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Category Archives: appstore

Ooops, we’ve just become the victim of our own success.

As you probably know we’re partnering with Open House today. We naievely didn’t realise quite how much traffic the event could drive to flook. Downloads up 500%, traffic through the roof – we knew there were a lot of iPhones in London but this is amazing. It’s pushed us back into the top ten travel apps overnight.

Sadly, the server robots are getting a little hot under the collar keeping up with the huge spike. We’re working on it and adding unleaded four star back into their diet but in the meantime you might see some outages and for that we apologise.

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As of the time of typing, flook is the third most downloaded travel app in the UK and the 71st most downloaded app overall.

Thanks to everyone who has shared a clickety click with us. Welcome to flook! In the imortal words of Ozzy Osbourne; “I am Iron Man” oh, no… “We love you all!”

If you didn’t spot it, we’re in the top 5 travel apps in all of 44 different countries! It was getting so that we were starting to wonder why Apple has featured us all over the globe *except* Britain, when we’re British (except Dave), we’re based in Britain (except Tris) and all our robots are British (except Harold).  So, we’re really pretty British then, but we’ve had no British love at all.

Until today! Yes, calloo callay, this sunny Friday we’re featured in the UK App Store in both iTunes and on the jolly old iPhone.  O frabjous day! I think I shall go and pop a bottle of British bubbly (no sniggering in Reims, please) and chortle in my joy. Why not join me in a toast to flook, and then make sure you get your mojo on this weekend and get flooking before all the best spots are taken!

Cor lummie, flook is getting popular in some very interesting places.

flook is the number one travel app in nine countries and in the top ten in thirty two! All of these countries are very cool indeed – and not only because they like flook.

When we were originally designing flook, one of the core ideas was a guidebook written by locals. As a bunch of serial ex-pats, we aren’t great fans of roughplanet style “send a student there for 3 months,make sure they see the big sights” guides. What we like is local knowledge – things you can only find out if you live in a place. The things you find out after you’ve lived somewhere for years.

That is why  we love Nextstop and why flook has translation built in – cards and comments both have a translate button to automagically switch all that foreign gobbledegook into whatever your favourite local gobbledegook is.

One year ago today, we initiated a competition to develop a logo for flook at 99 Designs.

Here’s the brief:

We’re making an iPhone app and a web site. We need a product logo to be used on both products, and an iPhone application launch icon (probably similar to the icon, at least in colour choices). This is a teaser project to find someone very clever and talented to work on the whole project with us – so bear the whole in mind when you work on the icon & logo!

Bonus points for anyone who drops in a quick png of how the website might look :-)*

The first three entries looked like this:



One thing the sharp-eyed might have noticed (and this blog is only read by very sharp-eyed people) is that flook wasn’t flook then, it was Groove. It hadn’t really been Groove for very long either. In January of last year, flook was called Graffitti. We abandoned that name because not even grammar-bot could spell grafitti reliably three times in a row.

You can see all of the entries on the competition page at 99 designs.

The winning entry was from Pete Borlace:

You can still see some elements of this design in the current flook logo. The strong colours and the glyphs – they migrated from the logo to the background though. In the end, we didn’t like the turquoise gradient – mainly because turquoise is even more difficult to spell than ‘graffiti’. We did use similar colours to one of Pete’s other entries:

Of course, soon afterwards, the still mewling Groove was murdered in the night by our lawyers because Microsoft told us that even though there were rumors that they we’re killing their location browser project, they were going to keep hold of groove.com.

So, Pete’s real prize was six weeks in the logo mines building a new flook logo including all the best bits of the Groove logo but none of the letters. Those six weeks went on for a very very long time indeed:

There are 8 more pages like that.

I think what we ended up with is pretty special. The high level design goal was “not Web 2.0 blues and helvetica, not like anything else in the app store”.

* nobody fell for that blatant request for free work sadly.

We updated the Appstore text to be a little more ‘flooky’. And shorter.

Discover and share local secrets with flook, the location browser.

Discover the coolest local secrets – flook’s innovative user interface lets you swipe through a stream of nearby cards created by other users and an army of helpful robots. With flook you can browse the world as easily as you browse your photo library. Just flip a card to comment on it or find it on a map.

Share your favourite places – flook cards are quick to make. Just take a photo, add some text if you like, then upload. Our geo-bot automatically geotags your card, so that people nearby can find it. If you like, our tame tweet-droid will automatically send your discoveries to Twitter.

Compete with other people – getting a great score shows your skill and local knowledge. Our all-seeing score-bot only awards points when people collect your cards or follow you, so he rewards your creativity not your button mashing!

Flook works anywhere in the world but our busy little robots know most about the great cities of San Francisco, London and Henley-on-Thames.