Fast Text Discontinued

After four years, five months, and twelve days, I have removed Fast Text for sale from the App Store. I pulled it this past Wednesday.

Fast Text is an app that, when I released it, I was very proud of. When I started, I didn’t know any Objective-C, but I somehow learned enough to get Fast Text into the App Store. In fact, that was Fast Text’s real purpose: to allow me to say “why yes, I do have an app in the App Store”. As an added bonus, it allows me to quickly send recurring messages (“On my way”, “Leaving now”, etc.) to Erin.

Fast Text has served both of these purposes, but it has gone on to overstay its welcome.

It is no longer an app that I am proud of. Fast Text hasn’t been updated since March of 2013. It hasn’t been updated for iOS 7, much less iOS 8 nor the new iPhones 6. Fast Text is quite obviously from a bygone era. I don’t know when I’ll have time to properly update it, and to continue to charge even just $1 for it is disingenuous.

Furthermore, now that I have some amount of "fame", I can’t help but feel that I’m subtly hinting to people that perhaps I’m not very good at being a developer. That I don’t really know what I’m talking about. That I’m a fraud.

Problems

Ever since iOS 7 was announced, I got questions about when Fast Text would be updated to support the new look and feel. Given that the app is entirely vanilla UIKit, updating for iOS 7 doesn’t really amount to much. However, the new message screen had some rotation bugs, which I really wanted to fix. I started down the road of converting it to Auto Layout, but ran into a world of problems.

They are likely problems of my own creation, but for a project that I have precious little time to work on, they seem insurmountable.

Races

As time went on, everyone joked about whether Overcast — an entirely new app — would be released before I shipped the Fast Text update for iOS 7.

Overcast won.

The joke then moved on to “will the iOS 7 update come out before iOS 8?”.

iOS 8 won.

At some point, the jokes got really old; likely because of the guilt I felt about the situation. As with all good jokes, they struck home because they were justified.

Eventually, I stood back, looked at the situation, and realized enough was enough. I should stop kidding myself, realize I won’t ever find the time to update it, and just move on.

Why not make it free?

I’ve been asked several times — most notably by John during the latest episode of ATP, why I wouldn’t just make Fast Text free?

I certainly could, but I’m not sure what that really accomplishes. Yes, the app still works, but it doesn’t represent something I really want to attach my name to anymore. I’d rather it not exist than for it to continue to exist in its current form.

Why not open source it?

Candidly, I have nothing to gain by doing so. I don’t think the community does either.

Why not pull a Marco?

After ATP, I actually got a couple of propositions from individuals wanting me to sell. While extremely flattering, I don’t really see the point. It would be nice to have a little extra cash in my pocket, but surely I value Fast Text more than anyone else does.

Additionally, for better or worse, I don’t want to see it live on under anyone else’s control. I’d rather Fast Text cease to exist than become a completely different entity.

Thanks

To any of my customers over those four years who bought Fast Text, thank you. Every single sale made me smile, and not (usually) because I was getting ~$0.70. It was extremely nice to know that something I did, all by myself, including the horrendous icon, was worth even just a little of someone’s hard-earned money.

For those of you that may have bought it on a lark, just as a way to throw a little cash in my pocket, thank you. It is wholly unnecessary, but I appreciate it. I hope my silly little app provided at least a little bit of use to you.


I may write another app in the future, but to be honest, it’s not likely. For now, I’m just going to continue to pour my energy into Erin, Declan, this website, ATP, and Analog(ue). That’s more than enough to keep me busy.