Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

48 - And now we wait

I've been looking forward to this moment for a long time. It was ten months ago when we first had the idea for Story. And now we've almost completed its first chapter.

So it's a real surprise that I'm not enjoying it at all. Neither's Paul.

Filippo is uploading Story today. Me and Paul are at our day jobs. We're both ill, I have a whole iPad magazine to design and publish by the end of the day and Paul is launching his company's website in two other countries.


Paul: Filippo, the app still switches to landscape.

Filippo: Yep... on my list! Could you please remove the stories without authors from the database?

Paul: Yeah.


Simon: How are we going to publish stories from a 'Story' account? We can't use the facebook page cause it screws up the facebook app and the Story app. I tried to make a normal person account called 'Team Story' but it knows it's not a real name.

Paul: I'll have to make a web page that bypasses Facebook. 


Simon: I feel like the app should load 24 stories at a time. So you get a nice bit of scroll before it starts to load again.

Filippo: Well I load 9 per page to fill one screen, 24 seems quite a lot to me, what about 18?

Simon: 9 fills an iPhone 4S but not an iPhone 5. Yep 18. Also, the images in stories are still low res. They don't look retina.

Filippo: I can implement the retina images, the only concern will be that all the image upload and download will be double in size. Is it ok for you? and Paul I don't think you have to do anything for this, can you confirm?


Simon: The background texture is missing from inside the stories...

Filippo: I can see a background texture… Can you explain please.

Simon: Look at this screen shot. No background!

Filippo: LOL I can see a texture on your image too. But the texture is a layer of dust on my screen... Okay adding background.


Filippo: New version of Story app available. For the submission I'll need the story icons in these four sizes; Four to five screen shots of the app; And then: Application description; Application category; Application keywords; Url for website; Email for support.

Would be great if you could provide all this by the end of the day so that I'll be able to submit the application!


Simon:  The story icon spacing for Following and My Profile still doesn't match the Discover screen. Create screen texture still the old 10x10 - should be the 100x100.

Everything else is looking greeeaaat!


Filippo: Regarding the app spacing... it's fine?

Simon: Horizontal spacing, not vertical.

Filippo: Ah yes.

Simon: Paul can you delete all the bullshit stories from the database so the screenshots look good?

Paul: I'm ramped. Will get on it.


Simon: I've written the app description, have a look. Paul? My head is screwed today... input please.

Paul: Sounds shit. Try this. Filippo what do you think?

Filippo: It's not bad!

Simon: Yeah that's better although it says 'story' a billion times. How about this?

Paul: Yes. I've deleted some of the bullshit stories.

Simon: Hmmm, a lot of stories about chicken on that first screen.

Paul: Yeah. Lemme clean some chicken out.


Filippo: Sending a new version with new spacing. By the way what are the app categories?

Paul: Social.

Filippo: There are two...

Paul: Lifestyle.

Filippo: Can you add me as an iTunes Connect user so I can submit the app on your behalf?

Simon: I can't add you because you're already registered!

Paul: DENIED!!!

Filippo: Hmm, I see. Okay let me think... Okay try this email address instead.

Simon: Done

Filippo: Great thanks. Could you please create the application in iTunes Connect. The first step is decide the name of the company that will be displayed in the app. Since that name can't be changed I prefer you do it. If you go in ManageYourApp>add New App and then follow the instructions.

Paul: Shall I?

Simon: Yes!

Paul: Team Story, right? What's a SKU number and a bundle number?

Paul: Argh!


Paul: Fuck me this is taking fucking ages. Now I need to upload everything like images n that. Like is it gonna ask me for the app too? 

Filippo: Can you save your progress? I'll pick up from there.

Paul: Doesn't look like it. Wanna do this over Skype with me?

Filippo: YES.


Simon: Here are the new App icons


Paul: Are these the icons?

Filippo: Guys I'm submitting. No more changes unless we do it right now.

Simon: Yes they're the icons.


Filippo: Done! And now we wait.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

47 - Monday

From: Filippo
To: Simon, Paul
Date: 14 December 2012, 18:34
Subject: StoryApp

Hei Guys,

Released a new version.
We all here had a good test, we will keep doing it during the week end.
Would be good if you could do the same and let me know on monday.
If we submit the app on Monday we can hope in a release on the app store before Christmas.

Let me know…


From: Filippo

To: Simon, Paul
Date: 16 December 2012, 14:26
Subject: StoryApp

All looks good. With your blessing we ll go for the store hopefully tomorrow!!!
Thanks a lot for your help!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

46 - I see you

That's it. Go on. Have a look. I see you. Looking straight forward but eyes straining down to the side. I can see you. In the reflection of the Tube carriage window. Eyes angled on my iPhone. 

Don't know what this app is do you? Like the look of those icons though don't you? Yeah me too. Let me swipe through a load of them. I know you like that. Let me just tap this gorgeous tab here and you can watch the icons zoom off the screen. 

Tap. Look at that. Did you just flinch? That's just a little article I wrote. A picture at the top followed by a load of text. I'll just pretend to read it for a second so you can have a look. 

That's not all. Let me just get back and, tap, look at that! A recipe! About some kind of tasty looking chicken pancetta dish. It wasn't working yesterday but our coder has fixed the bugs and now it works perfectly. But you don't know that do you. He's called Filippo. 

Here's a photo story of Paul's son. That's right, this app can really do a lot. I see you, pretending to look at your phone but really looking at mine. I'll edge my phone out so you don't have to strain so hard. I see you. You'll love playing with this. Soon.

We can't wait for you to play with this.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

45 - Crash

Paul texts me saying the publish story button doesn't work. I'm not sure what he means. Works for me. Whatever, I'm trying to make my first proper story. A recipe.

I have a dish I cook. It's a chicken and pancetta thing in a white wine sauce over pasta. Made it last night and finally perfected it. Added a sliced chilli. Sent the taste into orbit. I took photos along the way and had decided to make a story about it. 

So this is the first time I'm using the app properly, like using about 20 photos, resizing/cropping them, reordering them, adding captions, adding blocks of text too. Doing it all. After half an hour and about 15 photos into the 20, Story crashes. I re-open; all gone.

I had a numb feeling. I'm used to it. I get it all the time. Had Illustrator crash a bunch of times while designing the app. I just sit and stare.

"Everything okay?" girlfriend asks.

I hate saying to her, 'It crashed' and looking all pissed off. I sound like the nerd I am.

"Ahhh, nothing... just like, crashed or something..."
"Aww honey..."
"Nah it's cool. Just, you know..."
"You've been working on that for ages-"
"Yeah no, it's cool."

Fuck it, probably just random, things crash, it's fine. I'll start again.

Twenty minutes later. Crash.

"Babe? You okay?"
"THE FUCKING THING CRASHED. IT CRASHED ON ME. AGAIN." Feel my head getting hot. Eyes puffy. Angry. Staring at a screen. That's a nerd alright.

I silently text Paul. "Story crashed on me. Shit."

Paul replies, "Yeah. Doesn't work."

Saturday, 8 December 2012

44 - "Isn't it done?"

"I thought it was done?" my girlfriend asks.
"The app?"
"Yeah, the app. Isn't it done? Wasn't it meant to be done on Friday?"

Like I'd be sitting here on a Saturday night if the app was done. Like I wouldn't have maybe mentioned that it was done. Like me, Paul and Filippo wouldn't have the champagne flowing if the app was done.

"No... not done..."
"Oh I thought it was meant to be-"
"Yeah, no."

It was meant to be finished last week. Then Wednesday. And now this coming Monday. I keep throwing extra stuff at Filippo which isn't helping. But the plan is to submit the thing to the App Store on Monday. Which probably means Wednesday/next next Monday.

Monday, 3 December 2012

43 - One more thing...

Filippo's gonna kill me. 

But I can't let this go. 'No more changes' he'd said. That was a week ago. But this change is so good it needs to go in.

I text Paul a photo of the design change. "Nice." He replies. Nice spurs me on.

I'm trying to think how to word the email to Filippo.

"Hi Filippo, loving what you're doing. Mate, could I ask you for one last, last favour?! I feel bad even asking but-"

Nah too eager, too weak. He'll spot me a mile off. What combination of words will lead Filippo to make this change? I text Paul asking how to word it. He doesn't reply.

Maybe I should go in hard like, "Filippo. Need a change executed soon as. Top of the list. Let me know when you have it done."

He'll destroy me.

I've designed new buttons for Story's main screens. They have icons on instead of text. They make the thing look gorgeously minimal and, due to the buttons being bigger, it's more functional too.

I'm sure it's not that much work. I mean, I don't know coding but I'm sure it isn't more than 20 minutes work. 30 tops. That's what I picture in my head. Probably exactly how it is. No worries. I'll just say that.


Oh god. Kill me now. I'm a... client.