Aaron Pearce

presents

A Journal By A Designer and Developer

Discontinuing Skinny

The day has come, I am discontinuing an app, Skinny to be precise.

The reasoning behind this is the fact that I am no longer on the Skinny network and therefore have to no access to a Skinny account or time to upkeep an app that relies on such an accurate ability to scapre a web site. This is the first product that I have discontinued and I am sad to see it happen.

Skinny was one of the apps that helped my career a lot. It was my demo project for Apple when I was invited to Cocoa Camp and even ranked in the top ten Utility apps for a day. I am thankful for the opportunities that it brought me and I am especially thankful to all the users that made it as popular as it was.

2012 & 2013

2012

Looking back upon the last year, I've had some amazing opportunities given to me, which have brought major challenges and changes to my life.

Personal Highlights

  1. May: Invited by Apple to attend Cocoa Camp 2012.

  2. July: Started Sunya as part of TechEx Wanganui. With the help of several local council employees and others, Sunya was begun and has been growing since. Without their support and help, it wouldn't exist.

  3. August: Attended Cocoa Camp 2012 at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino. For me this was the highlight of my year, first time out of the North Island of New Zealand, first time on a plane and similar experiences just made it awesome. Along with that, the people I met during Cocoa Camp made it into a long lasting memory and I hope I can stay in contact with them.


Work Highlights

Throughout the year, I've launched and developed several applications which were special in themselves.

Working with Chris Carey to create Stash was a particular highlight as it was my first time working with a designer so closely to create an awesome product that I could be proud of.

Another particular highlight relating to the launch of Stash was having the site shared by Federico Vittici of MacStories. Watching the response just related to his single tweet was extraordinary and I want to thank him for that.

2013

As for 2013, I am waiting to see if it can beat 2012 and I am sure it will.

During 2013, I am hoping to continue working under Sunya building great apps for clients (side note: We're looking for clients now if you know anyone who needs an app), along with developing more of my own apps and projects.

Here's to the New Year and what it will bring.

Milestones

In the last few days, I've hit a few milestones I'd like to share. Over the last few months I've been pushing updates to all my apps along with releasing dA Uploader 2 and Skinny. I'm glad to see users picking up and using these apps daily.

With all these new updates, I've reached a small goal of reaching 14,000 downloads of all my apps combined., this is remarkable to me, considering the limited advertising I have done to promote the apps themselves. Most of the downloads are of my free app, dA Uploader, but this is still awesome to see the uptake by users. More remarkable is when 1000 people update an app in a single day, it certainly reminds you how many people have access to your software when it happens.

When you have a reach of that many users, you have to make everything perfect, otherwise they'll be a backlash. Luckily for me, even with adding an in-app purchase to dA Uploader 2, there was no backlash about that itself. Complaints were more about the design changes and users not realizing what was copied to their clipboards was the link to the image.

The other milestone I hit, was a monetary one, I'm happy to have hit $3000USD in app sales. These sales have covered the cost of my Macbook, my iPhone, my iPad along with other small things I have needed to develop these apps. They also allow me to further develop and improve the applications in the future.

I'd like to thank all my users and people who have bought the apps for supporting me and my business. It means a lot to me to have this support and I hope to make sure you enjoy my apps in the future.

Skinny Post-Mortem



Skinny is an usage app for Skinny Mobile, its a simple and elegant viewport of your usage. I'd never done an app outside of the deviantART niche, but creating this gave me a great new perspective on the world of apps and how simple little tools such as the app could be greatly useful, even just for myelf.

Simple bars and text show your remaining usage for your current week, while the user interface allows these to shine through for fast checking of your usage.

I started building the app on the 25th of March, the first working prototype was built that night with the basic user interface styles created and data being scraped in as needed through the Skinny Mobile website.

Within a few days I had a fully working copy of Skinny running for iOS and began work on an Android port atfer being encouraged by Skinny Mobile to do so.

Skinny was my first Android app and my first experience with Java and the Android system. Suprisingly it didn't come with the learning curve I was expecting and I had a basic copy running in a few days. Considering this includes learning Java and the Android APIs I am quite happy with how long it took.

So far Skinny hasn't quite met my expectations sales wise but as it was originally created purely for myself I'm just happy other people wanted it and are even asking for it to be ported to other carriers including US ones such as AT&T and Verizon.

These ports may happen, either as a single application or as seperate ones. This change would bring me into competition with Consume which I really want to avoid as that app is absolutely gorgeous and would be hard to compete against other than through quick and timely updates to the data location API's.

Along with questions of ports to alternative carriers, I've been asked for an iPad version, this has been planned from the beginning but it has to be done right to fit with the platform. I also need to acquire an iPad 3 to test on the platform effectively.

More features are coming to the app as I can work out the best way to do these. Potentially these include points showing where your usage should be based on the time of the week and graphs of usage (this would require the app to be launched regularly).

The Skinny Mobile team helped a lot with this launch and I'd like to thank them for their support and I'd love to work closer and more integrated with them if they ever wish to.

dA Mobile Concepts

As I wrap up dAmnMobile, I am starting to wireframe dA Mobile, this will be a longer project due to having to research deviantART's internal API, DiFi.

dA Mobile will encompass the majority of dA's features including galleries, browsing, profiles, commenting, forums, upload, messages and notes.

I will be polishing every one of these features to the standard I feel neccessary to get them to match with deviantART's style and ease of use. This means that the app will run and look as if it was an official application from dA itself.

dA Mobile will be a paid application just because of the time invested by me into development and research, I will hopefully be releasing parts of the code as open source for use by the community. All research into DiFi will be released for use by anyone guaranteed. Hopefully I will also be launching a new site as a home for these apps and the development blog shortly.

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