An experiment….

After a recent conversation I’ve decided to try something new with this blog. An experiment…

For the next few weeks, every Sunday, I’ll be sharing the experiences of developing apps on the side: the challenges , the successes, the struggles…

I’ll also be sharing details on what I’m working on, why I’m doing it and how I’m doing it. You’ll see how feature updates affect app download numbers and be part of the rollercoaster of sensations that is App Development.

If you feel this may be fun for you, read on…

How to start? For this first post maybe an introduction is in order: my name is Marc, millennial born in Barcelona and since some time ago living in California. I have a regular job during the day and, evenings and weekends, I spend a significant part of my time thinking about or developing apps.

My latest one, and the one I’m focusing most of my time on, is NewsWave -a Twitter-like RSS reader-.

I always choose projects I’m passionate about and I believe RSS has a lot of unexplored potential. I’ll write more about NewsWave development and my experiences with past apps in upcoming posts.

Until next Sunday, 

Marc

NewsWave Released

During the last couple of months I’ve been working on a new take on the RSS Reader.

With so many options out there (NetNewsWire, Unread, Reeder….), why would I go and develop another one? 

The main reason is I wanted to create an RSS reader that would be extremely accessible to use for the average user. I had many ideas on how that could be approached, but in the end I settled on the following four principles:

-Easy subscription to feeds thanks to a growing searchable directory. 

-One unified chronological twitter style timeline for posts.

-Private tokens to identify users, effectively making all users anonymous. 

-A central server to allow syncing, reduce data consumption and backup all information.

 

Here’s the first conceptualization of what would become the new app, things have changed here and there but it’s incredible how many similarities the final app has with the original concept:

NewsWave first sketch

 

One of the decisions I struggled the most with was the business model, in the end -considering also the ongoing server costs- I settled with:

1. One time in app purchase that creates the user token and gives them 30 days to try the app with all features. This is not a subscription and therefore will not auto-renew. 

2. After 30 days they may decide to (ideally) subscribe for a $ 19.9 / year or use the app for free in “Basic Mode” -limiting daily fetches to 3 and disabling bookmark & position sync between devices-. 

As for the App Icon, I decided to go with an “in house” option and -depending on the app reception- hire a designer to improve it. 

140x140

 

Stacks image 59ea79d 942x942 2x

 

That’s the story of NewsWave, you can grab it from the app store and find its website here

How is the app doing? I’ll post shortly about that. 

Comments / questions? I’m at @MarcMasVi 

 

Marc

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Just finished “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” and it’s great:  well written and refreshingly honest.

Even if you’re not into business books, I believe this one is worth your time. 

Bill Gates could not have said it better in his book review:

“Shoe Dog, Phil Knight’s memoir about creating Nike, is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. In fact, the only thing that seems inevitable in page after page of Knight’s story is that his company will end in failure.” Source

 

Marc

Blogging about developing an app: Denarius

Roughly two years ago I started blogging about the challenges of developing a new Mac app. I decided to do so after reading Brent Simmons great series on Vesper development. I thought it was a great way to 1. structure my thoughts and 2. help the community. 

It’s been one of the most fun times I’ve had in years. The kick I get out of creating something from nothing* is not easily found anywhere else.

Also worth mentioning is the Mac community: all fellow Mac developers I engaged with were very helpful and responsive, I’m extremely thankful for that. Thank you. 

Enough rambling, about the app I’ve been -indirectly- blogging about: It’s called Denarius and it’s a Personal finance Mac app. For years I controlled my personal finances with excel; existing Mac apps had a lot to offer but they required a lot of micromanagement as well.

My goal for Denarius was simple: the app should tell you all you need to know with minimal effort.

I hope you like it, you can know all about it here. And you can get in touch with me via Twitter at @MarcMasVi

Will update you on how the app does and what I will be working on next. 

 

Marc 

* leveraging the awesome work of Apple developers who worked on all the frameworks I use. 

Surviving in the App Store

Great article on the challenges of a small company in the App Store. Must read:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/2/11140928/app-store-economy-apple-android-pixite-bankruptcy

 

Marc

3 Steps to fetch in Core Data (Swift)

1. Get the managed context:

    let managedObjectContext = (NSApplication.sharedApplication().delegate as! AppDelegate).managedObjectContext!

//Change AppDelegate for the name of the class of your Application Delegate

 

2. Set a variable to store the data:

    var contentsOfTransactionFetchRequest = []

3. Fetch the data you need

        let fetchRequest = NSFetchRequest(entityName: “Whatever”)

        contentsOfTransactionFetchRequest = try! managedObjectContext.executeFetchRequest(fetchRequest)

Hope it helps, for me it’s good to have it summarized for later reference!

If you have any feedback I’m at @MarcMasVi

Marc

Stick with it – Dan Counsell

I was going through the web when I found a great article from Dan Counsell called “Stick with it”. Recommended read. Actually I’ve subscribed to the entire series. 

Here’s a quote:

[…]Many people fail because they lose interest after a few months, they flit around and get bored when their project or business is not instantly successful. I believe the secret to my own success is that I stuck with it: I had no idea what I was doing when I started ten years ago, […]

Fully agree.