(This is Part 4 of our series on the development of the Slidecaster iPhone App and Desktop Slideshow System. To read earlier articles, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).
The Apple app store’s approval process has a reputation of being long, tedious, and somewhat arbitrary. This is yet another reason why we chose a smaller phase of functionality, so app store submission would be simpler. Of course, in order to submit, we first needed to make sure everything worked.
Before we even had everything implemented, Mike was eager to test out the app in the wild. Because we didn’t have the communication yet working between the iPhone remote and the Mac Desktop app, Mike thought he could try out just the Mac Desktop app. He put the latest build of the app on his machine and tested it out at an event at the University of Cincinnati Arena. The app worked splendidly to instantly cycle through photos taken at the event and to show them on the large videoboard. It was nice to see that a portion of the project could already be used in the real world.
We had a somewhat different outcome when testing the communication between the iPhone and the Desktop apps. Let’s just say that developing against the iPhone simulator does not represent a valid test, especially when dealing with low-level hardware details like the network communication. We found some bugs when testing on our own devices (an iPhone 5 and iPad Mini), but as you can imagine it was difficult to test on the growing cornucopia of Apple mobile devices. Ultimately, we wanted to support the newest models, so it gave Doug an excuse to go out and buy an iPad Air and Sam an excuse to procure an iPhone 6 (I withheld the temptation. I had the iPhone 6 in my shopping cart online but didn’t checkout).
Within a reasonable timeframe, we squashed those bugs.
Unstoppable differs from other mobile app development companies because it can adjust its process depending on what the client needs. Mike’s company does not have an IT department, so one might expect that he would need Unstoppable to provide all typical technology services: development, graphic design, testing, etc. However, he is interested in keeping the cost of developing an app down and is not afraid of getting his hands dirty. For example, he hired a designer to make the logo, but then he used his skills in Photoshop to alter it on his own time. He was engaged in testing from a very early stage. He also entered the content and screenshots required to submit an app to the app store. In all cases, we provided advice based on our experience doing those tasks, but Mike took the initiative.
Submitting to the app store was not straight-forward. Apple changes the interface and requirements for submission rather frequently, making it difficult to draw on previous experience. We needed to iterate through the process: uploading required screenshots, configuring the In-App Purchases, etc
As of last week, we have submitted the app for approval to the app store. Now we can breath a sigh of relief as we wait for Apple to approve.
“By hiring Unstoppable Software, I hired a team for my business. They have helped me take my software idea from my brain to reality, and gave great ideas to improve the concept. ” – Mike Simmons
This concludes our 4 part series about the development of the Slidecaster app. You can get it here.