WWDC — final destination, or just the beginning?

Last saturday I got an email that probably every iOS (and Mac OS) developer dreams to get. It was the email from Apple telling me that I was randomly selected to attend WWDC (worldwide developers conference).

That day I laughed and I cried. I was really shocked when I opened that email. 🙂 It was like this: I woke up, checked facebook, email etc., and one of my friends sent me facebook message that he was selected for WWDC and I thought it might be great to check my work email. 😀 Btw, I was still in my bed. 😀

After getting this opportunity to attend WWDC (big thanks to my employer/company Photomath for sending me there 😉 ) I asked my self: “is this final destination for an iOS developer or just the beginning?”. I would like to write here how my path of becoming iOS developer went, telling about some important moments (not the entire resume but some interesting moments) that guided me these past years and got me here, preparing for the DUB DUB DC (WWDC :P).


After listening to Ivica Siladić (from company Mireo — they make GPS navigation software) at “open days” at my college/university and having C++ class by my prof. Igaly, I got really interested in programming. I was then on my second year (undergraduate programme — mathematics) and planning to enroll in graduate programme of business and financial mathematics. But events that year moved my focus to computer science and mathematics programme. One day I stumbled upon a video called “Apple developer tell their story” and I can tell for sure that that was the crucial moment. I got pumped and wanted to get as much information about iOS development as I can. Btw, in 2010 iOS was called iPhone OS. 😉

One day I emailed a guy that I found on one of croatian mac community (Jabucnjak) — he was writing about iOS development and his game, I asked him how to start, what to learn, etc., and Sanjin responded the morning after with really great advice (for example: buy a Mac, Stanford CS193p class, how you distribute apss, …).

email is in croatian btw 😉

I must say that I might not have went forward with this goal of learning iOS development if I did not get proper advice (from Sanjin) and today I might have worked in a bank or insurance company crunching numbers. 😀

After that I got an iMac and an iPhone (thanks to my mom and my brother), started learning Objective C and iPhone development (Stanford class and Apple docs), published my first app — SmBuS, and I went full speed ahead!


Worked on couple of more iOS apps, kept on learning more stuff for iOS development, enrolled to graduate programme (CS and math).


That year I released an app called BackWay —, went on couple of conferences and really got to know local tech ecosystem. That was also first year that I applied for student scholarship for WWDC, but I did not get it. 🙂


This was the year I released my first game, called ColorTap!, made with Sprite Kit! That was also the first year I met some cool Apple people (like John Geleynse — that guy you see at Apple Design Awards ceremony, Allan Schaffer, …) when I went to iOS Tech Talks in Berlin.

I was lucky to go to 2 Tech Talks, thanks Apple!

That year I presented ColorTap! at Apps World London Indie Game Zone and got a minute to chat and take a pic with the one and only Woz 🙂

after his talk he stayed aroud hour or two to take pics with all of us, thank you Woz!

That year I also applied for WWDC student scholarship, did not get it.


Applied again for the student scholarship, and you guess correct, did not get it.

Made my second game — Color Maze. Graduated at University of Zagreb, PMF-MO, computer science and mathematics with final thesis “Developing iOS applications”


Released another app (after some time) — Easie. That year I did not apply for a student scholarship (I was not a student any more) but I applied for a “normal” ticket (at my previous job). Same as years before, did not get the ticket. 🙂


Attended my second Tech Talks, this time it was Apple TV Tech Talks in London. I also released one more app (my 15th app), Daily Sparks — get reminded about important things. And most important, this is the year I got the chance to attend WWDC!!!!! :))))))))

I could write a lot more about stuff that happened in the last couple of years but I think this is enough and still useful to get a picture of my path.

Today I have released 15 apps on the App Store (some were not released and some are still planned to be made and released) in about 6 years of learning and making iOS apps.

Today I work in one hell of a company and work on one of the best and most popular app on the planet — Photomath — smart camera calculator.

I would like to thank again to my company/employer Photomath for sending me to WWDC and giving me the chance to experience it. I dreamed about going to WWDC since I started with iOS development and watched first WWDC keynote and sessions on my iMac. I will remember this always and again big THANK YOU!!! 🙂

I will use this opportunity to the fullest and it will be the start of the next chapter in my career. WWDC I am coming and you better get ready for me! 😉

Originally posted at


Daily Sparks — get reminded about important things

Few months ago I wrote that I will start making some experiments with iOS SDK and release simple apps as a results of those experiments. Daily Sparksis the second such app.

Why Daily Sparks?

We all need some motivation during the day, we need somebody to remind us about things that we believe in, we love, we want to remember. That is why I made Daily Sparks (FREE to download). To have somebody/something reminding you each and every day about things that are important to you.

Daily Sparks is a simple app, it lets you save your favorite quotes and get reminded about things that are important to you! Also you can add today widget in notification center for faster look at some of the daily sparks!

adding Daily Sparks — Yoda ftw! 🙂

Next Steps

This is first version, basically proof of concept with main functionalities. In next versions I will add:

  • more languages (localization) — italian, spanish, german, portuguese, french, russian, chinese
  • suggested Sparks for adding
  • exporting and importing Sparks
  • themes

All of apps that I make in my free time I make because I need some functionality, some feature that current apps that I use don’t have. It is also fun to experiment with different parts of iOS and iOS SDK, for example I worked with Today Widget for the first time working on this app and now I can easily use that experience in my daily job and future apps. That is why I made Daily Sparks and will continue to improve it and make other simple apps (concetrated on one simple but useful feature).

Looking forward to getting your feedback and hope that you will get reminded about things that are important to you every day! 🙂

Originally posted at

Conference Technology

Apple TV Tech Talks

First thing I want to say is big THANKS to Apple for giving me opportunity to attend Apple Tech Talks again. My first Apple Tech Talks were iOS 7 Tech Talks in Berlin (2013.). If you don’t know what Apple Tech Talks you can checkout the website, but in short it is Apples tour with 1 day events around the world where they bring Apple experts and where developers have the chance to learn about new technologies and tips & tricks.

This were tvOS Tech Talks so we got technical information on building and designing for tvOS, learned some coding techniques, got valuable development instruction from Apple experts. Couple of themes we covered: designing apps for tvOS, implementing focus-driven user interfaces, integrating the Siri Remote and game controllers, TVML for media apps, On-Demand Resources, Top Shelf content.

One of my favorite sessions — Best Practices for Designing tvOS Apps

Best part of Tech Talks is the fact that you have unique opportunity to talk in person with lots of fellow developers and Apple experts. There was a seperate Q&A part of the event where you can come and talk to experts of all sorts. You can bring your apps and show them to Apple folks, ask all sorts of questions, get help for your annoying problems and even get help with some of your code.

Tech Talks badges

Apple Tech Talks are like small WWDC and they are great chance to jump on a train of new technologies and rock the App Stores. It would be great to go to WWDC some day but going to 2 Tech Talks is really great. Once again thanks to Apple for this opportunity.

Btw, male — female speakers ratio was 1:1 🙂

Special thanks for my friends in London for their hospitality during this trip. This was my third trip to London but it is always better to be with friends.

Originally posted at


With Easie it is easy to make great selfies!

Recently I wrote that I will start making some experiments with iOS SDK and release simple apps as a results of those experiments. Easie is the first such app.

Easie lets you use face detection on your iOS device to make better selfies!

Just tap to activate face detection and make awesome selfies with your back camera!
Get vibration and flash feedback as it counts down to the photo-taking moment and post the best selfies ever!

With Easie, it only takes seconds to post a perfect serfie! 🙂

If you have any suggestions and feedback for the app, feel free to write it! 😉

Originally posted


Emoji in app display name

Today I saw on twitter that Dong Nguyen released his new game Swing Copters 2 and when it downloaded on my iPhone I saw this:

emoji in display name

App display name is the name that shows under app icon on your home screen. I did not see any app do this until this one.

I was wondering if I could just put emoji in “Bundle display name” info.plist of some project in Xcode and if it would work. And what do you know, it worked! 🙂

It will be fun to see how will people use this cool “hack”. 🙂


Make simple and useful mobile apps

When I look at my iPhone and list of apps that I use, list of apps that I most frequently use, the thing I see is that they are all simple apps that make one thing great. I don’t want to spend much time on my iPhone working on/with apps, I want to take it and in short amount of time get things done.

Clear is great example of simple app that helps you make things done.

Most of apps that I made, in about 5 years that I have been making iOS apps, are simple apps with focus on one thing, one useful feature.

That is why I decided to (part inspired by experiment a bit with iOS SDK and make few simple but useful apps in upcoming months. I really like playing with iOS and iOS SDK in my free time and I see this as a great chance to experiment with it and maybe make a hit app. 🙂

Some of the books that I really like and had a lot of influence lately on me, on my view on development and business are Rework and Getting Real by guys from 37signals (now just Basecamp). I recommend them to all of you, they are easy and fast to read and give you instant benefits especially when you are small or one man team trying to make something (they are also useful in other cases).

Originally posted at


(Smart)phones and (smart)watches

These days we see a lot of “smart” products coming to the market. Smart phones, Smart watches, smart doors, smart thermostats, smart toothbrushes, etc. Every product around us gets prefix smart and it is marketed to us but not every product called “smart” is really smart or does anything smart or even close to that.

Of course, this “smart” prefix in most cases means that some kind of connection between devices is added or just connection to the internet (which is used to send data and add it to your account etc.).
What bothers me a lot is the addition of “smart” because let’s face it, these products are really not that smart. They (marketers) put that prefix so they can communicate to us (customers) their product message and sell that product.

The easiest way is to look at this is to look at smartphone and smartwatch examples.

Apps are the core of smartphones and smartwatches

(Smart) phones

If you look at today’s smartphones you can easily see that these devices are everything but phones. The functionality of the phone takes up the smallest percentage of the functionality of the device. Easier communication to customers and easier marketing made that products name “smartphone”. If somebody told you that there are new cool products called “computerised phones”, I am sure that it would not sound as cool and interesting as “smart phones”.

(Smart) watches

Smart watches are newer products than a smartphone, but again we have the same story. Existing product that people are accustomed to gets bunch of new functionalities and to sell it better and communicate to customers it gets prefix “smart” and now we have smartwatches. So now we have smartwatches that are everything but the watch.

I really don’t like the fact that today everything gets called “smart”. Of course there are devices that do have additional features that go towards an intelligence and autonomy, but most are far from being smart. “Smart” is a buzzword of modern startup world where young startup companies add that prefix to make them more interesting, to be cool, hip and to follow the trends in the world. Marketing has huge role in this and it seems to me that the word “smart” is prostituted.

If you have some new cool product please be smart and do not add “smart” in front of name of your product if it really isn’t something smart. Thanks 😉

Originally posted at


How I made my first game in 60 days with Sprite Kit

Disclaimer: I reposted (with some changes) this from my other site.

In 2013, June 10–14, Apple had WWDC in San Francisco. For those that do not know what WWDC is, WWDC is short from Worldwide Developers Conference.
As Apple says on their website: “The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) gives developers an in-depth look at the latest in iOS and OS X. You can learn from and be inspired by more than 100 sessions led by Apple engineers, get help from Apple experts through an extensive set of hands-on labs, and connect with fellow developers from around the world, giving you the opportunity to create your best apps ever. WWDC 2013 takes place June 10–14, 2013 at Moscone West in San Francisco, California.

One of the things that they announced that year was Sprite Kit. Apple describes it really great: “Develop high-performance 2D games with the powerful new Sprite Kit framework, which combines everything you need to animate sprites, simulate physics, and create beautiful particle systems all in one easy-to-use set of APIs.
I wanted to start learning Cocos2d (also framework for making 2d games), but I just did not have time to start and play with it. When I saw that Apple released Sprite Kit, their own framework for 2d games, I knew I had to get some free time and play with it. I had some ideas for simple 2d games (see the picture of my sketches) but I just did not have time to play with cocos2d and make them.

As you see on the picture, on July 11 2013, I downloaded the Sprite Kit documentation and created Xcode project for my first game. At WWDC Apple had two sessions for Sprite Kit and they were quite ok, documentation was clear and you could learn really quickly by going thru it. For a week or two I was playing with it, trying out how collision work, how scenes and transitions work etc. As I sad, Sprite Kit also gives you physics, so with one or two lines of code you can get awesome collision and all physics behavior. If you have used Core Animation you will get used to Sprite Kit really fast. Sprite Kit like Core Animation has really great methods for making powerful stuff.

As I sad, I had one idea for a game where there would be circles going around on the screen and user had to tap on the correct color, simple game but interesting. As I was experimenting with circles I realized I should also have triangles and rectangles. With that three elements players should tap on the correct color and corect element type.

A lot of you know about the game Fruit Ninja and you know that you can play against your friends on one screen where one half of screen is yours and other is your friends. So the next step for the game was to make the “battle” playing mode available on the iPad (because of the screen size), so you can play even more.

So the point of the game was to tap on the correct element with the correct color. Main words in the game are “color” and “tap”. I was wondering about the game name, first solution was “TouchACol“, then my mom sugested “ColorTap“, and that name was the winner. 🙂

The plan was to finish the game for the iOS7 release so Apple might promote it a bit because it was made with Sprite Kit. I’ve sent the game for review just when Apple sent us email that iOS7 apps can now be sent for review. ColorTap was released on September 20 2013 and it might be first or second game on the App Store made with Sprite Kit.

Check out ColorTap and check out the video:

If you have some time I suggest you to check out Sprite Kit and make some cool games. This was my first game and I had zero experience in game development. 🙂

Originally posted