Under the Radar

233: The Road (Still) Ahead


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development. I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes. So let's get started.

00:00:08   So happy new year, everybody. And we decided this week to talk about kind of, you know, what,

00:00:14   you know, where we are right now, kind of a brief retrospective for the year, what we expect to do,

00:00:19   what actually happened, and then followed by what we expect to do this year in 2022.

00:00:24   Dave, where do you stand on on last year?

00:00:28   It was in preparation for this episode, I went and listened to our sort of New Year's episode

00:00:34   of last year. And one thing that was I want to point out is that the in that episode,

00:00:38   we speculated as to whether I would make it a whole year without launching a new app.

00:00:41   And you were very incredulous that that would be possible. And to say this one of those,

00:00:48   it depends on how you score it. So I went the entire year without launching a new

00:00:53   actual like product app. However, I did launch the app that I worked on with my son Ian's awesome

00:00:59   counter. I did put that into the App Store. So it's like by the letter of the law, I would say

00:01:03   that I launched a new app to the spirit of the law of what I was saying. I think I didn't. So

00:01:08   score that however you will, but I wanted to, you know, follow up on whether or not I could go a

00:01:13   whole year without launching something. I think I might call that a draw. I think neither of us

00:01:18   were correct. Yeah, it was I think it's fair. And it's been overall, I'd say 2021 was an interesting

00:01:25   year for me because when I look back on it, I think I changed more in that year than I have in

00:01:33   a lot of the years before it in terms of the way that I'm thinking about work, the way that I'm

00:01:38   expect to approach work going forward into 2022. And I think a lot of it came from a place where in

00:01:45   2021, the early part of the year, I spent a lot of time trying to sort of trying to make things that

00:01:53   weren't sticking more sticky. And like, specifically, I spent probably a good third of the year at the

00:02:00   beginning working on a WatchSmith update. It's this big, long update. And the reality is I did

00:02:06   all this work and nothing actually fundamentally changed with WatchSmith. It's the same sort of

00:02:11   revenue downloads, affinity, like all the things about it are fairly similar. But the work I did on

00:02:20   pedometer and the work I did on WidgetSmith both had big impacts. And I think, as I as I look back

00:02:27   over the year, what I see is, I kept in the earlier that kept sort of having this this

00:02:32   mentality that if I just keep adding something, if I just eventually I'll be able to sort of,

00:02:37   you know, hit a tipping point with the things that aren't really working, and suddenly they will start

00:02:42   working. And I think I've changed, matured, adjusted, whatever you want to say, to a mindset

00:02:47   now where I feel much more comfortable saying, I have a couple of apps that are doing well,

00:02:54   and that have traction, and can sort of trying to build more momentum and push those farther and,

00:03:00   you know, take advantage of the opportunities that exist there is a really wise use of my time.

00:03:06   In a way that trying to create like, turn, you know, it's like turn things or turn things that

00:03:12   are hard to turn, and putting effort into things that ultimately is probably going to be sort of

00:03:18   wasted or not interested or not actually productive. And I think that's sort of the for me,

00:03:23   that's sort of the arc of 2021. And it's that learning. And I think we've talked about this

00:03:27   in a lot of our recent episodes, too, of, I think I've developed a little bit of a mindset,

00:03:33   moreover, that is a little bit more thoughtful and intentional about how I approach the business,

00:03:42   the things that I do, you know, it's like we talked about, like adding a remove ads button

00:03:46   to pedometer plus plus was a meaningful thing in my, for my business this year. And it's like,

00:03:51   I can't believe I hadn't done it before, but it's coming from a different place. And I feel more

00:03:56   comfortable about asking for money, I feel more comfortable about structuring things in order to

00:04:02   treat my business as a business, not just as a hobby, not treating it as something that

00:04:08   I'm doing for fun, because I enjoyed working on WatchSmith, I enjoyed working on,

00:04:13   you know, working on that app. But I think the blurring of between like, I'm doing that because

00:04:19   it's fun, and I'm doing it because it's my job. When I start to overlap those, I think I've

00:04:24   learned that it's problematic, because it's not really a hobby. This isn't what I'm doing for fun.

00:04:28   This is work in time that is taking away from my actual jobby job kind of work. And it's, you know,

00:04:34   but it's not a hobby in the sense of it's like, oh, I'm doing it nights and weekends, or, you

00:04:38   know, it's what I do to relax at the end of the day. So to treat my work like my work and do the

00:04:43   things that I think will move my work better is the, for me, I think the big lesson from 2021.

00:04:48   Yeah, I like that. 2021 to me was a year of very slowly defrosting my brain and un-sticking myself.

00:04:58   From the probably two years before, like I would say 2020, I got very little good work done. And I

00:05:07   mean, yeah, there's lots of reasons for that. I'm not like beating myself up for it too badly.

00:05:10   But I really did not make a lot of progress that meant anything to my users in 2020.

00:05:16   And in 2021, I didn't make major progress, but I made some. And when you go from almost none to some,

00:05:28   it's like clearing a log jam. So, you know, like, if I look back, I'm like, what I actually shipped,

00:05:34   like, I looked through before the show, I looked through like my commit log history

00:05:38   for my Git commits for the year, just to see, just to remember, like, what did I do in the app this

00:05:43   year? Like, what was I actually working on? And it's, you know, there were a couple of, you know,

00:05:49   interesting headlining things. I finally made a widget. I made CarPlay, I've read a whole,

00:05:54   you know, read a carplay and everything and, and improved a lot about a lot of things about the

00:05:59   watch app. But what I, what I really see when I look at what I actually did over the last year,

00:06:04   is, I mainly just fixed things. And I had a couple of improvements here and there, some of which,

00:06:11   like the CarPlay thing required, like, you know, totally rewriting something using a whole new API,

00:06:16   you know, like a modernizing stuff. But I it was mostly a year of minor improvements,

00:06:23   you know, fixing bugs and making things work a little bit better, adding what really are minor

00:06:28   features like a widget, or like CarPlay, you know, like, those are, those are actually pretty minor

00:06:33   features. They're important, but they're minor. And then in the fall, I started doing, finally,

00:06:40   my first kind of significant redesign work. It's not, this isn't out yet. And most people haven't

00:06:45   seen it yet. But I occasionally will have like a design breakthrough. And, you know, the current

00:06:53   design of the now playing screen with the swipey cards. That I remember still when I had that

00:06:58   breakthrough was on a trip to London a few years ago. And I remember like, I thought of it. And I

00:07:02   coded up a quick little prototype one night in a hotel room there. And I showed it to friends the

00:07:07   next day, because I happened to be visiting a bunch of podcast friends, and you were there,

00:07:10   actually, visiting a bunch of podcast friends there. And I was like, Hey, what do you think of

00:07:14   if I if I read the now playing screen to be like this? And everyone loved it. And I'm like, all

00:07:19   right, this is the direction I'm gonna go. And then over the next couple of months, I made it.

00:07:23   And I, you know, flesh it out and finished it. I had one of those design breakthroughs over

00:07:28   Thanksgiving break this past fall. And I've been working on it since then. And it's been going

00:07:33   great. And so that's been where I'm where I put a whole bunch of my work since then. And

00:07:38   so that kind of completes for me, like the transition from the log jam of kind of 2019 to

00:07:45   2020. And then now I'm now I'm like flowing again, like, I'm really getting a lot of work done. I'm

00:07:51   making progress, I feel good about my app. Again, I feel good about where I am, I feel like I'm not

00:07:56   under too much crushing technical debt from from just having such an old app that's gone through,

00:08:01   you know, the Swift transition, Swift UI, you know, like all this stuff that that's been changed

00:08:06   over the years. You know, so I'm finally like moving again, in a meaningful way. And so that's

00:08:13   kind of what I expect for this year to come as well. You know, the redesign work is going to take

00:08:19   a long time as I have talked about in previous episodes. I think the like, right now what I'm

00:08:24   working on mostly is a couple of like theme wide changes like font and color tweaks and things like

00:08:32   that. But for the most part, I'm working on just the root screen, like the the main list of your

00:08:37   playlists and podcasts. And I thought I'd be done with this a month ago. And I'm about halfway done

00:08:44   with it now. So it turns out, when you're rewriting an entire screen, like it takes a while, when it's

00:08:50   when it's an important screen, and when it's a complicated one. And I'm doing things like

00:08:55   adopting UI diffable data source for the table, you know, stuff like that, like there's stuff

00:09:00   that's just like a major changes, architectural changes, adopting new API's, things like that,

00:09:06   that just take a while. And I'm in the design phase. So it's a lot of iteration, it's a lot of,

00:09:10   let me see how this works. And the way I design things, as I've talked about before, I don't

00:09:15   design things in Photoshop, I design things by building them and seeing if I like them.

00:09:18   And so and then if I don't like it, I throw it away and do something else, or I modify it. And

00:09:23   so my design processes is not super fast, but it is highly functional. And so that's kind of where

00:09:31   I am with, you know, with what I'm doing from the end of last year into the beginning of this year.

00:09:36   And I expect that root screen redesign, I expect to probably ship within a month or two, maybe.

00:09:43   And then I have the rest of the app to handle, you know, I have some ideas on how I'm going to

00:09:48   redesign the now playing screen. That's going to also probably take a few months there. And so I

00:09:54   think this whole, you know, design refresh I'm going through with the app is probably going to

00:09:57   take most of the year to be honest. And then, you know, we'll see what happens with WVDC. And,

00:10:04   you know, if, if this is the year of Linux on desktop, I mean, the AR headset, we'll see what

00:10:09   happens with that, how that if that throws any wrenches in my plans, but that's kind of what I

00:10:15   expect. You know, I'm optimistic for this year. I think that I might my log jam has been cleared,

00:10:22   for the most part. And now I'm on I'm on a roll, and I'm feeling good. And I'm getting stuff done.

00:10:28   And I hope I can continue this momentum for a while and really and really knock a lot out.

00:10:33   Yeah, because I would say as someone who has a, that's like a fortnightly conversation with you

00:10:37   about your work, I would definitely agree that I feel like that seemed like a change,

00:10:41   like a seasonal change in the way that in your flavor feeling about your work and the way that

00:10:46   your work was going that there is sort of lots of themes about frustration or kind of lack of

00:10:53   movement. And then as we gotten sort of the second half of 2021, it changed to many more themes of

00:11:02   flow and progress and inspiration and motivation and having that sense of like, yeah, this is this

00:11:09   is good. This is moving. This is going somewhere, which is always just exciting to hear because it's

00:11:14   like, it would be great if that was always the case. But I think we've both been doing this for

00:11:18   long enough to know that. Well, it'd be great if you were always in that place of being, you know,

00:11:23   inspired, motivated, productive, all of those things. There it is a natural process of, you

00:11:29   know, having been doing this for what 13 years, that like, there are going to be seasons where

00:11:33   it's just not as nice. And it just isn't quite there. And we're making some progress and we're

00:11:37   doing a bit of work, but it just doesn't feel as good as when you hit those places where it feels

00:11:41   good. And it feels like we're making progress. And it feels like the work is, is sort of heading in a

00:11:46   good direction that is actually productive, rather than just doing the work to do the work. So it's

00:11:50   like, it's been super exciting to, to see that shift in your year and to look forward to now

00:11:55   that continuing hopefully into 2022. And I imagine, especially as you get some of this work that

00:12:01   you've been doing out into the world, that it potentially sort of help keep sort of keep that

00:12:07   momentum going, because then you get the benefit of the feedback and the sort of the reward for

00:12:12   the work of it actually, you know, making people's lives and their use of your app better, rather

00:12:16   than just being something just for yourself. Yeah, I mean, the the importance of momentum,

00:12:22   I think, cannot be overstated. You know, so much of my motivation pattern is based on,

00:12:30   you know, long periods of doing basically nothing, followed by short bursts of incredible

00:12:37   productivity. And, and this is not something I have historically felt very good about, you know,

00:12:42   this is something that I historically felt very, you know, ashamed of or guilty that like, I don't,

00:12:46   I don't do a lot of work a lot of the time. And I do a whole ton of work all at once, you know,

00:12:50   and so this is one of those, you know, and I feel like that that goes in that other place,

00:12:56   but the small scale on a big scale, you know, on the on the small scale, my days are kind of

00:13:01   structured like that, where I will have periods of a few hours where I'll get everything done for

00:13:06   the day. And then the rest of the day, I do basically nothing of value, or I only do like,

00:13:11   you know, low value, busy work, like admin stuff, you know, deal with my taxes, or I'll deal with

00:13:16   my email, both of which I feel similarly about, as you can tell. But, but you know, my actual,

00:13:21   you know, coding work or making work, that's, that's usually, you know, a very small number

00:13:26   of hours each week that are just very densely, you know, productive, whereas that same thing

00:13:32   also applies at the bigger scale. That same thing applies, you know, not just on a day scale,

00:13:37   but on like a month scale, like there are certain months where I just get nothing of consequence

00:13:43   really made or done. And then other months, I will like blow away half my app and re and have

00:13:48   this amazing or like, I'll do an amazing new feature in three days, you know, and then I won't

00:13:53   have another good feature for three months. And this is just how I've always worked, which,

00:13:59   you know, it was not always very compatible with the with the, you know, working for other people

00:14:05   world. But this is just how I've always been and, and, you know, I, at some point, I stopped being

00:14:12   ashamed of it and just accepted, well, this is just who I am. And let's, let's figure out how

00:14:17   to use it, you know, but so you know, so that's, that's kind of where I am now where like, I

00:14:21   basically had, yeah, almost, I think, maybe a year or two where I really was not doing much. And,

00:14:29   and now I'm doing a lot and I'm really happy about it. Finally. Speaking of momentum, let's take a

00:14:35   break here for a moment to talk about our sponsor this week. It is hover, one of relay FM's longest

00:14:41   running sponsors. When you have that one big idea, when you have that momentum, you're ready to go.

00:14:45   Well, that business that you want to make that app you want to make starts with a domain name.

00:14:50   So for many people, hover is that big leap to really get you going. They have over 300 name

00:14:55   extensions to choose from. So no matter what you want to build, there's a domain name available and

00:14:59   waiting for you. And they have excellent technical support to answer any questions you may have.

00:15:03   And they're really dedicated to getting you online and just getting you going not trying to upsell

00:15:08   you into a bunch of packages and stuff like that. Hover has free whois privacy. So people don't have

00:15:13   to, you know, get your spam information. They have a clean UX and UI monthly sales on popular top

00:15:18   level domains. So it's easy to see why hover is the popular choice for people starting businesses.

00:15:23   I personally use hover. And one thing I love about them besides of course, their great support and

00:15:27   their clean design and everything. They have a really good search. Like if you want to tell

00:15:31   what's available, what kind of main names are available, which is pretty important with domain

00:15:34   names. hover search is really, really great. That's why I always go there first. So we know you like

00:15:40   intuitive user experiences, things that work straight out of the box. So we know you will

00:15:44   appreciate hover. It's super easy to use. It's nice. It respects you. So buy your domain. Start

00:15:50   using hover today. Go to hover.com slash radar and get a 10% discount on all new purchases. That URL

00:15:58   one more time is hover.com slash radar. Make a name for yourself with hover. Our thanks to hover

00:16:05   for the support of this show and relay FM. For me, when I start to think about what 2022 might

00:16:12   look like, I think certainly something that I've learned that I think is sort of a general

00:16:16   statement that is useful potentially for our audience is understand that your year will have

00:16:21   two chapters to it almost certainly if you're an Apple developer. There's between now and the first

00:16:26   ish week of June, and from the first week of June to the end of the year. And sometimes like last

00:16:32   year, there was not that much difference necessarily between those two. Some years, there's

00:16:37   huge differences. And this is obviously I'm talking about WWDC, which is around the first week of June.

00:16:41   And it kind of is this discontinuity because you can't plan or predict what's going to come,

00:16:47   come out there, what work you're going to have to do, what opportunities you want to take advantage

00:16:51   of whatever, like, that's just the nature of what we're doing. And so whenever I start to think about

00:16:56   like, what do I want to accomplish this year? Where do I want to head? You know, what's sort of my

00:17:00   theme for the year is I always kind of will break it in half and not serve it, it's impossible to

00:17:07   plan beyond June. So just don't even think about it. If you can't have a yearly plan, you can only

00:17:12   have essentially the next five months or so of a plan. And when I look at a calendar, it's like,

00:17:19   basically, I have about 100 days of work, probably, between now and WWDC. It's like, maybe slightly

00:17:27   more, slightly less, depending on how you count it, but it's in that ballpark. And I think 100

00:17:32   working days is enough to get quite a bit done. Like it's years, you can certainly get, it's about

00:17:37   20 weeks of work, and you can get quite a bit done in that. But it's still, this is sort of manageable

00:17:43   in an amount that I can, I can think about, at least. And I think for me, when I looked forward

00:17:48   to 2022, and kind of what have I learned in 2021? I think there's in my mind, like my theme, my goal,

00:17:54   the thing that I'm going to be trying to aim towards for the beginning of the year is a lot of

00:17:58   like 1% improvements in a lot of my apps, because I think the more the when I start to look at look

00:18:05   at them with a lens of like, what's a small refinement? What's this little improvement?

00:18:11   What's a low hanging fruit? What's something that I could do? Like, the more I look at the

00:18:15   existing apps that I have, I see opportunities like that all over the place, that there's lots

00:18:19   of these little things that aren't these big, sort of sweeping new features, these brand new apps,

00:18:25   these big things there. But they're things where I could make the app just a little bit better.

00:18:31   And in aggregate, I suspect that a lot of these smaller refinements would, overall, you get to

00:18:37   the end of 100 days of doing that kind of work. And I would hope anyway, that the apps will be

00:18:42   in a really good place and be in a very sort of strong position to go forward into whatever Apple

00:18:47   throws at us in June, whether that's things that are relevant or they're not, but I'll be in a

00:18:51   good place. Because it's, I think, it's easy for me to sometimes think that, oh, these apps are,

00:18:57   you know, it's like they're, they're old, and they're, they've been around for a long time.

00:19:01   So there's no more low hanging fruit, there's no more of these little opportunities. But

00:19:04   it's like they certainly exist. And it's kind of amazing that they do exist. And when you hit on one,

00:19:11   how beneficial it can be like I recently did a lot of work playing around with the paywall in

00:19:18   Widget Smith. And there's one of those things that screen had been the same since I launched the app,

00:19:23   essentially, like I made a few adjustments, but it just like, started playing around with it. And

00:19:28   it's like, it started to perform a lot better as a converting new users and getting people

00:19:32   starting their trials with subscriptions. And it's like, why haven't I been doing this for the last

00:19:36   year? I should have, I should have been looking rather than this is going down the road of like,

00:19:41   oh, let me add this wild, like whole bunches of new widgets and new opportunities. It's like,

00:19:45   just look at what I have, go through a screen by screen, see how can I make this a little bit

00:19:50   better? How can I make this screen a little bit better, you know, go sit down with instruments,

00:19:54   and go through the time profiler and look through all of the, you know, the main parts of the app.

00:19:58   And so like, where can I make this a little bit faster? Where can I make this a little bit better?

00:20:02   And I think that's a good theme and a good sort of goal for me looking forward into this,

00:20:07   this first half of the year. Because I think it's set me up well. And I think in some ways,

00:20:12   it'll make me feel better. Because every time I come across one of these things, I keep having

00:20:17   the back of my mind, like, why haven't I been doing this for, you know, what, all along? Why

00:20:21   have what, you know, sort of, there's this, it's almost like blaming myself for my, you know,

00:20:25   sort of these past oversights, but it's a bit harsh, and isn't actually how I feel how I feel.

00:20:31   But I think being thoughtful and kind of going through, and especially as whenever,

00:20:37   and if there are places where I can be analytical about it, like look at my crash, like one of the

00:20:41   things that I have started doing is like going through all my crash reports, you know, in the

00:20:45   organizer and be like, some of them, I'll probably never be able to get rid of. That's just the

00:20:49   reality of like, if you have a watch app, you're almost impossible to get away. I was about to say

00:20:54   watch OS. It's basically impossible because it reports a lot of crashes that are sent or just

00:21:00   like the background, being killed in the background because the system was busy, which,

00:21:04   like, sometimes is your fault, sometimes isn't. So I'm never going to get rid of all of those. But

00:21:08   I think sometimes I can be like, oh, all my crashes are those kind of crashes. And then,

00:21:12   like in the last week, I've gone through a bunch of my crash reports, and I found little things

00:21:17   that I'm like, oh, it's not a big crash. It's not happened to a lot of people, but it's something

00:21:21   that I can fix. And I'm sure for the, you know, whatever the hundred people who that have had

00:21:26   affected in the last month, it's like it not affected them going forward will be a great thing.

00:21:31   So that's sort of the approach I'm taking and kind of having that general theme of like 1%

00:21:35   improvement or refinement as sort of my guiding principle for the next five months.

00:21:40   Jared Ranerelle - I mean, that's how I spent a lot of 2020, which I was, you know, at the time,

00:21:46   felt like it was kind of low flow in a way. But really, it turned out to be quite an improvement.

00:21:53   I mean, when I look back on, you know, things like my watch app, which was always something I was

00:21:58   really just ashamed of, you know, because it always just sucked in different ways. And

00:22:02   over the last year, I finally worked out, as far as I can tell, almost all of the kinks.

00:22:11   And it's pretty good now. It's reliable. Like, it's reliable in a way that it's never been

00:22:15   reliable before. And part of that was my fault, and part of that was Apple's fault. But the

00:22:20   combination is, it's now reliable. And I'm so proud of that. And I don't really hear about it

00:22:26   anymore from people, which is great for the first time ever. You know, I'm not getting one star

00:22:31   reviews from my watch app every single day like I used to. So this is, you know, like that kind of

00:22:37   focus on quality and minor improvements. That is good stuff. It really helps a lot. I mean,

00:22:42   heck, just about just a couple of days ago, I had this utility function that I use all over the place

00:22:48   in my data layer class called FC model, which is open source. You can go see it if you want.

00:22:51   It's a little outdated now, because it was from before the Swift era. But, you know,

00:22:56   it's, this is, anyway, it's my data layer. And I have this method all over the place that ensures

00:23:01   that any code that is running on the SQLite layer always runs on the main thread. And there's a

00:23:08   bunch of reasons why I do it this way. But anyway, there was a point where, you know, I've known for

00:23:12   a while the difference between main thread and main queue. That's a different thing. You know,

00:23:16   that other queues can run on the main thread. So this function, if you call it from a different

00:23:24   thread, will dispatch sync its code to the main thread, because all the code in FC model is all

00:23:30   synchronous. So I can't just, you know, async it and wait till it comes back and have a callback.

00:23:34   It's all synchronous code. So if you call for a database model, it gets it synchronously. So

00:23:39   there was a possible deadlock where I didn't realize until a few days ago that it is possible

00:23:45   for other queues to run on the main thread. So if a background queue that happens to be running on

00:23:52   the main thread at that moment, called this function that says always do everything synchronous

00:23:56   on the main thread, it would deadlock. And so I had to fix this really obscure bug. That was a

00:24:01   one line fix. But like, it was that alone is probably going to save me some of these really

00:24:08   obscure crash logs that I thought, how the heck did this crash? Why did this deadlock? Or what,

00:24:13   why does this one weird usage pattern occasionally do this? And when you find something like that,

00:24:18   it's incredibly satisfying. I was so when I figured that out, because I had I finally had

00:24:23   a reproducible case, like in development, where like, using this one API and difficult data source

00:24:27   would would hit this. And I was like, what, what is going on? And once I figured this out, like,

00:24:32   it was it was like a light bulb going, it's like, oh, my God, I have just probably fixed at least

00:24:37   three or four crashes that I never would have figured out otherwise. But I just figured this

00:24:43   out. And it that's an incredible feeling. And, you know, you do that enough times. And that adds up

00:24:48   to meaningful improvements in the app. You know, like I, I found a scroll hitch yesterday where

00:24:53   like, I was scrolling through a list of artwork in my new UI. And I noticed it would hitch every

00:24:58   time it would hit your upload screen. And like, why, why is it uploads artwork so slow, and uploads

00:25:04   artwork is dynamically generated? So that way, it's transparent in the theme. And so you when you

00:25:08   have the dark theme, it shows a dark background and everything. And I was generating it at too

00:25:12   high resolution. And nothing really needs it. So I just lowered the resolution down to something that

00:25:16   the UI actually uses. And it fixed the scroll hitch because it made the image like an eighth

00:25:21   the number of pixels. And stuff like that, that fixes one scroll hitch I noticed, but that, you

00:25:27   know, that same problem has been catching the uploads artwork in lots of places probably over

00:25:31   the years. And I was always rendering it too big. And so that's, again, gonna make the app faster

00:25:37   and take up less memory. And that also means not only will it be more responsive, but by taking up

00:25:41   less memory, that means it'll get killed in the background less often. And that'll fix that'll

00:25:45   improve other conditions and make it more responsive in other situations. So like, this

00:25:48   kind of work is really impactful and satisfying in the aggregate. Yeah. And then I think that's my

00:25:55   hope. And that's the thing that I've been seeing that I feel good about it sort of striving in that

00:26:00   direction. Because like I've like this last week, I saw the similar kind of thing to you where there

00:26:03   was this way that I was interacting with the photos framework, that I think was the leading

00:26:08   cause of crashes in widgetsmith. It's a very subtle, very minor kind of a thing. And it's not

00:26:12   like it happened to lots of lots of people, it was causing lots of problems. But it's like,

00:26:15   the situation as far as I could tell is if sometimes when this the out of the OS does a

00:26:21   system update, all of your photo permissions get reset, as far as I can tell. And when that happens,

00:26:28   it was creating this weird situation where like, you once had permission to use the photos,

00:26:33   and then it kind of goes away in this not in the regular going away way, but in another way that

00:26:37   they went away. And I could reproduce it and I was able to fix the bug and kind of protect against it.

00:26:42   And once I did that, it's like, I imagine there's this whole sort of class of crashes that just went

00:26:46   away. And it's just yeah, like I said, it's very satisfying. And it's but it's work that I'd kind

00:26:52   of put off because it's like, well, it's, it's not happening a lot. It's happening to, you know,

00:26:57   a quarter of a percent of users or something like that. And it's, which is like a big deal, but also,

00:27:02   you know, maybe it's better to pay attention to me, what if I had this whole big thing,

00:27:07   and it's like, there's a tension between those two, but I've definitely found

00:27:09   spending some time just working on refinement. And eventually, I'm sure I'll run out of these

00:27:14   refinements. And the thing will be, it's like the apps be running, you know, smooth as butter,

00:27:18   and it'll be great. And then I can start to work on kind of some kind of large, holistic change,

00:27:24   or, you know, get to the point that it's WDC and it'll be time to work on whatever new things

00:27:30   announced. But it certainly is something that is it's, it's like focusing on that work is so it's

00:27:36   so rewarding to both in terms of the impact of it, as well as I think, just motivationally,

00:27:42   it's like, yes, it's like there was a problem, the problem is gone. The app, you know, it had this,

00:27:46   it had this issue or had this thing that didn't look quite right. And I spent the time to get,

00:27:50   you know, the alignment of this, the, you know, these two views that were always a little off,

00:27:54   or the spacing or the, it's like that kind of work, just sometimes it's easy to not to prioritize it.

00:28:00   But I feel like, you know, spending a period prioritizing that and focusing on that is going

00:28:05   to be beneficial overall. Yeah. And I think for me, like, my, my main thing I'm going for now is

00:28:12   a balance, a better balance between, you know, if I basically spent like all of 2019 and 2020, doing

00:28:19   mostly like minor improvements and fixes like that. And I fell way behind on the major stuff.

00:28:25   And I felt bad about that. And 2021 is when I started finally rebalancing that game. Okay,

00:28:30   now I'm going to keep doing the quality stuff when I can. But I'm also going to start tackling the

00:28:35   major things and get movement there. And that to me is, that's a much better balance. And I and

00:28:40   that's why I'm happier now. And that's what I hope to keep going for in 2022. Yeah, I think that makes

00:28:45   sense. And I think it wouldn't surprise me if I have sort of part of how you're able to be motivated

00:28:50   and productive now is because you spent a bit of time on quality. And I think that's sort of my

00:28:53   hope is that if I spend a bit of time with a focus on quality, I'll be able to have more motivation

00:28:58   and speed and sort of velocity when I turn my attention to new opportunities, whether Apple

00:29:03   created or myself or wherever they come from, I'll be ready for them. So you releasing any new apps

00:29:09   this year, Dave? Well, it is too early to say ask me again in June. You want to take a bet?

00:29:14   I think I would I think this year I would say I will likely launch a new app. Yeah, I'm not

00:29:18   gonna I'm not gonna bet against that. I think that's a wise move. Thanks for listening,

00:29:23   everybody. Happy New Year and we will talk to you in two weeks. Bye.