My goal for 2024 is to release an app to the iOS App Store. While this is a… turbulent… time for Apple’s control and influence over the future of their platform, it’s my preferred platform and a natural place to start.
My first app is a simple dice rolling app. It’s simple, self-contained, and has easy opportunities for enhancement. I’ll need simple view and navigation controls to switch between different modes (such as a DND-like mode, or rolling a pile of D6s and counting “successes”, or counting individual results of a roll. I can add more fun interactions and animations over time, including experimenting with 3D. And finally, it’s self-contained. No networking services, no databases, nothing.
I may never actually release it – I don’t know what the monetization strategy would be (ads, locking alternative themes behind a paywall, restricting the modes available, or something else), but given that it requires a $100 Apple Developer account (and an LLC, if I want to keep it separate from my personal stuff), I feel compelled to think this through (even if I end up just giving it away).
By the way, here’s my first impressions of developing in Xcode:
- While my Intel Mac Mini might not be fresh, the basics of text editing should not feel so slow.
- Xcode in general feels like a mess. It’s slow and buggy, particularly when trying to preview your app. It certainly doesn’t do anything to make the “creation” of an app easy.
- Apple’s design and developer documentation is lacking. Design documentation (the Human Interface Guidelines) and code documentation are separate, and when the design documents link to code, the code frequently lacks explanations or examples of what was shown.
- If I’ve learned from shepherding design systems and dev tools over the last 3 years, it is: quality documentation that aligns design AND development guidance is critical to having something actually be adopted and used as intended.