nowPlaying

Beginnings

So what is nowPlaying? In essence, its my first iOS app. This:

NowPlaying
NowPlaying

I initially built nowPlaying around March/April 2013. It’s intent was to get my feet wet with iOS development so that I could get a sense of the difficulty of iOS programming. The logic goes:

“Before trying to build the Empire State building why not build a tree house first?” -myself

So for my first project I went with a simple app that lets you share the music you are playing to Twitter and Facebook. Now you may ask, even at that time.. couldn’t you simply write out the text you wanted to share via the iOS share sheet? Answer: Yes. Weren’t there other apps that did this? Answer: There were some. In my case though I didn’t care. This was as much an app for my own reasons as for the utility of others.

Regardless, after being involved in the development of the app, I set out to differentiate the app a bit from the others that existed in the following ways:

No share sheet dialog

Where other apps would pop up the share sheet (another window on top of their app) to change the post text, I decided to bypass that. Popping up that window just made the process slower in my opinion. Think of the case where you want to post to both Facebook and Twitter at the same time. You’d need to mess with the share sheet window twice: one for Twitter and one for Facebook. My app should take care of that. In my app, once you select to post to Twitter or Facebook or both at once all you get is one message stating whether the post was successful or not. No intrusive share sheet :) even when posting to both Facebook and Twitter together.

Proper image handling

Throughout your music library plenty of songs have artwork images embedded and many don’t. The app should be able to handle posting text with the artwork image when there is artwork or just text when there is no artwork.

Design

The design itself should be simple but still look nice. At the time I made the app, there were a great number apps with horrible horrible design.This was kinda funny to me: such a simple app yet horrible designs out there? Wth? Even to this day there are plenty of apps with bad designs, so I’m quite happy my little app looked better than others. How simple is my design? Dead simple. No settings, no unnecessary windows - nada. Three windows. Window 1: You see your images, Window 2: You customize (if you wish) what gets posted. Window 3: You change the song you want by browing through an album view. This is the icon to the right in the main window.

Gestures

As a nice little touch I also wanted to include gestures in my app. So swiping right played the next song, swiping left played the previous. Tap paused the song.

Conclusion

So I guess the final question is, did I accomplish what I set out to do with this app? Yup. The app took me a ~1 week to build, it sold various units (~50) before I made it free and the first version came out in May 2013. Since then I made various changes to get it to where it is today. As for myself: I was definitely more inexperienced in iOS development back when I made this app but I’m pretty happy I built this app as a starter :). Just yesterday I submitted a new app to the App Store called Rendezvous and I am waiting for App Store approval - wait for a new post regarding what thats about.

As for nowPlaying why not try it out for yourself?

If you find any bugs feel free to let me know as well.

P.S. The time concious amongst you may be asking. Why post about this now? Answer: Because I’m blogging disinclined + ridiculously busy and now is when I felt I could take the time write about it :).


 
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