Thursday, October 29, 2015

3 Apps for Apple TV - Developer Story

The beginning is nigh! In a few hours, the Apple TV App Store will be available to the public. Oh yeah! That means us indies can bring apps to the living room without breaking into the console market. Leading up to the release, I have been grinding to get product ready for the store. What follows is my journey: "Don't Stop, Believin'".

tvOS is Apple's new sdk for making TV apps. I find it funny that when I write "tvos" to friends it is autocorrected to "twos." This is a reminder of how new this concept is: making mobile apps for the TV (immobile apps, if you will). There are a few routes to take when making a TV app, and I chose the one most familiar to me--coding in Objective-C. Apple has been pushing a language called Swift for developers, but I'm an Obj-C dude. I actually have it tattooed across my chest. (image not found)

So here was the Goal. I wanted to make as many fun, polished apps for the App Store as I could before its release. As I began hacking, I quickly discovered the time-sucking monster known as feature creep. According to wiki:
Feature Creep is the ongoing expansion or addition of new features in a product, such as in computer software. Extra features go beyond the basic function of the product and so can result in software bloat and over-complication rather than simple design.
I ended up finishing 3 fun, polished apps that I'm stoked about!


The 1st app I worked on was a port of my iOS app Nature Soundscapes. This app was a great learning experience as to the possibilities and limitations of Apple TV.


The 2nd app I wanted to make was Video Poker - Game of Bounty. While in concept the app is simple, the addition of multiple card pack art and soundtracks made the development take the longest of any of the apps. I think the effort really shows in this app.


The 3rd app I made was Free Classic Movies. This app is the most useful of the three. Every Apple TV owner needs an app like this. Why? Because you get to watch free old movies on your tv for free. Did I mention it is free? This app took the least time to complete but curating the list of movies will be an ongoing process.

So that is it! I'm now sitting here waiting for the App Store to show up and anxious to see if the time I invested is worth it. If you end up getting an Apple TV, I'd love for you to give the apps a try. Just search for: Free Classic Movies, Video Poker, or Nature Soundscapes.

Thanks for Reading,