If the last post was focused on looking back, this one is all about what’s to come.
2020 will be all about focus. Only if I meet all objectives for the existing apps will I think about new ideas. Without further ado, here is the 2020 roadmap:
NewsWave Onboarding (Spring 2020):
As mentioned in a previous post, the NewsWave onboarding experience needs work. As it stands, it’s severely limiting the number of users trying the app.
In the current version, when you launch NewsWave RSS for the first time, you’re asked to create an account or restore an existing one before you can interact with the app. For privacy & simplicity reasons I do this with a free IAP. Behind the scenes, when a user unlocks a free in-app-purchase (IAP), Apple provides me with a uniqueUserId I use to identify the customer. This allows me to grant the customer a 30 day free trial, allow him to try sync and easily migrate him to a Premium account if he so chooses.
Here’s a high level chart I drew recently to refamiliarize myself with the current account creation steps
The problem with the approach is that many users are scared, with reason, of in-app-purchases. They have been burned so many times by shady companies with deceptive free content that now all developers face the consequences.
So what’s the plan? I already did some minor changes last year, but I’m working on a complete redesign.
Here’s the idea:
a) When the user opens the app for the first app he’ll be assigned a randomID automatically. With the exception of sync, the user will be able to try all premium features for 30 days.
There’s a clear con however, if the user deletes the app and is not a Premium user (if there’s no an IAP tied to the account) there’s no way to restore their data. I’ll make sure to reinforce that, probably with an in-app message, after the user has been active in NewsWave for 30 days.
b) When the user migrates to a premium account all information will be linked to an IAP, which will also enable sync.
c) If there’s a duplicate, for instance if the user already has an IAP but just installed the app on a new iPhone, the IAP account will prevail at restore time and the temporary one will be flagged as migrated.
The fact that the users will be able to use the app from the get go opens the question: “should link them to some feeds from the start?”. I’m not keen on it. Alternatively, I’m considering having a few NewsWave articles explain how the app works. Still not sure, will decide in the next few weeks.
NewsWave for Mac (Summer 2020):
It’s no secret I’ve been working on NewsWave for Mac for quite a while, what you may not know is that I’ve been using it for months 🙂
There’s still much polish to be done, but I’m very happy with it already. Here are some early screenshots:
I don’t want to share more just yet but will definitely post about it when I get closer to release.
Excelling (Autumn 2020):
Excelling continues to do moderately well since its release. Every year I update it to ensure it looks and feels currents with the new iOS versions.
Its codebase is old however, the codebase is also showing its age. It’s time for a more significant internal update that ensures it’ll continue to work for years to come.
That’s the plan for 2020! Hit me on twitter if you have any questions, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on progress.
Until next time,
Twitter -> @MarcMasVi