Article in App of the Week category.
Pixel Pals is What Dynamic Island Needed
Born from the ill-fated Apollo app, Christian Selig has brought his little pixelated pets throughout iOS. Apollo has been arguably the best and most full-featured…
Born from the ill-fated Apollo app, Christian Selig has brought his little pixelated pets throughout iOS. Apollo has been arguably the best and most full-featured Reddit clients available, but as the ever-more money-hungry Reddit has continued to make user-hostile decisions, Apollo was forced to shutter. The Pixel Pals started in Apollo but became so popular, he spun them off into their own app.
Pixel Pals are small, animated pets that live around the Dynamic Island, on your Home Screen, and on your Lock Screen. Obviously not really, but with some clever dev work around Apple’s limitations, that’s the effect. Christian developed the pets to run as a Live Activity, which allows them to show some sort of animated glyph around the Dynamic Island. They also show as a Live Activity on the Lock Screen. If you hold on the Live Activities, you can feed or play with your digital companions. He even managed to make the widgets on the Home Screen and Lock Screen animate, which is something I didn’t even know they could do.
In the app you have a bunch of options for caring for your pet, similar to a Tomagachi. Various foods to feed your pet, games to play with it, or you can create an all-new pet. Animals include foxes, hedgehogs, ferrets, cats, dogs, and more. The more you care for your pet, the closer your bond. It tracks all these stats like its age, weight, and how far you’ve scrolled together.
Honestly, this app is a bit niche but I love gamifying these adorable little pets and using native iOS features that are typically reserved for your Uber status or music players for something imaginative. I’ve loved caring for my Pixel Pal — her name is Cinder if you were wondering — and I’m even happier to support a well-loved iOS developer.
But enough about other people's apps.