I love a good secret. More to the point, I love a good surprise. Seeing the excitement and joy that people feel when you give them good news? The best.
So normally, when I tell a story, it’ll have twists and turns, and I’ll very specifically withhold information in an attempt to make that reveal even more satisfying. I can’t help myself. I’m actually doing it right now, even as I intend to jump right to the point of this post.
The first release of GIFwrapped included just one in-app purchase, the ability to disable ads. It also shipped with a pretty significant bug that meant ads were never actually shown, regardless of whether or not you purchased the upgrade. As it turns out, people still paid for it, and there were a number of comments and reviews explaining that they did so to support the app, even though they had never actually seen an ad.
This has stuck with me throughout GIFwrapped’s life. I’m still incredibly grateful to anybody who ever purchased an upgrade. In my mind, it’s the ultimate form of showing support: people (maybe you?) were willing to part with money and invest in the product I made. I’m so very honoured by that.
Over the past six months or so, I’ve been contemplating a big change: making the switch to a subscription pricing model. It’s no small thing; even just deciding to go for it was an heckin’ ordeal and a half.
On a recent episode of Independence, we talked a little bit about our approaches to managing tasks, especially related to version releases. Something I didn’t get into is that, over the past few months, I’ve been attempting to improve my workflow with a number of automations; both to reduce the busy work I have to get done, and to make it so that things update without me as much as possible.
This is something of a living project all its own—each time I get through a release cycle I re-evaluate and tweak a little—but as a result it’s almost like having a project manager… albeit a very tiny one.
After missing it last year, I added a reminder to my calendar so I would remember Hourly Comic Day as it approached this year. So on the 1st of February, I created a short comic to document every hour of my waking day and posted them to Twitter.
Preparing screenshots for new versions of GIFwrapped has always been something of a hands-on process for me, despite using fastlane’s snapshot tool. Each time, I’d have to build GIFwrapped to a bunch of simulators, load a set of GIFs into each one by hand, then run my screenshots script.
Theoretically, this would be where Xcode’s xcappdata bundles would come in super handy, but since they don’t really work in simulators, they’re not very useful. Oh sure, the option is there and it totally works for actual devices, both for running tests and for debugging… but literally nothing happens for the simulator, which is less than ideal. There’s already a bunch of radars around this issue, so hopefully we’ll see it fixed at some point.
In the meantime, rather than continuing to struggle through that monotony, I decided to set up some code to handle it all for me. Because what even is life if you can’t automate away your annoyances?