Issue #73 - Taher Ismail
Happy Monday, everyone!
We made it to Issue #73! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️
Personal Update. Today is my first day working at… RevenueCat 🥳
🚨 New Job Alert— Josh “so many typos” Holtz 💪🚀 (@joshdholtz) December 13, 2021
Happy to announce that today is my first day at… @RevenueCat 🥳
I’ll be mainly focusing on the mobile SDKs 💪
Excited to join all the amazing folks here making mobile IAPs and subscriptions easier!
But… I’ll still be shipping y’all @FastlaneTools too 😉 pic.twitter.com/Bw3bxUJXrt
If you aren’t familiar with RevenueCat, RevenueCat is a subscription platform for mobile apps with in-app purchase infrastructure, subscription analytics, data integrations, and more with just a few lines of code. I’ve been a RevenueCat user for over a year and it’s been crucial to my indie app income success. I’ve only ever made apps for free because in-app purchases were intimidating. RevenueCat somehow makes it fun and easy 🤷♂️ I’m joining RevenueCat to work on their mobile SDKs… and whatever else I can get my hands on 🙃
So in honor of my first day as a RevenueCat, today’s indie developer is a creator of a mobile app made for (but not affiliated with) RevenueCat 🙌
Deep Dish Swift is a brand new conference being held in Chicago April 30th to May 2nd in 2023. The conference aims to bring togethe Swift and iOS developers of all experience levels and backgrounds in an inclusive environment to share knowledge and experience from a diverse set of speakers. The first day is focused on indie development and and the next two are focused on Swift and iOS!
Today’s Spotlighted Indie Dev
📆 Today I’m featuring Taher Ismail.
👉 Please make sure to follow them or support them anyway you can! 😇 I’m excited to share their indie dev stories.
iOS Developer at an agency and creator of RCReporting
1) What is your name? Where do you live?
My name is Taher and I live in New Zealand.
2) Introduce yourself. Education? Background? Main job? Interests outside of tech? Interests inside of tech?
I am a 19-year-old, self-taught iOS developer. I left school at 17 to continue learning software development and building a portfolio of apps. Six months later, I was offered a position at an agency as an iOS Developer.
Outside of my main role, I enjoy keeping up with the latest tech and trying out different technologies both in and out of the mobile space. I also like keeping up with AI and security.
Outside of tech, I enjoy listening to music keeping up with the latest releases and hitting the gym and getting some air whenever I get the chance.
3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?
Definitely. Before I started working as an iOS developer I was building and releasing small apps and even now I still work on personal projects which I am passionate about.
4) What got you started/interested in creating your own applications outside of your “normal” job?
The main reason I started developing iOS apps was to learn and build something that I and others will use. Building and publishing apps allowed me to get familiar with the App Store process and learn different technologies. I owe a lot to my own applications as they have helped me land a job as an iOS developer.
5) How do you balance your time between friends/family, work, hobbies, and indie dev?
I wish I knew ahah. I think being flexible is more important than sticking to a schedule. If you need a break, take a break, if you need to fix an issue with a hotfix and you feel you can, do so. I always keep weekends free and try not to spend all day working on an app. Keeping development sessions short and sweet can also be helpful.
6) RCReporting - I love the RevenueCat dashboard but RCReporting is my go to way of looking at my in-app purchase sales from my phone. It’s so pretty and clean 😍 When did you get the idea to make RCReporting and what was your initial feature set?
Thank you! I started making RCReporting about a year ago and all it did was display the overview page. After I saw there was some interest around the initial screenshots I posted I continued working on it to launch a simple version that showed the overview as well as transactions. Since then I iterated on the initial version and recently rewrote the entire app in SwiftUI giving the app a much-needed redesign.
7) RCReporting - What was the hardest thing you had to do when building RCReporting? I can’t imagine what it was like trying to make sure your test account had all of the types of data available to build all the parts you needed 😅
The data was definitely an issue and required rewriting responses. Having no documentation was a challenge but feedback with the early releases helped shape things together. Finding all the APIs and some of the filters was also a challenge.
Recently, I upgraded plans on RevenueCat (which I absolutely recommend doing) which allowed me to access even more features that I could build for such as webhooks and real-time push notifications.
I also found getting the app out there quite difficult. It was the first app I had made for developers and struggled to get downloads initially.
8) RCReporting - There is soooo much to in-app purchases and subscriptions that I always feel like I’m learning someone new when I use them. Did you learn anything run or unexpected during your development?
I learnt about the server-side notifications from Apple which was something I didn’t know existed. I also learnt about receipt validation which is something I found interesting and the different methods of validating receipts. Luckily I didn’t need to dive too much into it and run my own server as RevenueCat handled this all for me.
9) RCReporting - The widgets are probably my favorite feature! I love being able to see everything at a glance when just swiping through my home screen! They are so good 🙌 Not a question but have this 🏆 for having one of my most used widgets!
Thank you! Glad to hear you love them!
10) RCReporting - I love looking at all the numbers but I don’t think I look at enough of the data to actually apply what’s happening to help grow my sales and customer base. Do you have any good tips or resources for indie developers on how to use this awesome data that RevenueCat and RCReporting provide?
I have been using the transactions data to try out different pricing strategies and see how that impacts sales. I also use the customer lists feature to see how many customers have not yet started a trial or made a purchase, combining this information with attributes from paying users helps paint a picture of why these users may not have made a purchase yet. I also like looking into the charts provided by RevenueCat and RCReporting to gain insights on what I’m doing well and what I need to improve.
I have also found this article by RevenueCat really interesting and helpful https://www.revenuecat.com/blog/analyzing-your-mobile-subscription-business
11) RCReporting - What’s next?! Do you have any future features that you can share with us? 😊
I am always on the lookout for new features that RevenueCat adds which I can port over to RCReporting. I am currently looking into adding more insights to customer lists. Modifying attributes and adding entitlements is also something I have planned as well as expanding and improving the real-time notifications feature I recently added.
12) What’s been the hardest part of being an indie dev? What is the most fun part of being an indie dev?
I think the hardest part of being an indie dev is consistency in sales. Having paid upfront apps doesn’t help with consistency either. Finding the time and reaching the right audience are also challenges I faced as an indie developer.
The most fun part of being an indie dev is… being an indie dev. If you are an indie dev you most likely would have started because you had an idea or a passion project. Building that idea into an app and seeing it in the hands of customers and out in the wild is a great feeling. I also love the complete creative control you have and the ability to make your own decisions.
13) Is there anything else you’d like to tell the indie dev community about you?
I initially didn’t like SwiftUI and didn’t really give it a chance but once I did, RCReporting received its major redesign and rewrite. I definitely recommend releasing something using SwiftUI and overcoming challenges and unexpected behaviour.
On a side note, if you like RCReporting, you might like Applytics too which uses the AppStore Connect API to provide similar reporting.
14) Do you have any other indie devs that readers should follow / lookout for?
@emoryzanef has built an amazing app called Roadtrip, which I saw get featured in New Zealand this week! The budgeting app that @EthanLipnik is building looks fantastic and definitely something worth checking out. Loving the work that @mufasayc has been doing on The Task App too!
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 👀
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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