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Indie Dev Weekly #12



I had to work from bed for four days this week due to health issues. I advise everyone not to sit for too long.


A Father Who Knows How to Use Internet Tools

This week, my child's school required everyone to participate in a drawing competition and submit a work online with the theme "Love Hometown." The submission process was to follow a public account and then jump to a mini program. I immediately realized this was not a serious competition, so I thought about submitting something quickly. At first, I wanted to find a random image online to submit, but I thought it would be disrespectful to the original author. So, I used Stable Diffusion to generate about ten images and picked one to submit.


As we all know, many businesses use social media to promote themselves by asking users to gather likes or shares for a chance to win discounts or gifts. My wife and I strongly dislike these tactics, and we never participated in these activities before. However, my child's interest class also had a "gather likes" activity where parents could gather 28 likes to give their child a small gift. To make our child happy, I found a "friends circle forwarding screenshot generator" and completed the task in minutes. It turned out that my child's photo studio also had a similar activity, allowing us to add more photos to the album. So, I used the same tool again, and it was a great success!


Zen Flip Clock (App StoreGoogle Play)

This week, I only spent two days working on the ZFC iOS app and submitted only one beta version. Most of my time was spent on adapting and testing the new UI and features for iPad.

The background images used in the new version were all generated using Midjourney. So far, two versions have been fully updated, and the image below is one of the ones that was replaced. Has anyone recognized what famous scene it depicts?


WeChat Pay server

This week, my anxiety came from the domestic Android version of the Zen Flip Clock server.

The server was written two years ago and, at the time, to save costs, we did not purchase a cloud database. Instead, we used Parse Community's open-source project as the app's database, only using it to store payment records for Zen Flip Clock. Later on, Minimal Diary directly used a cloud database. I've always wanted to migrate the data in Parse to the cloud database and unify the APIs of both apps.

The old payment API was built on WeChat Pay v2 and used an open-source library that had not been updated for many years. Although we haven't had any issues so far, I wanted to expand the API in the future and decided to rewrite the Zen Flip Clock server with the help of AI.

I've always been afraid of writing backends, especially those related to payments and databases. I'm afraid of something going wrong. That's why I've been procrastinating on the migration and upgrade work for so long.

At first, I wanted to create a v2 version of the API in the backend project of Zen Flip Clock. But after writing it for a whole night, I realized that the code was quite long, especially the code related to reading and writing in the database, which made me fearful and defeated.

Later, I organized my thoughts and suddenly realized that the safest way was to reuse the API of Minimal Diary. So I created a new set of APIs for Zen Flip Clock in the backend project of Minimal Diary. It took less than half a day to write the new APIs, and with the help of AI, I organized the original code and configuration information. Finally, I tested all the new APIs locally, and they all worked. At this point, all my anxiety was greatly relieved.

Minimal Diary (App Store, Google Play)

This week, version 1.7.5 was released, fixing three bugs and updating some keywords.

After the update, two users reported the same bug: the diary images were not displayed in the calendar for a certain month. It looks like my work next week will be focused on fixing this issue.

There's also a major feature in the backlog that I've been wanting to work on, and as far as I know, no other diary app has implemented it yet. I'm planning to start working on it next week.

This Week's Shopping


This week, I bought a lot of coffee on Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok), all kinds of coffee, including coffee beans, instant coffee, coffee bags, capsules, and coffee concentrates. (I stocked up on coffee beans during the COVID-19 pandemic last November and still haven't finished them...)


iPad mini 6

My iPad Air 2 has been collecting dust recently, and I only used it for my kid to play Go and for app development on an iPad. But now my kid doesn't play Go anymore, and the system can't be upgraded to iPadOS 16, so it's no longer useful to me. Fortunately, my mom's iPad 3 is finally broken, so I gave her my iPad Air 2.

So, I started looking for a new iPad test machine, and finally chose the iPad mini 6, which is portable and powerful enough. I researched on Xianyu (Chinese version of eBay) for two days and selected a seller with excellent credit and hundreds of positive reviews. After I paid, the seller said a bunch of nonsense, saying that he was actually selling it for his sister, the current price was too cheap, and he was afraid his sister would be unhappy. He asked me to apply for a refund, then he would raise the price and let me buy it again. After that, he would refund the extra money to me... What a ridiculous scam! So I just requested a refund and blocked him.

Later, I chose another seller with even lower prices and used a verification app to make sure it was legitimate. I can already predict that there will be additional expenses for various accessories, such as cases, stands, and an Apple Pencil...