Always There free at last, but not for long

February 15, 2020

A week ago I received an email from Apple announcing that my third app, Always There, had “won” the outdated apps lottery and would be removed from the App Store in 30 days unless a new update is issued and approved.

While Always There still works perfectly for its small purpose, it never received an updated in almost four years, so I was expecting that someday Apple might knock on my door. This is okay and I have absolutely zero complaints, it’s actually great that they’re keeping an eye on old apps.

There was no rational reason to spend time on updating a very small utility that never surpassed 100 $ in revenue (#devlife 🤑), but I was still willing to try: the app continues to work fine, and is actually more “useful” than ever on iPads now that widgets can be always on screen, so I was considering a small emergency update to officially support the “latest” screen sizes (iPhone X, anyone?) and iOS versions.

Always There on iPadOS 13, showing the prettiest & smartest wolf ever

Sadly, tonight my intentions collided with the hard reality of early Swift development: the last commit of Always There is a 3-year old migration to Swift 2, but after that I never ported the codebase to Swift 3; so, today I’d need Xcode 8 to migrate to Swift 3, and then a newer version of Xcode to actually finish the migration to the current release of Swift… thing is, Xcode 8 does not run on macOS Mojave, and it doesn’t really make sense to create a VM just for this…

So, Always There will go away in 3 weeks, but it will not leave the App Store with sadness: the app, which used to cost $ 1.99, is now free for everyone to grab, just a small gift to anyone who might like to keep a special photo, ahem, always there…

I expect the app to continue to work for quite some time (it already survived 4 iOS releases with only some minor visual glitches in the preferences view on iOS 13), so it might be a nice addition to your Notification Center or iPadOS home.

I’m less sad seeing this app go away than I was for Tasktic, but I understand letting apps go is part of the process: when I made Always There I was very new to software development (it shows, believe me) and it taught me some interesting skills, so even if it never was a success, I’m still glad it is on my devices and, maybe, after today’s pricing decision you’ll enjoy it on yours too!

Truly for a limited time only (not marketing bla bla, App Review’s clock is actually ticking… 🙃), download Always There free on the App Store!

App updates and a freebie!

January 23, 2019

I like that this January I am being able to spend a little more time in Xcode than my usual, but I should probably apologize because all my posts are product announcements… I promise the next time you’ll read me I will cover more entertaining topics!

First, an announcement: starting tomorrow and for a week only, one of my first apps, Always There, will be completely free to download. The app allows you to put a special photo in Notification Center, both on iPhone and iPad, and is perfectly useful even with the latest Apple devices. Always There usually costs $ 1.99 (it’s my only iOS app paid upfront), but I’m trying to understand if there’s potentially a wider market with a different business model: I have ideas for new features, but I need to understand if spending a significant amount of time on them makes at least some sense. If you’re curious, tomorrow check Always There out and tell your friends about it!

And now, the app updates…

A few days ago Apple approved GlanceCam 2.5, with support for the RTMP protocol. I can hear you scream “booooring”, but it’s a useful compatibility update if your camera didn’t support RTSP or HTTP for streaming.

Tonight I also submitted an update for Walk More, my free iOS pedometer. I wasn’t expecting to update it so soon, but a few bugs emerged and I had to fix them right away:

  • Steps, distance and floors are again centered vertically near each bar.
  • If you ever saw days’ labels duplicated on the Y axis of the graph, rejoice: everything is back to normal.
  • Sometimes the widget crashed and showed no progress in Notification Center; now it works perfectly.

Hopefully the approval process will go smoothly and in a couple of days tops version 1.4 will be available for download.

Thanks for reading!

Always There is here

April 20, 2016

Today a brand new app joins Tasktic and Weightrack: Always There!

Always There allows you to keep your most precious photo always there (ahem….) in a Notification Center widget of your iPhone and iPad.

Just pull down Notification Center and an amazing picture of the person you love, a funny photo of your puppy or an image that inspires and motivates you will be there for you!

Always There is a simple but meaningful app. Learn more here, download it now on the App Store and tell your loved ones about it!

Where am I?

In sunny Italy ☀️ 🇮🇹