10 Years of Making Apps

The (multiple) Ollerum

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FolderPlayer for Yosemite

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I’ve just uploaded the latest version of my FolderPlayer with added support for the latest OS X Yosemite Developer Preview…

FolderPlayer Website
Download FolderPlayer

Yosemite Retina Wallpapers

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Yosemite Retina Wallpaper 1

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Yosemite Retina Wallpaper 6

MenuAndDockless for Yosemite Alpha

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Today Apple released the latest Developer Preview of Mac OS 10.10, also know as Yosemite. Unfortunately it causes problems for the most important piece of software of mine:


It works for all apps except for the Finder. The moment you restart the Finder it will crash. The last couples of hours I tried to understand what the heck is going on and to find a way how to fix it. To be honest, I still don’t completely know why :-0

If you like you can download a very first and very quick and very, very dirty solution. You will have to manually drop it into your SIMPL plugins folder for now…

Download MenuAndDockless for 10.10 (Alpha)

The (almost) Daily Ollerum

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I’m a dinoOSaur

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In order to do my job I always have to buy the latest Macs, iPads, iPhones, software, and other gadgets. But, actually, I don’t like new things that much. I’m a loyal and old soul. I like my old car, I like my old furniture, I like my old books, my old records, and my old Technics. I like old things in general; things that hopefully will outlive me.

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And yes, I like my old Macs with their old system and their old software. Some of them I still like better than all those newfangled thingies.

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When I’m not working on apps or cuddling with Ollerum I’m writing. And I still do that on an old iBook G3 with the best word processor ever written: WriteNow. I like my own Write; otherwise I wouldn’t have written it. But there is quality to it when writing with ‘old’ tools, no new Mac and no new piece of software is able to exude.

Since the last update for Mozilla that runs under OS 9 was published in 2003 and since there is no Twitter client for OS 9 it is the perfect distraction free writing environment. If I didn’t have to be careful with my hands and wrists (12-16 hours of coding and building apps and answering support emails each day inevitably leads to musculoskeletal problems) I would probably still use a typewriter.

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But the best part about using and working with ‘old’ things is the fact that you can easily repair them on your own. All you need to repair your car is a hammer and a screwdriver for your computer. Since there are more people like me, you can actually replace the loud and slow hard drive in your iBook G3 with a new SSD; which I did today.

Now it takes OS 9 only one minute to start up instead of three. WriteNow opens faster than Write and Co on the latest MacBook Pro. Back then, they knew how to write software.

The only new thing I like is backlit keyboards. I really wish for a way to add this to my beloved iBook from 2001, which is still working. To be fair, I had to replace the logic board recently and the battery is dead. But as said before: All you need is a screwdriver and some replacement parts and it will hopefully continue to work for the next decade…

The (almost) Daily Ollerum

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Colors, everywhere! With Colors PRO

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I’ve managed to write a Color Picker Plugin that enables you to access all colors, palettes and schemes stored in the Colors application. Unfortunately, such a plugin bundle is not allowed anymore to access the file system in order to load the Colors Application library and to ‘listen’ for changes to that library.

I’ve found a workaround but unfortunately this won’t work for a sandboxed Mac App Store app; or in other words: Such an app will never pass the review.

Therefore, I had to write another version: Colors PRO. It comes preloaded with the bundle, allows you to store your library in your Dropbox or BitTorrent Sync folder and, under the upcoming Yosemite, even in your iCloud Drive.

Now you can have your colors, palettes, and schemes everywhere. For example in Pixelmator and Co; including search for their names, titles, descriptions, and their HEX and RGB values.

It is like Tangerine, just better :–)

As always, feedback is much appreciated…

Colors PRO Website
Download Colors PRO
Purchase Colors PRO

The Colors Application Color Picker Plugin Bundle

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Yes, I’m aware that Colors Application Color Picker Plugin Bundle is a really stupid name. But that is not the biggest problem I have right now.

I found a solution to write such a plugin that can display all your Colors Application Colors, Palettes and Schemes within the OS X Color Picker. This way you can access them from Pixelmator, Sketch and Co.

But such a plugin bundle is not allowed to access the file system. So I had to come up with an ingenious workaround. But since Colors is sandboxed this means that my solution will most likely not pass the review.

I will try anyway, tough…

Oh, Gosh, Golly, I Made a Boo-Boo

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I guess there is a first for everything.

Last week, Colors got rejected and since I had created a demo version in the meantime I re-submitted the demo version for review by accident and it got reviewed without any problems and ended up on the Mac App Store last night :–(

As soon as the first emails and tweets arrived I directly removed it from sale and submitted the correct version for an expedited review but I can’t tell if Apple will accept it or if we have to wait for a week until the non-demo version will be available.

I’m terrible sorry. Usually I do not use single Xcode projects for both versions; for a reason. But ‘good’ programmers do that to save time, and code, and work – so why not try to be a good programmer…

I promise, I will never try again to be one of them :–)

Colors hits the Mac App Store

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Apple has just approved my latest app:

Colors – The Color Picker, Color Scheme, and Color Palette Tool on Steroids

Tired of having to use three to seven different apps for your daily work with colors, palettes, swatches, schemes, and color codes; not to mention all the hassle to access them from all your different apps and to keep them in sync across all your Macs?

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MOApp to the rescue!

With Colors you can have it all. In one single application. Colors is a color picker. Colors is a photo analyzer. Colors is a scheme generator.

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Unlimited, everything!

Colors stores all your colors, schemes, and palettes. Colors works with iCloud so that you can access them from all your Macs. Colors speaks twenty different color codes; from HEX to UIColor and Java RGB.

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On the fly!

With Colors you can live preview the slightest change instantly. With colors you can drag color codes or the color itself out into other apps. Colors can live in your Menu bar, hide its Dock icon and is accessible by shortcut.

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No color is an island!

With Colors you can easily import, export, and share all your colors, schemes, and palettes.

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See the color thru the trees!

It is one thing to pick a color and to save it for later use. It is a complete different thing to find it again when you need it.

But don’t you worry! Colors got you covered.

Search for its name, its title, its description, and even its HEX and RGB Value and Colors will show you the result in a blink. And, if needed, you can also go back in time and restore a color from yesterday; or last week. Colors can even automatically create backups for you.

Colors Website
Download Colors Demo
Colors on the Mac App Store

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

Michael Burford

From time to time there is a (sort of) open discussion going on on the web about the current state of ‘Indie Developers’ and what they are able to earn. Currently you may even call it a digital meeting of a support group.

Hi, my name is Michael. I’m an indie developer and I’m broke.

What I like about these current tweets and articles is that you don’t find any finger-wagging and blaming; or at least not in all those articles and tweets I read. It would be easy to just blame it on the greedy and cheap non-customers, to blame it on Apple, or to blame it on all the hundreds of thousands of idiots of ‘developers’ ruining the prices.

I think we can equally blame it on all of us:

99 Cent is not a business model. Period.

If only 15 companies ‘earn’ 97 percent of the revenue then there is something seriously wrong. Period.

If you expect that all the developers out there can live from three bucks or less per hour because you’re too cheap to spend just the equivalent of your last coffee (yeah, I know, some don’t like that argument; I like it because it is fitting and it says it all, especially about those not liking it) on something you use on a regular basis, then there is something completely wrong with your attitude. Period.

If a company that focuses on user and quality allows 3,000 times the same crappy app to flute their store, just to be able to earn 30 to 40 percent of it and to be able to brag about a ridiculous number, then there is something completely wrong with the system. Period.

When the same company does nothing to stop people from ‘stealing’ software and tricking people into buying those ‘stolen’ apps – hell, if this company even encourages it – then there is something completely wrong with the system, with the company. Period.

When almost the only way to make some money is by tricking your customers with stupid freemiums and inapppurchasethingies then writing good quality software stops being fun; at least for me. Period.

And when you think, your To-Do-App is really necessary and can be better than the other 2,000 out there when you only spent three weeks writing it then there is something completely wrong with your self-concept. Period, again.

It was a nice bubble. It lasted for almost four years and some of us made some decent money.

In 2012 I made more money than I earned the other eight years before that combined. In 2013 I ‘only’ made half of it and I better not talk about the current year; it will be half of the half.

The App Stores are dead. At least as long as you don’t write games or ripp off your customers.
And this ain’t a bad thing.

Imagine an App Store you could and want to actually use. Imagine an App Store you can be proud of that your app is in. Imagine an App Store that only offers good, quality apps.

Some of us will continue to make money. Most of them are writing good, quality Mac apps. Those who can live from solely writing iOS apps are probably those who wrote a good, quality iPhone app in the first place. An app that people really need and will continue to need.

Because, in the end, no one needs 437 apps on the home screen. No one!

But we will continue to need good quality apps that make our lives easier and more fun. And for those people will always pay. Period, the last one…

The (almost) Daily Ollerum

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