A recent post by Brent Simmons talks about the economic problems of developing iOS apps. Brent talks about the difficulty in making money if your primary focus is developing iOS apps for sale in the app store.
The quote that caught my eye is the following:
Write the apps you want to write in your free time and out of love for the platform and for those specific apps. Take risks. Make those apps interesting and different. Don’t play it safe. If you’re not expecting money, you have nothing to lose.
That has been pretty much the approach I’ve been following. I’ve been writing hobby desktop applications on the Windows platform for the last 15 years and iOS apps for the last 5. Many times it’s to solve a personal problem that I’ve been having. I’ve never published any of these applications. They usually are not polished enough for other people.
I’ve rewritten one application, in particular, many times. I called that application Insight, and I blogged about it way back in 2008 when I decided to rewrite it as Microsoft WPF application.This app has been my test bed of sorts.
Many things have changed since I wrote that post. For one, I no longer use Windows as my primary platform. I changed to OS X as my main platform five years ago. WPF has also not gotten much love from Microsoft. In fact, there are numerous debates as to whether WPF is dead. Windows 8.1 focusses on Metro style apps that have not appealed to me. And so, I use Insight in my Parallels Windows VM running on my Mac.
So I think it’s time for another rewrite. This time I thought I’d re-create Insight as an OS X desktop app written in Swift. Partly because I’ve never written or designed a Mac app but also because the best way to learn a language is to code something that’s useful to you.
I think it will be awesome!