Amiga App Store Review part 3 – IndieGO! AppStore for AmigaOS4.x

Okay, so now we are here at part 3 of the Amiga App Stores, see part 1 (AMIStore by A-Eon), and part 2 (Jack for Amiga AppStore).

I downloaded this from a post on Sept 7 from AmigaWorld.net. I also found that there is a link to both this GUI version and a command line version from the official IndieGO! website.

This software is the product of the same team that is working on AEROS, a software distro that has a Linux base with a hosted version of AROS running on top. The x86 version will allow the use of Linux, Windows (via WINE) and Amiga software all in one. An interesting combo that I hope to try one day.

The IndieGO! store will eventually (once it comes out of beta I’m sure) use AmiCoins/IndieCoins, an new form of payment supported by this software and maybe more in the future. These coins will be purchased in their online store. I’m not sure if other payment services like Paypal will be available. Using a virtual coin system like this is similar to how many of the recent free2play games do their in-app purchases. I would think that changing the value (and therefore profitability) would be easier by using an interim virtual currency that is completely controlled by one group (as opposed to bitcoins which have a value based upon market demand). It will be interesting to see how this works out for them.

Anyway, back to the AppStore in question.

The client download extracted out and didn’t include an installer or Icon launcher. That’s okay, this software is still in beta. I’ll assume the final version will include these. For now, I had to launch by going to the extraction folder, setting the window to show all, then double clicking the default icon with the name AppStore:

Oh, before I did this, I read a readme file that indicated that slower systems (such as my low-RAM WinUAE OS4.1 install) would benefit by lowering the resolution, so I found the global config file, and opened it to find the screen resolution settings and changed the width and height values from 0.85 (85%) to 0.5 (50%). This controls the width and height of the AppStore window to be 50% of the entire screen.

I was first prompted to accept the terms:

I was then presented with a login screen, which also had a register button:

Clicking register, I was able to set up a new account within the app, without having to go to their website. This was a nice addition over AMIStore I reviewed earlier. I was also allowed to use the username I chose instead of a generated one like AMIStore. I did, however, have to go check my email to confirm the registration.

After the confirmation email, the app successfully logged in:

Then, the the default AppStore menu is shown. The upper left icon is slightly discolored to indicate that it has focus. This is the entrance to the real AppStore. Other items include: User Profile, Settings, Log Out, Exit, News, download manager, etc.

Clicking the upper left AppStore icon, you get into the subsection where you have News, Special offers, Sales Items, App Search, redeem coupon, and filter by Platform.

Clicking the filter Icon to show only apps for a particular platform brings up a scrollable list:

The strange thing here is that you can’t currently use the mouse to scroll this list. You have to use the arrow keys. Also, you can only filter on a single platform. It would be nice to be able to include more than one platform (like Amiga OS3.x and Amiga OS4.x).

Then, after setting the filter by platform, going into the Catalog Browser brings up various category icons. This beta version still has most of them showing the default icon, so you have to hover over them to get the subcategories (like utilities, office, games, etc).

The top left button goes back a step in navigation. Clicking the Games category brought up a sublist showing game Genres:

I clicked the Action genre (the one with the ABUSE cover) and got a crash:

This memory-related issue may have been due to running AmigaOS4.1 on WinUAE, which is limited to 128MB when using the CyberStormPPC (I should convert to BlizzardPPC as I read that you can go up to 256MB). I had other things running so I reset WinUAE and was careful to not start anything else and only run the IndieGO! store.

After restart, I got into the Action Game Genre okay:

I can also scroll down, but only via the arrow keys to see the rest of the entries (please ignore the graphics garbage, this is a WinUAE config issue, using 2900b24):

I selected Alien Breed – Tower Assault demo for Amiga OS3.x and was presented with a buy screen:

Clicking the BUY button on the right brought up the confirmation screen:

Since this beta had a price of ZERO for everything, the purchase went through without having to purchase AmiCoins right now:

Now, it shows that it is “owned”:

and now the downloading can be started by clicking the Download button (which changes the button text to say Downloading…):

I had NetSpeedometer running and the downloading was unusually slow. Not sure what was going on as I’ve seen speeds ten times faster in the WinUAE environment. Also, it was downloading chunks, then nothing, then more chunks. I have no idea what server it was connecting to but I hope it is faster in the future:

Finally, the tiny file was downloaded and this window was presented:

Here’s where things got a little strange again and I am not sure if it was the app or my WinUAE environment. I saw the highlight flickering between “Execute the Package” and “Do Nothing”. I also couldn’t click anything so I finally, forcibly ended the app and found the downloaded file under the install folder in a user / download folder. It was just an LHA archive in this case. I could then manually take over if I wanted to.

    Conclusion:

So, this is really the main competitor to AMIStore. Both are not in a state of being ready for the general public. It appears that the AMIStore by A-Eon may be slightly ahead in terms of readiness for final release.

Things I liked about AMIStore:

  • Full Installer and launch Icon
  • Ability to Use Paypal
  • More finished feel to the category browser
  • Auto download and extract after purchase

    Things I didn’t like about AMIStore:

  • It didn’t have an in-app registration mode
  • It didn’t allow me to use the username of my choice
  • It didn’t detect and show my local currency
  • Euro-VAT tax for non-Euro customer (not sure of the customs rules)

    Things I liked about IndieGO!:

  • Register for an account in the app, instead of another website
  • Can login using my choice of username
  • Support for other platforms
  • Might have a larger catalog at the moment
  • Coins? (maybe, or maybe not… do we get charged VAT when buying coins?)

    Things I didn’t like about IndieGO!:

  • No installer or launch Icon
  • UI is a bit slow and had a memory issue
  • Switching between mouse and keyboard for navigation
  • Didn’t auto download/extract (would be a nice option setting)

    So, there you have it: Amiga AppStores (as of December 2014). Both are showing promise. At the moment, if I had to choose, I’d choose AMIStore, but I’ll definitely also have IndieGO! as I feel it will eventually get the kinks worked out.

    Good job everyone. Let’s Keep Amiga relavent in this day and age!

    Advertisements
  • One response to “Amiga App Store Review part 3 – IndieGO! AppStore for AmigaOS4.x

    1. Hello Mambo!
      I’m Fabio Falcucci, the one involved in the IndieGO! AppStore client development, thank you for your review! πŸ™‚

      I just want to say a couple of things that you have faced because the lack of documentation that will be included in the final version.

      When you are in the platform filter you can scroll the items using the mouse wheel but actually it works only if you have the mouse pointer over the hilighted item. I’ve put the possibility to selected more then one platform at a time in my todo list.

      Another tip is that when browsing files the user can immediately return to the previous level hitting the ESC key.

      Finally the download speed was slow because I’ve forgotten to set the download buffer to a reasonable value, but every one can change it manually following these simple steps:

      Open with a thext editor the file
      Edit the line nr. 10:
      [SIN]dlchunksize =
      And replace the 64(Kb) of buffer with a higher value like 128 or 256 to speedup the download

      I hope these hints will be also useful for all your readers that wants to give a try to the IndieGO! AppStore client πŸ™‚

      Soon will be available an updated version with bug fixes (many) and some improvements suggested by the users (for example the page indicators in bottom of the catalogue browser will be clickable to change page faster), and some new features.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s