Since Story Tracker first hit the App Store, I’ve had a lot of questions about the app that aren’t answered either on the website or on the Facebook page. So without further ado, the following will hopefully address any questions or concerns you may have had about Story Tracker. I’ll be updating this post as new questions arise. Let me know if I’ve missed anything!
1. Is Story Tracker available for my PC, Android phone, or other platform of choice? If not, when?
Story Tracker is currently available on the Apple iTunes App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and there’s also a Mac version. A Windows PC version is in development. I don’t have plans to bring it to other platforms anytime soon.
2. When will Story Tracker be available for the Mac?
3. I have an iPad and an iPhone. Do I have to buy the app twice?
No, Story Tracker is a universal app, so provided you use the same iTunes account on all your devices, you only have to buy the app once, and it can be installed on all your iOS devices.
4. I’m not sure if Story Tracker will suit my needs. Is there a free trial version available?
Yes, Story Tracker Lite is also available on the App Store, for free. This contains all the features of the full version, other than the database import and restore. It’s also limited to 5 stories, 5 markets, and 5 submissions. That should be enough to give you some idea of whether the app will work for you.
5. Why is the app rated 17+ on the App Store? I’m concerned it may contain objectionable content.
There’s no need to worry – the database is empty when first installed, and is populated only with data you enter. The only reason the app is rated 17+ is the embedded web browser on the market info screen. Apps are required to have this rating whenever a web browser is embedded rather than sending you to the Safari browser.
6. How do I backup the Story Tracker database to my computer?
To transfer the data to your computer, you’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your computer (Mac, PC, or other). Note that all the data is still saved on your device and backed-up whenever you do an iTunes backup.
To transfer to your computer and also to a spreadsheet, follow these steps:
(1) Tap the Backup Database button on the Tools screen within the app. If you only want to backup story and market data, tap Export Data instead. The app will display a message with the IP address (some numbers) of your device on your network. It might look something like this: http://192.168.1.104:8080
(2) Enter the address displayed by the app into the web browser on your computer. You should see a Story Tracker page appear. This is actually from the app on your device.
(3) Download the Story Tracker DB to your computer. You might also want to download the CSV file. This CSV file can be imported into a spreadsheet program on your computer, while the DB file is only readable via the app.
(4) That’s it! If you like, you could even export the market data and share it with other writers. I’ve included a few market databases on the Downloads section of the site to get you started.
7. I have a Story Tracker database on my computer. How do I transfer it back to my device?
As with database backup, you’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your computer (Mac, PC, or other).
(1) Tap the Restore Database button on the Tools screen within the app. If you don’t want to completely overwrite the database on your device, you might want to select Import Database instead. Note that if you’re importing, you may see duplicate entries on your device after the import is complete. The app will display a message with the IP address (some numbers) of your device on your network.
(2) Enter the address displayed by the app into the web browser on your computer. You should see a Story Tracker page appear.
(3) Within the web browser, select the Story Tracker DB file on your computer. Click the Restore (or Import) button in your browser to send the database to your device.
(4) Your device will receive the database and will ask for confirmation, displaying some info about the database.
(5) Tap the Restore button on your device and the database will be processed. If instead you’re importing, you’ll see another screen where you can select what you want to import (All, only Stories, only Markets, or Stories and Markets).
(6) Once complete, the app will display a popup letting you know the transfer is complete. The data from your computer will now be on your device.
8. I have an iPad and an iPhone. How do I keep the databases in sync between them? Does the app have iCloud support?
Story Tracker currently doesn’t have a simple means of keeping databases synchronized on separate devices. However, it is still possible to transfer the database between devices manually:
1. Select Backup Database on the first device.
2. Enter the address into the web browser on the second device.
3. Tap the “storytracker.sdbi” link and wait for the file to download.
4. Tap the Open in “Story Tracker” button.
5. Story Tracker will load. Tap Restore to transfer the complete database.
Story Tracker does not currently support syncing via iCloud. This could be technically difficult to support, since the app was designed before iCloud launched.
9. I have Story Tracker Lite and just bought the full version. How do I transfer my data from the Lite version?
After you’ve purchased the full version and run it at least once, load the Lite version and tap on the tools icon on the bottom-right of the screen. Tap the “Export to Full App” button, then “Open in Story Tracker.” When the full version appears, tap the Restore button to transfer the database.
10. I have a whole spreadsheet of submission data I’d like to import into the app. How can I do that?
Provided your spreadsheet program can export to CSV format and allows you to specify comma separators and dates in a particular format, you should be able to import it into the app. Story Tracker expects to receive CSV data according to the CSV template file, available in the Downloads section of the site. This template file can also be downloaded when connecting to the app via your web browser.
11. Can you incorporate some new fields into the app? Can I change the names of any of the data fields?
Incorporating new fields may be possible, but keep in mind that screen real estate is very limited on the iPhone and iPod touch. I’ve tried to select fields that would be useful for most writers using the app, and have tried to minimize clutter as much as possible. In a recent update I substantially increased the size and number of characters allowed in the notes fields. These may be used to store additional data for each story, market, or submission. Sorry, the names of the data fields cannot be changed.
12. I have questions, feature requests, or concerns that aren’t listed above. How can I contact you?
You can reach me via email (StoryTracker@andrewnicolle.com), on the Story Tracker Facebook page, or on Twitter (I’m @andrewnicolle). I can usually respond to queries within 24 hours. If you like Story Tracker, please spread the word! Share your thoughts with other writers by rating or reviewing the app on the App Store. I use this feedback to gauge continued interest in the app and to plan future updates.