Hung Truong: The Blog!

♥s Threadless: iPhone App Launch!

November 28, 2010 | 3 Minute Read

Today my newest app was approved for the App Store (and should be propagating quickly)! ♥s Threadless is what I’ve been working on mostly for the past few weeks or so. Hurry up and download and review it, then come back here for more info about the app.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Threadless since I discovered it back in 2005 (see these blog posts for proof). I really love the fact that the community provides designs and decides which ones will be printed. The company is really only there to provide the machinery to make shirts and fulfill orders! I wanted to contribute to the community by making an unofficial Threadless app (and maybe get a little store credit to feed my t-shirt needs).

My main reasoning for writing a native Threadless app is that I found it pretty hard to browse shirts, even in a fully fledged web browser let alone an iPhone browser. The Threadless site is by no means bad, but it’s hard to see what designs look like when the images are small and on models. I prefer viewing the actual design. So I built an app that makes it easy to 1) browse and find cool shirts and 2) share them with your friends.

In order to do this, I needed to get a database of shirts on Threadless. It’s kind of unfortunate that Threadless doesn’t have an API. At all. Threadless does, however, has a few feeds of shirts: one for shirts that are in stock and another for the weekly additions. I parsed this list of shirts and saved them in an App Engine database along with some other metadata like image urls, category info, etc. I also figured out a way to get the list of all Threadless shirts, including the ones that aren’t currently in stock. What this means is that the ♥s Threadless app will help you find more shirts than even the official website can. You can filter by category, color and run fulltext searches on the entire shirt database.

As far as the front end work went, I had to build a custom table view cell to scroll through shirts and a nested scrollview to view shirt images. The shirt view looks a lot like the native photo browser app for the iPhone. I also added features for sharing, including saving the image to your photo album, posting the design on Twitter and Facebook and emailing the shirt design as an attachment. I figure that covers most bases as far as sharing goes.

So far I’ve only designed and built the iPhone version. I think an iPad version would be neat, too, but I want to gauge the interest in the iPhone/iPod app before putting more time into this. If you like the app, let me know and write up a review for it!