After a really in-depth part one interview with William Vabrinskas, developer of Shade and many jailbreak tweaks, we’re now here with part two. Just as you guessed it, part two is just as good as part one, if not better. This time we’ve got more questions to go through, however, the interview is just as long and covers a wider range of topics. For those who may have missed part one, Vabrinskas went into a lot of detail to describe how he got started with programming, some of his first tweaks, and what inspired him. Those who want to find out more can also check out an interview he did with Jailcast about a month ago.
Question 4: Can you highlight any hurdles or things you had to overcome during development and how you overcame them?
The app itself was pretty simple to make the only real hurdle I had was issues with the app when it went into landscape mode. The instructional text on the startup screen would overlap with the tool bar on the bottom causing visual issues. I solved this problem by fading the text out when the app was rotated into landscape mode.
Question 5: Any plans for a lite version?
Currently I don’t see the need for a lite version as taking away a feature in this app would break its functionality. What I mean by that is every feature in the app is necessary for its core function. If there was to be a lite version I would maybe reduce the amount of colors you could save or remove the camera functionality and only allow the user to upload a previously taken photo, but again I don’t see this being feasible or necessary.
Question 6: Any other apps or tweaks you can talk about?
I have many projects in the works for release in Cydia actually. None of them are polished enough yet to talk about but I am working with icons again so look out for another SpringBoard modification tweak. I am also working on improving Boxy 2 by adding some new functionality to it. For example, the ability to place icons anywhere on the home screen grid, square icons, the ability to save custom layouts, and per page layout options.
Question 7: What do you like developing for more the App Store or Cydia and why?
While developing for each of them is basically the same, I really enjoy developing for the Cydia more. I have way more freedom when it comes to coding and the results are usually more satisfying. When I see something on the device that I want to change the research starts. I shuffle through tons of headers looking for the correct classes and methods to use in my tweak. Once I find everything, I begin building it. It is always an amazing feeling when your first respring your device after installing it and it just works. Nothing compares to that feeling.
Question 8: What do you think of paid versus free app/tweak upgrades?
It really depends on the circumstance. I know when I created Boxy for iOS 6 every upgrade was free. As soon as iOS 7 came out and it broke every function of Boxy, I had to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. It was essentially like creating a new tweak. So when I released Boxy for iOS 7 I named it Boxy 2 and charged $1.99 again for the tweak. No one really complained about it because it worked and brought much improvement from the previous version. Only in circumstances like this can I see the need for a paid upgrade.
Question 9: What are your opinions on piracy?
A lot of people will agree with me when I say piracy is bad. But I feel that in some cases piracy is useful. For example, it can be used as somewhat of a “trial” for a tweak. A user can try out a tweak they intend to buy before they use it. Quite frankly, as a developer, I like this idea because I don’t have to program in a trial version and I don’t have to worry about the hassle of refunding someone if they don’t like my tweak. Unfortunately this requires trust in the user that they will buy your tweak if they like it. This is not always the case and this contributes to the high piracy rates of most tweaks.
Question 10 How do you think developers can combat piracy, or how can the community as a whole help ward against it?
There is no way to combat piracy unfortunately. Implementing complicated or even simple DRM can cause major issues with user experience and force users to never buy from you again. Personally I just create quality tweaks that people want to buy and I provide the customer service to back it up. I feel if the user knows they can contact the developer and he/she will answer promptly they will feel more inclined to buy from you again. The community can help promote a tweak and its developer through reddit or other social media to prevent piracy from occurring. It’s the same concept as before, if the community sees that a user had an excellent experience with a tweak and the developer then others will want to support that developer as well.
As of now, that’s all we’ve got. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out William on Twitter.