First App Sales

When my first app became available in the App Store on June 10, I hoped to make about $100 from it. I priced it at $0.99, and figured at least a few people would be looking for a Bible verse app for their Apple Watch.

I quickly realized I wasn’t going to make my revenue goal when by early October the app had only sold a grand total of 14 copies. ? So, I made it free. Now it’s up to about 90 total downloads.

I’m not at all discouraged by how everything turned out. Refining Fire was not only my first iOS app, it was my first real programming endeavor…well, ever. Prior to that, I had written some HTML, made one silly Scratch game, and done some projects in Processing for an Intro to Computer Science class. I have no illusions that it’s an amazing app or anything—I know it’s simple, and lacks features that many people would want, such as licensed Bible translations (which I don’t have the money for).

Anyway, I thought I’d make a quick pros and cons list about releasing Refining Fire as a sort of final reflection on the experience.


  • Didn’t make $100


  • Familiarized myself with APIs such as UIKit and Core Data
  • Learned how to add multiple targets to my Xcode project (for the Apple Watch and Today Widget) and share data between them using a custom framework
  • Got involved with Stack Overflow
  • Learned how to parse JSON
  • Figured out how to use Interface Builder and Auto Layout
  • Learned how to troubleshoot a bunch of weird and obscure build settings errors in Xcode ?
  • Got practice in submitting apps through iTunes Connect
  • Something I made is running on my watch. Like, holy crap. That’s really cool!

Based on what happened, I’ve adjusted my expectations for my first game release. I still plan to sell it for either $0.99 or $1.99, but I no longer have a specific revenue goal in mind. I’ll just put it out there and see what happens, and enjoy learning new things along the way.

Finally, a quick shoutout to Manton Reece: If you happen to see this, thanks for mentioning me on your blog! I’m a big fan of Core Intuition. :)