Apps by Readers for December


This is the seventh App by Readers feature and it showcases the awesome creations that readers and course members have created. (details on how to submit your app at the end)

This month, we feature four course members! Rick, Ron, Mike (again!), Macon & Judith (again!) have gone from beginners to publishing their own awesome apps to the App Store.

Scratch that; remember when I said that people who finish the course go on to publish app after app?

Mike and the duo, Macon and Judith, have published 6-7 apps between them!

Pro Tip: Stick with it, get past the early beginner hump and you’ll be sprinting after that!

Check out their experiences below!

Rick van der Linden iDices

iDices – Simple Dices

by Rick van der Linden (The Netherlands)

screenshot 1 iDicesscreenshot 2 iDicesscreenshot 3 iDicesiDices app icon

iDices App Store link:

Can you describe your app?

iDices is a simple dice app for iPhone and iPad, the app is much more simple than all the other dice apps out there.
You can change the amount of dice in the settings tab, as well as the background color, I am planning to add a background image picker in the future.
You can shake the device to roll the dice, or just tap the button.

How long did it take you to build your app?

The app itself didn’t take much longer than a few hours, but the learning process took a few months, I started learning with Chris’s youtube videos and when the new language Swift was released I immediately started working on my app.
I had made test version a while back in Objective C, and I have some programming experience so the logic itself really wasn’t hard for me, it was all about getting to know xCode and learning how the layout worked.

How did the course or tutorials help?

The tutorials really got me into iOS app development, I was interested in iOS development before the tutorials, but I didn’t understand most of the videos that where out there, but Chris’s videos changed that.

What was the most memorable experience, learning, or feeling of the whole journey?

I think the release of the new Swift language, when I just couldn’t get it to work in objective C Apple released the new programming language Swift. This changed it all, because it looked so familiar to me, coming from PHP, javascript and Python.
A fun fact is that my app icon got featured in Apple’s October iPad keynote, as you can see on the image.

Macon Shirley SuperFlash Elements

SuperFlash Elements

by Macon Shirley and Judith Yates (not pictured)

screenshot 1 SuperFlash Elementsscreenshot 2 SuperFlash Elementsscreenshot 3 SuperFlash Elementsscreenshot 4 SuperFlash Elementsscreenshot 5 SuperFlash Elementsscreenshot 6 SuperFlash Elements
SuperFlash Elements app icon

SuperFlash Elements App Store link:

Tell us a little bit about your app

SuperFlash Elements is a colorful flash card app that will help you quickly learn and test your memory about the Periodic Table of the Elements. You’ll learn every element’s location, classification, symbol and spelling. It’s great for both teaching and learning.

How did creating your next app compare to building the first?

With every app I want to push myself and this one had its challenges. The biggest challenge in creating this app was the Periodic Table chart quiz. To make the quiz quick and easy to go through, I had to come up with a better way to segue through right and wrong answers. If you get an answer right, the quiz will continue to the next element to place on the table. If you get it wrong, the quiz pauses until you click “continue.” The table will also show you what the answer should have been.

I also created an App Preview video with this new app to show the game play. I was very careful in reading the details of the video submission. Apple has very clear rules and details. I used iMovie (which has an App Preview creation option under the File/New menu) to create the video and found royalty free music in Garage Band. To create the screen shot videos, I used Quicktime and the xCode iPad simulator.

In developing the Elements app, I found a bug in the multiple choice game play that was allowing users to tap more then one answer at a time and Chris helped me come up with a solution very quickly. I can’t express my gratitude enough to Chris for his great tutorials and help! This is my third complete app in 6 months!

What is one lesson that you learned in the process of building this app?

Going through the creative process of coding the new quiz flow, I found that working with a smaller array rather than the entire 118 items array was much more efficient.

What is one piece of advice that you can give to people who are learning iOS development right now?

When you are developing an app, write out your plan of what the app will do and how it will function. Kinda like a step by step version of your app if you were to explain it to someone. Follow those steps one at a time when you program the app. Don’t try to do everything at once. Trust me on that.

Ron Ziemiecki Windscreens On The Run

Windscreens On The Run

Ron Ziemiecki (Sydney, Australia)

screenshot 1 Windscreens on the runscreenshot 2 Windscreens on the runscreenshot 3 Windscreens on the runWindscreens on the run app icon

Windscreens On The Run App Store link:

Can you describe your app?

It’s a very simple app that I actually wanted to keep basic because I was really testing the app submission process, so I didn’t want to get caught up in any complex code that would fall over and get me knocked back by Apple. The submission process was scary at first but there is plenty of help and I must say that Apple have been absolutely magnificent in terms of communications with me as a first time developer, kudos to them. The app is for customers of my sons windscreen repair business, I’ll be improving and adding extra features soon.

How long did it take you to build your app?

Only a couple of days, in fact the part that took the longest were the images I had to supply for the different iPhone screen sizes. I did have to learn how to do a tabbed application as opposed to a single view application and I tried to guess it and made some mistakes, then I watched a tutorial and found it to be really easy. I also spent an hour getting the Mapkit to do what I wanted. Generally seeing I had an idea of what I wanted and seeing it was a very elementary the app was built very quickly.

How did the course or tutorials help?

Profoundly, just weeks prior I knew absolutely nothing, not what a class or method was, nor a property, var or func, in fact I was a complete and total blank canvas. To be honest, I can’t read a technical manual to save my life, the only way I can learn is via video tutorial and Chris’s slow speaking voice is ideal. I’ve seen other tutorials where the speaker rattles off 120 words a minute, phew. Code With Chris is simply brilliant, my only complaint is I want more and the poor fellow clearly does have to sleep occasional damn it.

What was the most memorable experience, learning, or feeling of the whole journey?

That’s a hard question, there are so many aspects. I realise I’m a very very long way off being a developer to the level I would like to be, however I also realise that I am way past the point I was at on day one. I realised there is a vast network of resources to help you, forums, archives etc. People are more than willing to share code and help out with problems you might encounter. My journey has just begun and it has been the best possible launch via Code With Chris, he has made learning fun rather than daunting. My next app will be many degrees more complex than my first, now that I’ve got the belief that I can do it.

Mike Lawson miMusik


by Mike Lawson

screenshot 1 miMusikmiMusik app icon

miMusik App Store link:

I didn’t get in touch with Mike in time to get info for his app but he’s given some insight into his journey in previous Apps by Readers columns here and here.

How to get featured
If you’re a reader or video course member and want to get your creation shared, let me know here!