WWDC 2022

For those who are not “in the loop,” WWDC is Apple’s developer conference, where they announce all the new software releases for the year. Usually the new updates are made available in September and October, but we get a preview of what’s coming in June.

So, what happened this year?

I don’t think there’s anything earth-shattering for Wandle Software. The improvement to SwiftUI should be beneficial, as should the enhancements to Catalyst. App Intents should make the Shortcuts that were included in Yummy 3.6 a little bit more useful.

I’m going to take a look at the new home screen widgets for iPhone, but I’m not convinced that this is the right place for Quick Calendar. You’ll also be disappointed that Apple did not allow widgets to be interactive, so the long wished-for ability to move back and forth between months is still not possible. Maybe next year.

My favourite new feature, PassKeys, is the beginning of the end for passwords, but there’s no immediate application of it in any of our apps.

All good stuff. We’ll continue to support the latest operating systems of course.

As a consumer, I’m most excited about the watchOS updates. The improvements to the Workout app look great. But — and this is important — I have not installed any of the new operating systems on my devices.

Please don’t install the betas on any of your devices!

I have not tested our apps on the new operating systems yet, and, even if I had, there has not been enough time to resolve any issues. Be patient.


Yummy for web3

Social bookmarking was forged in the fires of Web 2.0. Store all your bookmarks in the cloud and share them with your friends. While still tremendously useful, the world is moving on to the next big thing.

Today, we’re announcing that your social bookmarks are moving with the times: we’re adding them to the blockchain!

When you save a new bookmark, we will automatically add it to a blockchain uniquely designed for proving the authenticity of social links.

Each bookmark will simultaneously be published as an NFT that you will be able to purchase, with just one click, right inside the app.

Finally, with the version of Yummy that we’re announcing today, web3, the blockchain and NFTs finally have a use beyond GIFs of monkeys and hexagonal Twitter avatars.

We’re excited to share it with you.



WWDC is always a cool, exciting, busy, scary week for anyone developing apps for the Apple eco-system. Will your app get Sherlocked1? Will there be new APIs that completely change how your apps work? Are there exciting new opportunities? Long story short, if you Apple developer friends look stressed over the summer, the things announced at WWDC are likely the reason.

This year’s WWDC was great. The move from in-person to remote has been fairly seemless from an outsiders perspective, though I’m sure it didn’t feel that way to the organisers. My favourite feature is that the videos can be just the right length rather than having to be stretched to fill fourty minutes.

The keynotes were not the highlight. Unusually for Apple, there wasn’t much of a story connecting the announcements, just a list of features. Which is not to say that the features were bad. The improvements to FaceTime alone look like they’re worth the price of entry. Focus should be good — I use “Do Not Disturb” a lot — and the streamlining of notifications feels overdue.

From a developer perspective, I have not seen anything that dramatically change Wandle Software’s plans. I’ll start building our apps in the new developer kit sooner rather than later but at this time I don’t see any glitzy new features enabled by the update2.

If this all sounds negative or that I’m underwhelmed, that is not the case. iOS 15 appears to be a large number of very nice, relatively small improvements. There’s no one, big thing to get super excited about but, in the grand scheme, these quality-of-life updates often have a greater effect. From what I’ve seen, it’s quite stable, especially for a first beta, which bodes well for September or October when it will get a wider release.

  1. Will Apple incorporate all your functionality in the operating system itself. ↩︎
  2. Frustratingly, there are some good tools that I’d like to use but that will have to wait until I can stop supporting iOS 14. ↩︎

WWDC 2020

There’s a lot to take in. As ever, the keynote is a bit of a firehose and knowing where to start is a challenge. What looks cool? Will it work on my hardware? How will it affect Wandle Software’s apps? Ultimately, none of these questions will be answered in this post. This is just some quick thoughts and speculation and is, by no means, a commitment!

At a high level, things look pretty good. iOS and iPadOS don’t look super ambitious so, hopefully, they’ll be more stable than iOS 13 was las year. Sadly, that’s not a high bar to clear. There’s still some nice stuff. As I user, I think I’ll appreciate the new Siri interface and the on-device speech recognition. It’ll be fascinating to see how Translate works. The more desktop-class apps, like Music, on the iPad look great.

Looking at it from the point of view of someone with an existing Mac, Big Sur looks… fine. I’m not sure that more Catalyst apps is a good idea; last years just were not terribly good. The updated UI… again, I don’t have a strong visceral reaction one way or the other. I don’t think it would have been my first choice of new feature however.

Looking forward, it is, of course, the move to “Apple Silicon” CPUs in the Mac that is the big news. This has been rumoured so long that it felt like almost a relief when they announced it. As with previous transitions, they seem to have planned it well.

As a developer, I’m ambivalent about it. As long as the tools are available — and I suspect they will be — I’m not sure it matters what the underlying CPUs architecture is. If I write Scala or Swift or Ruby, the tools all do the conversion for me. If anything, as I quipped on Twitter, having ARM Macs will make my Raspberry Pi more useful as the number of suitable Docker images will vastly increase.

What about Wandle’s apps? It’s really too early to say. Widgets on both Mac, iOS and iPadOS look dramatically different so I suspect Quick Calendar will need some work. Yummy’s recently added Popular Links widget might also need a refresh.

Overall, cautiously positive about WWDC this year.


App Store Connect and Tide bank

The audience for this post is pretty niche, but I thought it worth posting nevertheless. If you’re a UK-based developer with an App Store Connect account and want Apple to pay your proceeds into a Tide bank account, you are in the right demographic.

In short, this was not possible until recently. Apple pay from abroad somewhere so you need an IBAN number, and Tide didn’t support international payments, even in Sterling.

That changed recently. But if you enter your details into Apple’s website it says “The local clearing code you selected does not match the corresponding part of your IBAN.”

If you’re familiar with IBAN numbers maybe the solution is obvious but it wasn’t to me. With the help of David from App Store connect and some luck (if it didn’t work I may have lost some money!) I found the answer:

Don’t enter your bank account number and sort code. Instead, dissect your IBAN number. It’ll be in the form GB67SAPYXXXXXXYYYYYYYY. Put the digits XXXXXX in the sort code field and YYYYYYYY in account number field. Put the IBAN number in the IBAN field.

A couple of days later I got an error message: “An error occurred whilst creating the Request,” suggesting that I shouldn’t have emoji characters or large attachments (I didn’t). I emailed Apple and got a not entirely convincing response.

Still, it appears to have worked.


Ten years

It was ten years ago that the original iPhone software developer kit was released. I’d just bought an iPhone a couple of weeks earlier so the timing was perfect. I downloaded a copy and… well… here we are. There are a bunch of retrospectives, but here is probably the best.

As for me, I never really intended to start a business. I goofed around with the SDK for a month or two. It was only when the App Store launched without a client that I got serious finishing off the code that I’d started. The end result: Yummy. There have been more apps, the formal foundation of Wandle Software and lots more.

Yummy is still around. As are five other iPhone apps and a Mac app. If you’ve ever downloaded one of the apps, thank you. If not, now’s your chance!


Goodbye Delicious

Delicious has been bought by Pinboard (of all companies) and is going to be switched into read-only mode on June 15.

If you look at what’s been happening in the last few years, that it has been sold (again) and is being shut-down should hardly be a surprise. If you recall, we had to remove support for Delicious in Yummy — an app that was deigned as a Delicious client! — after their API was broken for months. It’s not a pretty end, but it’s still an end that I want to commemorate.

Early version of Yummy

Why would I want to commemorate such a failure? Well, Wandle Software was, effectively, founded becaused I liked and used the service. In 2008, when I first got an iPhone, I used it as a “read later” service; I used it to save and share interesting links; I even pulled its RSS feed into my blog as a kind of micro-blogging service. When the iPhone SDK launched a had a quick play around and figured that I wouldn’t have the time to do much. Then the store launched without a Delicous client and… long story short… I wrote one, called it Yummy and launched it in late August.

As much as I liked and used Delicious, it was flawed even from the beginning. The API was terrible. I did a talk at the London iPhone Developer group ostensibly about API design, but actually a barely disguised opportunity to complain about Delicious. (In short, it’s not entirely clear what the API is designed for. It’s not terribly good at syncing bookmarks. And the methods it did have didn’t work well on a device with 128Mb of memory.)

In addition to being badly design, it was also badly managed. At the time that Apple were taking around two weeks to approve app updates, Yahoo decided to announce a significant change to the API and then released it on the same day. No third party clients supported it. There was no first party app. I won’t recount the complete saga here — I already did that once — but, suffice it to say, it wasn’t pretty.

Having said all that, developing for the iPhone was (mostly) fun. My day-job involved working on “big iron” so making anything work with a single, slow CPU and very limited memory was a challenge. And sales in the first couple of years were in the thousands. Clearly not a huge commercial success, but not bad for a hobby and it encouraged me to keep going.

Meanwhile, Delicous’ death-sprial continued. A sale. Removal of the fun API change above. Brief optimism that things would change. Then the realisation that they wouldn’t.

I wrote this nearly a year ago:

At this point I see no point in maintaining Delicious support in Yummy. When you consider that the app is named after the site this feels a little crazy but pretending that Yummy supports Delicious when it can’t is starting to feel dishonest, even though this is not a problem of my making.

But just becasue we could see it coming doesn’t make the end a happy occasion. Here’s to you, Delicious. I’m sorry to see you go.


WWDC 2016

Quick Calendar on Sierra
Quick Calendar on Sierra

I normally have a few words to say about the announcements that Apple makes at their annual developer conference, and this year is no exception.

The features of iOS 10 are (broadly) not hugely relevant to our current apps. It’s not possible for any of our apps to integrate with Siri; none really lend themselves to plugging into Messages. I feel that CameraGPS probably works best as a separate app rather than trying to plug into Maps (and I’m not even sure it would be possible).

But there are opportunities for new apps that — time permitting — may see the light of day. Watch this space.

At the time of writing, it’s my intention to make sure that all our apps continue to work on iOS 10. This is a much bigger update for CameraGPS than the others, as it relies on a feature that has been deprecated.

Having said that, from a user perspective it seems to be a nice release. Even the first beta is relatively stable, though not good enough (in my opinion) for your main phone.

The story is similar on macOS Sierra. Quick Calendar runs just fine on the first beta build (though I might need to tweak some of the colours!). It looks and works pretty much the same as El Capitan, which I mean as a compliment. I’m not sure how much I’ll use Siri. I think I’d be embarrassed to use it in a crowded office!

So, overall, Apple’s announcements don’t change very much for Wandle Software’s apps. But they still look to be good releases! Keep an eye out for the final versions in September!



If you’re at all interested in how apps get built, you might like a blog I wrote about how Yummy synchronises favourite searches between devices using iCloud.


Wandle Software: Year Four

I think it’s useful to have a periodic review of activities. I haven’t always published them but, where possible, I will always try to.

I’m posting this update a little later than last year. I had every intention of writing this after the anniversary of the company and shortly after Apples’s developer conference where they announce their plans for the following year but life got in the way(!). As before, what follows is more ambition than commitment. Please keep reading the blog for what actually happens.

First, let’s run through what we achieved in the last year:

  • CameraGPS 1.1 was the first thing to come after last years “state of the union.” It’s now at version 1.2.
  • Next was a new app: ShareEverywhere. The release got coverage in the Guardian, so probably the best launch we’ve had, at least in terms of visibility. It’s unclear whether hitting the App Store several hours after the availability of iOS 8 affected sales but made a disappointing start. ShareEverywhere is now at version 1.1.2 (which was an update for iOS 9).
  • Rootn Tootn and www.cut had minor updates for iOS 8 and the new iPhone screen sizes. The latter took a lot longer than I expected due to numerous rejections by Apple.
  • Yummy got a major update in version 3. It was effectively a ground-up rewrite designed to get the underlying code in a shape suitable for working with in the modern era. Some of that promise is already apparent, updates currently in progress confirm that it was the right thing to do.
  • Next the Wandle Social Bundle launched, bringing together Yummy, ShareEverywhere and www.cut.
  • Finally, we released Quick Calendar, our first push into Macintosh software.

It’s been a busy year! Three new (if you include Yummy) apps and lots of updates. It’s fair to say that the next year won’t be quite so eventful. Time pressures mean that I have to be a bit more focused on the bottom line than I might appear to have been in the past.

Most of Wandle Software’s income still comes from Yummy, so work will continue there. Another feature update is in the works. It will take advantage of some enhancements in iOS 9 and bring some new tricks of its own. More news when details are finalised. There may also be a small update before that.

Next in terms of revenue is ShareEverywhere. I have ideas for some new sharers and, obviously, the plan is to keep the existing ones working (which is hard with so many third-party APIs to keep track of).

CameraGPS has not been as successful as I would have liked. I’ve not used it myself as much as I hoped I would and its reception, both in terms of sales and feedback, has been muted. I will very likely make an iOS 9 compatibility release if necessary. I also have some ideas about adjusting its business model.

In the wings are a minor update for www.cut and a bigger, albeit mostly cosmetic, update to Rootn Tootn.

The surprise hit of the year has been Quick Calendar. It has exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations for both downloads and revenue. Revenue comes from an entirely voluntary “tip jar” and a very pleasant surprise is both the number of people making a contribution and the fact that many are choosing something other than the absolute lowest amount.

As always, there are lots of ideas for new apps but there are no plans to launch any in the next year (though circumstances always change!).