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Indie Dev Weekly #11


The image used in the title is an abandoned AI-generated background image for the next version of the Zen Flip Clock. Has anyone recognized what scene it is from?


One-third of 2023 has passed, and in April, the income had ups and downs:

  • Google Play increased by 20%.
  • The domestic Android market decreased by 16%.
  • App Store decreased by 13%.

Zen Flip Clock iOS (App Store)

The number of downloads decreased by 4.2% in April. If it weren't for the three days of surging downloads in Korea, the number of downloads would have been even lower.

The app was only updated once in April to fix a bug and update some keywords. However, it seemed to have negatively impacted the app. But, the changes in these keywords did not affect the download volume.

Changes in keywords

On Saturday, I received a lengthy review from a user in the United States. I was surprised to see that they gave the app a five-star review because of the small feature of reporting the time on the hour.


Zen Flip Clock Android Google Play

This week, I received an email with a concerning subject line. The domestic Android version of the Zen Flip Clock was suddenly removed from the Huawei app market, and the reason was that it lacked an ICP filing.


Actually, I did have an ICP filing, because it's required for listing on the Xiaomi app market, but I didn't know that Huawei had also made it a requirement. Other independent developers in the community had received similar emails from Huawei, but I didn't pay much attention to them at the time. It wasn't until I received the removal notice that I went back and checked my email and realized that I had received the same warning email two weeks earlier...

So I submitted a screenshot of my filing record of Tencent Cloud (which is the same one I used for the Xiaomi app market), but it was rejected by Huawei, because they required a screenshot of the MIIT's website. Alright, I followed the requirement and finally managed to get the app relisted.

Huawei's HarmonyOS is already full of bugs, and this three-day suspension made our already meager April income even worse.


Minimal Diary iOS (App Store)

Downloads in April decreased by 28%!

Like ZFC, there has been no version update for almost a month in April, because most of my energy was allocated to ZFC.

However, this week I still submitted two TestFlight beta versions and fixed two bugs. I'll try to submit the official version next week:

  • Buttons on some pages seem to be ineffective due to padding issues or need to be clicked multiple times to take effect.
  • Cannot add pictures saved from WeChat to the diary.

The second bug was because PHPickerResult couldn't recognize images saved from WeChat as UIImage. I asked Claude for help and he gave me a solution directly.


Changing the Accounting Firm

There's another major event this week that could have a significant impact on the long-term development of Minimal Software Studio: changing the accounting firm.

For the past two years, I've been using a well-known (at least in my opinion) self-bookkeeping service called 自记账, which is popular among independent developers. Before the incident, I even recommended this company to other developers. However, 自记账 made a mistake in calculating my business income tax for two consecutive quarters last year. The second time was particularly outrageous because they miscalculated the decimal point and the amount changed from over 400 to over 4000. It was only after my repeated questioning that they fixed the mistake. What's even more outrageous is that out of the 28 people in my company group, not one of the other 27 people came forward to apologize. They just ignored the issue and let it go. Since then, I decided not to renew my subscription after it expires.

I originally planned to find another online accounting service, but I found that there were only two options: Alibaba Cloud and Huawei Cloud. Alibaba Cloud costs 1800 yuan per year, and after consulting developers who use their accounting service, I found that their service is basically the same as 自记账, except for more timely and detailed customer service replies.

In the end, I chose a local accounting and tax reporting company, which was even more expensive than Alibaba Cloud, but it's worth it for peace of mind. With 自记账, I had to upload invoices, provide payroll, bank statements, and details, and file my own annual industrial and commercial report. With the local company, I don't have to worry about any of these things anymore.