It had to happen. After giving it a lot of thought (and a few hours of fiddling with the interface of Appscend.com) I decided to publish a portable version of this blog on the AppStore. If you’re the “just give me the link and save the blah-blah” type, here it is:
DragosRoua.com – the portable version
It’s free as in free beer and ready to occupy the most prominent spot of your iPhone or iPad home screen.
But if you’re the “I’m deadly curious about how you pulled this one out and I need all the details” type, here we go.
As you already know, I am an Apple certified developer, which means I do have a few apps published on the AppStore (one of them being iAdd, my task and time manager, based on the Assess, Decide, Do framework). Very soon after I started this iPhone app building journey, I had the idea of putting my blog on the AppStore. Somehow. Didn’t have any clear plan on how to do it, but I just wanted it to happen. The resulted app should have been different from the blog itself (otherwise it wouldn’t have been more than a bookmark on Safari).
As time went by, Apple released many new enhancements to their publishing platform, including in-app purchases, subscriptions and so on. They were like the missing building blocks for my desired ideal app. So, a few weeks ago I decided to start my “blog like app” project again.
With a very subtle, yet fundamental difference: I didn’t want to write all the code from scratch. Instead, I decided to go with an online app builder: Appscend.com. Why I did this? First of all, I personally know these guys (yes, they’re Romanian, and you know Romanians are damn good at building solid software). And second, I wanted a “minimum viable product” really fast, just in case an iteration was needed.
In just a few hours I had a working prototype, and that’s only by using their online builder (which means I didn’t write any line of code whatsoever). The working prototype included a 3 section structure, with an in-app purchase already deployed. How nice is that? After I was satisfied with the overall structure, I started to build the metadata for the app (screenshots, icons and so on). Believe it or not, it took more to build the metadata for the app than the app itself.
To make a long story short, I had a working version of my blog app in the AppStore in a matter of days (if I don’t count the interruptions generated by other projects, that is). I highly encourage you to check out Appcend.com, if you’re into publishing. And, of course, I highly encourage you to get my blog app from the AppStore.
What’s The Catch?
Glad you asked. The catch is that you’re going to get some pretty nifty discounts by using Apple’s in-app purchase functionality. Right now, you can get one of my eBooks, “100 Ways To Live A Better Life” at a discounted price. Which means this is the only place in the known universe where you can get that eBook at this price. Based on the feedback, I plan to move more of my paid content into this new platform.
We’ll see how it goes.