Where Eternity name and icon came from?
When I started developing Eternity Time Log, the first name for it was Hourglass (it’s still in many place in the source code). But before I released it in App Store, another time tracking app had showed up with a hourglass as the main theme for its icon. I had some hourglassy icon designs ready, but I decided to change the name of my app and the icon to something a bit more distinguishing. So you could tell your friend: “I got this cool app on my iPhone. It’s for time tracking (yeah I know, I’m a freak ;) ). But try it. It really makes a difference. Look for …”. And you would tell the name of the app or show the icon on your device and both would be easy to find. So I wanted something differentiating from other time tracking apps and time related at the same time (lot of “times” in this sentence:-P). “Eternity” was definitely a time related word and still pretty unique App Store-wise, so I choose it. “Snake eating its tail” is one of the symbols of eternity so it looked like a perfect fit too.
So why change the icon now?
I still think the name “Eternity Time Log” was a good choice. If you’ve heard about my app and search App Store for “eternity”, you will find it right away. With google search it’s not that straightforward. There is Samsung Eternity mobile phone so when you search google for “iPhone eternity”, my website will probably not show up on the first page of the results. But if you search for “iphone eternity app” or “iphone eternity time …”, something related to my app should be placed by google gods at the first spot. But this is searching. And what about browsing? Eternity is rather not an “impulse purchase type of app”. It’s a niche application for someone who knows what he’s looking for. You would not spend $7.99 just to get a taste of it. So if you’re gonna download it, you’ve probably already heard of it or you’re browsing iTunes App Store whispering “time, time, time…” mantra ;).And the problem with “snake eating its tail” icon is that it’s a symbol of eternity (and not very well known for that), which is somewhat related to time, which is somewhat related to time tracking which is too distant from your mantra to catch your eye when browsing countless pages of apps even for “time manager/tracker/log” search result. That’s the problem. I finally got it off my chest, I feel so light ;).
Snakes are scary
I also had some complains that the “snake” icon is scary (even demonic) and too dark. I sympathize with you, I’m afraid of snakes too. That’s when you figure out it’s a snake on the picture (“is this a zipper?” asked one of my friends :-P ). On the other hand it seems too toy-like and not-very-business-looking for some tastes. I understand that too.
“So what the frig is on the new icon” you ask?
Well, it’s a combination of a hourglass and another symbol of eternity – “8”, which has its origins in, guess what, hourglass (as far as I know). I hope it’s closer metaphor to “time, time, time…” mantra and still quite distinguishing. I also hope it’s simple, beautiful, elegant and will bring me some much desired design awards ;). Come on, at least you have to admit it’s not scary :). I’m releasing the app with new icon in the 1.3.1 bugfix-only update (currently in review by Apple). The basic goal is to catch some more eyeballs on App Store without sacrificing all the uniqueness. I have no idea if it’s gonna have any impact on downloads and sales, but if it will, I should be able to notice it in the absence of any additional features. It’s a small experiment in some way. I showed the new icon to some Eternity users and they liked it. I hope you’ll like it too.