Monthly Archives: November 2016

Remembering Grandpa

John Deere Model A

My father’s John Deere Model A

We said goodbye to my grandfather last week. I had the opportunity to explain to my sons that funerals are a chance to gather with all of the people who knew our loved ones to honor and remember them.

A few days later, I spent some time with my boys enjoying the sights and smells perched atop a John Deere, a place my Grandfather loved. My dad has owned this Model A for years, so we’ve also had plenty of time to develop our own affections for this tractor. It came as no surprise to me when my boys expressed their love for it as well.

The sound of those loud pops as the twin cylinders come under load has always made me grin. It’s like a joyful laugh, as if the tractor enjoys being out in the fresh air, moving across the land, doing its work. My grandfather loved it too, and passed that love to his son, me, and now my sons. My grin will be a little bigger now when I hear those pops.

What Happened To Lexi?

Over the last couple months, the single biggest question I’ve received in my support inbox has been:

“What happened to Lexi?”

As these folks noticed, I removed Lexi from the App Store at the end of August. I’ve been intentionally quite about it both online and offline, as I’ve needed some time away. In short, some issues related to the app’s name and branding put me in a position where the simplest course of action was the remove the app from the store and take down the website.

Lexi was an incredible milestone in my career as a software developer. It was my first big indie app, gaining the attention of TNW, Engadget, The Verge, and many others. It appeared in Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report and is used by quite a few people on the Alexa team at Amazon. Its removal didn’t go unnoticed, which is incredibly humbling.

So What’s Next?

Lexi will continue to work as-is for the foreseeable future. It uses the v1 Alexa endpoints, which Amazon may choose to disable at some point in time. That means if you’re using the app, you’ll be able to continue to do so until Amazon disables the old APIs. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to update the app when that happens. Since I’ve received no support requests related to bugs or problems with the app for months, I believe users are content with things as they are in the final release.

However, I’m not content. Back in August, I had a deep backlog of features and enhancements I wanted to build, and that list has only grown in the months since. Alexa is an incredibly exciting platform, and I’m pumped to be building for it again.