Apps made by Nicolo Stanciu

Indie Watch

## Can you tell us a little about yourself?

"Good afternoon" or now "bom dia", my name is Nicolo Stanciu. I'm originally from Munich, but recently moved to Coimbra in Portugal. Love brought me here and the fact that I am now a full-time indie developer and can go wherever I want.

I became an iOS developer in the year before Swift was announced while studying Media Informatics. My interest in apps started very early. More from the consumer side, but I still remember my Nokia devices where you could install apps and games and I loved them. R.I.P. Nokia.

So far, so good. Back then, I became an iOS developer and worked for a company in Munich that developed mobile apps for Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche. It was a really great time there and I got to play around with a lot of expensive cars and technologies.

After my full-time job, I wanted to spend my time developing apps for myself rather than just watching TV or hanging out. I tried many small to medium sized app ideas and they were more or less not really successful.

That changed in 2017 when NFC became available on iOS and I was one of the first to have an NFC scanner out there. Over the years, I continued to develop [NFC for iPhone]( and every year my app got bigger and bigger until I reached a point in 2021 where I realized: Oh wow, I have 3 million downloads and this will make me enough money to quit my job. That is, I quit my job in 2022 and am now a full-time indie developer on the way to my 4 millionth download. I'm very happy about this decision and I am now focusing on growing my baby.

## How did you come up with the idea?

I know this issue is not about my NFC app, but [Metadata for Fastlane Tools]( kind of evolved from that. As you may know, localization of an app is a crucial factor for the growth of an app, since not everyone out there speaks English (and it also gets you more keywords, so more opportunities to be found in the AppStore). This was also my goal for my NFC app.

During this process, I experienced a lot of painful copy and paste work that I had to do to localize my app’s metadata. I was already using Fastlane Tools and realized that there is a great opportunity to develop an app. Fastlane Tools downloads your AppStore Connect metadata to your hard drive and puts it into text files. These text files can now be edited and are tracked via Git. (I recommend every app developer to use Fastlane for their app metadata, even if you prefer Xcode Cloud over Fastlane Build Pipeline).

## How did you market the app as an indie developer?

That's very easy: I used Twitter and the Twitter communities I'm a member of. Twitter is a great tool to connect with other developers and since Metadata for Fastlane Tools is aimed at developers, I think I found the perfect marketing channel. To expand the app in the future, I'm thinking about targeting Android and cross-platform developers as well, since Fastlane also works with the Google PlayStore. I also hope that the word-of-mouth effect will do its part. I know we developers love to share our ideas and tools to simplify our daily development process.

## What does your workflow look like when designing and developing apps?

I'm a "I just start hacking" kind of guy. I open Xcode and start a new project. Then I try to validate my ideas and see if they work. Meanwhile, I search the web for answers or use my old code and then start creating packages to make my work reusable. To organize my work, I use [Fork]( (a very good Git client), [XCOrganizer]( (a cool menu bar app for organizing Xcode projects), [ReMafoX]( (I'll explain what it is later), and Notion. For the design process, I simply use [Sketch](

## Any tips on monetizing your app / improving conversions?

I have recently had success with in-app events. I use them to showcase my app's features for a month, and then post those events again when they expire. They also provide more opportunities to be found in the AppStore because they can be found through search and featured by AppStore editors. Ultimately, it's hard to say if this is making the difference in my conversion rate, but from the stats I see a slight upward trend. You should definitely take a look at this.

## What’s your favorite tool in your dev workflow?

It’s [Fastlane]( and [ReMafoX]( But since most of the community here already knows Fastlane I say ReMafoX. This app is an Xcode extension that supercharges your localization workflow. The predecessor of this app helped me translating my app into all the languages provided by DeepL. Once everything is set up you don’t even have to leave your Swift file anymore to get your localization in a type safe way and translated into multiple languages. The developer Cihat Gündüz and me also became friends in the beginning of this year because I sent him a tip for one of his GitHub projects. And you might now also be able to guess where I got the idea for Metadata for Fastlane Tools. ;).