Vincent Ritter

Hello, I'm Vincent. I’m a dad, husband, geek and an independent software maker of things that freelances. Check out the apps I make, personal projects I'm currently working on and other things like my thoughts and blog posts.

With the 1Hz display on the Apple Watch, I’m wondering what a 1Hz iPad/e-reader would look like. I hope that they explore that space. That would be quite exciting!

I think I’ll slowly move away from small companies that are funded mainly by venture capital. When I come across an app or service, that you pay for, you know that the indie developer, without funding, put all his heart and energy into the product.

I’d rather support them, than the “cash sheet to pay back investors”. Knowing truly that my money goes to the developer and his family. Knowing that when they get paid they are truly relieved and, I hope, happy.

The world is at a strange spot and I wish non funded companies would dominate and be the norm.

I just pushed out build 35 for Gluon. It adds a pure black theme, which looks really stunning. Combine that with your chosen accent colour it really looks great!

Also added a few tweaks to the UI and the reply screen… nothing major but important.

I pushed out a small update for Gluon that will now nicely display a first name and a username in your feed. It’s an important change, which doesn’t add too much clutter to the timeline. Really want to bring back a slightly more human touch to it.

I’ve been chipping away at a client project, a few hours a day (3 - 5) without stressing too much about it. Taking care to just do something at small bursts and concentrated intervals. The main point to just work at the problem one piece at a time and making that daunting to-do task way smaller. Feels great. On top I feel way more productive than rushing and burning that night oil. So far the project seems to be on track, which makes me happy.

I get many emails in my inbox mention something along the lines of: “Your website looks good and is well developed BUT it’s not optimised for [insert some crap big search engine]”.

I really couldn’t give a damn. They are not the internet!

A good social network should be about community/groups. A group should not be an “account” as such. A group should be separate with organisers, of real accounts, where everyone can come together. For example “Xcoders” should be a group of people together and not one account. In a sense, I feel, this would create better “online” communities in all with people responsible for the group in a whole… talking as a whole. Yes, I think it’s important to of course be able to set who is allowed to post on behalf of the group but everyone should be able to contribute.

Groups could be anything of course. “Plane Spotters Poland” or “Coffee nerds New York” or “Let’s fight for the planet and the future of humankind”.

Maybe something like MeetUp.

Groups/Communities should be easily discoverable in general where everyone can find what they’re into.

Groups should actively seek to do things in the real world and out of the digital. Digital being a medium of message but with real world change and human exchanges and experiences.

Maybe I’m stretching it a bit… hard to describe what I mean...

Does anyone have any recommendations on a good site, or book, about good personal finance? Good for tips like saving, especially for those times when it gets tough. Good and actionable no matter the income.

Gluon speed improvements, Android update and Push Notifications

I’ve got an exciting update coming to Gluon, pretty much right now, and I’m super happy to share the juicy details with you.

“I’ve got the need… the need for speed”

Gluon was already fast, but I took time to work around a few edge cases and dramatically reduce the calls to the Micro.blog API. In the past, for convenience, I called the API every time you switched screens, this was to mitigate the, at the time, slowness of it. Manton worked hard on speed improvements and it shows. Now, I apply my own sort of cache to these calls and only load when I think it should, within reason. Of course, pull to refresh will always work to the way you want.

Now that the API call is less aggressive, it will also a bit faster to move around ever so slightly. This is thanks to way more less background activity.

I also worked on every screen to reduce the load times for those also. Conversations are quicker to load as I now check the API as soon as you tap on the timeline item. In the past this happened after you went on the screen.

There was also some code that I just didn’t need anymore, so I took it all out. Overall I shaved off around 100KB of code. Which is nice and makes me happy.

Overall, I think the app flies.

Push Notifications

This is one feature I’m super excited about! And I’m super happy to announce that proper push notifications are coming to Gluon. Today!

This is thanks to Manton and Micro.blog, who was super kind enough to put in the work to support third party apps. This will also include Icro and other iOS clients when they’re ready. Manton already posted a reply to Icro on this matter and can’t wait for it to come there also.

So, thank you Manton for the work and enabling developers to do this!

Push notifications are controlled from the Micro.blog end, so there is no third party involved. Whilst running my own server with logic would bring other benefits, it dramatically reduces my own overhead and I’m happy that there are uniform expectations on push notifications from the service.

Notifications are sent in the same fashion as per the official Micro.blog app. This means, non disruptive and come in quietly without sound. Suits me. The world is too loud and too busy anyway.

To enable push, just head to the settings screen and then “Push notifications”. Should be easy and without trouble.

Other tweaks

In general I cleared up a few styling points and made other improvements to screens throughout the app. Which clears a path for a slightly cleaner and simple look throughout.

Search now lives in the “Discover More” section and is removed from the tab bar. The tab bar looked very cluttered, so having a bit of zen back is nice.

Throughout the app, on iOS, you will always be able to get to your profile if needs be from the top bar. This used to be only some screens in the past. Now any top level screen will show it.

I made a further tweak to swipe back gestures in the app. I think it’s a good middle ground. A weird problem to have had… just one of those things I guess.

Android loving

All the above is iOS only… which brings me to my next topic. Android.

Whilst I was hoping for feature parity I’m now facing difficulty in bringing it across to Android. Let’s just call that a limitation of the framework I’m using… and I guess my understanding of Android too.

In the next few weeks I’ll be dedicating time just for the Android build to bring across all the latest changes whilst also tweaking it ever so slightly to bring Android only design styles and app layouts.

The current Android build still feels very Alpha to me so I’m hoping to get this to Beta level soon, where I’ll then open up the app for proper public beta testing.

Closing thoughts

Gluon is getting there, although I always think it’s never going to be in a finished state. I have particular goals with my apps but as the days go I also change my mind on things.

I’m aware there are features I still need to add for posting to Micro.blog and also third party websites. This will come… as I always keep saying.

I’m not in a rush to launch the app to the App Store and I’m happy to take my time. Too many times do I rush things.

Thank you to all my wonderful testers and your continued feedback and trust.

Just thinking how the most advanced device of its time, in 2007, was $500. It was truly revolutionary and pushed the world to what it is today... good and bad. $500 for a device that changed the world. That was the original iPhone.

Close