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Tokens: Easy Promo Code Generation For Developers

I often hear from my developer friends that generating promo codes for iOS and Mac apps is a tedious and annoying chore. From what I’m told, you have to log into iTunes Connect – which hasn’t the most pleasant interface Apple ever made – and generate these codes that you have to manually copy somewhere to share them via email, Twitter, or other systems. It’s a slow process, and iTunes Connect forces developers to “submit requests” for how many codes they need without offering any sort of social integration.

Enter Tokens. Developed by Padraig Kennedy and Oisin Prendiville, Tokens is an automated promo code generator for Mac that makes it super simple to generate and share promo codes for apps available in iTunes Connect. Tokens couldn’t be approved in the Mac App Store because it uses HTML scraping to interact with iTunes Connect remotely; the developers offer a FAQ to understand how Tokens works, for which kind of apps, and why it’s built for OS X 10.8.

Tokens is very simple. It’s free for one app and $29 for multiple apps. Apps are arranged horizontally at the top, with a grid underneath indicating the promo codes you can generate with a single click. Promo codes can be given a name (for, say, bloggers who are reviewing your app) and they display an expiration date so you’ll know for how long a code will be valid.

Tokens’ peculiarity is that it wraps promo code links in a custom webpage design that uses short links to simplify sharing. Using Mountain Lion’s built-in sharing features, Tokens lets you easily and quickly send a token link to a friend, another developer, or a blogger interested in your app. The webpage that will open will feature the app’s icon and two buttons: one to open the App Store to directly redeem the “token”, another one to copy it manually.

A bunch of options are available upon right-clicking a token in the app, including “Copy” and “View in Browser”.

I’m not a software developer, but I think I know what the best part of Tokens is (easy generation of codes aside): support for multiple codes at once.

You can select multiple tokens at once to generate them instantly, or if they’ve already been generated, you can copy them all as a simple text list. There’s more: you can batch rename multiple tokens, share them, and check their status (redeemed or not) upon copying them. This means the text list you’ll get will tell you if you’ve accidentally copied a token that’s already been generated.

All this is done with a couple of clicks, in a Mac app that supports notifications (through Notification Center) to tell you when a code has been redeemed, as well as keyboard shortcuts if you’re into that sort of thing (I am). I tried all of these features with a test account, and everything worked as promised.

Tokens is an insanely useful addition to the workflow of any developer who wants to share promo codes. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want Tokens if you develop App Store apps for iOS and OS X.

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