Issue #48: Subtrack by Mohit Nandwani

Today, we're looking at Subtrack by Mohit Nandwani.

Subtrack is a simple yet powerful privacy-friendly app that helps you manage your subscriptions.

With Subtrack, you can easily add subscriptions from an in-built list of 300+ providers. Once you've added and customized your subscriptions, you can set reminders so you never miss an upcoming due date.

Subtrack's integration with Siri Shortcuts enables you to ask Siri about the status of your subscriptions and your weekly or monthly dues.

Subtrack is also cross-platform and seamlessly syncs your subscriptions across your devices via iCloud Sync. No account required!

Available for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS

A quick thank you to Astro for supporting this issue of Indie Watch!d

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Mohit Nandwani (@iMohitNandwani)

I'm Mohit Nandwani, a 29-year-old self-taught indie iOS developer and UI/UX designer. I live in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Besides handling my family business, I am passionate about developing iOS apps, a pursuit I fulfil as an independent developer. I'm currently working on Subtrack and some other projects that will be released later this year.

How did you come up with the idea?

The lockdown of 2020—a time when my couch became my best friend, and streaming platforms were my lifeline. Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Zee5... you name it, I binged it all.

As life slowly returned to normal, my binge-watching habits didn't fade, but something funny happened. Amid my Netflix and Disney+ marathons, I realized I was still shelling out cash for other subscriptions I hardly used. It hit me—I was throwing money down the drain on services I barely touched!

And that's when the lightbulb went off: why not create an app to help me track these sneaky subscriptions and keep my wallet in check? And so, I set out to build Subtrack.

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How did you market the app as an indie developer?

I usually let Apple know about major updates and sometimes will send out emails to bloggers and YouTubers. I'm also planning to start a blog page for Subtrack and maybe a newsletter in the future. I haven't tried the paid marketing part yet.

I've been fortunate to get Subtrack featured by popular websites and YouTubers.

What’s your app design and development workflow like?

I have always believed that an app should complement the native design of the OS that it’s running on. Before I started working on Subtrack, I had this idea clear in my mind that the app should look, feel, and behave as if Apple itself had made the app. I was reading the story “Behind the Design: Darkroom“ where the Apple award-winning developer Majd Taby said something that became my philosophy while designing apps.

He said and I quote:

Our philosophy is that good design is also obvious design. Because obvious design means that it's fast to learn, because it's obvious. It means it's easy to use, because it's obvious. It means you've started with the simplest, most straightforward approach to a problem rather than complicating it. And so making sure that we don't focus on form on its own, but form in the service of function and vice versa.

Another thing that helped was the list I read written by Jordan Morgan called “A Best-in-class iOS app“ which helped me in making the app look and feel at home. I kept revisiting this list again and again to check what should I add to my app to make it feel as natively designed as possible.

My development workflow is such that I work on Subtrack pretty much every single day - sometimes I'm fixing a bug, sometimes it's a new feature.

I'll often ask my users for suggestions for new features and try to add those features as quickly as possible. I get frequent messages from users about new feature requests and reports about the bugs they're facing. I'll add new features based of the feature requests I get most often.

Any advice on monetizing your app and improving conversions?

When considering monetization strategies for Subtrack, I believe it's prudent to conduct a thorough analysis of the market landscape. In particular, observing how competitors are monetizing their offerings. While subscription-based models are prevalent, it's essential to recognize that they may not always be the optimal choice. In my experience, providing users with the option of a lifetime subscription can be particularly appealing, as it aligns with the preference of many individuals for a one-time payment rather than recurring fees.

One approach I've implemented with Subtrack is to provide users with complimentary access to all features initially. This allows users to fully explore the app's capabilities and determine if it meets their needs. However, to strike a balance between generosity and sustainability, there are limitations placed on the number of subscription entries for free users. This strategy serves to offer users a comprehensive trial experience while incentivizing them to upgrade to a paid plan for continued access to unlimited functionality.

In my observation, the success of a monetization strategy is often closely tied to factors such as user experience, customer support quality, and overall product design. Investing in these areas not only enhances user satisfaction, but also plays a pivotal role in driving conversions and fostering long-term customer loyalty. By prioritizing a seamless user journey, providing prompt and attentive customer assistance, and maintaining a visually appealing and intuitive interface, Subtrack aims to cultivate a positive user experience that facilitates conversions and sustains business growth over time.

What was your launch strategy? How did you drive traffic to your launch?

To be honest, I just built the app and released it without strategizing the launch as I was clueless about it.

In a move that can only be described as "let's throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks," I decided to test the waters on Reddit (/r/apple, to be precise). The response was way beyond what I expected. Emboldened by this success, I figured, why not give ProductHunt a shot too?

Subtrack was met with a flood of love and support there too. Next thing I knew, a couple of YouTube channels and news websites caught wind of it from Reddit or Product Hunt and decided to shine their spotlight on my little app.

What are the future plans for your app?

I've been inactive lately for the past 2 months due to personal reasons, but I will be resuming my work on Subtrack pretty soon.

I have plans to release a new update first with bug fixes and improvements. After that, I'll resume working on Subtrack 2.0.

Subtrack 2.0 has been in the works from some time now. It'll bring some big changes, many most requested features by the users, and design improvements.

I'm really excited about the v2.0 and hope to finish it very soon!

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Here's the last issue in case you missed it:

Issue #47: hearEQ by Alex Andrews
hearEQ is an ear training app for musicians, sound engineers, and audio lovers.

🎉 Exciting news! 🎉

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Practical Tips for Junior iOS Developers
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