Twitter’s Struggles

Why do normal people struggle with Twitter?

Good summary at The Guardian of how confusing Twitter can be for many users.

I’ve noticed a few more of my real life friends coming back to Twitter and getting value out of it lately. Some of them participate in weekly Twitter chats in their professional communities (mostly education), and others are heavily involved in television fandoms. Many people don’t know that such groups/activities exist, however, so hopefully Twitter can find some ways to make that onboarding process easier so new users can find relevant content more quickly.

One quote that stuck out to me from the article was that after surveying “dozens” of Twitter users, the Guardian found that “[s]ome wanted more attention for their 140-character missives. Some dreaded it.”

I tend to feel an odd mixture of hopefulness and dread when I post on Twitter. I’m hopeful that I’ll make some connections with people, that I’ll come off as genuine and human, and that others will be encouraged by my game developing journey. I dread that something I say will be controversial enough to attract a mob.

Going back to what I said about Slack and Twitter in my previous post: I would guess that many of the people who have stepped away from Twitter dealt with the same dilemma, and decided that the risks outweighed the benefits. Why sacrifice happiness and experience increased anxiety and stress when Slack offers a perfectly fun and safe space to interact with your friends? I don’t blame them at all.

I utterly failed to make this point in my last post, but if all of the kind, thoughtful, reasonable people are spending less time on Twitter (for perfectly valid reasons), it makes Twitter a sad place for everyone, not just me. It also lessens the quality of public discussion. And that’s Twitter’s problem to solve, ultimately, not the people who left.

I suppose it is selfish to wish people would come back to Twitter. And I am perfectly willing to try to find community elsewhere…the question is, where? I have a Slack account, but I’m never going to be a part of the “in crowd” and that’s totally fine. I haven’t been able to find much of an iOS developer community on Facebook.

So I don’t know. I’ll keep poking around. Maybe Peach is where it’s at. ;)


Working with Xcode Instruments

What every iOS Developer should be doing with Instruments

I was just saying the other day how I’d never opened the Instruments tool in Xcode and lo and behold—this article popped up.

I started taking a look at Corgi Corral; CPU-usage is predictably high when playing the actual 1-minute game (since the accelerometer is collecting data), but goes right back down to a negligible amount on the menu screens.

When I try to assess memory usage, my app crashes immediately upon hitting the “record” button. I’m guessing this is either an Xcode issue, or I missed an important project setting somewhere. At any rate, I can see memory usage in the Debug Navigator and there’s a tiny increase in memory over time that concerns me, so I’ll be investigating that!


Goodbye Blogsy

Blogsy is no longer in the App Store

The news of Facebook shutting down Parse yesterday has understandably taken over the conversation in developer circles; however, I also wanted to point out this sad news. Blogsy was one of the first iPad apps I ever downloaded and although the interface looks super dated now (kinda iOS 6-ish), it was really the only iOS blogging app that could even come close to meeting my needs for WordPress.

We tried to come out with a new version of Blogsy (Blogsy II) which would work with the latest version of iOS. Unfortunately, due to the changes in iOS, Blogsy II would become sluggish and basically unusable after dragging in only a few media items (photos or vidoes).

There is still a need for a quality WordPress blogging app on iOS. In particular, I need one that can upload images to WordPress’s media library (including GIFs, which is currently not possible w/the official app). It needs to support different post formats, allow me to edit HTML, and support code insertion plugins like Crayon Syntax Highlighter. Such an app will probably never exist, but a girl can dream, right?


iTunes Affiliate Kimono

Opening the iTunes affiliate komono

Dr. Drang helpfully reports his earnings from the iTunes Affiliate Program. I signed up for the IAP a couple of months ago and have earned a grand total of $2.23. Someday, I hope my blog can get enough traffic to reach the $24/month average that Dr. Drang has achieved!

At the moment, however, this blog gets about 1,000 monthly views—over half of which are due to a popular question on Stack Overflow that links to it. Guess I just gotta keep writing!


App Store as an Economy

The App Store as an Economy

Good post by David Barnard:

For years, developers have petitioned Apple to allow paid updates and timed trials, and to change other App Store policies. But Apple has made very few meaningful changes to the sorts of policies that would empower developers to experiment with new business models, build more innovative apps, and better assess and manage business risk.

At some point, something’s gotta give…right?


Your First Project

The First Project Trap

I really identified with this post by Ben Burnes:

A beginner’s skill level is years behind where they’ll need to be to create something with the level of detail and quality they often desire. This leads to a dangerous cycle of never being satisfied with the progress you’ve made and being reluctant to release anything publicly.

It’s not easy to accept that my first game is going to be rubbish compared to what I might create in the future, especially when I feel like I’m working so hard on it and learning so much.

But the truth is that I have a looooong way to go and this first effort will not be my best work. However without it, my best work will never become a reality! So, I keep on keeping on.


Apple Watch Revisited

Apple Watch Revisited

Nice post by Casey Liss that pretty much mirrors my thoughts and experiences with the watch. I also love my watch, and primarily use it for checking the time, weather, and notifications, as well as setting timers and making sure I stand up once in awhile. Nothing groundbreaking; just little improvements here and there. Also, it’s the most comfortable watch I’ve ever worn in my life, so it’s got that going for it as well.


Relay FM Memberships

Relay FM – Membership

With a few exceptions, most of my favorite podcasts are on the excellent Relay FM Network. Today Relay announced a membership program offering bonus content, a newsletter, and 15% off in their store. Although you can sign up to support the network in general, I decided to support one particular podcast that I’ve been enjoying, called Under the Radar by Marco Arment and [Underscore] David Smith. While I know Marco and David are more successful than I’ll probably ever be, I really like their show and want them to keep making it for a long time!



iPhone 6s Accessibility

The Accessibility Of The iPhone 6s

I finally got around to reading Steven Aquino’s review of the iPhone 6s for TechCrunch, and it’s really quite good. For instance, I had no idea this setting existed:

Beyond the individual accessibility features, Apple has added global 3D Touch settings to the Accessibility preferences (Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch) on the new iPhones. Users are able to adjust the pressure sensitivity of the display in three increments: Light, Medium, Firm.

Steven also mentions how he needs to have his iPhone’s screen set at maximum brightness as a matter of accessibility. I have the opposite problem: my eyes are easily strained and at night, I could actually use a setting that’s dimmer than the lowest setting. For Steven’s sake (and many others, I’m sure), I hope Apple will either A) find a way to consume less energy at max brightness or B) consider changing their “good enough” battery life benchmark to something slightly more robust. For people like me, I wish Apple would allow apps like f.lux in the App Store.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, if you have a developer account, there are some apps on GitHub that can allow you to adjust the brightness below the minimum level as well as adjust the color temperature of the screen. My favorite of those apps is GoodNight. The reason I bring it up in the context of Steven’s post is that Steven mentions how much he’s benefited from Quick Actions. GoodNight lets you assign one Quick Action function to either change the color temperature, adjust the brightness, or adjust the RGB color values to a custom setting. When you select the Quick Action, the app launches, enables/disables the adjustment, and then closes itself. Pretty nifty!
Update: I didn’t know about this setting either!