Interview with Mike Piontek, Mac & iOS Developer

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Hi there! Who are you are and what do you do?

Hello! I’m Mike Piontek. I run a software company called Junecloud, and I design and develop software for Mac and iOS.


How/where did your interest in iOS development get started?

I grew up with a Mac, and that got me started on a path toward graphic design and playing around with different types of interactive software. In college I started to focus on web design, and that fed into experimenting with widgets when Apple added Dashboard to Mac OS X. Meanwhile every mobile phone on the US market was terrible—I bought a Hong Kong phone on eBay just to get something with a decent UI that did email and played MP3s. I was dying for Apple to make a phone. So I was incredibly excited when they announced the iPhone, and started thinking how cool it would be to have my Delivery Status widget on there. Once they announced the App Store, I was ready to learn how to write apps for it.

What’s your setup?

I have a 13″ MacBook Air (1.8GHz i7, 4GB, 256GB) as my main computer, which spends a lot of time hooked up to a 27″ Cinema Display. I also have a Mac mini Server (2GHz i7, 4GB, 1.5TB) for things like file storage, Time Machine, printing, storing media to watch on our Apple TVs, and so on. Of course I also have a drawer full of iOS devices, including a white iPhone 4S (64GB, GSM) and iPad 3 (32GB, Wi-Fi only) that I use regularly.

What are your favourite apps?

On iOS a few of my favorites are Twitterrific, Reeder, Comics by comiXology, Instagram, TV Forecast, Weightbot, and Prompt. For Mac some of my favorites are BBEdit, Transmit, Arq, and of course Twitterrific and Reeder again.

Where do you find inspiration?

All over. I follow a lot of designers, developers, and illustrators on Twitter—seeing the stuff they’re working on drives me to work harder. But it’s easy to find inspiration in less obvious places—music, photography, comics. Seeing other people do good creative work gets me excited about my own, and it feeds into my work in subtle ways. I’ve also found a lot of inspiration comes from feedback on my software. Someone will ask why it doesn’t work a certain way, and usually there’s a good reason, and they’re fine with that explanation. But I know I’m not happy with it, and my brain starts churning trying to figure out a creative solution.

Aside from design and development, what else do you do?

Wait, I’m supposed to do something else…? When I’m not working I play a lot of games (mostly PlayStation 3, Vita, and iOS), go to the movies, read comics on my iPad, or just spend time with my wife.

What especially interesting things are you working on now?

For far too long now I’ve been focusing on our first full Mac app—a new version of Notefile that will be available in the Mac App Store. You’ll be able to run it in the Dock or the menu bar, and it will support iCloud. A new version of the iOS app will also support iCloud, and we have some other little improvements too.

That’s a wrap! Thanks a lot for your time and good luck in the future!

You’re welcome, thank you!

To find out more about Mike Piontek and his work, you can visit Junecloud, his software company, and follow him on Twitter.

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