What's Happened to avTag?

If everything had gone according to plan this post would have been entitled something like ‘avTag Released!’ because I’d wanted to have it in the App Store before this year’s NSConference. Sadly it hasn’t all gone to plan and so it isn’t. As a result this post is a quick update on why things are behind schedule and what is happening.

Back in January I thought I was really, really close to being able to submit avTag for approval. Beta testing was going well, feedback was positive and constructive. I had a few bugs to fix and I needed to add in app purchasing support to allow people to unlock unlimited tagging after trying avTag out.

However one of the testers mentioned something which had been bugging me and that was that the main table interface in the application was just too cluttered. My designer agreed and came up with something much cleaner but which involved a large amount of changes. Inevitably this became more complicated than I thought it would and took me a lot longer to implement than I’d anticipated. I’m still not 100% happy with how it all looks so further work is needed.

The trimming down of the cell contents highlighted a request from a few testers which was to be able to customise what information was shown in the main table’s cells. Now that I was taking things out of them it only seemed fair that people could choose what was shown. I got bogged down in this too.

And in app purchases… Suddenly it became boggy all round.

So I now had a whole load of things I needed (well wanted) to add which suddenly gave me a whole load more work to do. This was a mistake and I should have handled it all better and more ruthlessly.

January was also when I needed to start paying back a business loan and so I focused more on the paying contract work rather than the non-paying internal project. In fact my contract work has been quite hectic recently so despite the loan I’d probably have had to shift focus anyway.

So, as things stand I’ve still got bits to do on avTag, none of it really very major but all needing some time which I consciously need to carve out of my other commitments. On the bright-side, a lot of non-work commitments are now out of the way too so I have a little more time to spend on avTag.

My new goal is to have avTag in the App Store before WWDC so that the beta period will be under a year and then ideally I’d like to have the Mac version written and released by the end of the year. However, with my track record of deadlines that’s not something I’m going to put money on.