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Ajea iOS Journal - How's it going so far

In the last couple of months, I published my first app to the app store. A Bill Reminder app, it was a bit complex, and it took me some time to implement the features I wanted. I had to use core data and learn about notifications. I was building it for my own needs, which kept me motivated even when things were getting tough.

I have a friend in design that helped me with the UI, nothing fancy, but still very good. There are still things I like to improve on, like design and following Apple’s standards.

I’m currently working on a Code Snippet bookmark app for developers to save their commonly used code snippets to access later.

Side Note: I’ve been using the famous ChatGPT AI to come up with app ideas for my next app. I got specific and generated some idea’s in the productivity category, along with taglines to match and keywords I could use when it was time to publish. (wow it’s amazing)

Lastly, during my MVP stages, I find myself implementing all the features and designs upfront. Then, I would publish it to the App Store. I guess coming from a web development background, that’s how I did my side projects. I do it all, publish it, and be done lol. At that point, I’m ready to work on something else. I know that’s not the way to do MVPs, and maybe I haven’t been doing MVPs as I thought. I think I’m just building an app.

Nonetheless, I feel good about how far I’ve come, and I plan to continue. :slight_smile: That’s all for now.

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In the last few days, I managed to implement all the main features of my app that I wanted; creating, deleting snippets, and marking them as favorites.

I have still been using the great ChatGTP AI for any misunderstandings. My designs look okay for now. I might use Figma for some design inspirations. I’m currently taking Chris’s Design Course to implement common UI styles. I want my app to feel Apple-friendly.

Here are some screenshots of what the app can do

List the top 5 code snippets and the categories

Add a category and pick its color

Add a snippet for the chosen category (title, URL of source, notes, code) probably need to change the header to "Add a Snippet."

Delete confirmation popup for deleting snippets and their categories.

View snippet details and mark them as favorite :star:, which is placed in the “:star: Top 5” section.

Well, that’s where I’m at at the moment. Later, once I have the design looking more decent, I’ll start making an icon on Canva. Lastly, I’ll test it on my phone to see how I like things.

Happy Holidays! :blush:

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Post your app here! I’d love to see it!
Also you can share your app here with Chris and be featured on his channel or blog!

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@mikaelacaron Sure thing! Monthly Bill Reminder here are some screenshots for a quick view :hugs:

I mostly designed it for phones, hence the iPad version is not as pleasing.

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Since my last post, I made some changes to the UI. I wanted it to be more simple and easier to navigate so I went to what I had before. Here’s the new look.

Home page with Top 5 and Category list

The items within a category

This is the look I’m striving to have for. The colorful cards with different widths and heights.

Item detail view - recently added the copy to clipboard feature :wink: this working on the tab bar btw.

I like this layout a bit more than my original, so I’ll stick with this. That’s all I got for now.

Happy New Year!

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UPDATE 1/9/23: Hey Folks! since my last post, I was able to get the desired look for my cards using LazyVGrid and the Geometry Reader. Thanks for the guidance on that one @Chris_Parker :slight_smile:

As of now, everything (so far lol) is working as expected. There are a few things I still want to do before I dogfood this app(use it myself).

  • Sync data through multiple devices (I want data to sync from iPhone and iPad)
  • Add accessibility
  • Convert it to MacOS app

I really want to use this app on my Mac, that’s why I’m waiting to dogfood until I can convert it. Well, that’s where I’m at right now :wink: I’ll keep you guys updated as I work through my list mentioned above.

Until then, here’s what the app looks like now

Empty state view for categories with no items

I switched to bottom sheet on iOS 16 devices, regular sheet is used for iOS 15 devices

Home View

Added background back to code snippet, removed naming icons at the bottom

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UPDATE 1/14/23: Hey Folks! since my last post I was able to;

  • Sync my data amongst other devices using iCloud :smiley: I tested it on both my iPhone 7 an iPad and it works perfectly.

  • With a bit of aggravation lol I converted it to a macOS app! it really was a pain in the butt though. However, I got it working, and at least I know how to do it in the future :+1:

  • I simplified the ItemGridView UI view so it’s back to listing the items in a 2 column grid, instead of using the Geometry Reader to make it dynamic sizes. It didn’t look so swell on macOS tbh.

  • Created my app icon using Canva :hugs:

What’s next?

  • Still need to work on accessibility
  • Fix the color scheme (mostly on MacOS)
  • Make a 3 column grid layouts on iPad’s since there’s more room to fill

iOS and MacOS of App (ignore the weird BG colors, it’s not permanent lol)

2 column grid for ItemGridView

App Icon (Code Snippet)
App Icon

How it looks on iPad Air (this is where that 3 column grid kicks in)

That’s all for now :wink: be back with more progress.

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I haven’t even done this before! How’d it go?

I haven’t done this either!! Good work!!

It’s all looking good!! :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

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@mikaelacaron

(Syncing data across devices) It was surprisingly simpler than I thought! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I just added iCloud to the project (for both iOS and MacOS targets) then lastly linked it with Core Data in the code, and I was good to go :wink:

Added iCloud to project from Signing & Capabilities

Setup Core Data and specify that it uses iCloud as well. That’s what NSPersistentCloudKitContainer does :slight_smile:

Thanks so much! I appreciate it :blush: :hugs: I’m super geeked about this project, it’s gonna be a game changer to use when I’m building new projects.

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UPDATE 1/23/23: Hey Folks! since my last post a bit has changed lol but not to much, I’m pretty much ready to start using it myself (testing it). So far I have;

  • Improved the look on macOS by 100 :wink:
  • Adjusted layout to have 3 columns for iPad
  • Changed UI on the forms on both iOS and macOS.
  • Decided to stick with one main color throughout, which is Gold. I tried to have it look similar to the Notes app.
  • Changed app icon color based on main color used throughout app.

MacOS View


iOS (Dark) View


iOS (Light) View


iPad View

I’m definitely ready to test it out now to see how I like it. If everything goes smoothly, I’ll be publishing it soon :).

This is super cool! Love the idea for a code snippet app, think its a brilliant idea.

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Thanks a bunch! :slight_smile: it definitely scratches an itch, I hope it does the same for others

One suggestion I would have would be having keywords highlighted similar to an IDE. I feel like it would be a pain in the ass to program, but would be super cool!

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Ah u mean the syntax highlighting? I was definitely trying to figure out how to do that lol im still looking into it :wink:

Updated: ah! I got it :smiley: it was easier than I thought lol I installed a package called CodeEditor, which did all the heavy lifting.

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Thats cool! Does CodeEditor automatically detect the language aswell? If so you could have it auto identify the language and display that aswell

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Great question, I had to set the language manually to swift. It doesn’t auto detect. However! cool thing I just noticed, it comes with lot of different languages you can choose from.

The picker I created showing all possible languages :+1: (there’s more BTW, when scrolling)

I’m going to add this feature, that way its more flexible if there’s people working in different languages.

And here’s the GitHub of the package I’m using