Happy Monday, everyone!
We made it to Issue #72! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️
Personal Update. This past Tuesday was my last week owning and working at RokkinCat 😔 I started RokkinCat with some friends back in 2011 as a way for us to get out of our corporate jobs. We all had a passion for making cool things and wanted to help others build their cool things. I learned so much from being a business owner from business development to accounting to marketing to networking to employee management and more. But after 10 years, I have decided to part ways and take a different path. It is time for me to move on but I will miss my (former) business parters and employees greatly ❤️ I’m taking it easy and hanging out with my little homie (his first birthday is this Friday) before I start the new adventure next week 💪
New Month. It’s a new month which means new sponsor! But I’d first like to thank Tower for sponsoring November 🙌 This month’s sponsor is Morpho is a super useful and speed conversion app! I get a lot of use out of it and my favorite conversion app. I’m so happy to have them sponsor Indie Dev Monday so please give them a look 👇
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Today’s Spotlighted Indie Dev
📆 Today I’m featuring David Haydl.
👉 Please make sure to follow them or support them anyway you can! 😇 I’m excited to share their indie dev stories.
1) What is your name? Where do you live?
My name is David Haydl and I live in Graz. Graz is located in the southern part of Austria.🏞
2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?
I’m a student at a technical college and I worked as a Salesforce developer on the side about a year ago.🔧 Additionally, I am writing for two different German tech-blogs on the internet: TechnikNews.net and Apfelpage.de.
In my free time, I like to go on a run or walk in the city, do Fitness+ workouts or just listen to music and podcasts or watch some TV. Cooking is also one of my favourite activities, preferably with my girlfriend.🙂
3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?
Definitely. I can do the work for my app whenever I want and how often I want; this is my definition of being an indie.😇
4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?
I need to save links for TechnikNews and Apfelpage, but also for personal stuff, on a regular basis.👨💻 I have used Pocket for a long time to accomplish this task, but it has some characteristics I do not like. So I figured: Why should I not build my own app?😁
5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?
Actually, I do not really have an answer for this😂 Every Sunday, I plan my week in Fantastical and then I see how much time is left for all the ToDos that have to be done, which live in Things 3. I am usually very good at estimating how much I can achieve in empty time blocks, so that everything gets to be done until evening. Then, I have time to relax or work on my app.😃 And weekends are usually reserved for friends and my girlfriend.🥰
6) LinkBin - LinkBin is the app my phone has been missing for so long! I tend to just leave tabs open in Safari for myself to go back to later to do stuff with… and I never do 😅 I now just quickly add things to LinkBin instead 💪 When did you start working on LinkBin? What problems were you facing?
That’s great to hear, I’m glad that you like it.☺️
I started working on LinkBin back in June before the summer holidays and the first version went live at the end of September. All in all, the process went quite smooth, but there were also some rabbit-holes (as it is always with any programming work😂). Figuring out how link metadata can be fetched efficiently was a big point, also the iCloud sync took a little time. Additionally, there was some extra work that needed to get done in order to port the app over to macOS. I needed more time that I originally thought for the latter, because I expected this to go a lot quicker with SwiftUI.🤔
7) LinkBin - The widget selection might be my favourite LinkBin feature 😇 I was expecting widget to show my links but I was not expecting widgets for adding a link, pasting from clipboard, or copying link to the clipboard 🤯 I go to my Home Screen a lot so this widget is super useful! Did you have all these widget ideas planned or did a user inspire these?
Widgets just came with the big v1.1.0 that I dropped about two weeks ago. All widgets were planned by myself and they turned out pretty well I my eyes. Regarding the action widget, I thought it would be useful to perform a few actions directly from the Home Screen or the notification center on macOS. I haven’t got much feedback on widgets yet, but it seems that users enjoy them so far.😊
8) LinkBin - I’m also a pretty big user of shortcuts so I was excited to see LinkBin also has support for those! I don’t have any shortcuts made with LinkBin yet but I’m hoping to soon! What kind of automations have you made or seen with LinkBin’s action?
As you may have noticed, in LinkBin it is all about saving links quickly. So Shortcuts support was a must-have feature for me💯
I haven’t really come across any user automations yet. Only a guy told me on Twitter one day that he had built a shortcut to import links from another service into LinkBin. This is a very nice example, because I haven’t had the time to build an import feature, but my users have the ability to do this themselves in the meantime.🙌
9) LinkBin - I love the in-app purchase for “LinkBin Club” 🥰 It caught my attention right away because I wanted to be in the club. Not a question but have this 🏆 for great naming! You converted this user 😉
Thanks!🙂 I wanted something that sounds welcoming for everybody who is about to pay for the work I do. The name is actually inspired by the Pro model of the Timery app. The pricing model came together really quickly and was inspired by Zachary Lineman’s Jellycuts. Thanks to this, everybody gets to pay the amount they like for extra features and I receive some extra pennies; a win-win situation😇
10) LinkBin - What’s been the hardest thing to do with LinkBin? What has been the most fun thing to work on?
The hardest thing was probably implementing iCloud sync, because the CloudKit framework is HUGE and there are a lot of different aspects and mechanisms😅 Nevertheless, the sync engine works very good and there haven’t been much issues with it for my users.😎
The most fun things to work on are system integrations, like widgets or shortcut actions. I also like designing new icons (even if I am very new to this topic) and enhancing existing features in a meaningful way for my users🤓
11) LinkBin - The “Copy Link” functionality in the app is actually really genius! A lot of times when I’m copying a link I actually want to format it in markdown or HTML and it never crossed my mind that I could have a feature that writes that for me 🙈 Is this something that you found yourself doing manually and figured that you could automate it a little bit? Are there any other ways of copying that you’ve considered?
As I said in the beginning, I am also writing articles for two tech-blogs and I do this in Ulysses, an extraordinary Markdown app for bloggers and writers of all kinds and therefore I have to handle links regularly. So the idea for this feature came together relatively quickly.😝 I’ve also implemented HTML for the occasions where I have to paste links into the site’s backend editor and having Rich-Text as an option was a user request.
Currently, there are no additional ways of copying planned, but I happily take suggestions🙃
12) LinkBin - What’s next for LinkBin?! Do you have any future features planned that you can share with us?
Now it is all about improving things that my users or I notice from the v1.1.0 release. This also includes cleaning up the source code so that new features can be implemented and tied together with existing infrastructure more easily.🤟
For a v1.2.0, I’ll build the Safari extension with new features from the ground up and I’ll also deploy it on iOS. So stay tuned😉
13) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What is the most fun part of being an indie dev?
Often the hardest part for me is that LinkBin cannot have a higher priority in my time management. Sometimes it occurs that I want to get something done for the app, but have to finish other more important duties first.😞
The most fun parts are the indie dev community and receiving feedback from people who tried out my app.😊
14) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?
If you have an idea for an app or a piece of software, just build it the way you imagine it and release it. I also had some self-doubts with LinkBin at first, because the App Store has to offer a lot of apps that have similar features. But things turned out great for me, because the people who use my app apparently find it more appealing than the contenders. I am sure that my experience can also apply to many others!💯🙌
16) Do you have any other indie devs that readers should follow / lookout for?
Yes, I have some! First up is @joshdholtz, a guy who can be a huge inspiration for anybody in the space (that’s my real opinion, not a joke😉). I also like Charlie Chapman (@_chuckyc), he always brings on awesome people to his Launched podcast. I am also a big fan of @jamesthomson; he did something truly amazing with PCalc and Dice!
Newly Released and Updated Indie Apps
Here are some newly released and newly updated apps from this past week! If you would like to possibly see your app in this list, please submit your app to the look at me form 👀
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