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Software Engineering

Under the Radar

Relay FM

+47 FANS
From development and design to marketing and support, Under the Radar is all about independent app development. It's never longer than 30 minutes. Hosted by David Smith and Marco Arment.
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29:42 | Feb 22nd, 2017

Some of the challenges and decisions that led to the newly released Overcast 3.

29:12 | Feb 22nd

Creating a new app as a fun exercise, and making choices that minimize its ongoing maintenance needs.
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29:45 | Nov 2nd, 2017

Lessons from Overcast's public beta, and using Slack as a feedback and bug-reporting channel.

29:52 | Sep 18th

New possibilities for users and developers opened up by the always-on screen of the Apple Watch Series 5.

29:39 | Jul 24th

How we'd improve the Apple Watch by "spending" the power-efficiency gains likely to come in the next hardware update.

29:41 | Jun 12th

As the dust settles on an overwhelming WWDC 2019, we figure out what we should tackle first.

29:27 | May 29th

What we hope to see at WWDC 2019 in Apple's APIs and developer tools.

29:37 | May 1st

The advantages of switching from semantic versioning to a sequential calendar-based system with no semantic implications, and the different marketing mindset it brings.

29:43 | Mar 20th

The design challenge of a podcast app's now-playing screen, how Overcast's design has progressed over the years, and the unexpected usability failures along the way.

29:19 | Feb 8th

Including large or small databases and other data files with your app.

29:33 | Jan 23rd

Producing and embedding content in your app that changes continuously, such as monthly challenges, directories, and user-generated content.

29:39 | Jan 9th

Running servers is easy the vast majority of the time. But sometimes, something goes wrong at the worst possible time.

29:30 | Dec 27th, 2018

Tracking down hard-to-find, hard-to-reproduce bugs that don't show up in your own usage.

29:06 | Dec 20th, 2018

When, why, and how it's OK to ship updates to your app with known bugs.

29:34 | Dec 13th, 2018

Good and bad fears of embarking on major code changes to our apps.

29:00 | Dec 5th, 2018

Exercising atrophied programming muscles by experimenting with languages, technologies, and environments that lack the safety and convenience of our usual work.

29:44 | Nov 28th, 2018

Small design features, flourishes, and other indulgences to satisfy ourselves and make our apps feel more delightful.

29:33 | Nov 21st, 2018

Budgeting our time for ongoing commitments vs. exploratory and hobby projects, and an update on iOS device statistics.

29:06 | Nov 15th, 2018

The challenge of writing complex algorithms, and the joy of finding a simpler way.

29:52 | Nov 8th, 2018

Accepting that our motivation and productivity are cyclical, with periods of very little work getting done.

29:46 | Nov 1st, 2018

Developer-relevant analysis of this week's Apple releases and how we can use them in our work.

29:51 | Oct 17th, 2018

Why the Apple Watch needs third-party faces, tools to make them for yourself today, and overcoming the reasons why Apple may not want to offer them.

29:35 | Oct 4th, 2018

Answering the surprisingly difficult question of "How many steps did you take today?"

29:32 | Sep 26th, 2018

The value of making apps only for yourself that you never release.

29:52 | Sep 20th, 2018

Concepts and considerations for implementing full-text search in your app, with examples from Overcast 5.

29:20 | Sep 7th, 2018

Setting up your business for extended times away, and how to start working again when you get back.

29:13 | Jun 28th, 2018

The huge gifts we were given in watchOS 5, and today's environment for building Apple Watch apps.

29:38 | Jun 21st, 2018

How we're affected by the iOS 12 changes and revised App Store review guidelines.

29:30 | Jun 14th, 2018

The first things we do after WWDC every year, and why this year might be different.

28:40 | Jun 5th, 2018

Live interviews at Social Policy in San Jose, with first impressions from Curtis Herbert, Joe Cieplinski, and Kaya Thomas.

29:46 | May 30th, 2018

Packing, preparation, and logistical tips for a happy, healthy, and productive WWDC.

29:39 | May 25th, 2018

The challenge of trying to form a union or other collective action group for developers.

28:06 | May 16th, 2018

Considering accessibility as part of usability, and testing with the most common iOS accessibility APIs.

29:49 | May 10th, 2018

Whether you need one of the new .app domains, and the ramifications of Microsoft's lower app-store commissions.

28:59 | May 3rd, 2018

Lessons from Android's success, hot new things from past WWDCs that didn't pan out, and trying to improve or avoid social problems with our apps.

29:53 | Apr 27th, 2018

Planning out our apps before writing any code, deciding which ideas NOT to pursue, a converged "Marzipan" world, and accessibility.

29:05 | Apr 19th, 2018

In our third Q&A episode, we address the many questions we received about running servers.

29:48 | Apr 13th, 2018

Our second-ever Q&A episode, including questions on React Native, reusable code vs. duplication, learning beyond Hello World, and the art of packing lightly for travel.

29:41 | Apr 5th, 2018

The fast drop-off of typical usage over time, and how to improve our customer-retention rates.

29:34 | Mar 29th, 2018

Minimizing the collection and storage of your users' personal data, and high-level strategies to think about in the dawn of the EU's new GDPR law.

29:43 | Mar 23rd, 2018

The development and release of Sleep++ 3.0, and best practices for prompting the user for permission to access iOS-protected data or features.

29:06 | Mar 16th, 2018

Whether to sign up for a WWDC 2018 ticket and what to do if you don't get one, and the ramifications of David's latest Apple Watch usage stats.

27:53 | Mar 8th, 2018

Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the first iPhone SDK release, imagining alternate timelines that could have been, and remembering what we were doing ten years ago.

27:53 | Mar 1st, 2018

Considering the temptation and pitfalls of developing features out of fear of missing an opportunity. Also, how best to communicate changes to customers.

29:16 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Adopting inefficient hacks to save developer time, since hardware is so fast that it's often a worthwhile tradeoff.

29:28 | Feb 15th, 2018

Considerations for travel, coffeeshops, offices, vacations, and other secondary work setups.

29:25 | Feb 9th, 2018

Tackling complex math, data analysis, or other challenging problems to give your app a competitive advantage.

29:29 | Feb 1st, 2018

Desktops vs. laptops, single vs. multiple monitors, and how we're enjoying our iMac Pros so far.

29:48 | Jan 25th, 2018

A two-part crash course in starting an indie business. In part 2, we cover health insurance, retirement planning, professional services, and other common expenses.

29:40 | Jan 18th, 2018

A two-part crash course in starting an indie business. In part 1, we cover business entities, taxes, and income.

29:39 | Jan 12th, 2018

What we're hoping to see from Apple's APIs and developer platforms in 2018.

29:46 | Jan 5th, 2018

How the App Store's 2017 changes have panned out so far, and our hopes for 2018.

28:09 | Dec 29th, 2017

Being pressured by users or reality into features or choices we don't think we should need to do.

29:18 | Dec 21st, 2017

Considering the potential benefits and ramifications of the rumored unified app framework between macOS and iOS.

29:29 | Dec 14th, 2017

David keeps a diary of what the day was like while he launched Workouts++ 2.0. It didn't turn out exactly how he'd hoped.

29:42 | Dec 8th, 2017

Our experiences and best practices we've found for App Store Search Ads after a year of use, and whether to use the new Search Ads Basic.

29:44 | Nov 22nd, 2017

Possibilities for value when apps don't bring in money directly.

29:49 | Nov 16th, 2017

Getting through long projects while maintaining motivation and perspective.

29:40 | Nov 9th, 2017

Rethinking designs now that we have the iPhone X in-hand.

29:30 | Oct 26th, 2017

Prioritizing usability over design trends — even Apple's.

29:41 | Oct 19th, 2017

Procrastinating by working on other productive tasks instead of the big one we really don't want to do.

29:49 | Oct 12th, 2017

Real-world results of switching in-app purchases from multiple price tiers to a single option.

29:31 | Oct 5th, 2017

How to view and start projects that have a good chance of making it to episode 100.

29:16 | Sep 28th, 2017

Trying to get Apple to change something, and knowing what you can and can’t change.

28:40 | Sep 20th, 2017

An "off-the-air" discussion working through the challenges of standalone Apple Watch podcast playback.

29:02 | Sep 15th, 2017

New design challenges to tackle for the iPhone X, and new potential unlocked by the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE.

29:35 | Sep 8th, 2017

Building apps for popular third-party services, or in opportune but high-risk areas.

29:25 | Sep 1st, 2017

The responsibilities we have to ensure that we're protecting and respecting our users' privacy when we embed third-party code in our apps.

29:52 | Aug 24th, 2017

Effectively communicating changes and improvements to our apps via release notes.

29:12 | Aug 18th, 2017

Supporting multiple screen sizes and device types, and strategies to make adoption of new sizes easier.

29:33 | Aug 11th, 2017

Using notifications to bring users back to your app without being spammy or annoying.

29:30 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Deciding to remove a feature, or having that decision made for you.

29:58 | Jul 19th, 2017

Which Mac models are usable for software development, and the benefits and drawbacks of using desktops, laptops, or both.

29:48 | Jul 12th, 2017

Options, benefits, and challenges of working at home.

29:34 | Jul 6th, 2017

Deciding whether to adopt the newest iOS styles and APIs in existing apps that may not have needed them.

29:41 | Jun 29th, 2017

Adopting the new fields and changes in our apps' product pages in the redesigned iOS 11 App Store.

29:47 | Jun 22nd, 2017

What's new in iOS 11 and how it can benefit our apps.

29:45 | Jun 15th, 2017

How and when to efficiently watch WWDC session videos, and reviewing the new capabilities in watchOS 4.

29:45 | Jun 9th, 2017

Our initial impressions of WWDC 2017, recorded live at CocoaConf Next Door.

29:49 | Jun 1st, 2017

Developer-related wishes and expectations for WWDC 2017 next week.

29:40 | May 25th, 2017

Optimizing performance using Instruments, Xcode, and the iOS Simulator — and when not to bother.

29:46 | May 18th, 2017

How we debug our apps, and avoiding common bugs in the first place.

29:38 | May 11th, 2017

The new Sources and Metrics in iTunes Connect that show us more about where our customers come from within the App Store.

29:29 | May 4th, 2017

Tackling hard problems to improve our skills, or simply as a form of intellectual indulgence.

29:28 | Apr 26th, 2017

In the second of a two-part series, we discuss app creation in iTunes Connect, including screenshots, keywords, descriptions, and other metadata.

29:21 | Apr 20th, 2017

In the first of a two-part series, we explore the non-app parts of iTunes Connect, including reporting, sales, and analytics.

29:49 | Apr 13th, 2017

Deciding which App Store reviews to respond to, and the types of responses worth giving.

29:52 | Apr 6th, 2017

Minimizing the mental burden and labor cost of accounting and taxes by optimizing for simplicity.

29:48 | Mar 29th, 2017

Planning for WWDC attendance (or not), and the value of the other conferences and social events around WWDC 2017.

29:40 | Mar 22nd, 2017

Building apps with acquisition in mind, calculating your app's valuation, and what to expect in a sale.

29:50 | Mar 17th, 2017

Accumulating a portfolio of apps that provide long-term income with minimal maintenance.

29:55 | Mar 8th, 2017

The difference between good and bad hacks, and some glorious hacks we've shipped in our apps.

29:23 | Mar 2nd, 2017

Adding features to your app that you don't want or won't use in order to satisfy requests or reach new markets.

29:27 | Feb 10th, 2017

Where we are on our gradual conversion to Swift programmers.

28:19 | Feb 2nd, 2017

Preparing for and reacting to Apple implementing your app's core functionality themselves.

29:29 | Jan 26th, 2017

The potential impacts of the new "rate this app" API and our upcoming ability to respond to App Store reviews.

28:36 | Jan 19th, 2017

Experiences and skills we lack by being indie developers, and whether our career path may ever include them.

29:28 | Jan 12th, 2017

The significance of App Store star ratings and reviews, and how to tastefully ask people to review your app.

28:45 | Jan 5th, 2017

How to get back into the zone after the holidays.

29:24 | Dec 29th, 2016

Unrelated abilities and techniques that prove surprisingly useful in indie app development.

26:54 | Dec 22nd, 2016

David's audio diary recorded throughout the launch day of his newest app, Workouts++.

29:15 | Dec 8th, 2016

Deciding how much of your app to keep secret before release, and how to slowly reveal it.

29:58 | Dec 2nd, 2016

Strategies for surviving the ups, downs, and increasing challenges of today's App Store and nearby businesses.

26:16 | Nov 25th, 2016

The effectiveness and side effects of sales and price changes.

29:16 | Nov 17th, 2016

Appearance managers, self-theming views, and rapid design iteration with code and variables.

28:18 | Nov 11th, 2016

Planning for annual events and marketing opportunities, and accommodating variable cycles of productivity.

29:50 | Nov 3rd, 2016

The challenges of learning new languages, APIs, and tools, how we avoid facing these difficulties, and what drives us to overcome them.

29:58 | Oct 27th, 2016

Overcoming fears of speaking at conferences, how much work it really takes, and deciding whether it's worthwhile.

29:27 | Oct 13th, 2016

An overview of advertising terms, costs, and metrics, and getting started with App Store Search Ads for indie developers.

29:35 | Oct 6th, 2016

Adopting techniques, tools, and APIs long after they've been introduced, with specific examples from Overcast's development.

29:47 | Sep 29th, 2016

Choosing a database or scheme for local data storage, including Core Data, SQLite, property lists, JSON, user defaults, and NSURLCache.

29:59 | Sep 23rd, 2016

When to require new iOS versions, and the real-world need for test devices.

29:29 | Sep 15th, 2016

David's app income shifting to ads over time, and Overcast switching to ads.

29:45 | Sep 8th, 2016

Ramifications of pruning very old apps from the App Store and cracking down on title-keyword spam.

29:53 | Sep 1st, 2016

Preparations in the final week before a major iOS release, and handling Apple requests for promotional artwork.

29:09 | Aug 25th, 2016

Lessons from Vesper's shutdown and strategies to navigate the difficult environment for paid apps today.

29:57 | Aug 17th, 2016

Why and how to localize and internationalize your iOS apps.

29:17 | Aug 11th, 2016

Using lessons and analytics from watchOS 1 and 2 to rethink our Apple Watch apps for watchOS 3, using Overcast's app as a case study.

29:40 | Aug 4th, 2016

Quick takes on eight topics submitted by listeners.

29:22 | Jul 28th, 2016

Techniques often used by games to increase engagement, revenue, and addictiveness, and their potential ethical uses in our apps.

29:29 | Jul 21st, 2016

Creating and managing shared code, using Git submodules effectively, and whether to open-source your libraries.

29:07 | Jul 14th, 2016

Pros and cons of releasing your personal utility apps, focusing mostly on Mac apps.

29:39 | Jul 7th, 2016

The value of app ideas, evaluating their feasibility, and considering the business you want to be in.

29:53 | Jun 30th, 2016

Concluding our WWDC 2016 coverage, we discuss what's new (or not?) for indie developers in tvOS, macOS, and Swift.

28:41 | Jun 24th, 2016

Following on from last week's discussion of the newly announced changes to watchOS 3, this week we dive into iOS 10. We discuss what changes are especially relevant and how we think we might adopt them.

28:48 | Jun 17th, 2016

Live from WWDC 2016, we discuss what's new for developers in watchOS 3.

29:56 | Jun 8th, 2016

The App Store's new subscription options and search ads that were announced today.

29:17 | Jun 2nd, 2016

David revisits Android development after four years away.

29:05 | May 26th, 2016

Using data, market research, and analytics to improve your apps and better allocate your time.

29:18 | May 20th, 2016

Becoming more comfortable with self-promotion in the right contexts.

29:03 | May 13th, 2016

How iOS development will change if the recent app-review speedup becomes permanent.

29:17 | May 6th, 2016

Experimenting with Mac development and considering its future potential.

28:52 | Apr 28th, 2016

What to do (and not do) in the few months before WWDC.

29:24 | Apr 19th, 2016

The value of a WWDC ticket — or going to San Francisco without one.

29:03 | Apr 14th, 2016

Handling the launch of David's newest app, and lessons to be learned from it.

28:20 | Apr 8th, 2016

The immense value of version control for very small teams — even teams of one.

29:44 | Apr 1st, 2016

Tips on avoiding rejections by Apple's app-review staff and what to do when your app get rejected.

29:33 | Mar 24th, 2016

In the second of a two-part series, we discuss some specific ideas on how the App Store could realistically be improved.

28:58 | Mar 19th, 2016

In the first of a two-part series, we discuss whether the App Store needs improvement for our benefit, or whether it's working well enough for Apple and customers already.

29:24 | Mar 11th, 2016

Considering paid-up-front, freemium, ad-supported, and completely free business models for David's newest app.

29:23 | Mar 3rd, 2016

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance for consultants and the self-employed.

29:12 | Feb 24th, 2016

Accommodating unexpectedly heavy usage, basic web security, and avoiding user-generated spam.

29:33 | Feb 17th, 2016

Marketing, promotion, and celebration of successful launches and major updates.

29:56 | Feb 5th, 2016

Weighing the costs of external dependencies in the wake of the Parse shutdown announcement.

29:43 | Jan 28th, 2016

Apps with personality vs. neutral voices, and whether independent developers should project a corporate image.

28:19 | Jan 22nd, 2016

Real-world experience with ad-funded apps, and what the iAd shutdown announcement may mean.

29:11 | Jan 14th, 2016

Getting by without a designer, and programmatic drawing of image assets.

29:38 | Jan 8th, 2016

Where Apple Watch development stands today, and what could improve it in the future.

25:55 | Dec 24th, 2015

Avoiding burnout, minimizing self-imposed stress, and taking vacations.

27:50 | Dec 18th, 2015

How we design, build, and ship new features in our apps.

28:33 | Dec 11th, 2015

Our origin stories and tips for beginners to get started.

25:30 | Dec 5th, 2015

Considering feedback and feature requests from beta testers and customers.

28:01 | Nov 25th, 2015

Handling unexpected complexities, and deciding whether to tackle complex problems.

28:06 | Nov 18th, 2015

Ensuring your work setup is as comfortable as possible for long-term use and reducing the risks of developing RSI.

28:28 | Nov 10th, 2015

Why we haven't adopted Swift yet, when we might, and whether we should expand into additional platforms instead.

27:03 | Nov 4th, 2015

How independent iOS app developers can find ways to thrive in a highly competitive, commoditized App Store.