My first iOS app, MoonWeather was just released on the App Store. It’s a paid app because it costs me money to keep the project active. Version 1 was released this past Thursday. It was a big day for me. Immediately the sales started rolling in which was surprising. By the weekend I started thinking of new features when my girlfriend asked me about some of the bugs in the app which got me thinking of our responsibility as developers to users of our creations.
The features I advertised were all present and 100% working in the app but after its initial release we found some bugs that were annoying and while it was probably only obvious to me as the developer there is a responsibility I now have to anyone who has paid the 99 cents for MoonWeather.
As developers we are responsible for making sure that our users aren’t getting ripped off. We need to make sure we’re clearly communicating the features of our product and their benefits. We need to walk a fine line between making our apps seem desirable through marketing and outright misleading people into buying a product under false pretenses.
When I discovered the bugs in MoonWeather I immediately thought of how I would feel if I bought an app and discovered the bugs I saw in MoonWeather. I would be upset and feel cheated. Sure, it’s only 99 cents but to some people that’s still quite a barrier and if developer after developer keeps disappointing people with buggy 99 cent apps then they’ll end up ruining the app store for all the legitimate developers whose apps actually are worth the money.
That’s why I spent all night fixing every bug and adding in a few nice features to boot. I was up till 3am and got no sleep that night but now I can rest easy knowing that MoonWeather v1.1 will be updating on my users’ devices by the time this post is published.
We as developers should all feel a sense of resposibility for ensuring that our users have the best experience possible, listening to user feedback, and making things right as soon as you find a bug in your software.