A quick peek at the calendar reveals that it is exactly three months since my first iDevBlogADay post. Thus it’s time to relinquish my spot and move to the back of the list (thanks, @mysterycoconut!) so some other patient indie can have a turn. This has been a good exercise to get me writing again. Some of the more popular posts have included AdWhirl, Game Center, Localization, so I’ll continue to expound those topics. Three months feels like a decent amount of time in the iDevBlogADay spotlight, and even though there’s no term-limit, maybe there should be. Nah.
It’s fun to look back at the end of the year and take note of the progress we’ve made, or lack thereof. This has been a busy year, both personally and professionally. I’ve moved, again. In fact, we’re still settling in to the new home, and I still couldn’t tell you where most things “live.” Ready for the holidays: no. Glad I’m not traveling this year: yes.
A year ago there was so much speculation about the future Apple tablet. It was only 11 months ago that the plans were finally revealed. Working on iPad versions of our apps in fact occupied much of the first quarter of the year. Sure seems like years ago now. I bought a few iPads for “testing,” but have to admit it was a great tool to use on our cross-country trip in May. Nowadays I don’t use it so much, preferring the smaller iPhone even though my old eyes have trouble some time.
Then there was Game Center, iAd, and iOS 4.0. Which we used to call iPhone 4.0. All cool technologies, but, as usual, no solid release date information. I was most excited about iAd since we have a few free ad-supported apps. By the time we did have some solid dates (WWDC) there was of course the iPhone 4 announcement. Great, more device resolutions to consider! Luckily we were right in the middle of our Wolf Center project, and had time to add the hi-dpi graphics before it was too late.
Later, adding multitasking capabilities proved to be a bit of a pain. As a user, it’s a great feature, and I totally get the whole seamless transitions things. But the conditions under which your app can get switched out and terminated are very frustrating from a developers point of view. As I feared, many apps have become very buggy, which tends to degrade the user experience sadly. As in, it’s sad when we just expect that Words With Friends will routinely crash several times during the course of a day. And don’t even get me started about Apple leaving us to try to explain to users how the actually quit an app.
Game Center came just in time to keep us on our toes in September. If you haven’t had the pleasure, it takes the sandbox environment to whole new levels of pain. Imagine a situation where you can’t test on the simulator; well maybe you’ve dabbled with In-App Purchase. Throw in a minimalist UI and lack of any account management APIs and you’re having fun! Yeah, I fell for it too.
If that wasn’t enough, now there’s the Mac App Store. In fact this is very exciting for us iOS developers; I’m working on a Mac version of reMovem right now. I started as a Mac developer nearly twenty years ago, though I’m a relatively recent convert to Cocoa. Aside from the confusion, misinformation, and jokes about the Mac having apps now, it occurs to me that Apple is just trying to wear us down with change after change after change. The bar is continually raised. I’m really curious to see what they’ve got in store for us over the next twelve months.
In the meantime I’m going to take a little break tomorrow and see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform some rocking Christmas tunes. Hope you all have a great holiday!