Kai Oelfke

February 2021 Retro

Amicu

Statistics for February 2021

I didn't do much marketing and the numbers show that. Most downloads came from the App Store directly.

Two feature requests

Besides the usual bug fixing and performance improvements I worked on two new things. Both requested by customers.

Small contact list widget and badge count

This screenshot was during development. I improved the padding and spacing since then.

Small contact list widget

The first request was to add a small contact list widget. I reused all the code and adapted the layout a bit for the tiny size of the small square widget. This took me less than an hour. And the user loved it:

"This is absolutely amazing that you whipped this up so quickly, and your email genuinely made me day. You are a gem. I'll be sure to leave a review for the app, and I will share it with all of my friends and family. Thank you, again, for taking the time to create such a quality app, and for taking the time to read and act on feedback. This made me so happy."

Notification badge count

"It would be fantastic if you could add badge notifications please. That would make this app perfect!"

I added badge count support for notifications. In the settings users choose from three options. Birthdays, due contacts or both combined. With a server sending push notifications it's easier. During sending the server queries the database to calculate the current badge count. But Amicu is offline and privacy-first without a server. Amicu only schedules local notifications in advance.

Every time the user opens Amicu, the app schedules notifications. This means calculating due contacts (and birthdays) for the delivery day. Predicting the future state for calculating wasn't as simple. It took quite some time. But if the device isn't powered on it can miss a notification resulting in a wrong badge count. iOS only allows 64 notifications in advance. The buffer gets empty, if the user doesn't open the app.

I replied to the email of the user, but didn't hear anything back. I'm not sure how many people use this and with the iOS 14 App Library badge counts are less visible. So given the hours it took, it's not the best output. But at least I use this feature myself.

The first feature took less than an hour got me a happy user and App Store review. The second request took many hours and no response. Hopefully, more people use it.

Other

I found a cool open-source app for joining online meetings. I avoid distractions when programming for a better focus. But it's easy to lose track of time. And now in the pandemic there's many online calls. MeetingBar helps me to avoid being late without calendar notifications.

I didn't like the distraction of e.g. seeing the countdown to an evening event all day. But as it's open-source and in SwiftUI, it was easy to do it myself. Other users asked for the same feature. So, I also submitted the code as pull request. I don't have much experience with macOS and AppKit. Thanks to SwiftUI, I now get to use my work also on my Mac.

iOS & tvOS for the Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Philharmoniker

Since 15th Feb I work on the iOS and tvOS app of the Digital Concert Hall.

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