NSConference Videos

NSConference has established itself as one of the best iOS Development conferences. That all came to a close this year. I was lucky enough to attend and am looking forward to watching the newly released NSConf7 videos. I was amazed to see that Scotty has uploaded what looks like every video from every conference which is just an amazing resource.

I can recommend:


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App Business Interviews

There’s a huge resource of podcast interviews that I’ve recently discovered. Paul Kemp, TheAppGuy has recorded nearly 300 interviews with app business owners and developers. He’s also launching a new series called App Store Launch Stories.

If you’ve not heard of Paul before you can check his credentials in the glowing praise in How a $2.99 recipe app became a Top 2 Paid App in the App Store with their App Store launch story.


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iOS Development Tools April 2015

Each project with a new team brings new tools and workflows. Tools I’ve been using this month.

iOS Development

  • Fabric include Crashlytics Beta for deploying test builds. Planning to use Twitter Digits for user onboarding.
  • Parse – for user management and uploading video files
  • Fastlane – investigating for deployment of test builds and screenshot generation for App Store listing.

Project Management



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App Store Descriptions

Appbot have a great post on Writing a Great App Store Description.

One of the points is about telling a story, something that many apps fail to do.

Tell a story, don’t rattle off features

Selling a story of the person your potential customers want to be is what you are trying to achieve. Are they going to be awesomely productive? Are they going to save money? Are they going to get fit in just 7 minutes? Tell me about the super human I will become using your app.


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iOS Development Tools February 2015

Each project with a new team brings new tools and workflows. Tools I’ve been using this month.


iOS Development


Project Management



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iTunes Connect TestFlight Issues

It’s not been a great week for iTunesConnect in the first week since TestFlight was retired. There have been issues with accessing iTunes Connect, uploading builds for testing and notifications not being sent.

This has affected my ability to send builds out to two clients this week, but all builds were delivered by using workarounds.

iTunes Connect Workarounds

These are the workarounds I’ve been using:

iTunesConnect login successful but blank page displayed

Login using Chrome instead of Safari.


Uploaded build remains in Processing state

My builds are typically processed successfully within 10 minutes. If they remain in a Processing state longer than that I assume something has failed. I will then increment the version and build number in Xcode and resubmit. This subsequent build will typically process successfully.


Notifications not being sent

If push notifications and emails are not received after uploading the build, you can remove and re-invite testers to the build. This will trigger the notifications.



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iTunes Connect TestFlight

TestFlight is now legacy TestFlight and the new Apple version, as accessed via iTunesConnect, is TestFlight Beta Testing.

TestFlight Beta Testing has both increased the number of users to 1000 and reduced it to 25.

The number of internal testers is set to 25. This allows these users to test the app before the extra stage of submitting a test build to Apple for testing. Once submitted to Apple for Beta App Review, the app can be sent to up to 1000 external users. This has had the impact of reducing internal testers from 100 to 25. With additional internal testers needing to be setup as external testers as part of a beta phase rather than a testing phase.

The difference between testing and beta could be significant for some organisations. The Beta App Review checks that the app fully complies with App Store Review Guidelines. This may require more care and attention than a typical beta app deployed via TestFlight.

The Information section allows you to enter a description of what to test. This appears in the TestFlight app as part of the install process. This should be used to give the testers some pointers on new features and changes to focus on. You will also specify the Feedback Email address that is used within the TestFlight app to gather feedback.

There are no tools to manage the setup of 1000 external users although a CSV import of email addresses is possible. Recruitment must be done via email, not via a URL link. This does importantly remove the need to know a users UDID number. But it does also leave a significant gap (opportunity) for tester management tools.

As a developer you can have up to 10 apps at a time in testing (per iTunes Connect account).

As a tester, there is no limit to the amount of number of apps you can test, or developers you can test for. Each tester can test on up to 10 devices.

Test builds are only available for 30 days. Updates for new builds are sent automatically. Only one pre-release version at a time can be tested.

TestFlight Beta Testing is only available for iOS 8 devices so any device compatibility testing must still be deployed via legacy TestFlight.

It’s no longer possible to create an account in legacy TestFlight and messages are appearing within the service to move you over to TestFlight Beta Testing where possible.

This is a major step forward in allowing many more users to be involved in the beta testing phase of an app by removing some of Apple’s limitations. But, it has not yet implemented the full feature set offered by legacy TestFlight.



Apple TestFlight
iTunes Connect Guide



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Prepping For Freelance #2 Newsletters

I’ve signed up to a bunch of newsletters as part of my preparation for going freelance in iOS Development. The newsletters are a varied mix of freelance advice and building an online business. Not all advice is relevant but it only needs a couple of nuggets to make an impact.

Rachel Andrew produces quality content and lots of it. As a product person and speaker in the web industry she has loads of great advice to share.

Brian Casel’s email course Productize Your Service which is a preview of Productize course. The email course covers documenting your processes in order to be able to outsource them elsewhere.

Amy Hoy has a bootstrapping email course with “kick your arse into gear” attitude.


Of course, there are other benefits to signing up for these newsletters. These guys are the experts. You get to learn how they do newsletters so professionally. You get to see how they connect to customers. Rachel Andrews uses Drip to capture emails. A big part of the signup process was an emotional want to complete the Drip popup.

You can maybe use this as an opportunity to connect these people and bring yourself to their (and their communities) attention.

You can also find out who they are influenced by. Rachel lists Brian Casel, Ian Landsman and Sasha Greif as interviewees in her book. That’s how I signed up to Brian’s course and found that I should already be thinking about life after freelancing. That’s how I became a regular listener to Ian’s podcast Bootstrapped and signed up to his newsletter. That’s how I came to notice this AMA by Sasha Greif.

BONUS – Newsletter tip: In Gmail, apply a label to all your newsletter sender addresses. Otherwise, you’ll miss them. Then, when you’ve got time, you can catchup on your list as if you were using an old skool RSS reader.


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Prepping For Freelance #1 Listening

In preparation for taking the leap into the world of Freelance iOS Development, I have been subscribing to bunch of new and inspiring podcasts.

These are all proving useful in suggesting tools, products and services that will be ideal for me. The last few podcasts also focus on creating products for yourself rather than for clients, which is an option that I’d like to explore with TinyShinyApps.

My regular podcast listening is also complimented by these iOS Development focused shows:



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Great British Beer Festival in Twitter Charts

Great British Beer Festival (#gbbf) as represented in Twitter Charts – updated in realtime


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