I just spent £700 to have my own app on my iPhone

This post is a little bit of a public vent. I have a two week hiatus between jobs so I decided to make myself a little app. I really like the idea of calorie counters but I’ve never been able to stick to using them. I think the problem always just comes down to the effort required to get value out of them. I decided to make an app that would basically just ask me “how did you eat today?” and graph those results. Super basic but I figured if I had a graph of my health, it would hopefully lead to better eating habits.

Here’s how it ended up looking:


I initially started this as a web app but I eventually ran into a few problems. I figured I would make this something other people could use because I knew that a few of my friends might like to use this. I really didn’t want to also have to set up any backends for this, and keep track of any user profiles etc. So I figured maybe I could just use local storage? However, it seems that if you have an iPhone and use Safari, you’ll lose this data after 7 days if you don’t interact with the site.

I really didn’t want to make something that I’d have to keep remembering to use and risk losing data if I didn’t. Especially if I was going to let friends use this.

I decided to make this an app in the end. This is where my costs started wracking up. I had to pay for a second hand macbook pro to build an iOS app. Apple’s strategy with this is obvious, and it clearly works, but it still greatly upsets me that I couldn’t just build an app with my linux laptop. If I want the app to persist for longer than a month, and to make it easy for friends to install, I had to pay $99 for a developer account. Come on Apple, I know you want people to use the app story but this is just a little cruel. I basically have to pay $99 a year now just to keep using my little app.

I’ll probably end up making other little apps now just to make it more worth the costs. All of this is old news to the tech circles but I really just wanted to scream a little into the internet. This brought me really close to getting an Android phone again.