Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow

Posted on 5 February, 2011

In today’s post I want to outline what’s in store at Spielhaus for the next foreseeable future. Also a small review of the past year is due.

What Was

Last year was very interesting for us. We have released three new apps and a ton of updates for Today Todo. Together with some apps for clients we worked to professionalize our iOS business. We have experimented quite a bit with new apps, marketing, new frameworks and so on. The most important change however was to dedicate more and more time to iOS development. We have reduced our day jobs to a minimum and don’t have to strain our free time that much any more (ok, I am sure that someboday at home disagrees here  ).
One interesting experience we made throughout the year relates to handling cooperation requests. We have been approached several times by other interested parties about cooperations for iOS apps. Basically this cooperation means that they bring in the ideas and we do the developing and then split the revenue. I am still not sure what to think about it. For one, ideas are the core of every product and without them nothing would be created. On the other hand ideas are worthless without their implementation.
It’s not that we don’t have our own ideas – on the contrary. How many times did I spent hours over hours with Trung enthusiastically talking about great new apps. The mighty “ideas” wiki page (and sub pages) clocks at around 70 entries. Not all of these ideas are good or even doable, but let it be only 10% of them and we have another year worth of work before us.

What Will Be

Our spring agenda contains many cleaning tasks. Our greatest objective is to finish projects that we have started before, so we can focus on new things. There are two cooperations (where both sides do the coding) of which one will feature a simultaneous iOS/Android release. We are doing the iOS part of course.
The former cooperation involves a new iPad browser app. Yes I know, not another browser app, rather one with a cool twist. A sort of “snapshot the information on this page for later use and for categorizing” kind of browser app. It seems my inclination towards managing information tends to somehow find its way in most things I lay my hands upon 
And then there is Today Todo. We decided to create a dedicated iPad app as well as implementing data synchronisation and release it with a big marketing bam, get rich and slurp martinis for the rest of our lives – or not.
The iPad app is almost done and we are making good progress with synching. As a little follow-up to the last post here’s what we have chosen.
After spending some time with other apps to see how they implemented sync, I think we now have a good understanding of this topic. We went for Dropbox and have chosen a file based approach (the hard way). Since there is no server logic, everything is handled by the app. Data is exchanged over a secure connection in JSON format. Each new todo is saved as a text file and in a specific directory (one directory per device). Merging changes from other Today Todo sync clients involves adding and deleting those text files to all other client directories.
We have big plans for Today Todo. A natural extension will be a dedicated Mac client. Since we are avid Today Todo users ourselves, there is no one who feel the pain of a missing desktop client like we do. This is up next with high priority.
Appart from apps, we have many game prototypes created in the course of last year. Sadly many of them remain only that – prototypes and will never reach the App Store. One big road block we have when working on games are graphics. It is unbelievely hard to find a good and reliable designer. It’s a pitty because two of our friends are really talented but unreliable (you know who you are!). If you by chance know somebody who fits the bill – please lead them our way.
With sounds however we have found a perfect match. Emmett Cooke is young, talented and pretty darn fast with everything sound related. So there is hope, at least on the audio front.

This is the status update for Spielhaus. Still haven’t decided what to write about next week, but I am sure that the muse will eventually come to me soon.

One Response to “Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow”

  1. Jethro Wilson
    Feb 10, 2011

    I cannot wIt for the iPad version of ToDo. And I am also glad to see a company investigating how to best sync todos.

    Today is easily my favourite todo app, iPad versions with cloud syncing will be so useful. Is there an ETA in the iPad version? Even if it is just ’3months’?