How Apple Watch apps’ death spiral nearly killed my iPhone app

By

Developing watch apps ain't easy
Developing watch apps ain't easy
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Two years ago, my partner and I launched an Apple Watch app to complement our iPhone fitness app. Little did we know that our embrace of Apple’s smartwatch would threaten the very existence of the gym app we’d been developing since 2012.

Each year since we launched Reps & Sets, we updated it to keep up-to-speed with all the cool new features Apple rolled out at its Worldwide Developers Conference. That all changed last year, though. That’s when we discovered that, by adding support for Apple Watch, we had inadvertently taken a poison pill that could effectively kill our iPhone app.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a few key changes, Apple could turns things around and reinvigorate the Apple Watch app ecosystem.

How indie devs at Smile won 100,000 happy customers

By

Greg Scown, CEO of Smile
Smile CEO Greg Scown leads the team that created popular Mac apps TextExpander and PDFpen.
Photo courtesy Smile

For developers, WWDC means more work but not necessarily more profit

By

WWDC_day_one004

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Worldwide Developers Conference brings new opportunities and new threats for indie developers. If you’re lucky, Apple introduces an API that could enhance your app. If you’re unlucky, Apple launches a new feature that renders your app obsolete.

One thing is certain: Whatever Apple announces at the annual conference will mean a lot more work for indie developers just to stay in the game. And since developers can’t charge for updates on the App Store, most of that work will go unrewarded.

How App Store reviews can help indie developers

By

The NASAViz Universal app. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC
Five-star reviews are great, but there's another type of App Store review that's truly stellar. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC

Customer reviews on the App Store are good for business. It’s not just that good reviews can improve your app’s ranking. Reviews have also helped me build a better app.

But with all the fake reviews and haters out there, it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. The trick is to know exactly which reviews to pay attention to — and the secret is all in your stars.

Is The New iTunes Search System Chomping Up Indie Developer Sales?

By

OnShelf

Yesterday, we reported on a story about the new search algorithms in the iTunes App store. It was speculated that the new search results seen by iOS developers were due to Apple’s acquisition of Chomp, a search company that had found some success in the crowded market.

The developers who noticed the result reported better than average search rankings, with the implication that the new search would filter out the bad apps, only leaving the good ones.

Today, we heard from a developer of an app with a different story.