instagram using your own account and include the contest hashtag #EtchingsAppContest in the caption.

3. Follow @EtchingsApp on Instagram (so you can follow the contest, see if you have won and we can contact you).

4. Enter as many images as you want during the contest period.

5. The more people who like your image on Instagram the more likely you are to win a prize.


Contest Dates: February 8, 2013 to February 22, 2013.

The Winner: The prizes will be awarded to the entires that best meet the criteria above and are deemed most creative by the judging panel.

Full contest details see:  The Etchings App Contest on Statigram

Etchings update adds new filters, improved output and iPad support

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

EtchingsiPadMarketingShotHalifax, Canada, December 13, 2012 — The latest version of Etchings
allows users to create even more impressive works of art from any photo. The app now emulates etching and engraving techniques even more beautifully, with richer lines, higher-resolution output and many more options to experiment with. Etchings now supports eight languages and takes full advantage of the larger screens available on iPad and iPhone 5.

The incredibly supportive Etchings user community have been vocal both in their love for the unique effects the app can create as well as the new features they wanted to see. Users asked for higher-resolution output: the new version of the app can export the original image size exactly (up to 3300×3300 px). Etchings enthusiasts wanted more options for their photos, and the latest version allows the user to fine-tune the brightness and contrast of the source image, and includes four stunning new filters.

ScreenshotWeb_1“We’ve been awed by the incredible demand for Etchings, which is why we’re very pleased
to give our loyal users just what they need to make even more amazing works of art. We’re especially happy to let our customers experience the app in their native language and on their favourite devices,” said Bill Wilson, the leader of the team behind Etchings.

In addition to the free improvements, Etchings now includes six brand-new handcrafted filters in the Florence FX Pack, which you can purchase from within the app for just $0.99 USD or local equivalent. From the soft tones of the “Alice” filter to the funky rainbow “Sorbet” filter, this pack opens up even more possibilities to amaze your Instagram followers.
Etchings 1.5 is now available worldwide on the App Store for $0.99 USD or local equivalent. Etchings is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS 5.0 and later.

Please visit for more information, screenshots and samples.

Etchings now available on the App Store

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

The first app that turns photos into etched illustrations is now available on the App Store.

Halifax, Canada, August 30, 2012 — Available today, Etchings allows users to transform their photos into unique works of art that emulate the etching and engraving techniques used by print makers.

Etchings lets users create images in a variety of styles, ranging from classic monochrome and color treatments to postage stamp, paper money and vintage book themes. These illustrations can then be fine-tuned by varying the thickness and spacing of the etched lines, allowing users to find the right look for their photo.

“There are a lot of sketch and halftone apps, but Etchings is the first to add these unique classic effects; there’s nothing else like it in the App Store,” says iPhoneographer Marty Yawnick of

The finished images can be saved to the camera roll or directly shared on social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The app also allows users to export to and import from many other photo apps, allowing Etchings to fit comfortably into any image processing workflow.

Etchings 1.0 is now available worldwide on the App Store for $0.99 USD or local equivalent. Etchings is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running iOS 5.0 and later.

Please visit for more information, screenshots and samples.

Etchings is brought to you by MindSea, a mobile app company founded in 2007.

Silicon Hali

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Halifax is a great place to live and work. Even if most of our clients aren’t here, there’s a vibrant community of companies manufacturing games and software, bringing our tech expertise to the global market.

Check out the article in The Coast here.

Canada’s Veterans’ Week & Remembrance Day Go Mobile on the iPhone

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

MindSea Development Inc., located in Halifax Nova Scotia, developers of several popular mobile apps including Pocketbooth and Transit to Go have just launched a new iPhone application.

“Halifax is home to a large contingent of active and retired armed forces and reserve veterans, including wartime merchant marines” says President & Founder Bill Wilson. “We are proud to help honour all veterans especially given that our hometown of Halifax has played such a historic and strategic role in past and current world events.”

The App, which has been developed for Veterans Affairs Canada, will support ongoing and increased participation in Veterans’ Week (Nov. 5-11) and Remembrance Day activities by delivering a variety of information to iPhone users. Once installed the app offers up-to-date GPS supported location search for events and ceremonies nationally, social media feeds from Facebook and YouTube resources. Users will also be able to interactively share their own individual contributions to the Veteran’s Affair’s national “How will you remember” campaign.

“The MindSea development team really enjoyed working on this project, which provides an innovative way of linking both younger and older Canadians with veteran history and information on the contributions that veterans have made to society. ” says Wilson. The app is available for download in both Canadian official languages from the Apple App store.


Bill Wilson
MindSea Development Inc.

902 452-8492

2010 iPhone Hackathon for Charity

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The MindSea team had a fantastic weekend at the 2nd Annual iPhone Hackathon for charity. The iHackathon brings together marketers, graphic designers, and software developers for a weekend of iPhone and iPad app creation. All of the apps we create are sold in the Apple App Store and all the proceeds from sales benefit local and national charities. (more…)