Is it possible to code a good, useful app – and something that’s not been done before – in just one day? Spoiler: yes, of course it is. But the coding is the easy part – getting the app to the point of release can take considerably longer.
So, in this new series of blogs (yes, I’m not dead yet) I’ll be talking through the pitfalls I faced just to release one very simple app. An app with a single button – and how many apps are that simple?!
For the past too-long-to-admit, I have been working on several medium-to-large-sized apps. About three of them are “very-almost” ready for release. The last thing I needed to do was begin work on something new. But I felt I had to code it for the sake of my sanity and, once I did, I wondered whether I could also get it onto the App Store. A small appetizer before the feast to come.
So, here was the problem: my Mac had developed a nasty habit of waking up from sleep mode by itself. Mostly this happened a second or two after I pressed “Sleep”, other times it would wait till a particularly irritating moment (once it actually woke me up while I was asleep).
My options, as I saw them, were:
- use a screensaver instead (wastes power, keeps the monitors on);
- turn the Mac off (inconvenient to do for short periods of time; often I have tasks running in the background, and I also like to use a RAM-disk);
- code an app to put the Mac back to sleep automatically. 🙂
Why do Macs sometimes wake up randomly? Well, my research points to a malfunctioning USB device being the usual suspect, but who knows? I don’t want to replace my devices if they are otherwise-working. So, option 3 it was.
App specifics: the app must send the computer to sleep, monitor it if it wakes up, and put it back to sleep unless told not to do so.
Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The App Title Bite You In The Backside
My first mistake (not realized till many days later) was in the naming of my app. I called it Sleep Tight. Why was that a problem? Well, someone else had already coded an app called Sleep Tight. So Apple wouldn’t let me submit my app with that name. I’d have saved myself the hassle of a lot of renaming if I’d registered the app title with Apple in the first instance.
Above are my (slightly-redacted) work-progress notes from 8th February which, as of writing this now, is a month and eight days ago. In fact, I started mid-afternoon, as a last minute addendum to my working day. That lunchtime my Mac had auto-woken several times, and enough was enough. I was done with the app a couple of hours later. So just how does a two-hour app balloon into a five-week app? I’ll start that explanation next time… 😉
n.b. I do want to keep these blog posts brief (both for me to write and you to read), but if you want to skip to see screenies of my finished app you can visit the product support page for Sleep Well. And, if you’re interested in buying it, here’s a link to Apple’s app store page for Sleep Well. Cheers! 🙂Philip G, 16th March 2023