Last week, the V2.0 of my Pint of Plain app was approved for sale on the Apple App Store. It’s a major update of the app, with most of the code base completely rewritten. I think this version is a vast improvement on V1.2 and I’m planning a few more updates once I get some free time again.
What’s been interesting (for me anyway) to see over the last week is the number of people that download the update. From what I’ve seen from previous updates, the bulk of users will update in the first week and then a trickle after that (in a classic long tail style graph). Since it was approved, there’s been 1,144 downloads. This compares to about 10,000 total downloads since the app was released in December ’09.
It’s a useful app to test out various libraries I come across so I decided I’d mention the ones I used this time around.
The core functionality of the app uses the fabulous (if a little delicate) Three20 library. Using the table classes and JSON library meant I could quickly rebuild the primary screens of the app. The crowning glory though is the photo gallery. It’s pretty straight forward to add a slick gallery once the images have been pulled from the API.
I have been frustrated though that when a new version of Xcode is released, the library needs tweaking before it works again. There’s been promises to improve this in future releases, so fingers crossed there.
The lack of documentation is a hinderance as well. This is mitigated by the fact that most of the methods are well named. Still, when you’re not sure where you should be even looking, it can be annoying.
Appirater is a great little library for quickly adding an alert reminding people to rate the app. I’m not hugely convinced that a good rating boosts downloads all that much, but since this is so simple to use it’d be a shame not to add it.
In this version of Pint of Plain, there’s a few more settings the user can tweak. I doubt many people ever look at the various settings you can change in the Settings App so I wanted to offer an in app alternate. InAppSettingsKit does all the heavy lifting for you and like Appirator, so easy to include it was a no brainer.
In the old version of the app, a bar’s location was simply determined by using the GPS and only used if the accuracy was under 50m. This was never a great solution and I wanted to give the user the option of dropping a pin the right location. While search for how to do the drag and drop, I came across MapKitDragAndDrop which did everything I needed.
Not a code library but rather a set of icons, Glyphish is a great resource. There’s an icon for nearly every tab you need and they’re all beautifully crafted.
I think the fact that there’s so many libraries and resources out there now shows how iOS has matured as a platform. Every time I go to find out how to do something I’ve seen in another app, there’s a library for it. It certainly makes development much easier than when I first looked at it all over 2 years ago.