Happy Monday, everyone!

We made it to Issue #94! Thank you to everyone who read last week’s issue ❤️

Before we get to today’s featured indie dev, I wanted to give a special shoutout to Simon Stovring (featured Issue #42) on the release of his newest app Runestone 🥳 Simon has been developing this app in the open and I’ve been patiently waiting for its release. He put so much love and effort into this app and it really shows. It’s a gorgeous and highly performant code editor for iOS. The core text editor of Runestone is even open sourced on GitHub - https://github.com/simonbs/Runestone. It’s just awesome and you should check it out 🙂

Today’s Spotlighted Indie Devs

📆 Today I’m featuring Ryan Lintott.

Ryan is the creator of Old English Wordhord. The Old English Wordhord is not a dictionary — it’s a museum exhibition in your pocket that you can digest in bite-size chunks. I know pretty much nothing about Old English so I was pretty intrigued when I came across this app. Old English words have so much character and each morning I look forward to the new “word of the day”. The word of the day also sometimes comes with some related art which is a fun bonus 😊 Old English Wordhord is designed in a way that I would 100% expect an Old English app to looks. I love the look, the feel, and the functionality. It’s just a delight to use! Download this app today to start your Old English journey 💪

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

Indie Dev

Ryan Lintott

Toronto, Canada

Consultant for design studios and creator of Old English Wordhord

Ryan Lintott


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

I’m Ryan Lintott and I live in Toronto, Canada

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

I have a degree in Architecture but I started my career in 3D architectural visualization due to my interest in film and 3D animation. I worked in London, UK for almost 10 years making 3d rendered images, videos, and interactive installations at a company called Squint/Opera. I also became the CTO, designing the technical pipeline and managing teams as the company grew from 10 to 100 people. I eventually left in 2016 because I wanted to do something different.

I’m interested in helping teams improve how they do what they do, so I made A Better Way To Do and started consulting for other design studios. I moved back to Canada in 2018 and continued consulting and in 2020 I started (seriously) learning mobile development.

Outside of tech I enjoy hiking, travel, board games and video games.

Inside of tech I’m really interested in machine learning (I took Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning course on Coursera) and neurotech. The first iOS app I built (in Unity) and never launched was an SSVEP keyboard that let you type with EEG brainwaves 🧠⚡️.

3) Have you ever considered yourself an indie developer?

I think that’s the only kind of developer I would be… probably a freelance developer as well now. I do think it would be fun to work with a team again though.

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

I feel like I left my “normal” job when I started consulting. I wanted to make apps even before that but I didn’t know how to code beyond the bit of Unity I had worked with before. When COVID hit I decided to start the app developer journey and take on the 100 Days of SwiftUI to see if I would enjoy it (I did). After that I made a few small experimental apps and a game called ShiftUI for the SwiftUI Jam. I loved every minute so I started building my first proper app.

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

I treat both indie dev and consulting as my work and I stick to my work hours. By 6pm I’m done for the day. If something critical comes up I will work late but I want that to be the exception. I used have an unhealthy amount of focus on work, but now I have regular chats with friends and family scheduled in the calendar. Even if they need to shift, it ensures I don’t go weeks or months without seeing the people I care about. I also like to take proper multi-week holidays but with COVID limitations I’ve probably spent more time at my desk again.

6) Old English Wordhord - This app is so fun! I’ve never really been exposed to Old English words so this is especially fun for me. Where did the inspiration for this app come from?

I wanted my first big project to test my new skills without being overly complicated. My wife Hana (@hanavideen) is a medievalist with a PhD and she tweets an Old English word every day from @OEWordhord. I thought it would be fun and within the realm of my SwiftUI knowledge to make a Wordhord app. Also as she had 20k followers already it would be guaranteed some amount of users without marketing.

7) Old English Wordhord - As kind of mentioned, I don’t know too much  about Old English. Is Old English a completely different language? Or is it more just an old set of words that are no longer really used?

I used to think it was “ye olde” English but it’s older than both Shakespeare (modern English) and Chaucer (Middle English). It’s a very different language and almost unrecognizable to English speakers today. The app has an About section with a timeline of example quotes to see how the language changed.

If you want a complete and very accessible introduction, Hana recently released a book called The Wordhord - Daily Life in Old English. It’s available in the UK and the North American launch is tomorrow!

8) Old English Wordhord - I love the word of the day widgets! It’s like the perfect use case for them 😍 This widget found a new home on my Home Screen. No real question here but have this 🏆 for a perfect widget use case!

Thanks so much! This was another reason I wanted to make the app. After attending my first WWDC in 2020 and learning about widgets I thought it would be a perfect fit for the Wordhord. I thought it would be quite unique to have these little manuscript snippets on an iPhone Home Screen.

9) Old English Wordhord - I looked in the settings and found a “Gold Shimmer” effect and 🤯 That is so awesome! Was this something that you really wanted in the app from the start or just a fun experiment? Are you able to share how you made this work? 😁

Thanks again! Manuscript illustrations often use gold leaf so early in the design process I wanted to mimic this look. I didn’t know if I was going to pull it off for version 1.0 as I wanted an accurate-looking 3d reflection but I’m happy with the results. After launching the Wordhord app I cleaned up the code and shared a free Swift package called LookingGlassUI so anyone can add a shimmer ✨ effect to their SwiftUI views.

10) Old English Wordhord - What are some of your favorite words you’ve learned while making Old English Wordhord?

The app has a Favourites section for users to hoard their own word but I often use it to save words with audio pronunciation errors for debugging. 😅 I do have some words I really enjoy though:

  • wæfer-gange — ‘weaver-walker’ spider.
  • fnēosan — to sneeze.
  • hrēaðe-mūs — ‘adorned-mouse’ bat (a mouse adorned with wings).
  • ōga — terror, dread, horror. (While working on audio pronunciations I laughed every time the iOS voice Daniel said OH-gaaah)
  • neorxnawang — Paradise.

I also like the word we chose for the launch day of the app:

  • on-fōn (pronounced on-PHONE) — to take, receive or accept.

11) Old English Wordhord - What’s next?! Do you have any future features planned that you can share?

There are many things I wanted to include but I had to cut back to get version 1.0 out. A shortlist of some features I’m thinking about:

  • Search (both in English and Old English)
  • Marginalia widgets and/or stickers. (People love medieval illustrations so more ways to use them on your Home Screen or in Messages would be fun)
  • Hordle (Wordle would be difficult in Old English as spelling wasn’t really standardized. Also, I would need a more complete word list.)
  • Gold shimmer for widgets (Waiting on Apple for interactive widgets)

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

The hardest part is not sitting next to other devs. I’ll get stuck on a problem that’s difficult to even define and I know it would be so much easier to just chat with another dev and find a solution. That said, when I do chat with other devs it’s probably the most fun part. The community is amazing with events like SwiftUI Jam, iOS Dev Happy Hour and Core Coffee.

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

I’ve released a few free Swift packages:

  • LookingGlassUI (shimmer and parallax effects based on device rotation)
  • FrameUp (SmartScrollView, HFlow, VFlow and more layout tools for SwiftUI)
  • ShapeUp (build shapes and cut corners in SwiftUI)
  • OEVoice (Old English text-to-speech)

If you want to know more about me you can check out ryanlintott.com and if you’re looking for help on your project, I’m available for consulting and freelance work.

14) Do you have any other indie devs that readers should follow / lookout for?

I enjoy the many tweets from @aheze0 and @emin_ui as they build their apps in public.

@FloWritesCode and @tundsdev both make tons of youtube videos that have helped me out along the way.

And if you like geometry and/or cats you should definitely follow @FreyaHolmer. Her video on bezier curves is incredible.

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 👀

Focused Work Updated
A completely redesigned Session Creator tool that makes creating focus sessions fun & interactive! Drag & Drop to reorder stages, easily combine existing sessions, and quickly adjust session integrations.
Exist Updated
This is one of our biggest updates ever! We just introduced manual tracking, which means you can track any data you want in Exist by manually entering the data into our mobile apps and we'll analyse that data alongside anything you sync from another service.

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