Development Indie iOS Life Mac Weblogging Windows

Focus, Rob

It’s Christmas morning, early. The house is quiet but my brain is going crazy with thoughts of projects I should work on. The thing is, I don’t need any additional projects to work on.

AHHHHHH! When I decided to build Stream it was because I wanted to do something small. I had originally started building a blog editor that would post to WordPress and Tumblr. The core of the app was being written in C++ so I could share that core between iOS, macOS, and Windows apps. It was going to be a lot of work. More work than I had the time to invest.

So, I did my little app: Stream. That took over two years to complete. I spent a lot of time on the guts of the app. Mainly around discovery of feeds and parsing those feeds. As a result I have a decent set of code for dealing with RSS, Atom, JSON Feed, OPML, and HTML. It was a real joy to finally ship.

The bottom line is this, I’m slow. Couple that with limited time to work on stuff and it takes forever to complete a project.

This morning my brain is spinning on the idea of that blogging app. As much as I’d like to do it, I really do love blogging, it’s not the project I really need to pour my efforts into.

The project I need to work on is going to be a many year effort. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for at least 15-years. The target OS has changed and morphed over those years but the app idea hasn’t, and I’m getting help from a longtime friend who just happens to be a really great developer.

Focus, Rob. Focus.

Apple Hardware Iconfactory Indie iOS Stream

My Apple Products

Ribbit Like many in the Apple geek world I listen to a few Apple podcasts. I love ‘em. I get to hear about their latest Apple purchases, mostly about the new phones they purchase every year, but occasionally we get to hear about something different. Recently it’s been M1 Mac purchases. I admit I’m green with envy. I have FOMO like a MOFO.

But these are the hyper fans. It’s why they write and talk about Apple products. They’re deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem. They’ve managed to turn their love of a company into a business. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I became a fan of Apple when Windows 3.0 released. I’m weird that way. It wasn’t until 2006 that I was able to switch to a Mac at work. That led to purchasing a Mac for our oldest daughter and my wife. I wrote my first couple iOS Apps on her white MacBook because I didn’t have one. Now we’re very much an Apple Family.

Back to my FOMO. If I had the means to purchase the new thing every year, I would. No doubt. But do I really need to buy the new thing every year? No.

Over the course of the iPhones existence I’ve had four.
• iPhone 4
• iPhone 5c
• iPhone 7
• iPhone 11

I upgraded to an iPhone 11 after the announcement of the iPhone 12. It’s purple and I love it. I’m typing this post on it right now (using Tot from The Iconfactory.)

As a developer of iOS Apps you’d think “I bet he has a really nice setup.” I do, but probably not what you’d expect. I’ve had two personal MacBook Pros.
• MacBook Pro – 2011 15in
• MacBook Pro – 2015 15in

I remember purchasing that 2011. It was my Christmas present that year. I did a bunch of consulting work on that machine and it’s still in operation to this day. My wife uses it on occasion. I replaced the batter a couple years back. It’s still a great computer. One with a spinning hard drive I might add.

The 2015 MacBook Pro was a complete surprise. It too was a Christmas present but I had no clue I was getting it. It’s a great little device. It sits on a stand right next to my 24in Dell display. I really love the setup. It’s more than enough screen real estate for me. Plenty of space for Xcode, a few shells, and BBEdit. I use the laptop display for the browser and other non-development apps. It’s the setup I used to write Stream.

Here’s the thing about Apple hardware. It’s really good! I don’t need to replace it very often because Apple has been great about supporting old hardware.

Some folks may ask “How can you deal with such a slow machine?” Maybe because it’s what I know? I use a 2019(?) MacBook Pro at work and I don’t notice a speed difference between it and my 2015. I don’t base this on any speed tests or measure performance in any way. It’s just by feel. That feel is how quickly Xcode builds stuff. I don’t use anything else in my day to day work that needs more horsepower than that. The only thing I do notice is how much my fingers don’t like the 2019’s keyboard when I use it on occasion. Oh, I’ve also been running Big Sur on it and it’s absolutely fine performance wise.

Here’s another reason why it’s fine for me. I work on iOS Apps. They’re small. It’s not like I’m building Photoshop or Xcode itself. Just little iOS Apps.

When the time comes for a new computer I may go with an Intel MacBook Pro with the crummy keyboard because the pricing may make it affordable enough for my tastes.

I also have a Series One Apple Watch. I wear it everyday and have since I got it. The OS is no longer updating, but this watch doesn’t have the ability to use new features and it’s perfect for my needs. My use? Text, Slack, and phone notifications. I also have a couple weather app complications; the built in Weather and Dark Sky (which will go away at some point.) Again, when the time comes for a new watch I will probably get a Series Three or Four because the price will be much better.

On the iPad front I still have a Gen One iPad Mini. It’s amazing it still holds a charge for a really long time and it’s small and light. The perfect reading device. The display is non Retina but it works. I hardly ever use it. I’m not much of a book reader. Shameful, I know.

Let’s wrap this up. Here’s my everyday list of personal Apple devices I use.
• Apple Watch – Series One
• iPhone 11
• MacBook Pro – 2015 15in

The Watch and MacBook Pro speak to Apple’s focus on high quality design.

They just keep working.

Development Indie iOS RSS Stream

Stream 1.0

Hayseed: “Stream is a different take on feed readers. It displays your feeds in a timeline, similar to Twitter.”

Yes, I finally shipped Stream 1.0!

The response has been so overwhelming, not in a OMG 100,000 people downloaded it, more of OMG the Mac and iOS community are so supportive. When I started on Stream I was really excited to share it with everyone. Over time that enthusiasm waned because it was taking so long to finish. I worked on it an hour here an hour there over the course of two years. Yes, two years.

I’ve received some really excellent feedback via Twitter and email. I hope that continues and I hope to incorporate some, if not all, of that feedback into Stream, but it could take quite a long time before I’m able to do it. I just want to get that out there. Stream is a labor of love. If I could make a living from it I would definitely pump out features at a much quicker pace. Please bear with me.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. It means loads to me.

Apple Indie iOS

I didn’t withdraw from the program. They withdrew me. 😂

iOS JavaScript Mobile

The New Mobile Developer

Welcome to the modern definition of a “mobile developer.”

If you know JavaScript you’re golden. It’s no longer about native apps, it’s about leveraging web tech, and getting the most bang for your buck.

Learn the JavaScript if you want to have a job moving forward. Personally, if I were to use a cross platform development platform I’d probably choose Flutter.

Development Indie iOS RSS Stream

Stream Update

I feel like I’ve been working on this app forever. 😀

But, I haven’t. It’s been a couple years of fits-and-starts. The last TestFlight build I sent out was, I believe, back in late February.

I only have a few new items to add then it’s all about bug fixes.

## What’s left?

### Import and Export OPML

I have the core of importing and exporting working fine. It’s what I worked on today.

The one stumbling block I have is where it fits in the UI, like it’s a little thing. I have some ideas, of course, but I’m not thrilled about any of them. I’ll probably pick the least icky idea and do that.

Once that’s done I’d imagine the Export feature will live next to it.

### Sharing

This goes two ways. I’d like to add an extension that will allow someone to _Add to Stream_ from a web browser and I’d like to allow folks to share out of the article view. This should allow folks to start a blog post of their own or post to their favorite social media site.

## Nice to haves

### Extra Icons

I have some beautiful icons to share with everyone and I really hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.

### Tip Jar

I’ve struggled with this one a bit. Stream is going to be free. It’s not going to be something folks just gotta have. I did this for me. I wanted an app that was simple and felt more like a Twitter feed. I think it hits both marks.

The reason I’ve struggled with the idea of having a tip jar is I don’t want folks to feel like they have to pay anything for it. I would appreciate it but it’s not necessary.

### Wrapping up

I have a few bugs I’m aware of, mostly around stripping of HTML tags.

Thanks for following along.

Apple iOS Mac

My WWDC 2020 Wishlist

Time to [get in]( on the action.

Here goes: Custom Watch Faces, iOS stability and performance improvements, and macOS stability and performance improvements

That’s it.

I’d really love to have a Dumbledore watch face.


Monetizing Apps

I’ve been thinking about models for making a little money from my iOS apps. I only have two at the moment and they’re both free on the App Store. Neither app has been downloaded in large quantities. [RxCalc]( – a pharmacokinetics calculator – has around 10,000 users and [Arrgly]( has a super tiny user base – I built it for myself and decided to share it. And, yes, I know the name and UI are completely goofy.

I’ve been working on a new application called _Stream_ and I’ve gone round and round in my head about monetizing it; should it be FREE, free with in app purchase, free with tip jar, or up pay once up front?

So many choices.

My initial thought was FREE with an In-App Purchase Tip Jar. This would allow me to, hopefully, make a few bucks from it and I could reward users with additional icon sets and color schemes.

Then I happened across [Ko-fi]( It looks like a nice way to make a few bucks off of my hard work and not give Apple 30%. On the flip side I wonder how much I’ll lose because folks have to visit my site to tap on the Ko-fi button to support my apps.

If anyone reads this, and knows a little about Ko-fi, could you let me know if it’s something I could, or should, use to support my apps?

Just send email to

Apple iOS iPad iPhone

Xcode for iPad?

[MacRumors]( _‘because it “opens the door for ‘Pro’ applications to come to ‌iPad‌.”’_

Red sock.I picked that bit of a sentence from the article because it’s complete B.S. If folks want to bring Pro apps to the iPad they have the means to do it today on their Mac. Having Xcode on an iPad won’t magically make that any better. The Mac is the perfect tool for building Professional Mac and iOS apps.

Xcode on iPad would be fine. I can’t personally see using an iPad as my primary development machine. Mainly because I like using a bigger display for development. My 15in MacBook Pro display is about as small as I’d like to use.

If I could set the iPad on a stand of some sort, hook it up to my full size keyboard, mouse, and 24in display? That is something that may work.

We’re getting closer to that day, we’re just not quite there.

Apple iOS iPhone

Not all nerds carry the latest iPhone

Do all Apple related podcasters believe every nerd carries around the latest greatest iPhone?

I’m a professional iOS software developer. Have been since 2009. Prior to that I made my living writing Windows and Linux based video viewing workstations. Prior to that I worked on a an extremely popular Windows desktop drawing and diagramming software. I’m approaching 30-years as a pro.

I carry an iPhone 7.