Friday, March 09, 2012
Yeah, so I made an iPhone app

Sorry to keep going on about it, but my first iPhone app hit the App Store this week and I'm a bit excited.

It's been annoying me for ages - years, in fact - that there isn't a dedicated 'write' button on my iPhone. Maybe it's me, but it's annoying that I have to think about how to share a message before I type the message. It just seems unnatural. Android and Windows phones seem to handle this better, but Apple's relentless dedication to simplicity means messaging features are kept very separate.

I'm often walking along when something funny hits me, or I see something cool, and I want to capture that thought in a short sentence and whizz it off a friend, or stick it on Facebook, or Tweet it. Thinking about how to share the message then gets in the way, like a big creative wall. I always wanted to decide that bit later. Or even afterwards, and send the same message again via a different service.

Topwrite (which was built by friend's company Episty, with design from the infinitely gorgeous Cassandra Lear) is the dedicated write button that I wanted on my iPhone. I keep it in the top right of my home screen, and I made it bright orange so it's hard to miss when I'm walking along.

It took a couple of nerve wracking weeks in January to see if the first version would be accepted by Apple. We then sent it to a small group of testers, who pointed out all the things wrong with it. The new version hit the App Store yesterday.

So far, some important people have said nice things. We even got a plug on the Hello Internet People podcast.

What with it being my day job and everything, I've made a suitably large amount of ways for you to follow / like / pin stuff to Topwrite. Or you could just go to the website and look at the awesome and slightly ridiculous 'instructional' cartoons done by Ryan Choi.

Anyway, it's only day two of this. It's all rather new, and a little terrifying. But if you try out Topwrite, I'd be really interested to hear what you think of it.