Update: A donation came in today from a generous benefactor, so I’ll be releasing the app after all (in the near future).

Update 2: I ended up deciding not to release the app (and refunded the donation). It was a fun proof of concept and introduction to iPhone coding, but that’s about it.


For the last six months I’ve been working on Hwaet, an Old English dictionary app for the iPhone. It’s based off Bosworth & Toller (digitized by the Germanic Lexicon Project), and I also got permission from the Labyrinth Library to include their collection of Old English texts.

The app works (it’s fully functional). The dictionary’s there (although there’s still a bit of work to be done cleaning up the imported definitions — mostly errors from the digitization as far as I can tell), some of the texts are there (and I wrote a script that made it super easy to import the rest), and the project was going quite well.

So why am I not going to release it?

Mostly because I wanted it to be a free app. Apple requires developers to pay $100/year (and that’s a totally legitimate cost, considering what you get in return for it — I’m not complaining about the fee), and since I won’t be writing commercial apps anytime soon, I can’t justify spending $100/year on it. Especially not with a baby on the way.

Maybe someday I’ll write a web-based mobile version, but in the meantime, here’s what Hwaet looked like: