The online home of John Pollard

Released my new Sideboard app

My first new app in quite a while, and I made Club MacStories "App Debuts"!


After over two years of development, I can finally unveil my new Sideboard app

You can read all about Sideboard on the app’s main page, so I won’t repeat everything it does here, but to quote that page

Sideboard is an iOS, iPadOS, Mac, watchOS and visionOS app designed to summarise your upcoming meetings and enhance your productivity

I’d been working on Sideboard for probably over 2 years on and off, as was really a side project to keep my hand in native iOS development - my day job is mostly Flutter and NodeJS/JavaScript at the moment

It was originally a lot more ambitious app to control things “on the side”, including

  • Shwoing your upcoming meetings
  • Controlling your Apple Music or Spotify music player
  • Showing the latest weather forecast

… all while running on a dock

However the music part either didn’t work well (for Spotify) and when I gave up using Apple Music after a brief experiment, I lost interest. Also, when iOS 17 brought standby mode, I gave up on the app for a while, thinking it had been properly sherlocked.

After a while longer though, I figured out that if I built a nice widget the app would still have some value in standby mode for just the meetings part. That gave me the energy to finally get everything ready to ship, and here we are!

Sideboard in standby mode

Press Coverage!

I thought I’d actually do some (minimal!) promotion of the app, so I made a press pack and got in contact with a few Apple-focussed websites

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but I was very pleasantly surprised when John Voorhees from MacStories got in contact to say Sideboard would be featured in issue 419 of Club MacStories (behind a paywall, but see the image at the top of the article)

Still to early to say how may downloads this will result in, but TBH I’m happy enough just to get in the newsletter!

Sideboard is “Charityware”

I decided early on not to charge for Sideboard. I’m not 100% convinced it adds a ton of value, and definitely not enough for my original plan of it being a subscription app

What I have done though is put a prompt in the settings asking for charity donations if people want to “say thanks” in some way

I’m really happy doing it this way, rather than putting in some probably awful ads or asking for money

Next Steps

I’m not sure I have any great ideas to extend the product, but if you do have any ideas for improvements do let me know