Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why the Hell am I Still Developing for the iPhone?

iPhone development — or in particular, the App Store — continues to appear to be an unpleasant place to be. First up there's the Tweetie 2 debacle (covered here by Dan Moren, who's one of my favourite Mac journalists, but who seems to care a little bit too much about currying favour with the Mac dev community). I've got nothing to add to the upgrade pricing fuss — if the developer can get people to pay then good luck to them — but I will just pull out this from Gruber:

I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and there’s a ton of new stuff (all of it copiously detailed by Brichter), but the persistence is the one that means the most to me. The effect is that you can leave Tweetie at any point, use another app, then go back to Tweetie, and it’s almost as though you never left. Feels like switching, rather than quitting/relaunching.
Seriously? Adding stored state — the main iPhone design pattern Apple pushes, and the single method we as developers have to compensate users for the lack of multitasking — finally adding this kind of stored state is heralded as the second coming, rather than at last making up for a major long-standing flaw? And yet AT&T cops shit for only now rolling out MMS.

And then we hear the sad story of how the App Store is broken because Iconfactory's Ramp Champ has not been selling well. Ignoring the fact that "not selling well" means the kinds of numbers I'd cheerfully give my left nut for, let's dig a little deeper and see what's up.
The lack of store front exposure combined with a sporadic 3G crashing bug conspired to keep Ramp Champ down for the count.
So here we have (2) they released a faulty product, but that isn't important because (1) Apple didn't give them front page billing. I mean, for fuck's sake, this is inexcusable. This is the fucking Iconfactory we're talking about. Don't you know who they are? Every time I select the wrong history link in Safari and get sent to the main iPhone dev page, there's the little blue Twitterific bird. Apple wants to start spending some of their advertising budget educating iPhone owners as to exactly which gods are developing for their phone. Ignoring them in this way is simply not on.

We also have this from "Talos" in the comments, which I think just about sums up most of the problems with the world today:
We (Iconfactory) spend at least 3840 hours (8 designers for 7 months) on art and design of Ramp Champ. DS Media Labs working on the programming side on and off for 7 months.
Coding as a afterthought. Yeah, what could possibly go wrong.

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