Weekly Swift articles, podcasts and tips by John Sundell.

Indie Support Weeks

Published on 30 Mar 2020

Independent app development has been an incredibly important part of the Apple developer community for decades. Not only do indie apps provide a ton of utility and delight for countless users around the world, they’re also often a major source of innovation on Apple’s platforms and beyond.

However, while working on your own projects can be greatly rewarding, being an indie developer can at times also be really difficult. Working alone or with a small team on increasingly sophisticated products can occasionally feel overwhelming, and without the financial security that a major company often provides — every new project, feature, and release always comes with a certain amount of personal risk.

Right now, there’s no doubt that the global COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous amounts of uncertainty, hardship and suffering all around the world. There’s an enormous number of people who need help and support, and although many tech workers have been fortunate enough to be able to keep working remotely with (in the grand scheme of things) relative ease — it’s times like these that can prove to be extra challenging for those who run their own independent business.

As people are self-isolating around the world, businesses are closing, and many of our normal day-to-day activities are put on hold, many indie developers have seen their sales numbers take a big hit. For some developers, who rely on the income from their apps as the main way to support themselves and their families, this loss of revenue can lead to tricky and difficult situations, to say the least.

When it comes to providing support and helping others in situations like this, it’s quite common to feel a bit overwhelmed. No single person can stop the current pandemic by themselves, or solve all of the world’s problems. No one can do everything. But everyone can do something.

So I decided that I wanted to do something for our community’s indies.

Normally, this site (and all of my other work) is funded by sponsorships — through non-tracking, privacy-focused (and JavaScript-free) ads that I run on a weekly basis. But for the next two weeks there will be no ads on this site. Instead, each day, I’ll promote a new indie app whose developer has been financially impacted by the current pandemic. For free, with no strings attached.

I hope that, with your support, these indie developers will regain some of that lost revenue through this effort, and that we will all get to discover a few great new apps as well.

Now, I was originally only planning to do this by myself — just on this site, and for one week only. However, when I announced this project on Twitter, I was met with an absolutely wonderful amount of support from all over the community. Thousands of people reached out offering their support in various ways, so I decided to make this an open effort that anyone can now join.

Among the people who reached out to offer their support was Sven A. Schmidt, creator of the indie app Hummingbird, who made an incredibly generous offer — to help me pay for the weekly expenses of running this site so that I could extend this effort to two weeks instead of just one. So, thanks to Sven, I’ll be able to help promote twice the amount of indie apps than I originally thought — which I’m incredibly grateful for.

Now, Sven didn’t tell me to do this, but I also want to give a special shoutout to his fantastic app Hummingbird, which I personally use to make managing my Mac’s windows so much easier when working on a laptop. I highly recommend it.

So welcome to Indie Support Weeks — two weeks during which you’ll see indie apps being promoted by various channels all around the Apple developer community. Feel free to return to this site each day during these two weeks to find a new fantastic indie app, and if you see an app that you find interesting, please check it out to support its developer.

Also, I’d love to see you share your own favorite indie apps on Twitter and other social networks — and if you do, feel free to use the hashtag #IndieSupportWeeks to make those tweets and posts easier to find for everyone who’s following this effort.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you’ll enjoy Indie Support Weeks! 🚀