Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

June 10, 2009

Vegas Mate 2.0 Preview - Coming in July

Posted by Hunter

The first version of Vegas Mate was released in August of last year. It was my first effort for the iPhone, which at that time had just started allowing developers like me to create applications to be sold on the iTunes App Store. I'm very happy with how Vegas Mate has done since then. I don't disclose sales figures but there are thousands upon thousands of happy users and it seems to be going strong. So what's coming next? Lots.

In March, Apple gave us developers insight into new features they were adding in iPhone OS 3.0. This free iPhone system upgrade ($10 bucks on iPod Touch) includes stuff like copy and paste, MMS, integrated searching and a lot more. Under the covers, there are a ton of new hooks and tools that developers can use to make their software better. With this in mind, I began working on Vegas Mate 2.0 to incorporate the new stuff.

iPhone OS 3.0 will be released next Wednesday the 17th and I'm hoping that Vegas Mate 2 will follow about a month later. It's basically a complete re-write, taking advantage of many of the new features that Apple provided. The revised plumbing allowed me to add a few things I've wanted in there for quite awhile.

Vegas Mate 2.0 will be a free update for all existing users and yes, it will run on the upcoming iPhone 3GS announced this week.

Here's some of what's new in Vegas Mate 2.0:

* Over-the-Air Content Updates - existing versions of Vegas Mate required a full update via the App Store to get content changes in there. I've done 9 updates since last August but with how quickly Vegas is changing, I wanted something far closer to real-time. Now all content updates will occur wirelessly from our server.

* News, Promos and Events - I'm integrating some popular RSS feeds as well as info on current promotions and events. This isn't designed to take the place of a regular news tool, just a quick hit of info for travelers that's Vegas specific. More about how this works as we get closer to the release.

* Designate Hotels, Restaurants and Activities as Favorites for Quick Access - There are hundreds of items in the Vegas Mate database. Users can now mark items as 'favorites' and see them from a new screen. This should hopefully make trip planning with Vegas Mate easier.

* Restaurant Menus - Where available, I am adding the ability to view restaurant menus from the app. VM2 will launch with a number of restaurants that will quickly expand.

* Live, Google Maps Right in the App - The current version of Vegas Mate has maps but they didn't include all of the richness that the native 'Maps' application provides. That's all changed now with full maps embedded right into the app.

* Updated User Interface - The UI has received a lot of spit and polish all over the place.

* New Content - As always, the quantity and quality of in-app content has increased.

Now, it's possible I may change some of these features before launch but it's looking pretty dialed in at this point. I love working on Vegas Mate and I'm glad that so many of you enjoy it too. I've got a 'potential features' list a mile long but I always like to hear other ideas, even if I don't end up using them.


Read archived comments (11 so far)
June 10, 2009 2:26 PM Posted by Colin

Awesome! Can't wait to see the new update. So far I've used Vegas Mate on 3 LV trips and it's never steered me wrong! Thanks Hunter!

June 10, 2009 9:41 PM Posted by Eric Gomke

I love the app. Any thought of including the highlights/low lights of each casino's gaming conditions? Example: Stay S17 double deck BJ game available in the high-limit area, x5 odds on craps, two banks of full pay DW. near the cafe etc.

June 10, 2009 9:43 PM Posted by Hunter

Yes, I have considered this - sorta like the VPFree database, etc... The question that I haven't answered is this - better to have this and potentially have it go out of date (very hard to keep current) or to not have it at all?

I don't have an answer for that either way. Curious what you think.

June 11, 2009 6:24 AM Posted by Mike W. Miller

If someone purchases VegasMate 1.x now, which I'm tempted to do, will 2.0 be a free upgrade?


June 11, 2009 6:29 AM Posted by Hunter

Yes, all users of Vegas Mate 1.x will receive VM2 for free.

The only potential 'catch' is that is requires iPhone OS 3.0. Apple is making that upgrade available for free for all iPhone users next Wednesday but iPod Touch owners will have to pay Apple $10 to get iPhone OS 3.0.

I hope that clears it up.

June 11, 2009 11:43 AM Posted by Jinx

I'd say better to have even if it goes out of date. I wouldn't get too deep in to the descriptions, i.e like VPfree, which would help a bit with keeping things consistent, just my opinion though.

June 12, 2009 9:05 AM Posted by Las Vegas USA

I'm glad to see the new updates being worked on. It is always nice to see a powerful iphone app keep taking shape and changing form in order to improve. Good user experience.

June 13, 2009 11:04 AM Posted by Russell Sauve

Great stuff! Thanks Hunter!

June 14, 2009 10:21 AM Posted by Hunter

Live in the US? Want a free copy of Vegas Mate?

Use one of these codes on the App Store - choose 'Redeem' from the upper right side of the screen and input one of these codes - first come, first serve - one use per code.


June 15, 2009 10:50 PM Posted by Whask

I would love to this feature for the Android OS on the G1, looks like an awesome app! Good work.

July 5, 2009 12:01 PM Posted by GreatApp

Hi Hunter. Your app has been very useful so far, and I'm recommending it to friends who travel to Vegas often. I second Eric's suggestion about providing casino gaming conditions. Even if it does get a little bit outdated, it's better than nothing. Table game enthusiasts would have even more incentive to use Vegas Mate.