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I wanted to write about Locket from Matt Moss as soon as I read the first couple of paragraphs of this article. The app lets you send photos that automatically appear on the home screen of someone you care about. It’s a beautiful idea, and I’m confident it’s bringing joy to those using it.

I’ve said it before, but the main reason I got so caught up with the iPhone in the early days was not only the groundbreaking hardware or the well-designed SDKs. It was the apps which both of those things made possible. The first five or so years of the platform moved software forward so quickly it was dizzying. Some of the app ideas from that time were truly revolutionary and have fundamentally changed how we live. This idea reminded me of the early days of the iPhone, and that doesn’t often happen anymore.

So two paragraphs into the article, I’m all in and want to install it. That’s where I found the showstopper, unfortunately. You literally can’t use the app if you don’t allow it to upload your entire contacts database.

I’m out. It’s that simple.

It’s not even really Matt’s fault. I’m sure there’s no seedy mega-corporation behind this app looking to do “evil things” with your contact data. He was only trying to make the setup process easy. It would be great if there were a successful, independent, privacy-focused social graph API, but it doesn’t exist, and some of the biggest companies in the world will try their very best to make sure things stay that way.

What it does prove, though, is that people don’t care much about privacy. The app has had more than two million signups since its release less than a fortnight ago. It’s over, and you’re a dinosaur (like I am) if this would stop you from using an app. 😅

At this point, my comment was shaping up to talk about inspiring ideas and the disappointment of the whole contacts database thing. Then I read further into the article and came across this gem of a statement:

As to whether or not he’ll take on outside investment, however, remains to be seen.

Hold on. External investment? Why did that even come up? 🤯

The app doesn’t look to have a business model at the moment. It was a side project that had a happy accident of a lucky viral start on TikTok (thanks in part to this excellent marketing video). It could certainly make money, though. There are relatively obvious premium features that make sense.

But it’s hard to imagine a situation where external investment doesn’t make this app worse. Every idea does not need, deserve, or benefit from becoming a company that eventually needs to pivot into enterprise sales to try and find the return that investors were seeking. The fact that external investment came up in this interview says so much about this industry in 2022, and none of it is good.

I think this comment ended up being about how the world has moved on from those early days of the App Store, and it’s impossible to go back. Honestly, I find it all quite depressing.

Were you hoping for an upbeat ending? Sorry about that!

Dave Verwer

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iOS Developer @ Okta – The future is passwordless. Okta is revolutionizing how users authenticate on their devices with FastPass. The expert iOS team at Okta is looking for amazing iOS developers to help them define the future of identity. Apply today to embark on an exciting journey and give your career a boost! – Remote (within US timezones) with some on-site work (Canada or United States)

Principal Software Engineer @ Alaska Airlines – We are innovators and creators, striving to continually improve our award-winning technology in ways that make travel simple, enjoyable, and seamless.  We’re looking for a lead subject matter expert on native app development as we reimagine the Alaska App used by millions of our guests. – On-site (United States in WA) with some remote work (within US timezones)

Senior iOS Software Engineer @ ESChat – ESChat is the market leader in secure wireless Push-to-Talk communications supporting first responders, transportation, hospitality, logistics and more. Join our iOS team and work to support these teams in getting their jobs done faster, safer and more efficiently. – Remote (within US timezones)

Senior iOS Developer @ Komoot – You’ll team up with world-class iOS engineers and take over responsibility for our iOS app. Touching all parts of the iOS app, your work will make outdoor adventures easily accessible to our users. You’ll develop diverse features for navigation, routing, social interaction and content visualization. – Remote (within European timezones)

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Senior iOS Developer @ ConceptsApp – Concepts is a sketching app optimized for iPad & Apple Pencil. We pay attention to the details and iterate on features until they are right. We've won multiple Apple awards and need a skilled Swift developer to join the team. 100% remote and we've always run that way. – Remote (within European timezones)

iOS Developer @ Doximity – Doximity, the medical network used by over 80% of US clinicians, is hiring passionate iOS engineers (remote). You'll be part of an amazing product team and work on an app that is constantly evolving. Use your skills (Swift, MVVM, FRP) to be an integral part of our growing telemedicine feature. – Remote (within US timezones)

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iOS Software Engineer @ Slumber Group – You will help millions of people sleep better as the lead developer on the Bedtime Fan app. You will be responsible for all technical aspects of planning and implementing new features. Initially, you will implement an improved UI/UX redesign. Join our growing, motivated and skilled team of 12. – Remote (within US or European timezones)

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And finally...

How much does adding that uncompressed image file add to your app's carbon footprint? 🏭