As I was one of the fortunate to win an Apple TV developer kit, I started working on ideas all the way back in September of 2015. As everybody was criticizing the text input (and as I can't help myself), I immediately tried to think of alternative keyboard designs. But as keyboard extensions were/are not allowed, I needed an app to implement the keyboard in. For some un-remembered reasons, I ended up choosing to develop a calendar app.
And while I had a working concept, once Apple implemented dictation and updated the iOS Remote app, it felt like too much hassle to force an alternative input method on the users.
At the same time, I became quite interested in the Top Shelf feature and explored what could be done in that space.
My basic concept was to create a TV pendant of classic wall calendars usually hung at home or in the office, but instead with some dynamic elements and - of course - living on the Top Shelf.
The Apple TV Tech Talk in January of 2016 could not have been timed better (or located more conveniently right here in Berlin). I had a problem when trying to update Top Shelf items and one of the engineers on site could point me in the right direction.
Next big milestone was the AppLovin Apple TV App Challenge or rather finishing a prototype to participate in it. Some troubles with the memory limitations of tvOS extensions made hitting the deadline of March 31st a challenge of its own, but I was able deliver a first version. While I did not win, having a deadline to get to a working state was quite helpful.
That initial prototype version still had to hibernate for some time, though, as I became a father on April 19th, reducing the time for spare-time projects to.. well.. zero.
1.0 hit the App Store February 20th, 2017. Here the initial (and current) app preview video
My name is André Nicolai, I am a software developer living in Berlin, Germany. While I mostly work with C# and Unity 3D during my day job, I have been developing apps with Swift in my space-time, ever since it was introduced in 2014. I am notoriously bad at blogging, but I will try to keep this page up to date with the projects I am working on.