This project means a lot to me, and there were countless moments in the past few years when I almost gave up on it completely and decided not to release it. Seeing it live on the App Store now is a dream come true.
I know this may sound a bit over the top, but let me try to convince you with a screenshot from Hover, when I first purchased the couchtim.es domain:
You read that correctly. It took me a little over nine years to finish the first version of this side project. From 2014 until today, I probably started and stopped this project over ten times. I began by building a web app using various stacks, then moved on to building it for the iPhone during Swift’s infancy, and later restarted the project again when SwiftUI came out.
I’ll talk more about the journey and its details in the upcoming episodes of Sprachnachrichten, but for now, reaching this amazing milestone feels like a significant accomplishment.
Now let’s focus on the actual release.
As mentioned earlier, CouchTimes is the iOS app I developed to track my favorite shows. While there are many apps out there that offer similar or more advanced features, none of them felt right for me. I desired something beautiful, with a clear focus on TV shows, and something that simply felt right.
While this first version is just the beginning of what I consider to be the “perfect app,” it’s a great starting point that I believe can provide value not only to me and my friends, but also to others who share our sentiments.
At its core, CouchTimes is built using modern Swift and SwiftUI. I’ve always admired iOS as a platform, and creating CouchTimes as a good citizen for this platform was one of my guiding principles. CouchTimes should feel as native as possible and utilize the best native capabilities that iOS has to offer.
To go a little more into the details, let’s look into what CouchTimes has to offer:
The Library is the heart of CouchTimes. It’s where you manage your shows, interact with them, and discover more about the show itself, including upcoming seasons and episodes. It also offers three distinct views to optimize your approach to managing your favorite shows:
This is the place where your shows live by default. It’s where you should keep the shows that you’re currently watching or planning to watch.
Has a friend ever asked you for TV show recommendations? This is where the favorites view will be useful. Simply mark a show as a favorite, and this screen will display all your favorites at once.
Archiving something can be better than deleting it. At least, that’s the case in CouchTimes. If you’ve finished watching a show, simply move it to the Archive. That way, it won’t clutter your Watchlist and you won’t lose the progress you’ve tracked for the show.
Search is where you can find your favorite shows to track with CouchTimes or discover new shows to start watching. Search and all the data displayed in CouchTimes are powered by TMDB, an incredible API for movie and TV show data.
Privacy and Sync
At its core, CouchTimes is built with a privacy-focused approach and respects users’ privacy. You don’t need to create an account or sign up for CouchTimes to use it. Furthermore, CouchTimes keeps your data safe and secure. Cross-device synchronization is handled via your personal iCloud account, so your data isn’t saved outside the existing relationship between you and Apple.
Moreover, CouchTimes only uses a lightweight app analytics solution called TelemetryDeck. TelemetryDeck provides anonymized usage insights about how users use CouchTimes. Everything is GDPR and CCPA compliant, ensuring that your data is protected and that your privacy rights are respected.
While having version 1.0 available on the App Store is a major milestone that makes me very happy, this is just the beginning. I already have big plans for the future of CouchTimes, including the addition of an episode release calendar, statistics related to viewing habits and brining CouchTimes to more Apple platforms.
Furthermore, I’d like to experiment with pricing strategies and monetization. I made the clear decision to release version 1.0 as a free app, and this foundational set of features will always be free. However, I would like to explore the possibilities of adding more value and features, such as those I mentioned above, and with that explore going into In-App purchases to either subscribe or unlock features.
For now, I’m looking forward to the upcoming WWDC and all the changes that Apple will bring to us developers, particularly with SwiftUI. As of today, stability, performance, and support for iOS 17 will be my highest priorities in the coming months. After that, we’ll see where this journey takes us.