Articles about Touchgram
Articles we published about Touchgram, the stories behind the product, the technology and related issues such as data privacy.
- Facing up to Ugly - the tale of redesigning Touchgram's text editor
User-testing with a public demo and pushing for feedback led to realising the text editing experience needed fixing now rather than waiting for other editing features to be added.
- How Apple broke apps on older iOS - why Touchgram crashed on 14.8
The woeful Apple bug which affected Touchgram and many other apps, which is why v1.3 crashed on anything earlier than iOS 15.
- Crash reporting - sending us a log.
A detailed walkthrough of how to send us crash details from your iPhone. It's a few steps, because we protect your privacy by avoiding some helper tools.
- How Touchgram is Developed - Backwards
Summarises the overall idea origin and engineering approach we use to guarantee that things remain backwards compatible, so when friends send you messages in future, they will still work even if you haven't upgraded lately.
- Touchgram's new Core Engine in v1.3
A brief explanation of what took all of 2021, a little bit of a warning tale about the work required to enable an ambitious goal
- A(nother) bug tale
The bug which delayed v1.3 another four weeks, a long tale of pain & debugging.
- A Text Tale - my worst bug in 40 years
This bug story only supplanted by the one above, mostly here to amuse programmers and give interested followers another look at what caused my grey hairs (it wasn't my kids).
- The Dilemma for Creative Products, that also hits TouchgramPerspectives on crypto's latest hype - NFTs, the dilemma they present in the creator economy and the weird similarities with Touchgram's Marketplace.
- Apple IAP and Marketplace Currency
How Apple’s pricing works for digital goods and designing the Touchgram Currency within those constraints.
- Touchgram vs the iMessage Corner of Doom
Thanks to a new tester, found a gotcha in our Sense Touch editor design that makes it look like Touchgram just crashed.
- Apple Privacy - What iMessage Extensions know about you
Explains how Apple safeguard your privacy by running iMessage extensions like Touchgram in a state of ignorance. We know nothing, not even your name.
- Touchgram Origins — Personal
The family history and backstory inspiring Touchgram, including how my parents returned to England from Australia & made me aware of what it's like having young children with remote grandparents.
- Touchgram Origins — Technical
The dual obsession with touch-driven interfaces and user-empowering tools such as Hypercard which inspire and set goals for Touchgram.
- Birthday Card via Canva + Touchgram
A walkthrough of starting with a Canva birthday card template, customising that card and making a two-page Touchgram. It shows that the way v1.0 handled background pictures did a lousy job with landscape content because all pictures were stretched, so that was fixed in v1.1.
A walkthrough of starting with a Canva birthday card template, customising that card and making a two-page Touchgram. It shows that the way v1.0 handled background pictures did a lousy job with landscape content because all pictures were stretched, so that was fixed in v1.1.A walkthrough of starting with a Canva birthday card template, customising that card and making a two-page Touchgram. It shows that the way v1.0 handled background pictures did a lousy job with landscape content because all pictures were stretched, so that was fixed in v1.1.
- Redesigning Touchgram for Dark Mode
A story for designers and developers about the challenges of how Dark Mode on phones requires you to rethink your app color scheme. It includes some technical discussions and a spreadsheet where the color values were worked out. Because most of your interaction within Touchgram is within the Messages app, we had to support dark mode for iOS 13.
- The Foot Mom
The quirky true story behind the foot tickling example that's been part of Touchgram since the very beginning.
- Testing iOS 14
A little piece confirming that all is well - the current v1.2.5 on the App Store works just fine on the iOS 14 beta.
Open source and other articles from Touchgram
For developers, and a bit for designers too. As Touchgram is developed, little explorations are written to see how different programming technologies work. Where possible, these are publicly released.
Animation techniques used in the Touchgram user interface. Mostly shows off use of Supernova Studio to generate code from animation visual design.
- DDD19 Tech Talk on animation
My presentation, videos and accompanying source for a short talk on animation in user interfaces and the tools used in the animashing tests above..
Many small samples of programming Apple's iMessage app extensions.
An alternative method for building up persistence of rich object frameworks. It works around a major weakness of Apple's Codable for polymorphic types.
Explorations of using SpriteKit, Apple's 2D games programming engine which is used in Touchgram.