The Indie Hustle

Posted on June 4, 2015

I was reminded recently of episode #216: The Hustle of David Smith's excellent Developing Perspective podcast. "Reminded" isn't really the right word, though. It's more that it's stuck with me since I originally listened to it in April. In that episode, David talks (among other things) about the importance of hustle for an indie developer. And he's right. Hustle is an essential part of indie life. As an indie, you have to always be on the ...

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The App Store and Form 1099-K

Posted on March 28, 2015

If you're a U.S. taxpayer with apps on the iOS or Mac App Store, you may have received from Apple a Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, which reports to the IRS your gross revenue from App Store sales. You may have also noticed that the amount reported on your Form 1099-K doesn't bear much resemblance to the payments actually received from Apple. There are a couple different reasons the amount Apple reported might ...

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The Shape of the App Store, Redux

Posted on January 20, 2015

Since publishing my piece on revenue distribution in the App Store yesterday, I've gotten some feedback from readers asking how valid my extrapolated data is. Some have pointed out that I'm working with a limited data set from only one app that might not hold for all apps. Others have pointed out that the daily revenue data that Marco Arment provided did not include any data from the period when Overcast was at the top of the U.S. Top Grossing ...

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The Shape of the App Store

Posted on January 19, 2015

Every developer knows how tough it can be to make a living on the App Store. There's a lot of money being made there, but it's not spread very evenly. Those at the top of the charts make the lion's share of revenue, while the vast majority are left to fight over the scraps. But exactly how lopsided is it? And how does that affect an indie developer's chances of finding success? For a long time, I was resigned to never really knowing the answers ...

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Succeeding in a Mature App Store

Posted on December 16, 2014

In episode 206 of his podcast Developing Perspective, David Smith talks about the idea of the App Store being "full." He makes the argument that with almost 1.5 million apps in the App Store, there are now enough apps to choose from and that all the good ideas have been taken; that for any basic type of app that you're likely to think of, an app already exists to fill that need. I agree in large part with David's observation that the App Store ...

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Blurring the Lines Between iPhone and iPad

Posted on June 25, 2014

As you'll hear on this Monday's episode of Release Notes, some of the new features of iOS 8 have me wondering about the future. Based on what we saw at WWDC, it seems pretty clear that Apple intends to introduce devices this fall with screens of different dimensions. The introduction of size classes and other features all point in this direction. The rumor mill has also been hinting at larger iPhones for some time. In particular, rumors have ...

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Simulating Upgrade Pricing with App Bundles

Posted on June 9, 2014

At last week's Worldwide Developer Conference (universally referred to as WWDC), Apple gave independent developers a lot to be thankful for. In fact, Apple gave us many of the things we've been requesting for a long time – things like app bundles, preview videos in the App Store, better options for beta testing, and App Store analytics. One thing that Apple didn't give us, though, is upgrade pricing, or the ability to charge owners of our ...

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Alt Alt Dub Dub – Friday

Posted on June 6, 2014

The Alt Alt Dub Dub schedule for Friday, June 6 is below. If you'd like to join us in the Parc 55, please contact Charles Perry by email at or on Twitter at @DazeEnd. In order to offset the cost of renting the room and equipment, there will be a $25 per day charge for admission. Sessions are already showing, so come on over. 9 AM 409: Introduction to LLDB and the Swift REPL 10 AM 406: ...

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