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Jimmy, Get an iPhone

Posted by Padraig on Jan 18, 2017

On Episode 13 of the Supertop Podcast we recount stories of our first iPhones and reflect on how indie development has changed over the past 10 years.

You can find the episode in:


This episode is brought to you by:

  • Steamclock: Steamclock crafts polished products for iPhone, Android, and the Web.
  • MarkUpDown: the most helpful Markdown editor for professional, efficient HTML editing on Windows 10.

Our First iPhones (00:20)

  • Pádraig got his first iPhone in Santa Monica at launch
  • Physically dismantling the phone to unlock it

I had to open the case, run something on my Mac, and hold a wire so it connected two points within the phone… and then with my nose reach down and hit space bar to make the program run

  • Oisín remembers hearing about the iPhone for the first time and being shocked by the price.

The day I got my first iPhone 😳

— Oisín Prendiville (@prendio2)January 13, 2017

I just enjoyed the box that day

The moment I unlocked my first iPhone… any notion based on this screenshot what I would have used to unlock it? (February 2008)

— Oisín Prendiville (@prendio2)January 16, 2017
  • What happened Oisín’s first iPhone?

It was stolen from me at gun-point… well, and machete-point, on a night-bus in Mexico

  • What happened Oisín’s second iPhone?

I only had that one for about two weeks, and then I got off a bus and left it on my seat in Bogotá… chased the bus as fast as I could down the road but couldn’t catch it

Sponsor: Steamclock Software (15:38)

We’re product people, just sometimes we build products for other people.

10 Years of iPhone (17:32)

  • Thread by Michael Love who makes Pleco Chinese dictionary app

10th anniversary of iPhone is somewhat bittersweet for me - there are quite a few things I miss about antediluvian mobile development.

— Michael Love (@elkmovie)January 9, 2017

Hard to believe that in just a decade, Apple pretty much wrecked the indie software scene and decimated software’s perceived monetary value.

— Matt Gemmell (@mattgemmell)January 9, 2017
  • An industry trend towards free software
  • Apple could have fought against it and didn’t
  • The Mac is still a good place for indies and that hasn’t gone away
  • The iPhone also ushered in the gold rush of indie development for a while
  • Culturally we moved on from obsessing over which new apps we have on our phone

@elkmovie I bought a palm solely for Pleco and Supermemo! You could have charged double.

— Ben Thompson (@benthompson)January 9, 2017
  • Does anyone chose an iPhone over another phone because there’s an app they want?
  • There were probably times when that was true

For God’s sake, Jimmy, get an iPhone!

  • iMessage is probably less of a draw now than it used to be because of cross platform solutions like WhatsApp
  • Apple Music on Android and the move towards generating more service revenue
  • Should Apple release iMessage on Android?
  • Software as lock in to a platform like iOS or Mac
  • Thoughts on Microsoft’s Surface Studio with the Surface Dial, and Apple’s Touch Bar on MacBook Pro.

Sponsor: MarkUpDown (33:51)

Making Apps On Windows (34:56)

  • Pádraig talks about trying to get work done on Windows
  • It would be good to have a Plan B for if Mac ever goes away
  • Is the Mac in trouble?

What Has The iPhone Made Possible? (37:46)

  • Podcasting did precede the iPhone but the iPhone and mobile revolution has played a huge part in making podcasts as popular as they are now
  • Oisín remembers using Instacast for the first time
  • The role of smartphones in the growth of social networks
  • The glory days of twitter

Twitter took off when I could be at an airport waiting for my bag and complain about being at an airport waiting for my bag at the same time (41:17)


  • Would Supertop ever run a kickstarter campaign?

Podcasts (48:18)

You can say “porno” right, I mean like it’s just “porno”, it’s not like there’s anything explicit about “porno”… will I stop saying “porno” now?

Wrap Up (54:47)

  • We’re looking for advertisers again. For only $100, we’ll introduce an episode as being sponsored by you, then read your ad during the show. Email or DM us if you’re interested.
  • If you’d like to support the podcast directly please send us a tip on
  • Thanks to everyone who has reviewed the podcast in iTunes. If you’re enjoying it please take a moment to leave a review.
  • Thanks Dermot for this one:

Ever wanted to understand what the life of an indie app developer is like? Hear from the developers of Castro and Unread (amongst others). Refreshingly honest as they deal with the realities of the app store economy. The guys speak openly of their search for sustainable revenue streams. Give it a listen.

Beard-forming Microphones

January 3, 2017

In episode 12 of the Supertop Podcast, Padraig and Oisin discuss gifts, Castro’s surprisingly good performance in December, thoughts on Swift and New Year’s resolutions.


This episode is brought to you by:

  • Jorte Calendar: Get organized & stay informed, Download Jorte Calendar.
  • Steamclock: Steamclock crafts polished products for iPhone, Android, and the Web.

Show Notes

Christmas presents (00:40)

Oisin’s AirPods Q&A (07:14)

  • Padraig asks a bunch of obvious questions.

Business Update: Not so doomy (15:05)

  • Castro had a great 2 weeks
  • NY Times named Castro 2 as one of their ‘Best Apps of 2016’
  • App Santa went well

iTunes Connect Analytics (22:45)

  • Padraig complains about them.

Charts & Sales Anxiety (31:17)

  • Good news is that the top 2-3 podcast apps do make more than enough revenue to survive.
  • Anxiety tip: Yesterday’s sales reports are out around 10:00pm PST
  • It’s weird, as an indie developer, that successful sales feedback happens so separately from the work.

Starting to learn Swift (42:02)

  • Re-writing Buscouver.
  • Contract work needing Swift gives us a deadline
  • Is the fussing about 'nil’ worth it?
  • Working for the compiler vs it working for you.
  • Apple’s Swift book, The Stanford Course
  • Oisin launching a PCalc competitor
  • Some good things about Swift

New Years Resolutions (60:03)

  • Oisin’s gunna run.
  • Padraig’s not gunna run (for political office).
  • Oisin’s going to take a holiday.

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