Weekly Roundup: Sustainable Software

In case you missed it, Jared Sinclair kicked off this past week by offering an in-depth look at the sales figures on his RSS reader, Unread. If you've been an iOS developer for a while, you probably already know how this story ends. Making it as an indie developer, at least in the mobile space, is incredibly challenging.

That game you've poured your heart and soul into for the past 12 months? It's probably not going to earn you back the equivalent of minimum wage. Your podcast app? Unless you have 70,000+ Twitter followers to pitch in order to get it charting on the App Store, I don't think it's going to make it no matter how good it might be.

But, I think that's alright in the end. The gold rush might be over, but there are tons of other opportunities out there for canny developers. Here are a handful:

  • Mac apps - Mac users are generally a lot less price sensitive than iOS users. Case in point: I'll routinely buy $10-20 apps from the Mac App Store without batting an eye if the tool is something I need, but I don't think I'd ever even consider doing the same on the iOS App Store. So, build a Mac app, and figure out how to build an iOS companion app if relevant.
  • SaaS - You know what's way cooler than charging someone $20 for software? Charging them $20 for the software every single month. This is certainly more challenging than building a standalone app, since you'll have to start thinking about issues like billing, database management, security, and cross-browser compatibility. And you still have to make something useful that people want, but hey, I'd rather make $240/year from a user than $20 once. Your mobile skills may still be super-relevant here, as a well-designed, free, companion mobile app can be invaluable to users.
  • Consulting or contracting - Another option is to treat your App Store submissions as your portfolio. They don't have to make money directly, because they're designed to get you in the door with companies that are looking for skilled mobile developers.

I have a decent amount of experience with all three of these categories, so let me know if you want me to drill down into any of them in more detail in the weeks to come.

Best,
Aaron


What We're Reading


Control of the Week

1Password App Extension

1Password App Extension

1Password Extension for iOS 8.

License unspecified.

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Weekly Roundup

TGDrawSvgPathView

TGDrawSvgPathView

an IOS helper class to draw animated paths from SVG files

MIT licensed.

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UIBarButtonItemGrouping

UIBarButtonItemGrouping

iOS category on UINavigationItem that groups automatically UIBarButtonItem buttons on the left or rightBarButtonItems.

You can add as many buttons as you want and then set the available spots, the category will take care of the grouping an generating the UIActionSheet with the overflow buttons.

MIT licensed.

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RNActivityView

RNActivityView

Based on MBProgressHUD, this is an iOS drop-in class that displays a translucent ActivityView with an indicator and/or labels while work is being done in a background thread.

Can be used as a UIView category to facilitate the use of the component. Decreases the work of getting instantiating and configuring component for simple uses.

MIT licensed.

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CFCoverFlowView

CFCoverFlowView

CFCoverFlowView is a CoverFlow view with PagingEnabled similar to App Store for iPad.

https://github.com/c0ming/CFCoverFlowView

MIT licensed.

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MRFlipTransition

MRFlipTransition

A custom transition that works like the one in Facebook's Paper

MIT licensed.

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MGFashionMenuView

MGFashionMenuView

View with an awesome animation when it is shown/hidden

MIT licensed.

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Groot

Groot

With Groot you can convert JSON dictionaries and arrays to and from Core Data managed object graphs.

MIT licensed.

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AwesomeCache

AwesomeCache

Delightful on-disk cache (written in Swift)

MIT licensed.

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ALDColorBlindEffect

ALDColorBlindEffect

See how people with color-blindness experience your App.

BSD licensed.

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SwiftImageLoader

SwiftImageLoader

Asynchronous Image Loader in Swift. Caches using an NSCache.

Useful for UITableViewCells.

MIT licensed.

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RSDayFlow

RSDayFlow

Scrollable iOS 7 Date Picker.

MIT licensed.

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NFXRippleCell

NFXRippleCell

UItableviewCell add ripple effect.

MIT licensed.

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SFSwiftNotification

SFSwiftNotification

Simple custom user notification written in Swift.

MIT licensed.

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VMMagnifyComparer

VMMagnifyComparer

A magnified comparison between two images.

For more information, please refer to https://github.com/void-main/VMMagnifyComparer.

Apache 2.0 licensed.

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AMPopTip

AMPopTip

Animated popover that pops out of a frame. You can specify the direction of the popover and the arrow that points to its origin. Color, border radius and font can be easily customized. This popover can be used to leave subtle hints about your UI and provide fun looking onboarding popups.

MIT licensed.

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SCViewShaker

SCViewShaker

A highly configurable UIView category for shaking a view. You start shaking your views with a one liner :). It supports a few different shaking styles (horizontal, vertical, rotate) and let you configure the duration, the speed and the shake strength.

Apache 2.0 licensed.

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FeResponsiveInteraction

FeResponsiveInteraction

Bring Android L's animation to iOS

A Collection of Categories, UIButton, UILabel for iOS dev.

MIT licensed.

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Switch

Switch

Switch is a UIControl subclass that creates a UISwitch like control with provided image.

MIT licensed.

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BFPaperColors

BFPaperColors

Flat colors taken from Google's Material Design: Paper. http://www.google.com/design/spec/style/color.html

MIT licensed.

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HamburgerButton

HamburgerButton

Hamburger button with a slick animation. Described in a blog post: http://holko.pl/2014/07/15/hamburger-button-animation/

MIT licensed.

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BFPaperButton

BFPaperButton

iOS Buttons inspired by Google's Paper Material Design

MIT licensed.

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SACalendar

SACalendar

Easy to use and customizable iOS 7 Calendar

MIT licensed.

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BFPaperTableViewCell

BFPaperTableViewCell

A subclass of UITableViewCell for iOS inspired by Google's Paper Material Design.

MIT licensed.

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RadioKit

RadioKit

Retrieve radio stations last played tracks with RadioKit

MIT licensed.

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