Friday, July 11, 2008

Pictems!


Pictems is now available!
Hey, so my first iPhone application is currently available on the iPhone App Store. It's been a tremendous amount of work to get to this point, but now it's out, and I can step back a little and take a deep breath and think about what was good, what was bad, and what I would do differently next time.

We even have a website set up!

So, what is it?
The name "Pictems" is a conflation of "Pictures" and "items". Pictems is a simple application that lets you take the pictures from the photo library on your iPhone or iPod touch, add a variety of fun embellishments to them, and save them to send them to your friends and family.

What's it like writing iPhone applications?
It's pretty great. Having previously written applications using the Cocoa framework on Mac OS X, I was in pretty familiar territory. There are a few little quirks in the iPhone framework, and a number of features are a little clunky, but the tools are eminently useable, and the documentation is already much better than I expected. 

For anybody who has experience developing for other mobile platforms, I can tell you that this is a lot more like developing a desktop application than like developing for a traditional embedded system. 

What do I like most about the application?
I think we started with a really fun idea, and (mostly) resisted the temptation to throw in lots of features at the last minute. The current version is really stable, and (I think) is easy to use.  More importantly, it's fun!

We'll be doing a feature update soon to polish the user interaction model a bit, but at this point, Yvette (my lovely wife and Alpha tester) and I have made literally hundreds of these images, and we're still having fun with it.

What will I do differently next time?
I wish I'd thought through the application "flow" a bit better. Our current design has a bit of a "dead end" in one of the user interactions - you can get in easily, but it's not obvious how to get back to where you were. That's partly a result of a feature that we pulled at the last minute, but I wish I'd paid a bit more attention to the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines. 

The next version will be more polished, but I think we got the underlying model right, so it'll be easy to expand the feature set without having to redesign everything from scratch.

I already have plans for a couple more iPhone applications, so I need to start looking into which of those I'm going to add to the Starchy Tuber family of programs first.

1 comment:

Subrata Sircar said...

It's pretty slick, for what it does; it turned out to be easy to use and produce amusing results.

Nicely done!