Interview with D3W10: Developer of Swing Updater, iMusic and more

Interview with D3W10: Developer of Swing Updater, iMusic and more

Following with our developer spotlight series, now it has been the turn of a developer who has stood out for his skills as a developer.

D3W10, a seasoned developer in the Apple Shortcuts community, embarked on his software development journey with the inception of Shortcuts on iOS 12. Despite lacking knowledge in programming languages initially, the app's simplicity allowed him to explore creative possibilities easily.

His standout creation, the Utilities Menu shortcut, originated as a basic menu for messaging and calling. The feedback on this evolving project has been positive, albeit some early accusations of copying other utilities shortcuts. D3W10 has delved into server-side solutions, noting their potential benefits in reducing shortcut size and enhancing performance but urging caution regarding user data. Reflecting on his RoutineHub experience, he describes it as amazing, citing growth both professionally and personally through interactions with other developers.

While his current focus isn't on new shortcuts, he contemplates updating iMusic and explores the possibility of turning Pocket Money Pro into an iOS application. D3W10's impact is evident in his contribution to the Shortcuts community and his commitment to continuous improvement and exploration of new projects.

Without further ado, let's get to the interview!

What led you to become a software / Shortcuts developer? Can you recall the pivotal moment when you realized this was your path? Which project solidified this for you?

If I recall correctly, the reason that I became a shortcut developer was because, when the application was bundled on iOS 12, I was excited to see what this app was capable of so I opened it and created a new shortcut. At the time I didn’t know any programming languages at all, I think I did know a bit of HTML but nothing else, so shortcuts also introduced me to other possibilities in a way that’s easy to understand.

How long have you been involved with Apple Shortcuts, and what initially attracted you to this platform?

I’ve been involved with shortcuts since the app became shortcuts back on 2018, probably most people don’t know but the app was originally called Workflow before getting acquired by apple to become what it is today. I think what really attracted me was the simplicity that is to create something that matters to you, even if you don’t know nothing about programming.

Could you delve into the backstory behind your Utilities Menu shortcut? Can you share a few statistics? For example, how has the feedback been from other users and developers?

My very first shortcut when I opened the app for the first time was one that had a basic menu where the first option was to message someone and the second one to call someone, from that day I continued updating the shortcut with more stuff, trying to explore every single shortcut action there was available at the time and that shortcut is known today as Utilities Menu. I decided to push it to RoutineHub when the shortcut got to version 20.0 and translated it fully to english on version 23.0. I didn't get many feedback at the time as the platform wasn't as big as it is now. I did get people saying that I copied other utilities shortcuts like AIOUtilities and also people saying that I copied a shortcut posted by someone else that decided to host mine on another website under their name.

What are your thoughts on creating server-side solutions to support Apple Shortcuts?

I think creating server-side solutions can empower some shortcuts but I think it also has its drawbacks. Creating a server-side enables the shortcut to be smaller and can improve the performance slightly, on the other hand users must be cautious on what the shortcut is uploading to such server. I think it was on iOS 15 that apple added a feature where every time a shortcut requests to a website it will show you what data is being uploaded, at the time it seemed an annoying feature as the popup kept showing up but it also helped you understand if you should trust a shortcut or not.

How many hours did it take to develop iMusic? What were to biggest challenges?

I can't remember exacly but I think it took me some days to make iMusic, the shortcut was very basic at the time so there wasn’t any big challenges that I faced on that version.

What language did you create Swing Updater in? Can you share a bit more about your work behind that.

Swing Updater Engine is currently built using JavaScript on a Node.JS environment, it's a basic API with 2 endpoints. The engine endpoint receives 2 version numbers and checks if there's an update/rollback, it's a bit of a complex code but it basically splits every digit from both versions and compares them one by one, if the version contains special words like alpha or beta it will also take them in consideration. The update endpoint receives info like the version and the id and sends a request to the website that hosts the shortcut (RoutineHub, ShareShortcuts or a custom server), it then returns all the info that is needed to display to the user such as release date, changelog, download url, etc.. This endpoint also checks if there's any iOS/iPadOS updates available for the device.

What has your experience been with RoutineHub? How has the community been?

My experience with RoutineHub has been amazing, I’ve met many incredible devs and publish some of my work to the world. When Shortcuts released and I found out about RoutineHub, I think that building shortcuts and helping others building theirs was an important phase of my life and helped me grow as a programmer and as a person.

Any future exciting projects in the works?

I’ve been slowly fading away from shortcuts in the past few years but I’ll always keep an eye on how things are going, currently I have no new shortcuts planned, I have plans on updating iMusic if I see the possibility of adding the option to download YouTube musics back and also, a bit unrelated, a port of my shortcut Pocket Money Pro into an iOS application, it’s slowly in the works and might not see the light of day but I decided to give it a shot.

You can see more of this developer's work in his socials: