This week we launched our Letterboxd iPhone app as a free download through Apple’s App Store. We’re ecstatic to put this app in your pocket (18,000 of you have grabbed it already!), and tremendously excited about how it will evolve the way we use Letterboxd. This was a monumental achievement for the team at HQ (particular hat tips to Grant, Ryan and Karl); the scope of the API + app development turned out to be comparable to the amount of work we did in 2011 while preparing our initial public beta.
The launch was covered by TechCrunch, IndieWire, The Next Web and many others, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Today I’d like to share a little insight into the process and tell you about what we’ve built.
After committing to build an iPhone app for Letterboxd, we first needed to add an API layer to our server infrastructure, to handle the transfer of data between external clients and the site. We’d piloted a small portion of the required work for Film Fest Buzz, and over the course of the past year we’ve built out the remainder of the API, which today comprises 40 individual endpoints.
The app’s interface represents an iOS-friendly take on the site’s aesthetic, and some parts of it may influence the future direction of the site. The majority of the app’s screens were designed in late 2014—our prototype extended to 63 individual layouts, a large proportion of which have made it into the app we shipped this week.
API and iOS development was done concurrently for much of last year, and in November we invited Patron members to install and test an alpha version of the app. As always, we’re indebted to everyone who helped us to test the various builds over the past four months. (If you’ve been testing the app, please install the App Store version and we’ll get in touch when there are future betas to look at.)