App Story Podcast

App Story

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My name is Vic Hudson and I'll be your host. I look forward to bringing you the exciting stories behind many apps made by independent developers. Join me, as we meet a new developer in each episode, and learn about how & why they decided to make their app, as well as sharing insights into some of the creative user experience and design decisions that played a role in shaping the apps.This podcast will be launching in February. In the mean time you can follow me on twitter for updates, and also follow the podcast. If you're a developer interesting in telling your app's story, fill out the form here. Also feel free to check out this little promo clip introduction to the show, myself, and the show's music.
Jared Sinclair Joins me to discuss his wildly popular RSS client Unread.  Unread is one of my favorite apps and having Jared on the show was a real pleasure. Jared Sinclair started learning app development while working as an ICU nurse.Jared is an independent iOS app designer and developer. He's made several apps, including RSS reader Unread, and popular App.net client Riposte. He started developing as a hobby while working as an ICU nurse, and made his first app called Pill Boxie, a medication reminder. He was lucky enough to get noticed and featured by Apple and good things began to happen for him. Later during a family relocation he took the opportunity to try his hand at going indie and developing full time, which has been very successful for him. He currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife and son.Unread makes reading your feeds delightful again.Unread is a beautiful Post Google Reader RSS client. It offers support for many popular feed syncing services. Jared has sweated lots of details to come up with a beautifully designed, well performing reader app. With a goal of changing the way he used RSS from a simple triage for a read later list he never revisited, he created an app that makes reading a carefully curated list of feed articles right inside the app delightful again.Jared's App Story details some of the challenges he overcame to present RSS in a modern way.In his app story he tells us all about his clever efforts to get the main article list to display correctly and perform as the user would expect. He goes into great detail to explain some of the pitfalls and the clever solutions he came up with overcome them. He also goes into detail about his unique blend using both Core Data and SQLite to manage the data set for Unread. Leveraging each where applicable he was able to use them each where their strengths lie, and avoid the weaknesses they have that would have adverse performance impacts. He finishes by telling us how he abstracted the different sync services so adding and removing them as needed will be no sweat in the future.Contact Links:Unread WebsiteJared's BlogJared on TwitterUnread on TwitterVic on TwitterApp Story on TwitterSupport Jared & the show by using these links to get his apps on the App StoreUnread on the App StorePillboxie on the App StoreAdditional links:JTSSemanticReload Cell height caching SPONSORED BY: SQUARESPACE Use the offercode MARS for 10% off your first purchase.If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here.App Story is now a proud member of Fiat Lux.Find more great shows like this at FiatLux.fm
In App Story’s first ever Release Day Special, Marco Napoli joins me to talk about his brand new app Wants And Needs, an app dedicated to helping keep your life balanced and in perspective. We discuss the philosophy behind the app and go into some technical details of it’s implementation, as well as Marco’s thoughts on marketing and important strategies to succeed. After years in the enterprise sector, Marco was enchanted by the iPhone and shifted to mobile development. Marco is the founder of Pixolini, Inc. an iOS, Web, Windows, Enterprise and Client Server Developer. He’s been passionate about computers and developing software his whole life. He spent a lot of time in the enterprise sector making things like banking and sales software before moving into the consumer space. He wrote first iPhone app in 2008. These days he is primarily focused on mobile app development especially iPhone, iPad, iOS Extensions and he’s already got things planned for the Watch. He confided in me his biggest development secret, he cannot code without caffeine. He loves Espresso, Cappuccino, Coffee and also Martial Arts. If you only Want without Thanks, you will never be happy. We all consider the things we want (like a new car) and the things we need (like making the rent or mortgage payment). But how many of us think about what we already have? Are we grateful? Do we take what we have for granted? Do our Wants outweigh our Needs? Are our Needs overshadowing our Thanks? Wants and Needs app was designed with these questions in mind to help place your Life in Perspective. Wants and Needs is a brand new app designed to organize personal goals, ambitions, and expressions of gratitude into three simple categories: Wants, Needs, and Thanks. The app not only gives users the ability to personalize their thoughts, but it also presents their custom data with graphic charts. These charts help the user visually understand if their life goals are in or out of balance. Life in Perspective. Marco’s design process starts with how the user will use the app, and everything is completely designed around that perspective. About a year ago Marco was inspired to develop Wants and Needs to help place our Life in Perspective, by acknowledging our gratitude. He was sitting in Church listening to the Pastor's homily talking about the time he had to reflect on his life. It was like a lightbulb went on and Marco first envisioned Wants and Needs as an app. He began mapping out the needs of the project in his mind. At this stage he was extremely focused on how the users will use the app. As he fleshed out the details mentally he pictured the flow of the app and then moved on to prototyping the storyboard. He then spent time playing with the storyboard on his device and refined the flow of the app and the User Experience. Next he knew an app like his absolutely had to sync between multiple devices. He then got to work on Core Data syncing, which was also beneficial as he needed it for the app’s Today View Widget, and will need it for his future plans for the app as well. Marco shared with me some of these future plans for the app, one of which will be an Watch app, and many others as well. I look forward to seeing where else he takes the app in the future. Marco views the marketing so integral to an app’s success, that he starts that process almost before he’s even really started developing the app. He told me a lot of interesting pieces of his strategy during the interview. I personally believe a developer would do well to take notes from him. He certainly help me to realize some of my own marketing short comings. Contact Links: Wants and Needs Website Marco Napoli on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Marco & the show by using this link to get Wants And Needs on the App Store: Wants And Needs on the iOS App Store Additional links: Wants And Needs Demo Video Pixolini on Twitter Pixolini website If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Carlos Ribas joins me to discuss his app HoursTracker. We discuss hobbies turned pro, the fact that there is still success on the App Store, iOS widget security considerations,  Watch apps and more! Carlos Began Cutting His Coding Teeth Early, Then Moved On To Cutting Edge Online Retail & Day Trading Backend Systems. Carlos started programming in middle school in BASIC. He wanted to be a game developer, so he spent a lot of time learning about efficiency and low-level programming. After high school he got a job at a web company and learned how to write CGI programs in C under Apache, mostly feedback forms. In the late 90s, while working for a small web company, on the frontier of e-commerce he wrote custom shopping basket systems in Perl. He then went on to working on server-side C#/.NET since .NET 1.1, spanning everything from more shopping baskets to real-time day trading order processing systems. Since then he continued developing HoursTracker while working as a Sr. .NET developer, architect, or manager. A few years ago with his friend David he started working on HoursTracker Cloud, a cross-platform web companion to HoursTracker. David takes on all of the web work and Carlos supplies the back-end logic. Currently this is a read-only web site but he has plans beyond that. Outside of computers, Carlos like fast cars & closely follows Formula 1. He tells me he’s pretty quick in a racing kart. He also dabbles in guitar. Carlos is also an AV geek and built his own home theater in his house including nerdy elements like gray scale calibration using a colorimeter, laser-assisted speaker aiming, and speaker EQ with an SPL meter and band-limited noise. Simply Put, HoursTracker Is The Only Mobile Time Tracking App You’ll Ever Need. HoursTracker is a full featured time tracking app for iOS and Android. I’ve actually been using it myself for years to track my day job, and I am currently trying to get into the habit of using it to track my app development project time. If you check out HoursTracker within a few days of this release you can even catch it on sale! You clock in and out as you work and watch as time accumulates and earnings grow. Then easily review your past entries, grouped by day, week, month, or pay period. There’s no need to enter each pay period yourself – just set your pay schedule type and HoursTracker automatically calculates everything, even daily and weekly overtime earnings. Time entries are automatically created when you clock out. Or, you can add entries yourself in just a few quick taps. You can also easily export your data by job, date, or selection. Then choose to export as a text summary or in spreadsheet-ready CSV format. HoursTracker also supports geofencing for reminders or automatically clocking in or out. It even has a convenient Today View widget for accessing your jobs quickly, and will have a full featured  Watch app ready on the day your new watch arrives. Started As A Hobby Project To Make An App For His Wife, HoursTracker Has Turned Into A Full Time Job For Carlos. In 2008, on the encouragement of his boss, Carlos purchased a Mac and started work on HoursTracker to satisfy his wife’s need for a good time tracking app. After she felt frustrated that the apps currently on the market didn’t meet her needs, Carlos decided he would make her one. In 2009 he launched HoursTracker 1.0. The original version had basic support for multiple jobs and time entries for them. He then later added pay periods and automatic overtime calculation. As the App Store and the iOS SDK feature set has matured, Carlos has kept busy making sure HoursTracker matured right along side it. He carefully studied new APIs available and then implemented the ones that he felt best suited the needs of the app. Along the way he’s adopted geofencing, a fresh new look to blend perfectly into the iOS 7 redesign, and continued with cutting edge iOS 8 features. Today the app boasts a Today Widget, Actionable Notifications & Touch ID. There is even an  Watch app ready for watch launch day. He’s also added web and cloud features, and better handling of breaks with pauses & adjustments to your time entries, as well as tips and milage. There is even an Android version he maintains himself as well. Carlos has recently gone full time indie, and is really doubling down on HoursTracker. He recently wrote a very popular post on Medium about how it’s grown into a full time job for him. He’s in it for the long haul and has lots of plans for the future, including an upcoming companion app. Contact Links: HoursTracker Website HoursTracker on Twitter HoursTracker on Facebook Carlos on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Carlos & the show by using this link to get HoursTracker on the App Store: HoursTracker on the iOS App Store Additional links: Cribasoft Sign up to learn about the forthcoming HoursTracker companion app How HoursTracker earns five figures a month on the App Store - Carlos on Medium 10 Things Google Play Does Better than the App Store - Carlos on Medium If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Dean Murphy joins me to discuss creating math challenge game Number Tap. Relatively new to development, Dean used the Corona SDK to build the app and learn programming fundamentals. Dean is a hobbyist developer from the North-East of England with dreams of going pro one day. Dean is a hobbyist developer from the North-East of England. He's been learning to program in his spare time for a couple of years. Professionally, Dean does server support & administration in the public sector, but he got started on this journey with only some basic web scripting experience. In his spare time, he now creates apps & games for himself and on a freelance basis to sharpen his programming skills, with a view to eventually change careers to developing full time. Number Tap is a fun, quick paced, math game of racing against the clock to get answers right, and earn more time. Originally created by Dean as a fun way to encourage his nephew's studies in math, Number Tap is a fun, quick paced math game where you solve math questions that get increasingly harder to prevent the timer from running out. Number Tap is perfect for children to improve their math skills in a fun way. With Game Center Support they can even compete with online leaderboards and hunt for achievements. Number Tap's simple & quick gameplay is a great tool to train your brain with. By straying away from conventional multiple choice style quiz games, and no pause button, Number Tap offers a truly unique game play experience. Number Tap is the third app, and first game Dean created. Dean had only been programming for 5 months when he first started this app. Coming from his server side and web backend experience, he created Number Tap by leveraging the Corona SDK, a 3rd party framework to create mobile apps for Android & iOS, with the Lua scripting language. He's since arranged to have it translated into several languages, and also ported Number Tap to Android only a few months after launching for iOS. Dean tells us some of the interesting challenges that porting the game to Android presented, especially with user expectations on certain hardware features. He also details some of his creative strategies in ensuring Number Tap always had accurate answers. Contact Links: Number Tap on the web Dean on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Dean & the show by using these links to get the Number Tap on the App Store: Number Tap on the iOS App Store Number Tap 2 on the iOS App Store Additional links: Murphy's Apps - Dean's company web presence If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Bill Burgess & Brandon Medenwald, two of the original founders of Simply Made Apps, join me to talk about creating Simple In/Out, and launching their company from it. Bill & Brandon became friends on the golf course and discovered they had complimentary skill sets and a shared idea. Bill is a self taught iOS developer. He started toying with iOS development around the launch of iOS 3, and got serious with it when they had an idea for a service they wanted to create. Brandon comes from long established a web development background in a variety of languages. Since discovering Ruby On Rails, he is now primarily focused on Ruby. They met and became friends on the golf course. After playing several weekend games, they realized they had some complimentary skill sets. Together with another friend who was interested in Android development, they began looking for ideas they could work on together. Today when they are not discussing business plans with their laptops over beers they still enjoy golfing in their spare time. Simple In/Out provides an excellent In/Out service with no manual action required by the users. The smart phones people already carry with them do all the checking in & out for them. Simple In/Out is a digital in/out board platform, on the web, with client applications for the major smart phone platforms. By utilizing geofences, and now also iBeacons on iOS 7, these client apps take care of all the checking in and out automatically. By utilizing the apps on smart phones and doing the checking in and out automatically the system is free from the common pitfalls and inaccuracies of most physical in/out boards. Simple In/Out is now deployed and used in a wide variety of profesional, non profit, and personal environments. If you have a need to track who is in and out of a given location at any given time, there is simply no better system. Checking in and out is just the tip of the iceberg with Simple In/Out. They also offer advanced reporting and even full screen web interfaces perfect for big screen integration to your office. They also have the Front Desk iPad app designed to sit in on a front desk or accessible area so users can quickly check themselves in or out as they come and go, as well as see who is in and out. It can even be configured as an iBeacon for the service. Bill & Brandon's App Story tells how a few guys with an idea, and $100 each, built a set of apps, a service, an API enabled platform, and eventually a small business capable of providing a few jobs. Feeling frustration with the limitations of magnetic In/Out Boards, a system commonly used to track employees in and out of the office, and the then current software implementations, led them to decide to try and make the Simple In/Out service. Three guys each threw in $100 to launch the company and over a beer fueled weekend they put their noses to the grind stone to build their first prototype of the app and backing web service. The Simple In/Out app was born and Simply Made Apps grew with it. They stay on top of the changing tech landscape, and with tips and suggestions from a great user base, they continue to add new features when they fit the platform, while still maintaining it's core simplicity. They eventually became successful enough, that now they even provide a few jobs to their community in Fargo North Dakota. They grew all this from the original $300 personal investment with no external funding. Contact Links: Simple In/Out on the web Brandon Medenwald on Twitter Bill Burgess on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Simply Made Apps & the show by using this link to get Simple In/Out on the App Store: Simple In/Out on the iOS App Store Front Desk iPad app on the iOS App Store Additional links: Simply Made Apps on Twitter Simply Made Apps Company website If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Amit Jain joins me to talk about his productivity app, "Simbol". Simbol on the Cultured Pixel WebsiteAmit's BlogAmit on TwitterVic on TwitterApp Story on TwitterSupport Amit & the show by using this link to get Simbol on the App StoreSpecial Thanks to Lorenzo Guddemi for taking care of post production on this episode. Follow him on Twitter and let him know what you think.If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here.
Greg Pierce joins me to talk about creating his app Drafts, iOS app extensibility and automation based on URL Schemes, creating the x-callback-url standard, and the future of iOS App and system extensibility. Greg Pierce has been a leader in pushing the boundaries of automation on iOS. Greg Pierce was naturally very computer savvy. He grew up in a home with computers always present. He was frequently the ”go to guy” when people had computer problems. He was also into desktop publishing and automating the process, which led him into scripting and programming. This led to his unintentional entrance into the field of software development. In 2006 he founded Texas-based Agile Tortoise and entered the consulting market, while doing personal projects on the side. In recent years, he has primarily focused on developing his own independent iOS apps such as Drafts, Phraseology and Terminology. Along the way, Greg and Marco Arment developed an idea for apps to better communicate with each other using a standard form for URL Schemes, providing a better user experience. This led Greg to author the x-callback-url spec, with his app, Terminology, and Marco’s then app, Instapaper, being the first to implement it. Greg has been a leader in pushing the boundaries of automation on iOS ever since, and x-callback-url is now widely adopted by both large and small players on the App Store. Drafts, where text starts on iOS. Quickly capture text and send it almost anywhere! Drafts is the quick, easy way to capture and share text. In Drafts, text comes first – open the app and get a new, blank draft – ready to type. Don't get bogged down in a timeline to tweet or post to Facebook. Don't tap your way through multiple screens to get down an email or SMS. Don't navigate folders, create files and name them just to jot down a note or create a todo. Extensive output options let you send text to Twitter, Facebook, Mail, Message, a Calendar event, quickly save (or prepend/append) to Dropbox, Google Drive or Evernote and much more. Advanced multi-step actions and Javascript integration can combine all of these options in a single tap and more. Drafts can make any workflow shine! Drafts was born from a light bulb moment in Greg’s head. While composing an email to his wife one day, Greg decided he needed it to be a text message instead. The resulting frustration of changing the delivery method of that message caused a light bulb to come on in Greg’s head. There should be a simpler way to start with text on iOS and decide what to do with it later, from this idea came Drafts. The initial app just opened to a text box and let you choose from a few basic options for outputting the text. Over time Greg continued to iterate on the app and, using URL Schemes, he was able to begin adding more actions to Drafts. As URL Schemes became more popular, more apps began to support them and the actions available to a Drafts user really flourished. Savvy users could even craft their own actions. When Greg later authored the x-callback-url standard, people could then create very complex actions and workflows that incorporated multiple apps, each passing the input and output back to the source app or another app to manipulate it further. Today Greg continues to iterate Drafts, and maintains an ever growing directory of Drafts actions online. Contact Links: Drafts Website Greg on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Greg & the show by using this link to get Drafts and his other apps on the App Store: Drafts on the iOS App Store Terminology Phraseology Additional links: Agile Tortoise website x-callback-url Mac Stories - Automating iOS: A Comprehensive Guide to URL Schemes and Drafts Actions by Alex Guyot If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Josh Garnham joins me to talk about his app Dringend. Dringend is an iOS development environment for the iPad, the lets you create, edit, build and run Xcode Projects right on your iPad. Josh started out as a Mac developer, but eventually found he preferred developing for iOS.Josh started to learn how to make Mac apps about 5 years ago from a simple book he quickly outgrew. He then continued by rolling up his sleeves and jumping right into the code, using StackOverflow as his go to place for questions along the way. After a few years developing for the Mac he decided to try out the iOS side of things. Josh told me he soon preferred developing for iOS and has continued to do so since. In his free time, he also enjoys the odd episode of Star Trek and Mythbusters as well as spending some time on a Flight Simulator.Write code, build it, and test run it right from the comfort of your favorite armchair, all on your iPad.Dringend is an app development environment for the iPad. You can create and edit complete Xcode projects and source files right on your iPad. Dringend offers all the same project templates, color themes, and source code syntax highlights available in Xcode. Lastly, as if this wasn't already cool enough, Dringend uses Dropbox and a Mac on your network running the free companion app, The Constructor, to actually compile and test run the app right on the same iPad, using your developer account credentials.Josh's App Story talks about how he was inspired to simply be able to make quick revisions to existing code, that grew to be so much more.Josh told me Dringend began life simply as a code editor using Core Text at it’s roots, but over the time of development this changed to use TextKit (as of iOS 7). The ability to import and navigate Xcode projects was added along the way with all the other key features we see today including remote building (which in itself had many incarnations).Contact Links:Dringend WebsiteDringend on TwitterJosh on TwitterVic on TwitterApp Story on TwitterSupport Josh & the show by using this link to get Dringend on the App StoreDringend on the App StoreAdditional links:Don't forget to download The Constructor for your mac to enable building and running the projects on the device SquaredTiki on the web - Josh's Company website If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here.If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know!Thanks so much for your support! 
Triangulon WeyHan Ng joins me to talk about his challenging iOS puzzle game "Triangulon". Triangulon on the Motileware websiteDemo VideoWeyan on twitterVic on TwitterApp Story on TwitterSupport WeyHan and the show by using this link to get Triangulon on the App Store
Andrew J Clark joins me to discuss his utility app, Numerical. We talk marketing strategy and his new update bringing in the % key and "Magic Brackets". Numerical on the Very Tiny Machines WebsiteBe sure to checkout Andrew's Jazzy New Promo VideoAndrew on TwitterNumerical on TwitterVic on TwitterApp Story on TwitterSupport Andrew & the show by using this link to get Numerical on the App StoreSpecial Thanks to Lorenzo Guddemi for taking care of post production on this episode. Follow him on Twitter and let him know what you think.If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here.Some learning iOS development resources mentioned by Andrew & myself.Ray Wenderlich's Tutorial Site - Excellent collection of free tutorials from beginner to intermediate/advanced levels. They also offer some great expanded PDF books for sale.Code School - Access to a wide variety of coding lessons for a reasonable monthly fee.Treehouse -  Access to a wide variety of coding lessons for a reasonable monthly fee.And of course once you get started, and your stumped be sure to head over to Stack Overflow. If you can't find what your looking for, create a good well formed question with some sample code, and there's a great community just waiting to help you learn.
Manton Reece, iOS, Mac & web developer, as well as co-host of popular indie developer podcast, Core Intuition, joins me to talk about developing his photo sharing app/service, Sunlit. Long time Mac, iOS & Web developer, Manton Reece is a man of many talents. Manton is a Mac, iOS, and web developer who has been building Mac software since the mid 90s. He works on e-textbook software for VitalSource, and also runs a little indie software company, Riverfold Software, with products like Tweet Library and Sunlit for iOS. He also created the Tweet Marker sync API, which could very likely be running the sync abilities for your favorite Twitter client. As if that's not enough, Manton is also co-host of popular indie dev podcast Core Intuition, with Daniel Jalkut. Core Intuition is one of my favorite podcasts, so having Manton on the show was a nice treat. Core Intuition is in my handful of podcasts that were an inspiration for this show. Share more than just photos with Sunlit, because without a context, it's just a pile of photos. Sunlit is a great photo sharing app/service, based on the App.net platform. With Sunlit you share more than just photos. You can add text and location data, to provide a valuable context and really use your photos to tell a story, or take a trip down memory lane. Built on the powerful App.net platform, Sunlit even offers collaboration and shared story features built right in. Just point it at your App.net account and start uploading your favorite pictures. Add some text and location info and you've got a great story that's only a tap away from sharing with all your friends and family right on the web, via the Sunlit.io Website. You can also now use it with your Flickr account too. Download Sunlit now and try it out by creating one story for free. When you fall in love with it, the ability to create additional stories is just a simple in app purchase away. After toying with the idea for a while, Manton & Jonathan got serious about Sunlit and started it during a hackathon. Manton and his friend, Jonathan Hays, built Sunlit because they wanted a better way to share photos with friends and family. They had a desire to share more than just single photos like on Instagram. They wanted a way to share whole collections of photos, text, and check-in locations together, perfect for events or when traveling. After toying with the idea for a while they decided to get serious about it, and started creating the prototype during a hackathon. Overtime they continued to iterate and it evolved into the beautiful app and service you see today. They recently added Flickr support and are always on the lookout for new possibilities. Contact Links: Sunlit Website Manton on App.net Jonathan on Twitter Sunlit on App.net Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Manton & the show by using this link to get Sunlit & Manton's other app Tweet Library on the iOS App Store: Sunlit on the iOS App Store Tweet Library Additional links: Manton's Blog Riverfold Software on App.net Riverfold Software Core Intuition, Manton's podcast with Daniel Jalkut. If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
19 year old self taught developer, Sam Ghobril, joins me to discuss creating his action based contact app Mingle, teaching himself to code and being the only coder he knew growing up around his home in Lebanon. A lucky break in a University CS contest showed Sam his true passion would be in mobile development. In a perfectly timed coincidence with the Hour of Code week, App Story is proud to bring you Sam Ghobril. Sam is a 19 year old, self taught, indie iOS developer in Beirut, Lebanon. He got himself started as a developer at around 12 years old. He was curious about how video games were made, and discovered C++. He started learning that and grasped some programming fundamentals. Shortly after that Sam was inspired by the movie, The Social Network. He shifted gears a little and started learning web development, and built a few hobby websites for himself. Later he got an iPhone and a Mac, and he began learning mobile app development. After he entered a University Computer Science contest with a web development project, a teacher volunteered him in the mobile app contest as well. He didn't win the web entry, but he did win for his mobile app entry and found his true passion for mobile app development. Mingle was built from the ground up to make connecting with your contacts faster, easier, and more enjoyable in every way! Mingle is an app that makes it easy to interact with your contacts in virtually any way possible like calling & messaging contacts, jumping to their Twitter profile on Tweetbot, or even setting up a meeting through Fantastical. You can select four actions from a number of built-in actions or create custom actions using URL schemes and customisable icons. These actions are all easily accessible through a simple swipe of the contact’s photo. You can even use it to add potentially missing info from contact details. For example if you run an action that required the contact’s Twitter username, and that username is not saved, a simple prompt will ask for the username, run the action, and save the username for future use. All prebuilt actions have an ‘info’ button to easily see that action’s URL, icon, etc, to help users get started on custom actions, and see how they’re built.
 Mingle was born from a unique perspective of trying to find a practical application for an interesting UI. After winning the University CS contest with his mobile app entry, Sam began playing with lots of app ideas, and built some prototypes. He even made a few he deemed worthy of putting into the App Store, like a an album based music player. Unfortunately some of these apps showed him he still had some things to learn about development and device constraints, and resulted in him pulling the apps. He didn't get discouraged though, he kept his head down in the code and continued learning and prototyping app ideas. Eventually he had an interesting UI idea and animation that he really liked. He began looking for a good practical idea to put it to use and Mingle was born. Sam's interesting UI gestures and animations became the main UI for Mingle. He began learning the C based contact API's and worked it all together in an uncommon UI first direction. Originally Mingle had a hard coded set of actions, but eventually Sam got the idea to incorporate URL Schemes into the app, to increase it's flexibility to be customized. This is the current implementation of Mingle available today and you should definitely check it out! Sam is still actively working on Mingle and brainstorming new ideas all the time. We look forward to seeing his future efforts. Contact Links: Mingle Website Sam on Twitter Mingle on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Sam & the show by using this link to get Mingle on the App Store: Mingle on the iOS App Store Additional links: Sam's Blog A few reviews Sam is particularly proud of: MacStories Review Tech Crunch Review If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Jim Biancolo, half of Raised Square, joins me to talk about creating their first app, Stand Up!, a work break timer for reminding us all that we need to occasionally get up from the desk and move around. Raised Square was founded in 2014 by Mark and Jim, two guys who wanted a place to build things that they like to use. Mark, a self described Brit living in the USA, found computers so early in life he started on an Atari 800 XL. Later he went on to study them at University. He started working in tech after graduation and has spent most of his life building web stuff. He is now enjoying building stuff for the computers in our pockets and is a baseball and cycling enthusiast. Jim found computers later in life, and spent the last 20 years making up for lost time. He's happy to pick up the UX end of things for Raised Square. In his spare time, he enjoy's watching movies, and carries a Netflix queue that's around three years deep. He is self described as just enough of a movie nerd to know he watches around 80 movies a year. Stand Up! The Work Break Timer, because sadly we need reminding we should get up and move around. Stand Up! is a fun, flexible work break timer. By now you know that sitting down is slowly killing you, and Raised Square wants to help you live longer. It's as simple as standing up! It's also great for RSI sufferers, or anyone that needs to take regular breaks. Stand Up! is free and fully functional! It comes with one alert tone, and one In-App Purchase unlocks the rest. It is completely customizable to your work schedule so you can truly set it and forget it. You can also customize the color theme of the UI. The header shows you at a glance how you're doing, and how long to your next alert. You can even limit alerts to your office location so it doesn't bug you when you go out to lunch. The Stand Up! and Raised Square story is closely intertwined, as their practice project turned into their business product. When Jim & Mark started, they were looking for a simple idea they could create relatively quickly to give themselves experience building for the App Store. When they couldn't find a work break reminder app that did everything they wanted, they decided that seemed like a good candidate. Initially thinking it would only take a few weeks to build something they'd be proud of, they ended up spending about a year perfecting it. In the course of the building the project they experienced lots of learning, lots of abandoned designs, and lots of life intervention (including Mark having a baby!), but in the end they created something they're very proud of, and are now focused on turning it into a sustainable business model. Contact Links: Stand Up! Website Jim Biancolo on Twitter Mark Wright on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Jim, Mark, & the show by using this link to get the Stand Up! on the App Store: Stand Up! The Work Break Timer on the App Store Additional links: Raised Square The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL - Jim's recommended relational Database book If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
Simon Wolf joins me to talk about creating his media tagging and annotation app, avTag. We discuss major redesigns for iOS 7 and dip into marketing woes, and even do a little brainstorming regarding Simon's future plans for the app, and spinning it off to it's own company. Simon actually went indie by choosing to leave a job, rather than return to developing Windows software. Simon has been a software developer since 1994, but until 2008 he was developing Windows software. Around 2005, he got his first Mac, and in 2008 his employer needed to develop a simple Mac application. As the only Mac user in the office, he volunteered. A couple more projects followed that but in April 2010 he actually left the company when he was told he'd have to switch back to developing Windows software. Since then he's been a self-employed contractor who has worked on a range of OS X and iOS projects and he also managed to develop and release avTag. Play an audio or video file on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and, during playback, create tags for those moments that you want to easily find again. You know you've seen or heard it somewhere. In one of the video in your media library maybe. But which one? If only you could quickly find specific moments. Now you can! Want to bookmark scenes in movies by location? By actor? By subject? Shoot video and need a way to index it all? Use avTag to create tags, and store the time-stamps of specific locations in your media. You can edit the titles and even add notes. The tags are fully indexed, so you can browse through them or search and see the results in an instant. The idea for avTag came from a frustration at finding important pieces of information in conference videos. By 2010 Apple's annual developer conference videos were being released for free, but the problem was that there were usually over 100 of them. A few months after watching them you'd have only a vague idea of what bit of information you vaguely remembered was in which video, let alone at what point in the video. It was because of this that Simon had the idea of being able to tag moments in the videos and create a searchable database of those tags. On 8 May 2014, around three and a half years after having that initial idea, avTag was finally released. avTag had a long and difficult development process and now, six months on, Simon feels he's only just starting. Contact Links: avTag Website avTag on Twitter Simon on Twitter Vic on Twitter App Story on Twitter Support Simon & the show by using this link to get the avTag on the App Store: avTag on the iOS App Store Additional links: Otter Software (Simon's Company Website) Simon's presentation from NSConference If you're an indie developer and you'd like to tell your app's story on the show, click here. If you are enjoying App Story, please consider reviewing/rating it in iTunes. I'd also love to hear your feedback and to know how you found the show. Please feel free to use the twitter links and let me know! Thanks so much for your support!
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Podcast Details
Started
Feb 6th, 2014
Latest Episode
Apr 16th, 2015
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
15
Avg. Episode Length
35 minutes
Explicit
No

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