iOS 11 Dreams Can Come True With The Shelf App

A developer is creating an app for iPad and iPhone called The Shelf. The Shelf app can be used as temporary storage for items that you want to drag and drop. Daniel Breslan, the creator of this app, says he has been working on it all summer and that it will be ready when iOS 11 launches.

Image of the Shelf app on the iPad.
The Shelf in slide-over mode.

The Shelf Concept

Earlier in the year Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett created a video/article on MacStories called iOS 11 : iPad Wishes and Concept Video. In the video, we see a shelf at the top of the homescreen where you can drag and drop temporary bits and pieces of data, like a map, highlighted text, and images.

Managing Data

Inspired by that video, Daniel Breslan’s Shelf app comes very close. It will support different data types with dynamic data export for:

  • Map Locations
  • Emails
  • Images
  • URLs with rich previews
  • Links to apps
  • Attributed Text
  • Plain Text


Mr. Breslan is considering a yearly US$2–US$3 dollar subscription for The Shelf app. If you want to help beta test, you can contact Daniel through email or Twitter.

3 thoughts on “iOS 11 Dreams Can Come True With The Shelf App

  • Andrew:

    This looks like a great app, and one that I would definitely use. I see that it is a subscription. Permit me a short rant.

    First, I strongly believe that developers need to be paid and fairly, so let’s set that aside.

    Second, I believe that there are two competing models for doing so, that because they are running in parallel, are creating increasing tension and potential compromise on our ability to appropriately compensate developers who are creating increasingly vital apps. This competition in compensatory systems requires leadership.

    Third, I believe that we need for Apple, for example, to create a subscription service that permits clients to bundle their choice of apps that will fall into cost tiers. For example, a tier of X number of apps in the $1.99 – $2.99 range, that results in a cost savings to the client but compensates the developers by exposing them to a wider subscription base than they might get with individual subscriptions. There could be another subscription service for the more expensive apps, etc. Apple clients could then purchase other apps outright that are not part of a subscription plan, but then they’d own these outright.

    I, for one, am finding that the need to subscribe and purchase, en masse, is beginning to retard my acquisition of new apps. It’s a question of cash flow, not interest. I don’t think I’m alone.

    Okay, here endeth the rant.

    1. I completely agree with you. I don’t think the subscription model is inherently bad, but I do think it should match what the app is meant for. Example: A subscription makes sense for apps like Ulysses, or even Day One, because they give users great value and are also big enough to have server-side operations.

      But simple utility apps (in my opinion) should not be subscription-based, and you can see in this Twitter thread that others think a one-time, upfront cost is more appropriate. Especially since the Shelf relies on iCloud for syncing.

      1. Thanks for that thread.

        I like your framing of this issue. I would be in favour of an annual or even monthly subscription fee, not unlike what I already do for a number of services.

        Were Apple to curate this service so that they give priority to apps that make sense for subscription, including apps that already are on a subscription basis, I think that it would generate more adoption and hence compensation for developers. It would also free up clients’ discretionary funds for outright purchase of other apps that either do not require annual upgrade, or that one can evaluate on a trial basis. In fact, some of these trials could be funded through the subscription, with immediate compensation to the developer, and then swapped in or out by the subscriber. Either way, developers would take less risk for offering trials, and would likely see overall greater revenues for well-written, valuable apps.


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