Happy Monday, everyone!

We made it to the 11th issue! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️

📆 Today I’m featuring Alexandre Colucci and Rodrigo Araujo.

Alexandre is the creator of Clatters. Clatters is an iOS app that allows users to easily monitor a brand name, product name, or any other keyword on Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews and even the iOS App Store. I’ve personally been a happy Clatters use for some time now 😊 As the lead maintainer of fastlane, it’s part of my responsibility to monitor social media for mentions of fastlane to answer any questions and make sure that fastlane’s image stays positive. It was an exhausting process until I discovered Clatters. I can’t recommend Clatters enough! Clatters gives you the ability to define smart searches for posts with media attachment and a positive or negative sentiment. If you have a product or brand that you manage, you should really give Clatters a download today 💪

Rodrigo is the creator of Charty. Charty is an iOS app that provides 22 powerful actions for Shortcuts to plot data and create charts. I’ve just recently become a heavy user of Shortcuts so when I first saw Charty a few months ago I wasn’t really sure how I could use it. Even though I didn’t know how to use Charty, I was still completely amazed by how powerful and simple Charty has made plotting data 😍 I did, however, finally get to use Charty a few weeks ago and I was so excited that I had to spotlight Rodrigo and Charty in an issue of Indie Dev Monday. Charty can now do even more with iOS 14 Widgets. I have a Shortcut automation running at 6am and 6pm that fetches data and updates a Charty widget on my home screen. You all need to check out Charty 😉

👉 Please make sure to follow them or support them anyway you can! 😇 I’m excited to share their indie dev stories.

Indie Devs

Alexandre Colucci

Munich, Germany

Lead developer at Corsair and working on Clatters

Rodrigo Araujo

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Petroleum Engineer during the day and working on Charty

Alexandre Colucci


1) What is your name? Where do you live?

I’m Alexandre Colucci, a french guy living in Munich (Germany) 👋

2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?

Like many iOS and macOS developers, I learnt Objective-C as a hobby. After I got my master degree in Computer Science, I joined Elgato (now a business unit of Corsair) as a software developer, 14 years ago.

Over the years I created and released several of my own apps to solve specific problems. I also regularly write in-deep analyses on my blog at https://blog.timac.org. If you are interested by reverse engineering on iOS and macOS, that might be worth looking at.

Outside of tech, I like to run and cycle in family around the lakes in the Munich area.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

Absolutely not…

4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?

Each time I stumble at a problem, I look for an already existing solution. If nothing works for me, I end up creating my own app. I created a bunch of tools, most of them kept private. However when I think it could be useful to someone else, I release it, sometimes completely open source. Clatters is the first iOS app that I distributed on the iOS App Store.

5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?

Finding time for indie development is quite a challenge. I am biking to work each day so my hour of commute is a regular daily workout. I only start working on my side projects once the kids are sleeping.

6) Clatters - When did you start working on Clatters? What was the reason for creating Clatters? Were there any other solutions you were using at the time to solve this problem?

I wanted a single app to easily monitor keywords on social networks. For example to know if some users complained after an app update.

I could not find a good solution and for at least 5+ years I used a combination of my own tools and several existing apps like different Twitter or Reddit clients. In early 2019 I decided to finally tackle this problem by creating my own iOS app.

7) Clatters - I tried to not make this my first question so its my second… How long did it take to come up with the name “Clatters”? Was this the first that you had? Did you have any others? It’s soooooo perfect for the app. The internet continuous rattling of brand names and product names 😇

Finding the app name was so hard… you can’t imagine!

I generally start my side projects using a codename - the French name of a vegetable. Clatters was born Aubergine (eggplant) and for months I had an app with the 🍆 emoji on my Home Screen.

Early summer 2019, it was clear that the app would end up in the iOS App Store. It took me a couple of weeks of reflections to find a good name. Since the .com domain was a shady website, I decided to drop my first idea.

After several other weeks of reflection, I found another app name. I got the Twitter handle, purchased the domain and ensured that there was no app with the same name on the iOS App Store. Later I tried to submit my first build to TestFlight: the app name was reserved on the iOS App Store 😭

I went back to the drawing board and finally found Clatters in October 2019. So to answer your question, it took me more than 10 months to find the name 😫

8) Clatters - I’ve been using Clatters for a while to monitor fastlane on Twitter but I just now discovered that I can observe reviews for specific App Store apps. I don’t have any of my own apps in the App Store (yet) but I tested it out with Sticky Widgets by Tyler Hillsman. This feature is 🔥 Not really a question but I’ll be using this feature for myself soon 😉 Thanks!

I am glad you like this feature!

9) Clatters - I’ve been trying to figure this out but does all of Clatter’s querying and processing happen on device? Or is there any Clatter API the app interacts with? What is the most difficult thing about which ever approach Clatters uses? 😊

That’s a really good question and a key design decision of Clatters. I built Clatters from the ground-up with privacy and security in mind. Currently all the queries made by Clatters are direct queries from your iOS devices to Twitter, Reddit, HackerNews and the iOS App Store. All the processing is performed on your own device: the posts are stored on your device, searches are done locally, the graphs are generated on your iPhone, the sentiments and languages analyses are using on-device machine learning.

This approach means that Clatters is not as simple as you might imagine. One key advantage is that your Twitter and Reddit accounts are only stored in your Keychain on your iOS device. Another advantage is that my privacy policy is clear: I don’t track anything.

10) Clatters - I’m rocking the “Posts” widget on my iPad right now and I love how easy it is to just glance at any changes. It seems like such a perfect addition to Clatters. How excited were you about iOS 14 Widgets for Clatters? Do you have any plans to keep adding more variations? 😈

The WWDC 2020 was super exciting with the announcement of several features that were perfect for Clatters. The coolest one was without any doubt the iOS 14 widgets. In Clatters 3.0, I created the most obvious widgets. I have some ideas of improvements and new variations. Stay tuned…

11) Clatters - I have a pretty great Clatters use case from today! I found a fastlane tweet about somebody having 2FA issues but I was able to let them know about our new API Key auth. I wouldn’t have found this easily without Clatters. Do you have any good stories about how Clatters helps you with Clatters (or other brands/products)? 🙃

I use Clatters to help me both with Clatters and my projects at work. After releasing some new features, I can quickly see how the users react or can easily identify issues.

I also heard some stories from several users with completely different use cases:

  • some iOS and macOS developers are using the “stars” widgets to see the rating of their apps on their Home Screen.
  • some community managers are tracking their brand reputation using the on-device sentiments analysis.
  • some support engineers are using Clatters to reply to tweets in some specific languages

12) Clatters - What’s next for Clatters? Are there requests for any other integrations? Is there anything you’ve been wanting to add to Clatters?

When I released Clatters 1.0, it was packed with iOS technologies: Dark Mode, best-in-class accessibility support including Dynamic Type and VoiceOver, on-device machine learning, optimized for both iPhone and iPad, support for multitasking, multiple windows, external keyboards, Spotlight, Home Screen Quick Actions, 3D Touch, …

However there are 2 obvious features that I had to postpone for different reasons: the first is the possibility to sync your searches using iCloud. The second is to bring Clatters to the Mac. The Apple Silicon Macs having most likely a Neural Engine is a game changer for the on-device machine learning.

I am also investigating to add more integrations to Clatters. I still need to see if these third party services provide the required APIs.

13) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What the most fun part of being an indie dev?

The most difficult part was without a doubt to find the app name 😅

The best part was to meet so many nice and helpful people in the indie dev community. A lot of persons provided me some help, on the technical side, for marketing advices, or with beta testing. One good example is the Airport community (https://airport.community) which provided tons of feedbacks while iOS 14 was still in beta.

14) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?

If you want to ask me a question, feel free to reach me out on Twitter!

Special thanks to you Josh for the Indie Dev Monday. I discovered a lot of awesome indie developers and great apps!

Rodrigo Araujo


1) What is your name? Where do you live?

My name is Rodrigo Araújo and I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?

I have a degree in computer engineering, but have been working as a Petroleum Engineer since 2009. I’ve been in love with Apple products since I’ve learned about iPods and watched Steve Jobs unveil the first iPod Nano. I also love running outside and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

I think the first time I thought about being an indie dev was during WWDC 2019 intro video, when they showed developers working late to fix bugs. I had released my first app 1 month before that (ChatStats) and that video hit home!

4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?

Ever since the App Store launched, I’ve wanted to be a part of it. But I believe the main reason that got me to go through with it last year, was a desire to differentiate my curriculum.

5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?

As I have a day job and we don’t have kids yet, I try to set aside one or two nights a week to work on Charty. This way we get time for date nights, seeing our friends and watching movies and series 😊

6) Charty - I’d like to say I’ve been a Charty user for a while but… I haven’t really understood how I personally like to use Shortcuts until recently 🤷‍♂️ What made you decide you wanted to make charting app powered fully by Shortcuts? 😇 Were you a heavy user of Shortcuts and a huge data fan?

I’ve been a huge fan of data visualizations ever since college, and I believe I was a day one user of Workflow (the app that became Shortcuts). I’ve used shortcuts to create journal entries, track expenses, weight, exercises, etc.

But the idea for Charty came from Alex Hay’s Toolbox Pro (@ToolboxProApp). When I first saw his app, I had been tracking my reading progress using Shortcuts and a note file, and was wondering how I could visualize that data on iOS.

When I understood what he was able to accomplish using Shortcuts’ actions, I knew I had to try creating an app to add visualization actions.

7) Charty - With Charty have a majority of it’s functionality inside of Shortcuts, did you run into App Store review issues? I can’t imagine there were that many “shortcut only apps” that existed when Charty was launched 🤷‍♂️

I was very afraid it wouldn’t get accepted. I knew Toolbox Pro had already been launched, so I was praying I’d get the same treatment. When I submitted, I got a couple rejections regarding custom icons and app completeness, but it was sorted with better feature explaining and examples in the app.

8) Charty - How excited were you about iOS 14 Widgets?! I feel like widgets were made for Charty. Did anything like widgets cross your mind when you were making Charty?

It was a mix of excitement and terror! By the time widgets were announced, I knew Charty needed to have them. The terror came from the limitation that widgets had to be written in SwiftUI and the library I use to create charts is built with UIKit (iOS-Charts). I had no idea whether I’d be able to support this tentpole feature everyone would love to have! 😱

Fortunately, it was possible to export charts as images, which could be added to the widgets!

9) Charty - I was looking through Charty’s licenses and I saw it uses an library called BartyCrouch 😝 I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so this was a fun thing to find. Did you get as much enjoyment out of the name of this library as I did?

Of course! I’m a fellow potterhead! By the way, BartyCrouch (the library) is an incredible tool for app localization!

10) Charty - What was the most fun part of building Charty? What was the hardest part of building Charty?

The best part was shaping the app to be exactly what I wanted to use! I’m happy to say I still use it daily to track my very first use case: tracking reading progress!

The hardest part was dealing with date/value parsing. Charty’s actions can receive numbers or dates as series’ values, so I had to write code to detect between what I was receiving, and also understand most of the date formats Shortcuts can deal with. This gave me an even bigger admiration for the Shortcuts crew, as they deal with dates in a very seamless fashion.

11) Charty - What have been some of the best/coolest/weirdest charts you’ve seen that have been made with Charty? I’ve only made some simple ones some App Store Connect data but I’m imagining people have done some crazy things 😈

You bet! Users have used it every single health data I could think of, and some really took it to the next level. One user built a chart showing his daily exercises alongside weight measurements, and he even calculated a linear regression to show whether or not he was on track!!

But the most unexpected use case I’ve seen was tracking turnip prices on Animal Crossing! That was very popular for a while! 🤣

12) Charty - What’s next for Charty?! Are you working on any new chart types?

I’m working on Charty 1.4, codenamed Theseus! This version will have ring charts just like the ones in iOS Fitness app, so users will be able to track any goals they’d like! There’s also another chart type I’d like to add, but I still need to see if it’ll work before sharing 😬

13) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What the most fun part of being an indie dev?

For me, the hardest part of being an indie developer has been marketing. Thankfully, Charlie Chapman (@_chuckyc) wrote an incredible “roadmap” post that helped me a lot on launching the app. I was also very fortunate to receive enormous support from the community on the Shortcuts subreddit ever since the first beta.

And the funniest part is, definitely, the indie dev community. Lots of talented developers are interacting daily on Twitter and trying to help each other fix problems and promote their apps. It’s great to be part of it!

14) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?

Just that being an indie developer takes effort, but it’s a really incredible experience!

Thank you to everybody who made it to this footer! You either spent the time to read or took the effort to scroll 😊

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