Monday, December 19, 2011

SWMinis is now a Universal App

With a couple simple modifications, SWMinis has just been updated to be a universal app. It was much easier to do after figuring out the process after doing it to MyMinis. It took about four hours to alter the app code to make it universal, and Apple approved the update in less than 20 hours. Thats a record for me, since it usually takes a week for updates to be approved. SWMinis now takes advantage of the larger screen size and rotates in all directions on the iPad. The app is unchanged on iPhone and iPod Touch and the functionality is identical for both iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MyMinis is now a Universal App!

MyMinis is now a universal app that works on the iPad in full resolution, and works just like it did before on the iPhone/iPod Touch. Don't worry if you dont have an iPad. The functionality is the same on both, and when you get MyMinis you get both the iPhone and iPad version in the same download (thats what a universal app is). If you later get an iPad it will work fine and is free to install. I decided to keep it simple and just focus on making MyMinis work in all four rotations and keep the same design for the iPad version. However, since the minifig photos fill the entire screen on the iPad, they are as large as possible and you can make out a lot more detail since the figures are so large on the iPad. I think the iPad version is great for a brand new audience as well - very young children (age 1-2). They like to just look at the colorful images and have a parent change the photo from one figure to the next.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

SWMinis updated with Summer 2011 Figs!

I bought all the summer sets and took out the figs, photographed them and added a new update. This update I think is really special because not only have I added 34 new figs, but also added a new database to the app that holds all the Star Wars sets. The new pics are all of a higher quality than the previous ones, and I also redesigned my lighting setup and got a better camera, a Canon s95.

MyMinis updated with Series 5 Photo Touch Guide

I got a whole box of 60 figs, dug through them, and wrote down what distinctive shapes there were for each fig that helped me the most, and what similar ones to avoid. The app store now has the updated app with all current Series 1-5 touchguides. The layout is sort of neat I think since all the figures are laid around the screen as buttons and you don't have to change screens to use a touchguide for a particular series. I hope the touchguide helps folks find them more easily. For me, the bump codes are impossible to figure out how to see much less figure out. At Series 5 they are useless since I heard there are now four combinations per figure. Touch is best way to go!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MyMinis Approved and in Store - New and Noteworthy in 8 Countries

MyMinis was approved on 4/19 and has been ranging around 90 - 140 rank for Free Reference apps in the US shortly thereafter. Eight countries put it on the new and noteworthy list by 4/23: United States, Great Britain, France, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Switzerand, and Sweden. Eventually I plan to use the new photography techniques in this app and apply them to SWMinis, and redo all the photos there. The images are greatly improved, and are taken with a Canon s95 that gives much greater control. I was able to only take one picture of each fig after figuring out the settings and placement, along with a redesigned lighting setup I built from scratch as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SWMinis is Hot in the US in Reference

SWMinis has been chosen by Apple as a Hot App in the Reference section.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MyMinis Submitted for Review!

MyMinis has been submitted for review to the app Store. MyMinis is for collectors of all 64 Series 1-4 Collectable Minifigs! MyMinis will be a free app!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In New and Noteworthy in the App Store Reference section

I just saw that SWMinis was at the top of the iTunes page as a new and noteworthy app! I took a screenshot very carefully before that changed!

SWMinis hit #35 overall in the reference category in the United States today in paid apps! Thanks for your support!

Update on 3/19 - The app fell out of the top new and noteworthy spot yesterday but moved back after Yoda showed his stuff. Thanks Yoda!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SWMinis is live as of 8:00 pm EST March 15th, 2011

SWMinis was just approved and is live in the app store!

The 'List by Name' screen shows the figures listed alphabetically. You can flick the list up and down to scroll through all 350+ and watch them whiz by, or go to a letter using the index of letters on the right side of the screen.

The 'Year Introduced' screen breaks down the figures into categories from 1999 to 2011 by the first year they appeared in a retail Lego set. YOu can see the earliest minifigs to the most recent ones. As of publication the figures go up to the most recent releases in early 2011.

The 'My Favorites' screen shows the figures broken down by how you rated them. All the ratings are your ratings and reflect which figures you like the most. When you first get the app all the figures will be unrated until you assign them ratings from one to five stars! If you mark a figure as owned it appears in gold letters in all the lists.

SWMinis has over 350+ unique minifigs, but the differences are sometimes obvious and often subtle for versions of the same character. There are over 20 version of Luke for example, although in some the outfit is clearly different, but in others its as small as changing the head color or eyes. For true collectors, these are the distinctions that matter and one of the main reasons this app was created - to help collectors quickly compare figures visually. This is really apparent once you flick through the figures with the app.

A personal favorite! The first version of R2-D2.

Monday, March 14, 2011

SWMinis has 350+ Lego Star Wars Minifigs

Because SWMinis is a complete reference to all the Lego Star Wars Minifigs ever released (over 350+ from 1999 to the present), you will find some of the rarest and most valuable (from a collector's view) in the app. For example, there are three minifigs (Chrome Black Vader, Metallic Gold C-3PO, and White Boba Fett) that were randomly throw into 10,000 sets each, and a lucky person might find one of these when they a open a set. They could be found in any of the Star Wars sets, but it was a very small chance to find one. The Boba Fett (left) with printed arms and Legs from Cloud City is also one of the most valued minfigs for collectors.

Many of the rarest figures appeared only once, and only later did fans realize that this version of a popular figure might not be released again. Jango Fett and Greedo are other good examples.

Some of the newer figures from 2011 just released show that the head molds have vastly improved and are some of the most visually stunning minfigs ever created.

Minifig Detail Screen Explained

This is the detail screen you see when you click on a minifig in any of the lists. The name appears at the top followed by a short and simple description. The description's main purpose is to point any differentiating factors between alternate versions or styles of figures with the same name, but all figures have some description. This is a total count of all the different versions of that figure that have ever been released. To the left is the number of styles. Here there are eleven Stormtrooper styles. Some have different head colors, or shoulder pauldrons, backpacks, armor details, etc. The stars allow you to click on them and they turn gold as you select from one to five stars. You can slide across the stars or click on one. (Dont slide too fast or you might swipe to the next figure though). Once you have rated a figure it shows up in that section in the Favorites list. The year mentioned is the first year that style of figure was introduced. It could have appeared later as well, but this is just the first year. The set number and description under the figure description is simply just one of the sets the figure came with. This set number, and any other set numbers that included this figure, are listed to the left of the main figure photo. If the figure is wearing a helmet, has a head with dual sides (ie Zam or Lobot), or has an interesting head that is hard to see clearly, then the head is shown in detail to the left. On the right is a picture of the main accessory that comes with this figure. The app has over 40 different accessories included, ranging from spears to binoculars. Some figures come with different accessories in different sets, and sometimes its not clear if an accessory belongs to the figure or not, so this was a little subjective. Under the figure is a button that lets you pick if you own the figure (gold) or not (gray). The number to the right is a model number that can be used to reference the figure and is used by Lego fan websites such as,, and others.

SWMinis Loading screen

This is an screenshot from the apps loading screen that shows a portion of the 350+ minifigs that you will find detailed in the app. On newer model iPhones this only appears briefly since the app starts up so quickly (a good thing!), so I thought it would be nice to show it in detail here in case you missed it.

SWMinis Support

Please send an email to if you need help with SWMinis or have a suggestion to improve the app. We would like SWMinis to be as factual and accurate as possible.