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New Year’s Resolutions and Wishes for 2011

I was interested to see what goes on in the minds of my peers when it comes to 2011. When you try to emulate the success of other developers it is not just about what they do but you also want to know what goals and wishes their mind revolves around.

I’d like to especially highlight Cory Wiles whose response was the most extensive.

1. Spend more time on my own projects
2. Be invited to give more talks about iOS
3. Finish my password management framework and submit for patent
4. Become much more proficient with CoreGraphics
5. Complete and submit at least two of my own projects to app store
(contract work takes up large part of my time)
6. Go to at least one other conference besides the WWDC

From motivational literature we know that your live moves towards what you predominately think about most of the time. Most of these thoughts would probably not be conscious but my theory is that a “shoot from the hip” response to my question on Twitter should yield a bit of insight.

I’ve categorized the responses into broad areas so that we can see the patterns emerge. Also this is a great opportunity to show off the cool CSS for blockquotes. Add your own resolutions and wishes in the comments.

Dear Apple, …

Apple is the company that provides our livelyhood. If it weren’t for their continued efforts to improve our favorite platform, then we all would not be able to base our business on it. Still there are a couple of things that are left to be wishing for.

Michael Kaye, UK:

I wish apple would rid store of spam/crap apps. Or I will have to drop principles & start writing similar. I need to eat after all.

Steve Streza, USA:

Installing apps without having to go through the iOS App Store.

Pasqualabs, Italy:

Xcode 4 to officially ship!

Stuart Carnie, Australia:

Generic access to bluetooth stack

Dave Stevenson, USA:

I wish Apple would provide analytics into app pages for devs. 2nd, ping for app purchases

Jedrzej Jakubowski, Poland:

Resolution: get Quote Portal v2 featured by Apple in the US. Wish: App Store analytics

Minjie Xu, USA:

My wish is to make my iOS app into top 25 in finance category :-)

Andy Warwick, UK:

Wish: ability to hook up iPhone/iPad to projector for demonstration purposes. Or at least release App that Steve uses.

Obviously there is only one method to tell Apple what we want them to do: file a bug report or feature request. Generally Apple has been known to listen to requests if enough people request them.

Getting featured is a different story. The local iTunes teams are always on the lookout for apps that show excellence and are unique in their features and design. Also during the year they frequently put together lists of apps that match a certain theme. By producing something that is unique, well designed and matches such a theme you greatly increase your changes of getting featured.

Making and Shipping Apps

The second major area in people’s responses revolved around their own apps. Apps that produce a steady monthly income are what keeps our cashflow pumping and bread on the table. So you can see that somebody is a hard core iOS developer and entrepreneur if his first response centers around his products.

Kris Harris, USA:

I’m going to release more than one app in 2011. Hoping to release at least 4.

Layton Duncan of Polar Bear Farm, New Zealand:

Mine is to ship Air Forms!

Dan, Japan:

To finally get my 1984 Apple II game that I’ve been planning to port to iOS for the last 2 years on the App Store.

Augie, USA:

Write and release an app that uses every major iOS framework. :)

Jason Broyles, USA:

Make a Mac application.

How many apps do you plan to ship? Any new ones? You should also resolve to keep polishing what you already have.

Contract Work

Often the second stream of income for developers is to develop apps under contract. The better you get, the more choice you have in what kinds of clients and projects to accept.

Peter Steinberger, Austria:

To not take shitty projects? [To avoid] toxic clients with meh projects ;)

If you have to do contract work even though you don’t like the nitty and gritty details of dealing with clients than you have two options: either produce more apps of your own and keep building them into a viable business. Or you build a network of local developers who you can share the projects with that you are not personally interested in, for a share in the money.


Practise makes perfect and so does training. Even seasoned developers recognize the necessity of honing their skills and attending seminars to learn even greater and more elegant solutions to the development problems we keep facing daily.

Sam Jarman, New Zealand:

Develop skills! Produce or work on some great apps

Boris Erceg, Croatia:

One of my new years wishes is attending WWDC11 (same one as last year :-D),another one is making my own beer for the first time

If you can afford to travel to trade fairs and conferences, then planning to attend at least one such event in 2011 should be on your horizon. Skills you also get from listening to other developers in how they approach certain situations or problems.


And in the end we are just geeks who delight in the successes of other developers as we know that we all benefit if the Apple app ecosystem gets stronger. So a wish can also be to poke a fellow developer to finally make use of his skills and build something that you have been lusting for.

Nik Burns, UK:

VLC running on apple tv.

Jonathan Heald, UK:

My wish is myappsales also made for iPad and to include iAds or admob section to see balance, make that come true please :)

The better connected you are the more of your wishes in this category will be fulfilled.  The feedback we get from app store customers is usually not sufficient to keep your spirits high. But if a pal keeps telling you how great it would be if you finally shipped a certain app or feature then this is the best motivation you can get.


You can see that most of the responses revolved around Apple or apps, the making and selling of products. Which is smart, Apple is our firm foundation and app production is what increases our skills and income. We should do the same: keep Apple on their toes and let them know that we care for them to care. And make some really great apps in 2011 that are worthy of being featured and climb to the Mount Olympus of app store rankings.

As usual, the more brain-power you spend on any topic, the better you get at it. So in any case you would want to have some sort of daily routine that circles around the major topics shown in this article: staying interested in the platform and that Apple makes the improvements that we would like to see. Making apps for yourself and/or contract customers. Look after your skills by following great developers on their twitter and blog and socialize a bit on conferences where you might bump into some of these guys mentioned here.

Finally I encourage you to seek closer contact with your developer peers. If it was only one thing that I learned in 2010, then this: it is orders of magnitude harder to try to be a one-man-shop. Sure, you can do everything yourself. You might also assume that nobody can make the things you have in your head as well as you can. But the kind of motivation you get from a partner is priceless. And better to have an ok app on the app store, than to have a great idea collect dust in your head.

As fate will have it I am sure that we will see quite a few of these goals/resolutions bear rich fruit.

Categories: Education

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