Wednesday, October 31, 2012

500-1000 club

With many apps on Google Play registering single digit download counts, it feels good to be in the 500-1000 download club.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Octonauts, to Google Play!

The Octonauts is the best children's show on television.  My kids are huge fans, so I made this app as a tribute to the show.  The first release comes in paid and ad-supported versions on Android.  An iOS version is in the works and should be available soon.

The Octoalert app is available in an ad-supported Lite version  
Get it on Google Play 

and an ad-free version from Google Play.
Get it on Google Play 

Explore! Rescue! Protect!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First one's out!

A few minutes ago I hit "publish" in the Google Play Developer Console for my first in-house project to reach release state.  Now I just sit back and wait for it to show up in the market.  More details to follow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday Appcelerator Flap

This posting on Appcelerator's support forums made it to the front page of Hacker News on Friday:
2 weeks after the app went live and had received many positive ratings a sales person from Appcelerator contacted the agency saying they needed to purchase a commercial license or the app would get pulled from the app store. (£5000)
While there was some going back and forth discussing this, Appcelerator contacted the end client telling them they also needed to purchase a license (£5000) (full post)

Apparently, this sort of behavior is not entirely unknown from the UK Appcelerator sales team.  The accepted answer clarifies the licensing for the App Explore product:

To be crystal clear here, our intentions are that we will not charge for development that happens under the “App Explore” product (i.e., the free version). Usage of the Appcelerator platform (Titanium Mobile SDK, Titanium Studio, Analytics and Cloud Services) at this level is permitted for all applications, both commercial and free, with no financial obligation to Appcelerator. (full answer text)

That answer is from Jeff Haynie, Appcelerator CEO, so it's pretty definitive.  It sounds like he needs to reign in his UK sales team a bit, but 98% of Appcelerator customers are not paying licensing costs.

I'm still a fan.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Coding is the easy part

Reflections as our first house app nears release state.

When you first start coding a new app, a lot of time gets spent in the IDE writing code, building screens, wiring up event handlers and just generally getting the flow of the app working.  After these first broad strokes, when an app starts to take shape, coding becomes less and less important.

As the project winds down, you'll find yourself tweaking colors in Gimp trying to get just the right shade of gray.  Or the prefect drop-shadow.  Or compressing the story of your app into a 58-pixel square icon.

Or you'll find yourself scanning the app stores looking for good examples of descriptive copy or inspirational screen shots.  Then you'll remember that you don't even have screen shots yet.

And have you ever composed a soundtrack?

Getting the code to compile was the easy part...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An app is an app, no matter how small...

I sold my first piece of software over three decades ago when I was still in junior high.  I used the name Goldware back then.  I thought it was cool.  It sounds dated now.  No one would use ware anymore -- it's all about apps these days.

Well, I've got a few app ideas of my own, so a few weeks ago, I started Goldwerks Development as an umbrella name for my efforts.  The name pays no respect to proper spelling, so that makes it edgy and modern.  Joking aside, even though I'm a solo developer -- although we prefer the term indie these days -- I find that having a company name helps make it more serious.

My goal is to be self-funding: this is not a hobby.  To that end, I offer consulting services for app and web service development projects.  I prefer smaller, short term projects.  You don't have to be trying to build the next Angry Birds or Instagram to have an idea worth pursuing. Even small apps are worth building.  Most of my ideas are small projects.

My philosophy is to maximize investment by using cross platform tools where warranted.  Titanium, Phonegap, MoSync, and Codename One are all good products that can be used to build mutli-platform apps from a single codebase.  My first project is using Titanium -- look for it soon.  These tools are not a silver bullet, but when used within their limits, the time it takes to port an app from one platform to another is lowered.

Do you have an app idea?  Use the contact link to get in touch and let's work together to make it happen.