Kineo Open Beta
In August of 2008, just a few weeks after the initial launch of the App Store, I (along with designer Ollie Wagner) released an animation app called Kineo. It wasn’t my first self-published app1, or even my first iOS app2, but it’s the one I most associate with the idea of my “first app”. Ollie and I maintained it for a few years, but eventually college took up more and more of my time, and we shipped the last update to Kineo on April 1st, 20103.
Despite my decision to abandon it, Kineo has always been an app I’ve had in the back of my mind to revive at some point. Over the years, I’ve made a few prototypes of what a “modern” Kineo could look like, but none of them really felt like they were quite what I was looking for, and it’s not like building an iOS app from scratch as a solo developer has gotten any easier.
…until WWDC 2019. This year, Apple announced PencilKit, which makes it extremely easy to incorporate amazing drawing tools into your iOS app. I knew immediately that I had to give Kineo another shot. My first priority was Black Highlighter, which already had a version in the App Store and which I knew I could get an update out for iOS 13’s release day4. But in August, as my update to Black Highlighter was wrapping up, I began working on a new version of Kineo in earnest. I was able to create a proof of concept of a simple drawing canvas and our number one most-requested feature from the original app, video export, in just one weekend.
Since that first weekend in August, I’ve been working on this new version of Kineo on nights and weekends. I’ve added all kinds of new features it didn’t (or couldn’t!) have before: sharing to social media, iCloud sync, multi-window support, and more. Finally, I’m almost ready to ship it.
My hope is to have it ready to ship for the 10-year anniversary of its last update: April 1st, 2020.5 That’s where you come in. I want to make sure this release is totally solid and worth the decade-long wait for an update to this app. I’ve got a public beta available at the Kineo website, and if you’re interested in the slightest, I’d love to have you join.
…we don’t talk about that app. It had two drawers. ↩
iCoMo News! Combination weather app, web browser, and single-feed podcast player! ↩
Kineo remained in the App Store without further updates until 2013, but that doesn’t fit my narrative, so we’re conveniently ignoring it. ↩
…or iPadOS 13’s release day. Close enough. ↩
I swear this isn’t a decade-long April Fools’ Day joke. But can you imagine? 😂 ↩