Jack Siro
Jack Siro


Jack Siro

Cross Platform encounters PART 2

Cross Platform encounters PART 2

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Jack Siro
·Jan 22, 2023·

6 min read

Good evening guys. I hope you are all fine wherever you are during this time. I am not very happy because 3 weeks down the line am still here waiting for my vSongBook app to see the light of day in the Apple store.

Developing for iOS was harder than I had anticipated and many of you with iPhones are already wondering what took place ever since I promised to deliver this app on your iOS devices.
Since there are few iOS developers in the country it’s had to get basic information on how things are done most painlessly. I am left with the only option to learn from my own mistakes aka trial and error since that is how I did for Android and Windows Phone in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Meanwhile if where I am not speaking to you directly feel free to pass this post or even get busy elsewhere since am here to inform and not entertain. That said and done let me proceed with my heartfelt sentiments.

Now before I got to this current stage I used to think all I needed to have an app on iOS was a recent MacBook, an iPhone, programming knowledge to develop an iOS app, money to buy a developer account on Apple and I would be good to go. Well the Lord blessed me this year after wasting the whole of last year plus some substantial amount of money trying to build for iOS.

I didn’t learn objective C or swift which are tools of programming for this particular job but I took advantage of flutter a cross-platform for Android, iOS and the web. It was a dart programming language something that I immediately fell in love with just as it happened with c# coming from java.

One thing I did was simply scrap my vSongBook Android app which I had done with Java and party kotlin. I started writing from scratch an entirely new app on flutter following the same algorithm I had used in the old app. It is the same one I had used in the desktop app that I wrote using c# and later c++ so it could be cross-platform on major pc Os versions.

It took me about a month to find my way around flutter while writing my app. It was not easy since Flutter is all about widgets and some controls on Android were either stateless widgets or stateful ones. Some concepts were not easy to bend and get my old app in a new platform. A few consultations here and there from a few flutter friends both locally and abroad (I mean Stack overflow) helped me gain altitude. In a month I was able to develop an app that is having the same UI as my old app, and the same functionality but the API endpoints had to be tuned for my new app.

When it came to the publishing part Android was not very easy but after some peeking at online documentation, I was done with it. Apple was scary from the word go. It was not the first time I was trying it and so all that was going to hit me I was psychologically prepared for it. I had put a privacy policy on my site, and contact us page and on the app checked that everything was working fine since it’s humans who were going to approve it on Apple and not bots like on Google. I dedicated a day to that and I was very tired when I retired to bed that day. Simple things we do on Android were complicated on Apple you would think it was a flight dashboard control.

2 days later I got their email saying they had sent me a message on Apple Store Resolution center something I have come to learn is the communication portal between the developer and the app reviewers. In their message to me, they said: the sign-in on my app is not necessary and with that, I noted they have privacy issues. Am sure Android users have noted it’s no longer there on my app.

What made me laugh and get annoyed at the same time is the fact that they said my app has bug in playing music. How did they find that bug if they could not log in to my app in the first place? So I removed the sign in on the app and pushed another update and waited for their response. But this time around I added notes that my app is not a music player but rather a reference tool for song lyrics in church.

This time around their feedback was that my app has a bug in that it can’t load content, it was spinning indefinitely and I felt like they are playing with my mind. I wrote back to them breathing fire and brimstone at them for not being patient enough on my app to spend time like five minutes to see it to the end. They responded that I should provide my phone number so that they can call me for more explanation and clarification from my end.

Five days later no call from abroad until yesterday when I saw an email from them. They were saying I am unreachable yet I have been on all the time. I replied to them without hesitation with the same number clarifying it was the number I was using for Apple ID verification. It didn’t take long before I got a call from California. A lady’s voice was not what I was expecting but I listened on and question after question I answered her but at times asked mine too.

Sadly enough she was not a developer to answer my developer-specific questions but I couldn’t help noticing these people were having a hard time understanding my app. I explained to her that my app shows lyrics of songs composed by members of our church in different dialects. I explained to her that the songs are not copyrighted in any way so we haven’t been needing to provide such. All the same, she still asked that I send a letter from one or more representatives of our churches explaining the same and also mentioning me in them.

This morning I woke up looking for a few pastors supporting my initiative to write me a letter in their own words outlining how the songs have been composed over generations by members of our church and that the churches are using them in their worship and praise service. Also that they mention that I (Jackson Siro) took it upon myself from around 2016 to compile these songs in an app.

As we speak and in touch with quite several pastors to send me their letters/recommendations over the same so I can send it to the Apple people. At least that way they won’t reject my app on copyright issues. These people are just naive and keep thinking you are infringing on someone’s work even if it’s not copyrighted at all. Meanwhile am also finishing an update to push it together with the documents.

I tell you it’s not easy to publish apps for iOS!

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