Manoeuvres update progress

I'm still working on the update for my new Manoeuvres app. The update includes a fix for a typo in the briefing notes for the Pull Up on the Right Manoeuvre. I'm also hoping to add support for the iPad 2 with the update. Finally, diagonal reverse bay parking is finally coming, but it's taking a while as it's a real headache trying to work out all the kinks.

Why should I pay twice for an app?

My new Manoeuvres app is essentially an updated version of the old one. It looks the same and it behaves the same, but it has the two new manoeuvres which have been added to the driving test in 2017.

Many people would expect to receive these two new manoeuvres for free, and I wouldn’t blame them. We expect to get apps for free, and even though sometimes we have to pay for them, we at least expect the updates to be free. At the same time, the two new manoeuvres in the app did not create themselves. They are the result of actual work by somebody (namely me); frustrating, time-consuming, focused, hard work.

What do we ADIs say to people who expect us to work for free? I won’t print it here as this is a family-friendly website.

This issue has become a common theme in the app development community in recent years. In no sense am I the first developer to write a blog post explaining why I’m charging for a new version of an old app, and I certainly won’t be the last. Let me try to explain, as briefly as I can, why it is sometimes necessary to buy a new version of an app you already own…

First of all, why do we expect apps to be free? Simply because so many apps are free, including the apps you use the most. Anything by Apple, Google, or Facebook, for example, is going to be free. Those three companies probably account for quite a few of the apps you use on a daily basis. Why are their apps free? Because these are massive corporations, bringing in more money than it’s possible for ordinary folk like us to imagine. Apple makes a ton of money by selling you the device in the first place. Google and Facebook make their fortunes by invading your privacy, hoovering up as much of your personal information as they can get their paws on, then using it to target advertising at you. And that’s just what they publicly admit to. Who knows what else they’re doing with your data behind closed doors?

You can be sure, however, that the engineers who worked on those apps got well paid. Those mega-companies may be making out like bandits and dodging taxes all over the world, but their engineers do not work for free. Developing apps is skilled work, and good developers don’t grow on trees.

Another reason why so many apps are free is because there are still quite a few hobbyist developers. These are people who make a simple app just for the sake of it, for fun, or as a learning project. They will often give their work away for free because they are not running a business and that was never their intention. This is how I got started with app development originally.

The problem with a hobbyist’s apps is that they are not likely to stay current. Apps need updating regularly. Even if you are not adding anything new to your app, periodically Apple will do something that breaks it, and you will have to sit down and work on it for a few hours, or days, or weeks, in order to get it working again.

This is the reality of app development these days. In the beginning there was more room for hobbyists. Nowadays, if you are serious about making and maintaining apps, you need to have a business model. You need to be able to ensure that your wages are still getting paid while you’re hunched over your laptop, tearing your hair out, trying to resolve a bug from hell that Apple’s latest version of iOS has introduced into your app.

Facebook and Google can update their apps every other week if they want to. They can have a team of highly-skilled developers working round the clock, because they’re making so much money out of knowing the details of everything you search for online and everybody you communicate with.

I am not exploiting your private data, and I am no longer a hobbyist. I gave up working as a driving instructor, and the stable income that goes along with it, to write software full-time. I need a business model that ensures I get paid for the work that I do. Releasing apps that you pay for once and then get unlimited free updates for life is not a business model that works. This is one of the lessons that has been learned during the first ten years of the App Store, and this is why you see more and more companies trying to switch to a subscription model, or charging again for new versions of their apps.

I have personally paid again for several of the apps that I use. If it’s a good app, and the developer is keeping it well maintained so it continues to work well despite Apple’s best efforts to break it, I am happy to pay again every two to four years or so. I do not expect a developer to work for me for the rest of my life on the basis of a single purchase I made from them.

Here’s an example we should all be very familiar with. When we buy a car, we accept that it won’t stay current forever, it won’t keep working forever, and it won’t have a lifetime warranty. We need to understand that app purchases are no different. That car company is not going to be at your service for the rest of your life, with no additional charges, just because you bought one car from them. You know that there will be repairs, depreciation, and eventually a new car. You understand that cars do not design, build, maintain, and fix themselves, and that everyone involved at every step of that process needs to eat and pay bills and have a holiday once in a while.

It really is as simple as that. Just like cars, apps do not design, build, maintain, and fix themselves. It’s an ongoing process, with ongoing costs.

Considering they are the best quality teaching aids you can get as a driving instructor (I believe), I think my apps have always been reasonably priced. Each time you buy an app, after paying all taxes and expenses, including Apple’s sizeable cut, I eventually get just under half of what you paid. Even though £3.99 is very little to ask for a quality app that helps you to do a better job of teaching your pupils day in day out, in the end I receive less than £2 from you for my efforts. If that is too much to ask, the good news is that nobody is going to force you to spend that money. Your old app will continue to work until Apple breaks it, and then, just like when you car is finally ready for the scrap heap, you have the choice to shell out and replace it, or to just carry on without.

Personally, I love a good app that makes my life easier, so I will always shell out if I feel that app is doing a good job for me. This is especially so if the app is produced by a small, independent developer rather than a giant, tax-dodging company. But that’s just me.

Want to help support a tax-paying, independent app developer? Get the new Manoeuvres app here:

New Manoeuvres app FAQ

Two car lengths?

Since the release of the new version of Manoeuvres last week, there is one question that I’ve been asked a few times: why does the car reverse back more than two car lengths during the Pull Up on the Right manoeuvre?

The reason for this is fairly simple. I’ve made the assumption that all instructors will explain to their pupils that two car lengths is sufficient in most cases, and that all pupils will understand this instruction. Therefore, in designing the app I’ve focused on giving the blue car enough space to pull up on the right, and also enough space to move off again and join the left side of the road. The car therefore reverses a bit more than two car lengths in order to allow space for both these things to happen.


Yes, there is a typo in the briefing notes for Pull Up on the Right. In the section on reversing, it says to select
first gear when it should, of course, say reverse gear. This error will be corrected in the next update.

Diagonal bay parking?

I’ve been wanting to bring diagonal bay parking to the app for a long time. With the new version coming out, a couple of people have reminded me that it’s still not in there. I’m working on that now. I’ve got the basic animations done, but some of the details are proving to be extremely complicated and it’s taking a while to get everything running smoothly. As always, I will release the update when it’s ready, and I hope that won’t be too long from now.

Where can I get it?



How to get the Manoeuvres app

What do you get? You get the lot:

• Pull Up on the Right (and Reverse)
• Bay Parking Forward (and Reversing Out)
• Reverse Bay Parking
• Parallel Parking
• Turn in the Road
• Reverse Left
• Reverse Right

What does it cost?
Four quid!

Where do you get it? Here:


New Manoeuvres are here!

This morning Apple approved the release of the new Manoeuvres app.

The app now features the new Pull Up on the Right manoeuvre on the initial screen. The second screen has the Parallel Park manoeuvre, which is unchanged from the previous version of the app. The third screen contains a revised Bay Park section, which allows the option to switch between reversing into the bay and driving out, or driving in and reversing out. When driving in, there is an additional option to swing out on the approach, making it easier to enter the bay.

The final three screens feature the Turn in the Road, Reverse Left and Reverse Right manoeuvres. These are unchanged from the previous version.

As many of you will already know, my original plan was to make these changes to the existing app and release a free update at least a month before December 4th. However, as is so often the case in the world of software development, things got ridiculously complicated in a completely unforeseen way. Not only was the update delayed by a couple of months, I also found myself unable to release any updates to any of my existing apps. I lost a fair bit of time trying to work through the issue with Apple before I realised the process was not going anywhere, and I would have to just get on and release a new app containing the changes instead of persisting with trying to update the old one.

This process, and the insane amount of time it took, has made me realise that I cannot go on indefinitely doing free updates to my apps. It was fine back in the days when I was just having to do the odd tweak and fix the odd bug, but now I find that I'm in a constant battle against Apple and their constantly evolving software ecosystem. I will not be able to continue to modernise my apps and keep them updated throughout Apple's incessant software revisions without sometimes asking customers to pay again.

Of course, nobody is ever forced to pay again. But if you want the latest and greatest versions of the software, that is not always going to come for free.

I aim to write a more detailed post soon about the evolution of pricing models within the world of mobile app development. It's not just me that is currently having to handle this dilemma. Most professional software developers are facing similar issues.

Manoeuvres latest

I have completed work on Manoeuvres. Unfortunately (and I pretty much knew this would happen), I have run into some technical issues when trying to submit the app to Apple for final review prior to release.

It's normal to have one or two issues at this stage of the process, and usually they are fairly routine and therefore resolved pretty quickly. In this case, it doesn't look routine. It looks like it's a continuation of the issues I've already been having.

I've contacted Apple about it, so I'll just have to hope they recognise the problem and can help me get through it quickly.

New Manoeuvres coming soon

A quick update to let you know that The new Manoeuvres app is progressing well and I hope to be able to make it available within the next couple of weeks. That estimate allows plenty of time for unforeseen complications, though it is possible that things will take even longer. It's also possible that it will take less time. With software development, you never can tell what's going to happen!

ADI Records and Manoeuvres - progress update

I know many of you are waiting for updates relating to the upcoming changes in the driving test, due to begin December 4th. I’m fielding an ever-increasing amount of email in relation to this, so I wanted to post an update so that everyone who wants to know can understand what’s happening.

The two apps most seriously affected by these changes are ADI Records and Manoeuvres. (There is also Mock Test, but I'm treating that as
a lower priority at the moment.)

First of all, these updates originally took a back seat to the re-write of my Routes app (
see here for more details on that). I had hoped to have Routes finished a lot quicker, thinking there would still be plenty of time to get Records and Manoeuvres done after that. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the Routes project has dragged on and on, and I’ve now had to leave that aside in order to crack on with these two. With December 4th approaching fast, I don’t have much choice.

Sadly, with the changes in Records all ready for final testing on my iPhone and iPad, I hit a major snag…

Recently, my development computer started acting up and needed to be replaced. To cut a long and complicated story short, I wasn’t able to transfer to the new computer certain security credentials that are necessary in order to be able to publish updates on the App Store. Apple is, of course, obsessive about security. Their App Store is generally a very safe and secure place, so much more so than the Google Play Store, so it’s hard to criticise them for it. However, this does make things incredibly complicated for developers. Whenever we have to deal with issues relating to security keys and certificates, we always get a strong sense of dread, because when you have a problem with these things it is always impossible to understand, and usually pretty hard to solve.

I am currently in touch with Apple’s very competent support staff, and I am hoping to have the issue resolved relatively quickly. However, there is no way for me to say exactly when.

I fully expect to have these apps updated before December 4th. I hoped that it would be well before, but obviously things are going to be a lot tighter than originally planned.

I’m really sorry for the delays. I know many of you rely on my apps to help with your everyday teaching needs. These updates are now much needed, so I’m doing everything I can to bring them to you as soon as I can.

If you want to be informed when the updates are ready, please
sign up to my email list here. There will be no spam, only genuine announcements about the progress of my apps for driving instructors.

Manoeuvres 2.2

Manoeuvres has been updated to add the ability to zoom in on the steering action in the Turn in the Road section. Just tap the magnifying glass icon in the bottom-right corner.


Manoeuvres 2.1

My Manoeuvres app has been completely re-written in order to address a few bugs that some users have been experiencing since upgrading to iOS 7.

The update also adds brake lights and tweaks the position of the blindspots. I've added an ORU to the Reverse Left section, and also tweaked the way the ORUs work so they're more flexible and interactive.

The update is available now via the iTunes App Store.

Manoeuvres 1.3

An update to Manoeuvres is now available. The update includes the following enhancements:

• Pause button: tap to pause the animations while they are in progress
• Camber button: tap to show an image of the camber in Turn In The Road and Parallel Park
• Additional signalling options for communicating with ORUs in Parallel Park
• Variable turning position for Parallel Park
• Change pen width & colour via your iPad's Settings app
• Spelling corrections: I still manage to get "break" and "brake" confused sometimes!

Click here to see a video of the adjustable Parallel Park position in action.

Manoeuvres HALF PRICE for two weeks only!

Learn To Drive: Manoeuvres is now on sale at HALF PRICE for the next two weeks.

That's just £1.49 for all the manoeuvres, including reversing around a corner to the right.

If you haven't already got this app, now is the time!

Get it:

Learn To Drive: Manoeuvres - Neil Beaver

Manoeuvres updated

The Manoeuvres app for iPad has been updated to enable drawing on the view. This feature has been added for the benefit of instructors using the app in lessons.

Manoeuvres is ideal for anyone who wants to get to know UK driving manoeuvres inside-out. All manoeuvres are broken down into stages so you can work through them step by step. Each stage is animated, and you can skip forwards and backwards through the animations as needed.

The app also includes full briefings for each manoeuvre.

More details are here.

Screenshots in iOS

Capturing an image of your iPhone or iPad screen is easy. Simply press the two buttons at the same time - that's the Sleep/Wake button on the top and the Home button on the front. Pressing these buttons together will capture an image of exactly what's on the screen of your device. The image is saved in your Photos app where you can access it anytime, email it, send it by SMS etc.

A screenshot can be made while using any app at any time, so if you want to send a pupil an image from Road Pad or Manoeuvres, it's very easy. You can also save and reuse your favourite independent driving routes.

Have fun!

Manoeuvres hits the App Store

I'm very excited to announce the release of my latest app for iPad, Manoeuvres.

The idea is very simple: As an instructor you want to give an engaging briefing that shows your pupil exactly what a manoeuvre entails. As a learner, you want to study the manoeuvres in between lessons, memorising the many details you're required to demonstrate in the driving test. If you're a trainee instructor, you need to know these manoeuvres inside out and back to front.

The Manoeuvres app is essential for all these groups. It's also pretty handy for full licence holders who'd like a quick and easy reminder of how things ought to be done.

Check it out...