The (live) App Store challenge

Inspired by Stuart Hall’s “How I got 2.3 million app downloads…”, I decided to recreate his experiment and blog about it in real time.


The challenge

If you haven’t read his blogpost, I suggest doing so now. It’s about how he created an almost random app in 6 hours, and watched it get 2.3 million downloads before being acquired by a fitness company named Wahoo.

Having had mediocre success on the App Store previously, I thought to myself that if he could do it so could I. I will spend one week designing and implementing an app, send it to the App Store, see how far I can get it, and blog about it along the way. I’ll keep posts at about two per week, but that will vary depending on the workload of my other projects.

The idea

Unlike Stuart, I actually know what I will be making. Over the past few months, I’ve been wishing for a simple news application that will let me stay updated on the Top Stories from certain sources without too much else. Up until now I’ve visited the website of every publication I read, which is very inefficient and doesn’t give room for much variation. I’ve also been an active user of the Yahoo! News app, which is a great app, but not quite what I want.

Like Timehop, I want to be notified every now and then (perhaps each morning) of new Top Stories. I want to be able to take a quick look at the app for a few seconds, skimming through the headlines and picking out certain articles that seem interesting. Basically I want a quick way to stay in the loop.

I also see potential in this app on the Apple Watch, which was released about a month ago. Creating an Apple Watch extension right when it’s released could also be the perfect way of getting featured on the App Store, just like Stuart got in on the release of Apple Health.

What’s next

With an idea in mind, I’ll start design then implementation as soon as possible.

I will write a new post the day I start development, so you know I’m not cheating. Until then, you can follow me on Twitter for the latest updates.


If you like the idea and you’re excited about what’s to come, please hit the recommend button below and share with your friends. Thanks!


Edit: The first part of the challenge is online now. Check it out here! The second part of the challenge is also online, which you can find here. I have finished the app, and you can find the third part of the challenge here ☺The fourth part of the challenge contains info about what I believe to be the most important part of making an app, so check it out here! The app is finally on the App Store, so make sure to check that out here. The fifth part of this challenge is also out, so read that here! The long awaited sixth post is out, so read it here!

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