Never try to pull a fast one on a future Apple Design Award winer!


This time last year was tough for me. I didn’t go to Deep Dish or WWDC23 and was really bummed out about missing out on experiences and meeting people I’ve been interacting with for years. There was one part that was a bright spot that month that got me a lot of laughs. I just had to share the story of my battle with Team Crouton. If you saw my social media posts this month you might have wondered why I was wearing a shirt with the Crouton app icon on it. There’s a funny story as to why.


Last year I was living vicariously through my friends’ social media posts during dub dub week when I saw some Tweets from Devin:

Tweet from Devin: “Very happy with how these turn out, just in time for WWDC!” There are two shirts with Crouton icons on them.

The Bait

He posted this one on WWDC23 day:

Tweet from Devin: “if you see me I have stickers that I really don’t want to have to take home so please take them off me. If you’re a Crouton user you can also scan my shirt for special icons 😊”

Who doesn’t love a good alternate app icon? So without hesitation I starting taking steps to unlock them. Since I obviously couldn’t scan his shirt in person I’d just scan a screenshot of it and be done.

Nice Try!

Have you had an experience where time seems to slow down and your brain can’t process what you’re looking at? Similar to when you’re in a car wreck? That’s what it was like for me when I saw jail cell bars slam into my face and this message appeared. I just sat there blinking at the screen for a few seconds trying to process what happened.

“Nice Try” displayed in front of jail cell bars.

Of course I had to immediately tell Devin and he could barely contain his glee at having nabbed a miscreant.

Throughout the afternoon while WWDC was running I kept trying to think of ways to beat him.

Maybe a black and white image would help?

Crouton app icon printed in black and white on paper.


Maybe a distorted image would help?

Picture of distorted Crouton app icon.

Nope. The app could tell it was the right icon but still sent me right to jail.

There was some funny back and forth banter while this was happening, of course.

Finally I had an idea of what might be happening. Wasn’t there a popup that I instantly dismissed when the app launched? I think I ended up deleting the app and reinstalling it so that I could recreate it. And sure enough, there is was. It was a dialog asking for Bluetooth access for Crouton. I asked Devin if that had something to do with it and he verified it and put me out my misery. If the app didn’t detect the Crouton Head Honcho nearby then it’s straight to jail for you.


A year later as WWDC24 drew nearer I suddenly had a great idea. I got a golden ticket to attend in-person at Apple Park this time. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I could recreate Devin’s (then) profile picture where he’s wearing the app icon he denied me at Apple Park?

Picture of Devin wearing a Crouton app icon shirt at Apple Park.

Only one problem: I couldn’t figure out how to get a high quality version of the alternate app icon to put on a shirt. Luckily I know someone who’s an expert at this sort of thing: Tyler Hillsman.

His first idea was to look in Devin’s press kit for the icon. Unfortunately it wasn’t there. Then he got the idea to look into the app’s package on a Mac and look for it there. We were closer, but while there were some high quality versions of other app icons a high quality version of the one we wanted eluded us. Finally Tyler had to make his own version using some AI assistance.

He was able to get me the image file and I ordered a shirt with it on it. I checked and double checked that I had it in my luggage before I left for Cupertino!

On the big day I was able to post this:

Picture of me wearing a Crouton app icon shirt at Apple Park.

And it got the response that I wanted. 😆

Devin posting “wait is that real?!” on Mastodon.

Later in the day at Apple Park I was able to show Devin that the shirt was indeed real and that we were at peace. He even reminded me that I could now unlock those Crouton app icons, which I did!

Picture of me and Devin wearing Crouton app icon shirts at Apple Park.

And check out this sweet apron he also gave me to make up for my “torment” last year. 😱 I love it. Thank you Devin!

Picture of an apron with the Crouton app icon on it.

Just Perfect

This silly conflict was the perfect distraction for me in 2023. The fact that Devin came back in 2024 because Crouton won an Apple Design award made it even more special. Seeing him get to live out his dreams made all of us so happy.

Even though he bested me in this conflict I still think he’s a-ok.