#68: What I Do, and What I Should Do

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Today we continue the market research discussion that began last week, and explore a few tangents along the way. We talk about reusing code in new apps, researching competitors, and being a student of apps. We consider possible responses to new competition, and the risks and benefits of entering a market with existing competition. We close by looking at niche markets and mass markets including a discussion of appropriate pricing strategies for each, our comfort with different size markets, and the suitability of these markets for independent developers.
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#67: I Don’t Know What An MBA Would Call It

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Today we take a look at market research and “market driven development” as a means of increasing an independent developer’s chances of success in the App Store. We discuss strategies for choosing a group of people to target with a new app, picking profitable app ideas that solve a target group’s problems, and the extent to which domain knowledge is necessary to build a great product. We also consider what types of market research needs to happen before you even open Xcode, and the role that existing competition plays in choosing to develop an app idea.
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#66: The Tab That’s Never Been Good

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Today we discuss the upcoming changes to the iOS 8 App Store and how we’ll be affected by them. We consider the new Explore tab and how it will affect app discoverability, app bundles and what you can and can’t do with them, video previews and their effect on the purchase process, as well as other changes that may impact our businesses.
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#65: An Indie State of Mind

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Today we reflect on the state of being indie, particularly in light of the discussion that we had last week with Jared Sinclair. We start, as every good argument should, by defining our terms and taking a look at what exactly we mean when we call someone “indie.” The conversation then turns to setting reasonable expectations for success, the non-financial benefits of being self-employed, and optimizing your life for freedom. We discuss the role of market and marketing in promoting App Store success, then close with our view of the App Store developer ecosystem and ways that new indies can give themselves the best shot of making it.
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#64 Jared Sinclair

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You probably know Jared Sinclair from his app Unread and his recent tell-all financial post that’s been making waves in the iOS development community this past week. Today Jared joins us to explain why exactly he shared Unread’s financial results, his reaction to the feedback he’s received since sharing his sales figures, his thoughts on what went wrong with Unread, and his plans for what comes next.
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#63: Competing with Kim Kardashian

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Today we look at the partnership that was recently announced between Apple and IBM. We discuss what it means for the iPhone and iPad, what it means for Apple, and what it means for independent software developers. We talk about why enterprise is such a hard business for indies to break into, and how the second-order effects of this deal will affect even those who don’t sell to enterprise.
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#62: Makes it More Huggable

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Today we take a look at the 2014 Apple Design Award winners, and discuss what lessons we can draw from the winners to apply to our own apps. We consider the importance of polish, creating atmosphere, and delivering “surprise & delight.” We talk about business models, building apps that are resistant to cloning, and how app design can contribute to engagement and word of mouth advertising. Apps discussed in this episode include Monument Valley, Day One, Cinemagraph Pro, Threes!, Blek, and Yahoo News Digest.
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#61: Apple Kremlinology

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Today we take a look at the new iOS 8 size classes that were introduced to the world at WWDC, and what they might mean for the future. All indications are that larger iPhones are coming this fall, and there are other rumors of a split-screen iPad. If iPhone windows get bigger, and iPad windows get smaller, will the line between the two devices start to blur? What might that mean for developers who sell separate iPhone and iPad versions of their apps? Will all apps be expected to be Universal? We consider those questions and more in today’s discussion.
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#60: Difficult for Whom?

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Today we’re talking about iCloud Drive and the advent of a filesystem on iOS. We discuss whether the benefits of introducing a filesystem to iOS users is worth the complications that it brings, compare notes on our plans for supporting iCloud Drive, and express a healthy dose of skepticism about Apple’s ability to flawlessly launch a new web service. We consider our long-term ability to charge customers for syncing in this world of free and cheap cloud services, then we close by reading the tea leaves and sharing our opinion of what exactly Apple’s loosening of sandbox restrictions means for the future of iOS.
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#59: Solve the Problem with Math

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The universal experience of all independent developers is that there’s never enough time. Today we take a look at how we plan to use our limited time between now and when iOS 8 is released to the general public. What iOS 8 technologies are absolutely critical to implement immediately? Which ones can wait? How do you balance adding new features with the need to do maintenance tasks that might not be noticed by customers? We discuss all of this as well our plans for Swift adoption in this week’s episode.