iOS Development Highlights: January 2011

I am a little late for this month’s recap of the iOS and Cocoa blogosphere, but it’s still January 31st in some parts of the world, so I guess that qualifies. Here is the (long) list of the posts I found most interesting this past month:

The Mac App Store

The Mac App Store opened on January 6th and was obviously the big story of the month for both Mac and iOS developers.

  • David Frampton on App pricing strategies in the Mac App Store:

    The amount of time the developer has spent, other development costs, Apple’s percentage cut, emotional investment, or ideological concerns do not in any way affect the price point at which an app will make the most money. Developers will continue to price higher because they think app store prices should be higher, or because they spent 6 months on the damn thing so it is worth $20, but these developers are leaving money on the table.

  • Tim Morgan criticizes the App Store app because it does not conform to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines: The failures of the Mac App Store’s UI, and that of its app, Twitter 2.0.
  • John Gruber replies: Uniformity vs. Individuality in Mac UI Design.

    The HIG is dead. It died long ago. And it was Apple that killed it.


UI Design


  • Testflight, the new hot way to distribute your iOS betas to testers, came out of beta. I haven’t tried it yet, but the Twittersphere is raving about it.
  • As the iOS App Store approached 10 billion downloads this month, Horace Dediu took a great look at the numbers: More than 60 apps have been downloaded for every iOS device sold.

    The amazing story of this chart is not that apps are running at above 30 million download per day, but that the figure is growing. Growth like this is hard to get one’s mind around. Not only are downloads increasing, but the rate of increase is increasing.

    Good times ahead for iOS developers.

  • Shane from Blue Lightning Labs on the benefits of asking your customers for reviews on the App Store and how to do that in a Mac app.
  • Chad Podoski wrote a very detailed and insightful post about promoting his iPad app, Flickpad.

The Competition

  • Justin Williams, an iOS and Mac developer, writes about switching from the iPhone to Windows Phone 7, both from a user and a developer perspective. His post makes me want to try out the Windows Phone platform myself. For what it’s worth, I’d much rather explore the capabilities of Windows Phone 7 than expand to Android development at the moment (not that I’d have time for either).
  • Amazon announced that they will open an Android App Store themselves. I haven’t heard more about this since the announcement, but I’m curious when it will launch for customers and how it will be received. Amazon certainly knows how to sell stuff and, more importantly, they already have a huge customer base who trusts them. Amazon also plans to experiment with pricing and it will be interesting how that turns out.
  • Kyle Baxter: Android Isn’t About Building a Mobile Platform:

    Android isn’t an attempt to build the best mobile platform and sell it on its merits; it’s a play to control the vast majority of the mobile market, secure eyeballs for Google advertising and eliminate any threat to Google.

  • Nice Engadget interview with Matias Duarte, the guy who designed Palm’s webOS and is now at Google doing UI design for Android 3.0 (25 min video).