New Zap Desktop, Zap iOS and what’s next

Jack Mallers
Jul 24, 2018 · 5 min read

Yo, it’s been a while! I’m back and have some new releases and updates on future plans for you all.

The activity on Zap has skyrocketed as of recent, in line with all of the other exciting Lightning developments. Today I’ve got a new Zap Desktop release, Zap iOS alpha Testflight release, a Github repository with Zap tutorials, a series of video tutorials and updates on Zap’s plans for the future.

All New Zap Desktop

I’m super excited to release our new cross-platform Zap desktop app for Mac, Windows and Linux. We’ve got tons of new things like LND-0.4.2, a complete re-design, new on-boarding, autopilot configuration, remote node connection, sats/bits/BTC denomination support, BTCPay support and much more.

The release is packaged with LND and set to testnet. We wanted to get this release out there in the hands of users to get feedback, bug reports, feature requests, etc. as we gear up for our mainnet release.

We will push out a mainnet release as soon as things are ready, I promise. However because we now support remote node connection you are free to use Zap desktop or Zap iOS to control a remote mainnet node if you’d like.

I’ve created some tutorials and a series of video tutorials for anyone that needs some help.

Download that ish here.

Zap iOS Alpha

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… wait no, it’s Zap iOS! 😆

It’s true, you can use Zap in your pocket, but this release is not for testnet or mainnet.

mind = blown

Here’s the thing: we have decided to disable running LND on the device for this release as we don’t feel things are stable just yet. The folks over at Lightning Labs are doing amazing work to make this a reality and we have work to do on our end as well. We do however want you to be using Lightning on your iPhone, so we created a way for you to connect to a remote node by simply scanning a QR code. What chain that remote node runs on is up to you. Your node, your rules.

I‘ve created a Zap Tutorials Github repository where I’ll be posting all Zap related tutorials (using Github so people can submit PRs). The tutorial for setting up a remote node and Zap iOS can be found here.

Please note that this application is in alpha and still under active development. Please be patient with us:) Fill out this form to use the Testflight beta here.

We would love contributors and testers! Zap is for the community, by the community. Let’s ensure Lightning on the iPhone is the best it can be. You can find the code base here and can submit bugs/feature requests here or in our slack.

Zap + BTCPay — Zap PoS/Zap Commerce

I typically keep the products I build fairly simple. I’m a strong believer that one of the more overlooked facts in life is that doing anything well is hard. Making a good breakfast, being a good brother and son, waking up on time, building products that are easy to use and help people, etc. Because of this I try and only build products where I face the problem it’s trying to solve and only build products I am a user of.

Recently my friends started running a marijuana operation in Boulder, CO. One of the immediate problems they have to solve is running a primarily cash based business (banking relationships are awful), which can be onerous and risky. I’ve agreed to help them out by setting everything up to accept Bitcoin. We’ll probably even offer discounts to folks that pay in Bitcoin (via LN) because it will be much better for us.

I’m not the only merchant looking to do this either. Recently I have been getting a lot of demand from merchants looking to accept Bitcoin (via the Lightning Network). So far our two Zap applications have been for consumers, nothing for merchants. That ends now.

We have started working with Nicolas Dorier and RockstarDev of BTCPay on how we can combine efforts and deliver the best Bitcoin merchant tools on the market. Stable, secure, reliable merchant backends marrying beautiful, friendly, helpful and elegant applications.

Everything will be open source. We believe strongly that successful products in this industry engage with users and the public by leveraging FOSS development and peer review.

Zap PoS

We have started building and will soon open source a mobile + tablet point of sale application that will also be available via a web browser.

Zap Commerce

Zap Commerce will simply allow merchants to create and manage their stores, products, view payments, balances, leverage ecommerce plugins that BTCPay supports, and we’re exploring building a Zap Ingenico application as well.

BTC <-> Fiat Conversion

One of the common requests from merchants interested in accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment is the ability to convert to fiat at any point. Merchants would like to have full control over their exposure to BTC.

I spent a lot of time recently doing research and establishing relationships to make this happen. I have spoken with exchanges, OTC Desks, banks and AML shops about this feature and am proud to say Zap will be able to offer instant and fully customizable BTC <-> Fiat conversion for merchants.

  • I would like the BTC I accept to be instantly converted to fiat and in my bank account
  • I would like half of the BTC I accept to be converted to fiat and in my bank account
  • I would only like to convert the BTC I have in my balance to fiat if the price starts to fall (starts trading below 1% of the daily open for example)

All of these user stories will be supported and I’m working hard to make sure merchants can benefit from all the advantages Bitcoin + Lightning offers while also being able to manage and customize their risk accordingly.

This request has come largely from users that don’t value the anonymity, censorship resistance and decentralized characteristics Bitcoin offers. These folks simply want to accept Bitcoin in an easy, user friendly way. Because of this Zap may offer a service where we will host everything for you, manage your nodes, liquidity throughout the network and allow you to leverage the relationships we’ve established for customizable conversion to fiat and BTC exposure. I’m not sure yet, but as always I will be transparent with our decisions and update frequently.

If we do decide to host this service it will not be required of course. Anyone will be able to download the open source code and host themselves :)

Thanks

If anyone needs to contact me you can reach me @JackMallers on twitter or zap@jackmallers.com.

That’s all for now friends. Enjoy.

Cheers 🍻

Jack Mallers

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