Caffeine for Mac

How keeping your Mac awake became the awakening of my startup

By Martin Lexow ·
Screenshot of Theine app
The ultimative Caffeine replacement

Theine was the first app I had ever created. Right from the beginning it was written in Swift, Apples new programming language which was introduced in 2014. I had always dreamed of developing native apps for Apples operating systems, but I was unsuccessful in mastering Swifts’ predecessor Objective-C—no matter how hard I tried. Swift in comparison is blessed with huge improvements in terms of simplicity and understandability. It so quickly became my gateway into the world of programming. I was always convinced that Designers who take their work serious should write their own code, and this impression was confirmed during my design studies I had started in the same year Swift was released. It came to a perfect moment in time for me.

Serious Designers have to write their own code
Theine is available on the Mac App Store

Looking at Theine, some may notice similarities to Caffeine. Back then the development of Caffeine had already been idle for several years. High-resolution retina displays became more and more popular and Caffeines’ low-res icon started to look distorted on modern machines. With every macOS update my fear increased that Caffeine wouldn’t work any longer. In addition to that, it seemed like an app a beginner like me could implement—and thanks to my Interface Design studies, I’ve also had some profound ideas in how to improve the app concept even further. I decided to craft my own version.

Theine keeps your Mac awake like caffeine does with you. It prevents macOS from falling asleep, dimming your screen or starting the screensaver, using the caffeinate process. I had no specific expectations when I released it in 2015 but just wanted to solve a problem I was facing myself. I also was curious about all the steps necessary to publish a product on the App Store and had to learn that the effort of releasing an app is easy to underestimate. But it was fun, and the reactions where overwhelming.

+1,100 ratings worldwide with an average of 4,7 stars App Store Connect · July 2019

Until today Theine received more than 1,100 ratings with an average of 4,7 stars (worldwide). I’ve localised it into 23 languages and completely rewrote its code in 2018, making it fit for the years and macOS updates to come.

Theine launched 2015 as a replacement for Caffeine

Its revenue gave me the freedom to develop more apps. Working independently from investors in fact changed the whole way I run my company today; spending less time in pitching and more in solving actual problems. For me as a Designer that’s what it’s all about: Solving problems to make life easier. Swift enabled me to craft solutions by myself. I was no longer limited to pixels and concepts. Theine is the first result of this ability. It marks the starting point of my career as a Software Auteur and will therefore always be something very special for me.