MaskerAid iOS App

This day, I’m joyful to express my most trendy app, MaskerAid!

My kids, with emoji in front of their faces.

In transient, MaskerAid permits you to rapid and without speak add emoji to photos. Plus,
due to the the magic of ✨ machine finding out ✨, MaskerAid will robotically
speak emoji over any faces it detects. There’s several causes it is miles recommended to
conceal a face:

  • The face of a kid who’s too younger to consent to their image being shared
  • The faces of the kids for your college room, or your bear classmates, who in actuality
    don’t must be for your photos
  • The faces of protestors who are standing up in opposition to a grotesque war
  • The opposite faces in a namely broad shot of you, but used to be taken as phase of a neighborhood

There are other causes it is miles recommended to merely add an emoji to a describe, but no longer
on top of a face:

  • Maybe you bear to glean to point ⬆️👆⬇️👇⬅️➡️👈👉 to something
  • Let’s perfect narrate 🍑 + 💨=😆
  • Who doesn’t treasure a ✌️ at the lend a hand of a head?

MaskerAid is free to are attempting but which that you just would possibly presumably additionally handiest add 🙂 to photos. There would possibly be a one-time
$3 in-app elevate to unlock the comfort of the emoji.

MaskerAid app icon

MaskerAid is designed to be a extremely particular receive of app: construct one component, construct it
well, and construct it rapid.

For me, I in actuality in actuality predominant an app that can let me rapid conceal the faces
of my kids, so I would possibly well presumably additionally put up family photos to the catch, but wait on their
faces private. In much the associated device Watch‑a‑Uncover about used to be written to scratch
my bear itch, so used to be MaskerAid.

Animated GIF of MaskerAid in use

MaskerAid is free to are attempting, and I’d be honored in case you would. Whenever you happen to treasure it,
resolve the in-app elevate, and extra than the relaxation, show your traffic!

The Abet Narrative

When my oldest child, Declan, used to be a minute one, we posted photos of him
repeatedly. No longer handiest glean been we new fogeys, but we glean been first-time fogeys, and
we had perfect done a horrible hotfoot. I bear to teach we earned it.

Nevertheless, when Declan got to be around four, it came about to me — much to
my terror — that he used to be now no longer a minute squish. He used to be an
accurate-to-goodness particular person, with a personality, wishes, and opinions. Which
got me to pondering: what if he doesn’t desire me posting photos of him to
my social media? This day, he undoubtedly doesn’t care, but what about the following day?
What about when he’s in excessive college?

I principally stopped posting photos of him, excepting on his birthday.
When I did put up, I would in overall conceal his face utilizing an emoji, as such:

This isn’t awful to construct on Instagram, but it undoubtedly’s no longer exactly easy. The supreme device
I had found to construct it used to be to create an Instagram Narrative, attach it, and then use
that as your image to your put up. It’s a disaster.

What I predominant used to be an app that can let me construct a pair issues:

  1. Add an arbitrary emoji to a describe
  2. Space emoji over the faces within a describe robotically
MaskerAid's drawer allowing you to choose an emoji

I figured I would possibly well presumably additionally conquer #1, but #2 looked more durable. I do know minute or no about
machine finding out, but I do know ample to know that coaching a mannequin to gape
faces would be exceedingly subtle.

Then I had an apostrophe epiphany.

Apple has already carried out the work for me.

I began to create a proof-of-opinion utilizing UIKit. I perfect predominant with a view to
build apart rectangles around the faces detected in a describe. I rapid hit several walls,
most of which glean been perhaps my fault, but it undoubtedly looked silly to plod my wheels.
So I gave the associated job a transient college are attempting in SwiftUI, and it took no time.

I was off to the races. At some stage within the major day, I had the bare-bones proof
of opinion total.

But Wait, There’s More

As with all my other apps, I did a interior most beta check for a handful of relied on
traffic and a few press. Even when the beta handiest went to about forty of us,
those testers gave me immensely distinguished suggestions. Myke, namely,
identified to me something I will have to glean viewed but didn’t. MaskerAid is
comely for collectively with an emoji wherever, to any image. Even photos without
faces can in overall glean themselves immediate of an emoji; maybe for fun, maybe
to conceal something that isn’t a face.

As soon as Myke known as this to my attention, I realized other testers doing the
same component. With out word I realized I glean a total new class of user to wait on in thoughts.
Within the slay, this new use-case didn’t dramatically alternate any of my plans for
MaskerAid, but it undoubtedly is a testomony to:

  1. Continually expose your work to relied on advisors
  2. You by no formulation know the device of us will perhaps want to make use of your instrument

Myke also made a 2nd broad advice. As an different of marketing around a
[sort-of] damaging of hiding issues, why no longer lean into the truth that
MaskerAid would possibly well even be extinct to add emoji wherever? Annoyingly, #mykewasright.

The Work

Two lovebirds

Unfortunately, a bare-bones app is no longer acceptable for sale within the App Retailer.
It took me from late September till late February to receive MaskerAid to the
point that I felt treasure it used to be ready to be released. I’m lag others would
work quicker, but there’s a surprising quantity of labor that goes into making
a newest iOS app at the expose time.

Though MaskerAid perhaps doesn’t search for treasure it took as regards to half a 365 days, I
narrate you I was no longer perfect mucking about right by that time. Further, this isn’t
my first rodeo: no longer handiest glean I been working on iOS professionally since 2016,
that is my fourth app that I’ve released independently.

It’s elegant to me how much time I spent working on what’s kinda
“administrivia” — issues treasure the in-app elevate waft, guaranteeing the
handful of user preferences I wait on are saved effectively, and updating emoji
without needing to change the app. (We can all be taught from Slack’s mistakes,

I don’t narrate this to whinge — by and sizable the app has been sizable
fun to work on — but extra to show that even “easy” apps glean
reasonably plenty going on under the hood.

Other Factoids

For the nerds, listed below are some tidbids which that you just would possibly presumably additionally glean intriguing. MaskerAid:

  • Makes use of async/await semi-liberally
  • Makes use of Combine infrequently.
  • Is quite exclusively SwiftUI
  • Is exclusively Swift
  • Leverages Gui Rambo’s comely tip about storing app knowledge in iCloud; that is how I will change emoji without updating the app
  • The major commit used to be 21 September, 2021
  • The closing commit for version 2022.2 — the one released as we utter — used to be the 203rd, and used to be made Friday morning.
  • There are 29 closed pull requests (from me to me 🤪)
  • As of writing, there are 64 closed GitHub disorders, and 12 launch ones.

Some Acknowledgements

Though I wrote each and every line of code in MaskerAid, I undoubtedly had some encourage
alongside the device in which that I haven’t mentioned yet:

  • Ste Grainer supplied yet yet every other improbable icon for me — I’ve
    relied on Ste for each and every the Vignette and Watch‑a‑Uncover about icons sooner than.
    Nevertheless, extra seriously, MaskerAid used to be Ste’s opinion and I knew at the moment
    that it used to be the gorgeous title for the app.

  • Spencer Wohlers supplied many, many distinguished and actionable trojan horse stories
    right by beta checking out.

  • Impress Jeshcke supplied as regards to as many trojan horse stories, but much extra seriously,
    lent his far precise receive peer to the app. Thanks to Impress’s tips and pointers,
    MaskerAid used to be fashioned into something reasonably much extra gorgeous than I would possibly well presumably additionally
    or would glean made on my own.

  • Higher than anyone else, my family, for challenging the app, being patient with
    me whereas I labored on it, and perfect in overall being extra awesome than I will
    ever hope to be. 🥰

It’s provoking to position something new into the realm, but I’m so happy to be ready
to let MaskerAid out into your fingers. I in actuality hope you’ll are attempting it.

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β€œSimplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching