Categories
Apps

wwrite and wwriteFree: Updates and Changes

The last app updates for wwrite and wwriteFree was in May of 2017. A bit more than five months ago. When I began doing the update then, I decided to go with a new model for my apps. wwrite remained a paid application and wwriteFree would remain free but would be an older version of the app. After some thinking, and reflecting, I have decided to change things around again with a different model.

wwrite will still remain a paid application, $0.99 and is ad-free. wwriteFree is the app that will see the change. Versions 2.1 and prior versions were ad-supported by using Apple’s iAd platform. Apple shut down the iAd platform in June of 2016, which prompted the update to wwriteFree to become ad-free. At the time that iAd was shutting down I looked into getting another advertiser. I would have gone with the juggernaut Google’s Adsense. However, this is not possible due to an issue I had with Google. I have looked into other advertisers, but due to the small nature of the app, and the website, none of them would allow me to use their ad service.

As I pondered the ratio of paid versus free downloads of my apps, (97% free versus 3% paid), I came to the conclusion that I did not want to exclude the larger portion of my user base from the latest features. In order to make sure they got the latest features, I have shifted the models again.

I have opted to go back to wwriteFree being an ad-supported. Ultimately, what I have decided to do is to go with custom first-party ads. Every ad that is shown in the app is determined by me. The ads that I will start off with are advertisements for my own e-books. I will likely be adding a wider variety of items in the future, but that is where I will start. This change means that the version numbers of wwrite and wwriteFree are now the same, with the only difference being the ads, which really is how I prefer the applications to be.

If you would like to advertise, get a hold of my by either direct messaging me on twitter or send an email to sales@waynesworkshop.com.

As for the changes in wwrite and wwriteFree, Here are the changes:

New Features

  • Requires iOS 11
  • Adds support for iPhone X
  • Support for drag and drop on the iPad
  • You can drop a text file, or text, onto the file or into the “File List” to import
  • You can drag text to and from the Files app or any other app
  • Navigation is now consistent
  • Adjusted Twitter support to use Safari

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that would hide the text of the file under the keyboard

wwrite and wwriteFree 3.1.0 are now available for download in the iOS App Store.

Categories
Apple Apps Developer

App Updates and Model Change

When one starts out creating an application, it is usually with the intent of keeping it up to date with all of the latest enhancements and changes that newer operating systems might bring. That was my intention with my apps, wwrite, wwrite – iPhone Edition, and wwriteFree. However, as many have experienced, life sometimes gets in the way.

History

Back in March of 2010, before the iPad was launched but after it was announced, I got an idea for an app for the iPad: a plain-text editor. The idea was to use the iPad for productivity; which seems to be well ahead of the curve. I submitted my app to the iOS App Store in early April 2010 and it has been on sale ever since.

I kept it up to date on a semi-regular basis after that. That was up until June of 2014. In June of 2014, right before the introduction of iOS 8, I updated wwrite and wwriteFree to be compatible with iOS 7. I did this because I knew I would be spending the summer writing two e-books, iOS 8 for Users and Developers, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion for Users, Administrators, and Developers, so I would not have a chance to do any updates on the apps.

Back on August 10th, 2014, I removed the iPhone version of my app, wwrite – iPhone Edition, from sale. The biggest reason for this was that it was a lot of work to update the application and not many people had purchased it. To be honest, besides the lack of sales, there is the Notes app, which is absolutely free and included on all iOS devices.

Fast Forward

Part of the reason for not getting updates was just a lack of motivation. I have been toying with doing an update for over a year. One would have been a complete re-write using Swift, but this was a bit too daunting. I must have started this at least four times, but it never got that far. It may be bad for a developer to say, but I do not use my own application that often. This is mostly due to how bad it looks like on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Regardless, I did still want to update it, I just needed to get the motivation and time. The final push for motivation was this exchange on Twitter.

In case you are unaware, James writes an application called PCalc. You should go and purchase PCalc as well as PCalc for tvOS.

So, a couple weeks ago I decided to really get down to updating my app. When I decided to update it, I knew I wanted to use be a Universal app (one that works on iPhone as well as iPad). The second thing I knew I wanted to do was make it work in Slide Over and Split Screen, just a James suggested. So that is what I have done.

wwrite 3.0.0 now supports full Split Screen and slide over. Here are the rest of the new features:

  • Now a Universal application, supports iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
  • Supports Split View and Slide Over.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts for Save, New File, New File From Template, Help, Show/Hide file list, Do word count
  • Ability to import plain-text files from other applications using the “Share Sheet”.
  • Fixed word count miscalculation
  • Reworked Template Customization
  • Jump Directly to App Settings from “Tools” drop-down
  • Support for system Emoji within files.
  • Other “under the hood” changes to bring everything up to date.

Pricing Model

Since its initial release in April of 2010, wwrite has always been a paid application and this will continue to be the case. wwriteFree was designed to be ad-supported with Apple’s iAd platform. Since Apple discontinued their iAd platform, I have decided to change the way that the model for the two apps. wwrite will still be paid but it will have more up to date features. Whereas wwriteFree will stay free but will not always have the latest features. For instance, it does not support Slide Over nor does it support Split View.

wwriteFree has received a minor update to remove the advertising, and make it somewhat more up to date. Previously it required iOS 7, wwriteFree now requires iOS 9.

If you already have wwrite, it will be a free update. If you do not own, now is a good time to go and buy a copy.

Categories
Apps blog

wwrite 2.1.2 and wwriteFree 2.1.2

Both wwrite 2.1.2 and wwriteFree 2.1.2 have been released.

300 pixels by 300 pixels wwrite icon

wwrite 2.1.2 has a couple of minor changes. The new features include the addition of support via twitter and implementation of auto layout. The bug fixes include some text within the “About” section of the app. The full change log is here.

wwrite.Free.Logo

wwriteFree 2.1.2 has feature parity with wwrite 2.1.2. These items include iOS 7 features like Dynamic Text, support for retina iPads, 64-bit support, a new file format and more archive types. The full change log is here.

Categories
Apps blog

My Coding History: AKA a long way to announce a new version of wwrite

wwrite icon, that's 1024 pixels by 1024 pixels

I’m not the best developer in the world, not by a long shot. I don’t have much formal training. I’ve been doing HTML/CSS coding since around 1997. I took a VB/C++ class in high school, and it was the sole reason I didn’t graduate in January. I didn’t really continue taking programming classes in college, but I didn’t stop programming. In 2001 or so, started working with “classic” Active Server Pages to be able to read Microsoft Access databases, that was around 2002/2003.

In 2004/2005 I changed to PHP to be able to begin customizing a blogging platform to my liking. Which, now that I think about it, it’s been just over nine and a half years since I first started blogging. I’ve been doing PHP/MySQL/HTML/CSS/Javascript ever since. My biggest web-based programming project is actually an inventory/ticketing system for work. That started back in 2007 when we needed a way to keep track of all of our technology. It has grown to include more items than that. Almost every single aspect of the site is custom and works to the needs of my job. Sadly, that’s not my primary responsibility at work, even though it should be.

I say I’m not the best coder for a reason. For instance, it took me over a year to just understand the basic concepts of Objective-C and to begin writing code with it. Most good programmers should be able to pick up the language within a month or so. Having done procedural programming for so long, and limiting my use of object-oriented items, with the inventory/ticketing system, the aspect of sending messages to objects just eluded me. I sat and read books, let those sink in, read some more, and let that sink in, and it finally didn’t really start to click until a year later, around March of 2010.

My first “real” project with Objective-C was the original release of wwrite 1.0.0, I had hoped to keep releasing new versions that kept pace with new features. Sadly, this hasn’t happened. I did start off strong, continually adding versions. Each version added new features, re-worked things a bit, but it didn’t last. I got distracted by other things and easily discouraged when things aren’t working properly; (sadly, that’s a common theme in some, if not most, of my endeavors). The only motivation I had to re-write wwrite was the release of iOS 7 and its complete visual redesign. Instead of just adding updating the app for iOS 7, I opted to do a re-write to make everything easier on myself later on. This culminated in version 2.0.0. The re-working with 2.0.0 made it much easier for 2.1.0. Before we get into wwrite 2.1.0, let’s take a quick look at the history of wwrite.

wwrite’s History

wwrite has been a project I’ve been plugging away at, off and on, for the last four year. It was originally released on April 4th, 2010, one day after the release of the original iPad back on April 3rd, 2010. It would’ve been released on April 3rd, but I wanted to run it on an iPad first, just to make sure everything was working. This was a smart move since some bug was present on the device but not within the simulator. This is why I always test on a device before releasing. Since the initial release I’ve slowly added features. The last release 2.0.0 was back on October 10th, 2013. As mentioned above, version 2.0.0 was a complete re-write that made the code more manageable and would make adding features a lot easier.

The original concept behind wwrite was to make an app that provided a text editor that incorporated templates. Back in 2010 I was still writing my Daily Run Down articles. That was my inspiration for the application. wwrite 2.0.0 was a somewhat ambitious undertaking, particularly when it came to re-writing a significant portion of the codebase. wwrite 2.1.0 was even more so, but more on that in a bit.

In December of 2010 I opted to release an ad-supported version of my app, because I knew some people would not pay $1.99 for a text app. The app is called wwriteFree. Until version 1.6.0, the free version has had feature parity with the paid version. However, with the 2.0.0 version, I never could get the iAd banner to work well with my “Master-Detail” views. wwriteFree still sits at version 1.6.0 until I can figure out the iAd banner issues. Once I do, it will probably be the same feature parity as the latest version of wwrite. I have contemplated on having two different versions of the app, with wwriteFree being slightly behind wwrite, but I haven’t decided if I want to take this approach or not. I’ll have to sit and ruminate on this for a while.

In September of 2010, I decided to release an iPhone Edition of the app, using iOS 4.2. wwrite – iPhone Edition was initially released as version 1.4.0. It had feature parity with wwrite. wwrite – iPhone Edition version 1.6.0 was released on March 23, 2011. Which is where it still stands. To give you some perspective as to how “old” that is. wwrite – iPhone Edition 1.6.0 does not support the iPhone 5, which was released in 2012, nor does it support Retina-level graphics which were released with the iPhone 4 in July of 2011. Just to give some perspective on that.

Ever since I finished and submitted wwrite 2.0.0, there have been certain features I wanted to add. Some of them would be simple to implement, other would be more difficult. The balancing act of ambition versus time, versus ability always comes into play. The balance can sometimes be too much to effectively manage. Sometimes you have a great idea but cannot execute it. Other times you can execute the great idea, but just don’t have the time. It’s all a delicate balance.

A couple weeks ago, sometime around April 15th or so, in anticipation of iOS 8 being unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2014, I started working on wwrite 2.1.0. wwrite 2.1.0 includes a bunch of new features, all of which are documented here. The biggest features are the ability to archive more than just the files, emailing of archives, and the ability to have more than five templates. All of these were features I had actually been planning on putting in 2.0.0, but just never did, again, due to time constraints.

wwrite 2.1.0

All of that is just a long-winded way of saying that wwrite 2.1.0 is now available. wwrite 2.1.0 is 33% large than wwrite 2.0.0, which I didn’t realize until I submitted the app. It sits at just around 1MB, up from 632K for wwrite 2.0.0. The biggest change to wwrite 2.1.0 is a brand new file format. It now separates the file contents from its meta data. This sounds like a “no duh” item, but it actually took a lot to accomplish.

wwrite has not been a huge money maker for me. I don’t think I will ever recouped my costs of creation. If I were to estimate the total time spent writing code for all three of my apps, I would have to estimate it to around 600 or so hours. Of which, a good 7.5%, or about 45 hours (for those who don’t want to do the calculation), were just in the last couple of weeks to get wwrite 2.1.0 released. It sounds like a lot of time, and it is. When you’re app is only $0.99 or $1.99, it takes a significant number of sales to recuperate your costs. Even at minimum wage, 600 hours would come to approximately $4500. I’m no where near that amount in sales. I’m lucky if I’m even at 10% of that amount, total in four years.

Other thoughts

Regardless of the amount of time, I’m at somewhat of a cross-roads. Do I continue to put forth the effort of adding features to the app when I know I’ll never see a return on the investment. Do I do this just to say I have an app in the app store? I know I’ll continue to have an iOS developer account since I do want to be able to get the latest versions of iOS ahead of public release. But I’m not sure if I’ll continue to update the apps. If I ever do figure out how best to get the iAd banner to work correctly the “Master-Detail” for the wwriteFree, I may release that.

To quote Steve Jobs, “You cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backward”. And I know this is to be true. Maybe all of this work will just be a springboard for me to become a developer full-time at some point. I do not know. Maybe it will ultimately just prove to be an exercise in futility. I know not all developers aspire to have a breakout hit like Angry Birds, Flappy Birds, or any other moderately popular game, but some success is always welcome. Maybe it will come one day, but only time can, and will, tell.

You can download wwrite , wwriteFree, and wwrite – iPhone Edition in the iTunes App Store.

If apps aren’t your thing, I also have some e-books as well. All of their information is located here.

Categories
Apps

wwrite and wwrite – iPhone Edition Price Changes

The prices of both wwrite and wwrite – iPhone Edition are now just $0.99 each. You can get them in the App Store now.

wwrite.logo

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wwrite/id366196225?mt=8&uo=4’>Download from the App Store

wwrite.iPhone.Logo

Download from the App Store