Why Not Build Flyte for iPad?


Flyte 2 for iPhone launched earlier this month for free. Reception was fantastic, and I was ecstatic to hear people enjoying it. Feedback was fantastic as well. I heard things I hadn't thought about doing and am excited to get working on all the new ideas.

I'd consider Flyte 2's launch successful.

Now, I've gotten several requests to build Flyte for iPad. If you've followed my Twitter or Flyte's Twitter, you'll see me routinely and quite confidently deny the possibility of building an iPad version. But why? I'll list out the reasons here.

  • I don't have an iPad to test on. iPads are expensive. Unless someone suddenly gets me an iPad to develop on, it's not happening period.

  • It'll be many extra hours of my life and many extra headaches I can do without.

  • It's not just my life either. Craig, the fantastic designer I've been working with throughout the entire Flyte project, has a life as well. And a family. And a kid. And a day job. And so do I. Have a day job I mean. Not kids. Flyte's launch has showed us that while Flyte has had a very positive response, the revenue from it is not nearly enough to cover the costs of development, both in terms of manpower and the regular costs.

  • Not enough people have asked for it.

  • Most people who are expecting an iPad client are expecting power user features. Those are hard to do. I'm sure Tweetbot is going to do a better job at it than we would. There's just no way to really compete against heavyweights.

I'm just a college student. Flyte was my side project, originally intended for myself. It wasn't even going to be released to begin with. At this point it would just be embarking on a project that will ultimately result in marginal return. I'm honored and humbled at the reception I've gotten over it, but unless I can get some kind of guarantee that it will be worth my while (and Craig's), Flyte for iPad won't happen.