Apps by Readers for October


This is the sixth 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! Macon & Judith, Alex, Brian and Louis have gone from beginners to publishing their own awesome apps to the App Store.

Check out their experiences below!

Macon Shirley SuperFlash United States

SuperFlash United States

by Macon Shirley and Judith Yates

screenshot 1 SuperFlash USscreenshot 2 SuperFlash USscreenshot 3 SuperFlash USscreenshot 4 SuperFlash US
SuperFlash United States app icon

SuperFlash United States App Store link:

Tell us a little bit about your app

SuperFlash United States is a colorful flash card iPad app that will help you quickly learn and test your memory about every state’s location, capital, abbreviation and spelling. It’s fun for all ages. Includes a Study Map and several quizzes (multiple choice and type in the answer) to help you learn.

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

Even though there were new challenges involved in my second app, I created it in a much shorter time. I have created 2 apps in 4 months!

It was my first experience creating a keyboard, creating a complicated NSMutableArray, and creating a random multiple choice game for use in an app (a huge thanks to Chris for helping through a few keyboard quirks). Chris’s tutorial about NSArray and NSMutableArray is right on the money. I was able to implement my array with no problem. I can’t believe that all the information for the entire app lives in one NSMutableArray.

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

Plan ahead! Making a list of the goals, functionality, and flow of your app is very important before you begin programming. Build your app one item in your list at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once.

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

Don’t just watch Chris’ videos. Open Xcode and program along with him. If you get stumped or things don’t work right the first time, then watch the video on its own and then program along with him again. You will be amazed at how much sinks in every time you go through a lesson and you’ll be writing programs in no time. Some lessons I had to watch four times before I actually “got” it.

One more thing I would like to add: After I submitted SuperFlash United States in the App Store for iOS 7, I found there was a bug when I ran the program in iOS 8 and quickly re-submitted the app. I wasn’t going to begin telling people about the App until after the iOS 8 fix was approved. In the one week that it took for them to approve the iOS 8 version, the App sold 45 copies without telling anyone about it.

Alex Chaney Felix the Spy

Felix the Spy

by Alex Chaney (San Francisco, CA)

screenshot 1 Felix the Spyscreenshot 2 Felix the Spyscreenshot 3 Felix the SpyFelix the Spy app icon

Felix the Spy App Store link:

Can you describe your app?

Felix the Spy is a game about a squirrel going behind enemy lines with his jetpack in order to spy. It’s a simple 2D side-scroller where you try to get as high a score as possible. I wanted to make games, and had an idea for a simple one, so this seemed like a good place to start. I asked my friend Rachel Hurwitz ( to do the artwork, and she happily provided some gorgeous graphics for me!

How long did it take you to build your app?

I worked on this off and on for about 6 months, but I’ve also just started dental school. I had a couple of bugs that were particularly difficult to resolve, and I started dental school in July, so that held things up for a little while.

How did the course or tutorials help?

I picked up objective-c by looking at tutorials I found for free and checking out questions on StackOverflow. This was a very haphazard way to learn things, and eventually I realized I needed something more directional. This course really helped me get an overall understanding of the language and not just the bits and pieces that I had already picked up. It clarified a lot for me on a number of subjects, and I am now much more confident when starting new projects. I especially love the simple style and thoroughness of the course material!

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

I found it especially interesting that I set out to code a game, and most of what I ended up doing was the peripheral stuff. I had the squirrel moving across the screen on day 2, but getting everything else for the game set up like in-app purchases, Game Center, and the little details took by far the longest. I can see now that there’s a LOT that goes into a game, even the incredibly simple ones like this one. Thankfully now I have a framework for a game, so future releases will be much easier and I can focus on providing a bit more content.

Brian King My Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis

My Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis

by Brian King (Tampa, Florida)

screenshot 1 My Fight Against Cystic Fibrosisscreenshot 2 My Fight Against Cystic Fibrosisscreenshot 3 My Fight Against Cystic FibrosisMy Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis app icon

My Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis App Store link:

Describe the app

The app is for all Cystic Fibrosis patients, their families, and their doctors. The app hits home because I was diagnosed with this lung disease at birth. Because of my health issues and the help that I’ve received just from communicating with other patients on the online forums I decided there needed to be an app that mimics this access of information. The user can view an abundance of information, view latest research articles, Create a daily medication list, view all treatments available for the disease, log/graph and track their lung capacity tests, and view a “question and answer” section.

How long did it take you to build your app?

5 Weeks and 6 days

How did the course or tutorials help?

I was not confident at all as I tried to read books on how to learn Objective-C. I remember thinking to myself “there’s no way I will ever be able to actually do this”, especially when looking at a blank xCode screen. This course did wonders for me. I learn the best visually and watching someone else do it first. Thank you Chris for all that you’ve done and especially how well you respond to the course members!

What was the most memorable experience, learning, or feeling?

There were a lot.
The funniest/ironic time was when I was trying to learn TableViews and I decided it was incredibly hard and I would try to avoid them in my app, then I noticed that my app is filled with them.
The most memorable is the feeling I got when I was finished and could actually deploy it onto my own phone.
Finally, the most exciting was of course when it was approved on the app store after it initially got rejected because of a force close issue.

Louis Agars-Smith Solar Tennis

Solar Tennis

by Louis Agars-Smith (Chicago, Illinois)

screenshot 1 Solar Tennisscreenshot 2 Solar TennisSolar Tennis app icon

Solar Tennis App Store link:

Can you describe your app?
Solar Tennis is a cool remake of the old classic pong, but with a whole new points system and various difficulties. The computer becomes better and the ball moves faster on the harder difficulties.

How long did it take you to build your app?
It took me about a week and a day with about three hours a session to make solar tennis. Most of it was solving bugs, and only two sessions were spent in creation.

How did the course or tutorials help?
After watching your basic and beginners tutorial, I used the newfound knowledge of declaring stuff, linking actions to objects and switching views to make my app.

What advice would you give to beginners who’re trying to build their first app?
As a genuine beginner, I can say don’t give up. Seriously, google around, use CWC’s website and other great help sites like Stack Overflow. There is always an answer. I gave up, but came back with success after lots of hours of determination and effort.

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