Give yourself a break — Take 2 App 3 of 8

So as I published previously ( I failed to deliver an app for my 3rd month of 8 apps. The reasons for that were covered in my previous example but I’ve set out to catch up this month.

My next app was approved as of yesterday and can be downloaded here

The premise behind it is simple and I got the idea from this article by Nir Eyal

Take 2 allows you to take small 2 minute breaks and records the data to the mindfulness section of the Health app via HealthKit. This was the first app I’d ever built that used HealthKit and I have to say it was surprisingly easy.

Similar to other frameworks, the premise is that you check if your app has been granted the appropriate permissions and you either ask for them or save the data. HealthKit itself provides object types for the common scenarios e.g mindfulness and you save the data. That’s all their is to it!

The only issues that I had were, I didn’t think I needed both HealthKit plist entries. I only shared my data with HealthKit it’s not currently displayed, but apparently you do need both.

My other gripe was with review. My first binary was rejected as they said I included HealthKit without using it. I had to point out it was used, but I only prompted for permission once the user first completed a break session. Going forward I will remember to add review notes like this if I ever launch another HealthKit app.

In App Purchases

This was also my first app that made use of IAPs. Again they were reasonably straightforward to code, though there are some quirks. There doesn’t seem to be any great guides about validating receipts locally and the approach is to use server side validation. Now I’m comfortable and familiar with server side frameworks, but for some mobile only devs this might be frustrating.

You don’t strictly need to do validation but it is recommend. The only other place I feel IAP are lacking is in the review process. You have to provide a screenshot for review purposes but it doesn’t tell you what this should be of! I settled for a screenshot of the purchase page which was the same for all the IAPs I offer.

Overall I’m quite pleased with how the app turned out. Surprisingly I managed to build it in roughly a week of evenings and a bit more time at the weekend. I think I was more enthused about learning something new compared to my previous failed app and this created the motivation. I also had a more clear goal of what I wanted to achieve.

My next app is also coming along nicely and I should be on track for this month — I’ve decided I’m not going to make a sticker pack to make up for my slow progress last month. It’s another one I’m quite excited about and I’m pleased with the execution so far, but the story will have to wait for another time.

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