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2018 Year in Review for my App Development & Design

1 Feb
2019

2018 in app development land was filled with updates, new Alexa skills, and a couple of new apps. I finished and released three new apps in 2018, Jumbo Egg Hunt 3, Epic Rap Ad-Libs Soundboard & Quiz of the Christian Bible. I also released several Alexa Skills, but we’ll go into those later in this post. My first software release of 2018 was Jumbo Egg Hunt 3. I knew I wanted to make a follow up to JEH 2 that was even better, and the fact that my JEH games get steady downloads especially around Easter further justified my cause of making JEH 3. I decided to continue the main successful formula of my JEH games with the goal of finding 12 eggs, clue feature, and timer settings. Reusing those game functioning aspects saved a lot of time and I was able to concentrate more on the scenery images, egg location placements and more. I first started working on images for the game in a more serious manor while I was in Atlanta a couple of years ago and noticed some nice pumpkin assortments at grocery stores. After that I started to envision different types of scenes I wanted in JEH 3 more while walking around at various parks and so fourth. There’s a lot of great parks, gardens, grocery stores, and more in Atlanta so I was surrounded by an increase of visual motivation for this game. With those creative thoughts in mind I started taking more pictures and thinking about how I wanted the final scenes to look while doing so.

Getting ready to hide some eggs for a scene in Jumbo Egg Hunt 3.

For the background images in Jumbo Egg Hunt 3 I did some heavy altering and editing to pictures that I took and made sure the end result of each matched the overall aesthetic that I was going for. I went with a more detailed cartoon like aesthetic with the first JEH, then for the second JEH I went with a more photorealistic approach. So for the third JEH I decided to blend the two previous approaches by ramping up the detail in the pictures I took. Then I converted them to convey an animated look that took away some detail but not too much. After experimenting with different styles I landed on a few types of conversions that kept colors vibrant in the scenes, made some of the outlines bolder, and broadened the overall scenes to look fuller with a focus on the main colors and objects within it. After finishing most of the images I started working on and integrating buttons, text and other User Interface(UI) factors. Throughout working on UI graphics I also worked on egg placement locations. Deciding where to place the hidden eggs is one of the most time consuming and important aspects of these games. This is the first Jumbo Egg Hunt with three difficulty settings so that was a new challenge. I decided to have three difficulty settings to widen the potential audience and increase replayability. Having an easy mode makes the app more inviting to toddlers and I even tested it with my own youngest son who is in that age range. He played on medium as well sometimes, but he found the eggs quicker on easy and he enjoyed it more overall because of the increase of gratification he received from being able to find more eggs and finish levels himself. My other son who’s a few years older also tested the game mainly on the medium levels, and it provided a good spread of challenge and ease throughout the levels. Some eggs were easy for him to find and some required him to focus more into the scenes. I accredited both of my sons as testers in the About/Credits section of the app which I thought was kind of nerdy but awesome, and my oldest thought it was cool too. They were both really helpful in finding bugs and justifying the level of difficulty I had in place for the Easy & Medium modes. As it got closer to March I increased the amount of time I spent on finishing this app because I definitely wanted it to be released by Easter. As I ramped up time spent on the app I mainly worked on finishing the main menu, stage complete graphics and bug fixes. JEH 3 turned out even better than I initially thought it would. I was very happy with how the app continued to feel, play and look better than the previous JEH games I made. This is definitely my favorite of the JEH games, and also one of my overall favorite apps that I’ve ever made.

My oldest son playing(testing:) Jumbo Egg Hunt 3

My youngest son playing(testing:) Jumbo Egg Hunt 3

Soon after I finished Jumbo Egg Hunt 3 I began to work on Quiz of the Christian Bible. First I arranged which overall categories I wanted to incorporate in the app and after some editing I landed on which exact categories to have included. After that I dove more in the bible itself to formulate questions and answers. I also used different biblical resources to find the locations in the bible where specific events and people were mentioned so that I could create more questions and go into more detail. I started making questions for the People category, then Events, and then Places, but I decided to combine Events & Places to avoid repetition since there was an increasing overlap of some questions while working on each category. I then worked on the Which Book section which was more broad and didn’t take up as much time as the other categories. I made sure to first incorporate the more well known popular verses and then went into lesser known obscure verses. I followed the same structure with the Fill in the Blank categories, but those categories took longer to make because I had to decide which words to remove for the answers. Then I also had to make up wrong answers that were mostly a mix of somewhat convincing possible answers, but also have some obviously wrong answers as well. However, I also tried to make sure not to have any trick answers that were too closely related to the real answers. During work on these sections I also worked on the All About Jesus category. All of my quiz apps take a while to make because of the massive amounts of data within them, but the data gathering & organizing factor with this app took way longer than I expected considering there was only one main resource. It was definitely worth the time and energy I put in it though. As for the design, that portion didn’t take too long. I wanted to make sure it was simplistic, user friendly, and neat so there were only a few modifications I made once I decided on the overall look. After making buttons, I worked on the layout for the main menu and then the quiz portion, and quiz complete scene. I liked how the layout of the quiz portion looked in my previous quiz apps so I kept that mostly the same besides the cross & sun graphic at the top and actual buttons themselves and a few other minor placements. After taking a break(I go into detail on this below) from development on this app I returned back to it with increased motivation. I still had a lot of work to do, but I dove back into gathering, organizing, and completing information with a new esteem. Even after finishing around the amount of questions I wanted for each category I often went back and added more. Eventually I had to tell myself that I was finished with each category so I could move on to finishing the app. After finishing and applying the graphics and text I went on to testing as per usual. Work on the app icon went smoothly because I knew I wanted it to contain a cross and a question mark to visually explain the app itself. I took the same color code of the cross I made for the “Jesus Said” Alexa Skill I made, and then finished up the app icon with other bold colors that I thought went well with it. During testing I didn’t find many bugs so that process went by quickly and smoothly. While implementing ads I choose some restrictions to make sure certain types of ads weren’t shown since I generally thought the main audience of this app may be disgusted by certain advertisements. After completing the app and publishing it I felt a great sense of relief and exhilaration. This app took up the bulk of my time in 2018 app development land so completing it within the same year felt special and made my 2018 feel more complete in regards to my app creation. I was very satisfied with the outcome of this app. It felt on par with my other quiz apps in regards to the sleek stylized minimalistic look of it and massive amount of data within it too. My quiz apps are some of my favorite apps because of those two qualities and also mainly because of how useful they are in regards to being educational.

Working on a data spreadsheet for the Fill in the Blank category in Quiz of the Christian Bible

Working on the app icon for Quiz of the Christian Bible

During the middle of working on Quiz of the Christian Bible I became a bit frustrated because I wasn’t making enough progress considering the amount of time I’d put into working on it. I worked on and finished various Alexa Skills throughout working on the app but I felt like I need to take a longer break. I knew I wanted to finish the app and that I was eventually going to, but I compared my progress to my other quiz apps and I wasn’t as far along with this one as I’d hoped. So I figured taking a break would boost my morale and energy once I started back working on it. Taking a break from this app didn’t mean I was taking a break from app development in general though. At this time I decided to work on a new app. I wanted to make something somewhat quick, but also something novel that would get a lot of downloads. Earlier that year I also noticed that rap music has a lot of ad-libs in it and those ad-libs often add to the hype of the song overall. I personally mostly listen to indie & alternative rock music, but there are a few rappers that I listen to occasionally but I do know that the genre in general is very popular and followed by many. I also know that a lot of the ad-libs I hear are catchy and can add a new level of entertainment to a song. So I decided to make the Epic Rap Ad-libs Soundboards app so that people could carry about the hype that song rap songs garner in the palm of their hand, in the form of a soundboard. As with all of my apps, before I start seriously creating an app I search the app stores to make sure there’s nothing too similar. That way I can see how unique something I’m making is. Regardless of if the general idea has been done before I always strive to make my apps different, useful, and unique in their own way. For this app I scoured different popular rap songs, articles, and videos for well known ad-libs and made a list of which ones I wanted to be in the app. Then after finalizing the list somewhat I went and started editing audio in Garageband to make it suitable formats for app integrating. For the design on this app I went with something quick and neat. I spent the most design time for this app on the app icon. For my soundboard apps I usually have an image of a speaker and the something related to theme of the soundboard, like the soccer ball for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard or the shield & swords for Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard. However for this app I couldn’t create something coming out of the speaker that looks good and conveys what the app is about like my other soundboard apps. I initially put a microphone coming out of a speaker, but it continued to look odd no matter how I arranged it. So eventually I decided to drop the speaker and have just the microphone and then work around it, and it turned out great. I like to create sleek, direct, and minimalistic app icons that will immediately show people what the app is generally about. So once I achieved those things with this icon I finalized it. As for the “interior” design of my soundboards I usually influence the design around the general theme of the app. Overall I make sure that the design itself is neat, user friendly, and somewhat minimalistic. After a month or so I finished this app, released it, and went back to work on my Quiz of the Christian Bible app. This soundboard is definitely a simple novelty app, however, its unique and it continues to achieve respectable download numbers so it was a success.

In 2018 I also made a push to create more Alexa skills. I decided to make a few Alexa skills that could be accomplices to my apps, which could also be used to promote my apps to more possible users. For example, one of my apps is Quiz of Finance & Investing, so I decided to make an Alexa skill called Quiz of Finance & Investing – Definitions. Instead of making a skill that encompassed all of the features of the app I decided to concentrate on one section of it so that the skill would be compact and direct. My goal for Alexa skills isn’t to make a heavy time consuming skill with a lot of sections but instead make them quick, relevant, & efficient. Besides the finance skill I also worked on and finished a few others as well, including two medicine quiz skills(Quiz of Medicine Brand & Generics & Quiz of Medicine Indications) which are kind of like companions to my Quiz of Medicine and RX Quiz of Pharmacy apps. While working on the Quiz of the Christian Bible app I decided to make an Alexa skill with some of the data that I complied for the app. I figured it would be an easy transition to incorporate some of it into skill. Instead of making another quiz skill I decided to make a skill that spoke verses from the Bible that were believed to be stated by Jesus, also known as the red text. I decided to do this after I finished the Fill in the Blank with Jesus portion of the app so I already had a long list of “red text” bible verses that I could easily use as a reference to create a new spreadsheet for the Alexa skill. Amazon has been very developer friendly with promotions for creating Alexa Skills so I ended up making even more skills in 2018 than I thought I would. Besides the skills mentioned already I also ended up making a Chattanooga History & Bioshock Quotes. Due in part to promotions Amazon had created for Alexa skill developers like myself, but also for the challenge and to put something else new and practical on the Alexa skill store. Some of the promotions were broad and some of them were targeted to certain developers like myself which was kind of flattering. During the year Amazon sent me free hoodies, Echo Dots, an echo Show, backpack and more. The Echo Show is a neat device but I ended up giving it away because I mainly use and like the compactness of the Echo Dots when I want to use this type of device. However, I am grateful to receive it as well as the other goodies.

Testing my Quiz of Finance & Investing Definitions Alexa Skill.

Some of the neat items Amazon sent me for creating Alexa Skills. (Gave away the Echo Show)

A couple more things Amazon sent me for creating Alexa skills.

Updates! To prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) I updated all of my apps to comply with the EU law. Prior to the updates I personally did not collect nor try to obtain any personal information from the people who downloaded my apps and I will continue to abide by that. However, to comply with the law fully I had to incorporate that same compliance into the code of my apps so that the software engines and advertisement providers I use knew to comply as well. The one aspect that they could have tried to obtain is location information to deliver localized ads, but now that shouldn’t be possible. My privacy policy is basically the same as it was before the updates, but it has been updated to reflect the compliance of ad providers I use. This law is currently only in effect in the EU, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it or something similar were enacted in the United States as well, so for that reason and some others I made the updates for my apps pertain to all locales, not just for the EU. Since I updated the apps I did make sure all of them received possible performance improvements, which were minor but did lead to even lower load times. However, for my Light Up The Tree app I decided to put in some extra work and change some of the graphics which greatly improved the look of the app.

Making new graphics for Light Up The Tree

In 2017 I released Quiz of Finance & Investing and I was very satisfied with the app itself, but I continued in 2018 to be disappointed with the low number of downloads though. So I changed it from a .99 cent app to a free app(with ads). Nevertheless, my disappointment soon faded as downloads for the app increased drastically. People really do like free stuff. Downloads for this app continued to increase throughout the rest of 2018 which further made me realize that I should have initially released it for free, but I also didn’t wait too long after its initial release to make this change so that was also a good decision.

Ok lets wrap this post up. In 2019 I don’t plan on creating any new apps under Avrin Ross/8-Bit Avrin Apps, but I do plan on creating new apps under a start up I’ve had in mind for a few years. I’m working on making that start-up a reality in 2019, but that’s for another post. For Avrin Ross/8-Bit Avrin Apps in 2019 I plan on working more on promoting my apps, and one of the main ways I plan on doing that is through videos on YouTube. By the time of writing this post I’ve already made and uploaded videos for five of my apps! So yea I’m definitely making major progress with that goal. For the rest of the year I’ll continue to make a couple of new videos for some different apps and then also run some promotions to further shine a light on some of my apps. I didn’t intend on this post being this long, but I decided to write all of this more for myself then for other people. Not being selfish or anything, but writing all of this out helped me review my successes and challenges that I encountered last year. I didn’t write about everything I went through in 2018 nor did I go into as much detail as I could have, but I definitely did a lot of thinking while writing this. Moving forward with growth, because forward can’t be stopped, so I intend on embracing it with progress and positively. Until next time ∞

 

Top 10 Downloaded Apps

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Ultra Fortune Ball
  • Epic Rap Ad-Libs Soundboard
  • Motivational Quotes Inspire
  • 8-Bit Eagle Smash
  • Quiz of Finance and Investing
  • Chinatown Fortune Cookie
  • Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Zompy Jumpy

 

Top 10 Countries That Downloaded My Apps

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • China
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Spain
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App Development & Design in 2016 Overview | 8-Bit Avrin Apps

27 Jan
2017

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2016 was the first year since releasing my first app in 2011 that I didn’t release a new app. Instead, most of my app development time was spent working on updates, some major and some minor. I began the year finishing the big update to Ultra Fortune Ball, which was the first app that I ever developed and released. The other major updates I worked on and released were for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard, Professor Piggy Bank, Quiz of Medicine, Motivational Quotes to Inspire, Chinatown Fortune Cookie, and my suite of Word Owls Word Search apps. I also released somewhat minor updates for several other apps which included; Saving Bunnies, 8-Bit Eagle Smash, Zompy Jumpy, Detective Deep, Strike the Goal, & Jumbo Egg Hunt.

I really like working on new apps, but I also really like improving my older apps especially when the updates are voluntary. A few of the minor updates I did were mainly because of the new Apple App Store Review Guidelines but all of the other ones were updates that I wanted to work on and made exclusive time for. I like having the ability and authority of providing users with free improvements that can enhance their experience. Some of my most downloaded apps received great updates in 2016 so it feels good knowing that thousands and thousands of people out there are using better versions of my apps. As a creator, improving something that you’ve created is also just an overall great feeling too.

When I began developing apps it was just a hobby. However, as I started to get better and release more apps my download numbers increased which resulted in more income. Now I’m not rich and money still isn’t the main reason why I develop apps, but it is nice getting additional income from a creative endeavor. So this year with Apple iAds dissolving I decided to take a more serious look at monetization with my free apps and try different ad networks. After researching, implementing, testing, and viewing results I decided to go with Google Admob as my main ad provider and then Chartboost and Revmob as secondary ad providers. I had an issue were Admob wasn’t working well enough on my Amazon apps so I decided to use Chartboost as my main ad network with Revmob as secondary for those. Anyways that’s enough talk about monetization.

Below I’ll list my top downloaded apps and top countries that downloaded my apps. After that I’ll write a summary of what I worked on each month and what I plan on working on in 2017 and upload some images of some consumer app reviews I received in 2016.

 

Top 5 Free Downloads

  1. Quiz of Medicine
  2. Ultra Fortune Ball
  3. Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  4. Zompy Jumpy
  5. Chinatown Fortune Cookie

 

Top 5 Paid Downloads

  1. Professor Piggy Bank
  2. RX Quiz of Pharmacy
  3. Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  4. Word Owl’s Word Search – First Grade
  5. Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard

 

Top 5 Countries for Downloads

  1. United States
  2. Mexico
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Canada
  5. Australia

 

Broad summaries of what I worked on each month….

January: Worked on and finished the big update for Ultra Fortune Ball.

February: Worked on screenshots and promo graphics for Ultra Fortune Ball. Worked on and finished an update for Quiz of Medicine. Tested and implemented new ad networks….this also continued off & on throughout the year with some of my other free apps.

March: Ported a free version of Ultra Fortune Ball to the Amazon App Store. Did a lot of work on the major Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard update. Started working on an Easter edition of Word Owl’s Word Search….haven’t worked on it since though….no sure I’m going to continue due to lack of time and other projects.

April: Finished the update to Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard and put together new screenshots for it. Worked on an update for Chinatown Fortune Cookie.

May: Continued working on the Chinatown Fortune Cookie update. Started working on the big Professor Piggy Bank update. Created a new main promo image for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard.

June: Continued working on the updates for Professor Piggy Bank. Finished the update to Chinatown Fortune Cookie. Started working on an update for Motivational Quotes to Inspire.

July: Worked on and finished app updates for Motivational Quotes to Inspire & Saving Bunnies. Ported Savings Bunnies to the Google Play and Amazon app stores.

August: Worked on & finished updates for 8-Bit Eagle Smash, Professor Piggy Bank, Quiz of Medicine, Ultra Fortune Ball, & Zompy Jumpy. Started working on a new Finance app.

September: Worked on & finished updates for Word Owl’s Word Search Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grades, Christmas, & Halloween editions. Did a small increment of work on the Finance app.

October: Worked on gathering more data for the finance app. Updated some of my free apps on Amazon to change ad network providers. Continued working on the finance app.

November: Continued work on the finance app. Worked on and finished minor updates to Detective Deep & Strike the Goal on iOS because of Apple new review guidelines. Ported Word Owl’s Word Search 1st Grade & Christmas editions to Google Play.

December: Made a promo gameplay video for Word Owl’s Word Search Christmas Edition. Worked on and finished an update for Jumbo Egg Hunt on iOS due to the new Apple review guidelines. Continued researching and organizing data for my finance app.

In 2017 I plan on finishing and releasing two apps. One of them will be the finance app I’ve been working on and the I’m not exactly sure about the other one. There are a lot of app ideas in my head, but I’m not sure which one I’m going to pull out to start working on after the finance app. In 2017 I also plan on working on an awesome new start-up. It’s app related but it will be seperate from Avrin Ross/8-Bit Avrin Apps….more details on that later and eventually it will have its own site too for even more details. I’m very excited about this start-up and my goals for it. So far all my apps developed by Avrin Ross of 8-Bit Avrin Apps belong to a range of various genres, but my next company will be more focused and branded overall.

2016 was definitely the year of updates for me, and I’m glad I used the majority of my little app development time to work on them, but I’m also very much looking forward to working on new stuff. I plan on organizing my time better in 2017 so that I cut a bit down on my little leisure time and increase my app development time. Family is incredibly important to me so I’m still not going to take away much time from them for my apps no matter how hectic app dev lands may get.

Massive thank you to everyone who downloaded one of my apps! Every single one of them had a lot of work put into creating it. I hope you enjoyed them! If not, I’m sorry, but on the bright side you only wasted a little time and maybe like .99 cents if it wasn’t free, so not a big deal at all. Judging from the number of downloads in combination with only a few negative reviews though I’m guessing most users are satisfied overall so that’s awesome. Speaking of reviews, most people don’t leave reviews but below are some of the positive consumer reviews left in 2016 for some of my apps. Thank you to everyone who left a positive review and the people who helped spread the word about my apps too. Until next time ∞

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2016 reviews on Google Play

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2015 Overview – 2014 Overview – 2013 Overview – 2012 Overview

Farewell Nook App Store…. (Barnes & Noble shutting it down on March 15 2016)

14 Mar
2016

The Barnes & Noble Nook App Store is set to shutdown on March 15th 2016. I first made some of my apps available and joined the Nook App Store on March 6th 2013. My relationship with the Nook App Store during those two years was positive overall. There are things that I liked and disliked about the app store, but overall I’m definitely glad I put in the work to release some of my older and new apps on it. One of the main aspects that I liked about the Nook App Store was its focus on educational apps for children. It was the only app store that had several specific categories for different educational segments like time & money, writing, math, memory, geography and many others. Another thing that I really liked about the Nook App Store were their seasonal promotions were they would let developers submit their seasonal apps for consideration to be a part of a special temporary seasonal section. Several of my apps were approved for these promotions in the past and one of them(Jumbo Egg Hunt 2) got extra recognition by being selected for inclusion on promotional banners.

I also like that the Nook App Store didn’t have a ton of low quality apps and clones of popular apps that could get in the way of high quality original apps being discovered. It had it’s fair share of those lower quality apps but it wasn’t incredibly overbearing like it often is on other app stores. However, the customer base of the Nook App Store wasn’t nearly as large as the Apple, Amazon or Google Play app stores so even though there was less competition there was also less of an audience to seek. Also, in regards to customer service towards developers. I didn’t have to contact them often but they were nice & informative when I did need to, although not nearly as timely compared to other platforms. Editing/updating metadata wasn’t as smooth and quick as Amazon & Google Play either.

The Nook App Store was never my primary app store, but overall I will miss it. Apple is and has always been my primary app store, with Amazon being my secondary since I joined them. However, in 2016 I’ll continue to focus more on Google Play also which pairs well with the Nook App Store closing since Nook users will be and have been directed towards Google Play for their app needs. I’ll end this little goodbye post with some screenshots of my apps being featured, customer reviews, and my apps that were available at the time of this post on the Nook App Store.

Farewell Barnes & Noble Nook App Store, and to all Nook tablet users, please look for and check out my apps on Google Play or any other app stores that you may have devices for like Apple, Amazon or Windows. Take care!

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My apps that were available as of March 2016.

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Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 was selected to be featured on the Season’s Best Apps promotional banner during the Easter season.

Seasons Best on Nook app store Dec 2013

Light Up The Tree & Gift Wrap Difference included in the Season’s Best Apps during the Christmas season.

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Professor Piggy Bank included in the Back to School Apps promo. (Not shown: some of my Word Owl Word Search apps were also included)

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8-Bit Avrin Apps 2015 Overview

20 Feb
2016

Releases in 2015 banner

First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an app, liked or shared a post, favorite or retweeted a tweet, spread news word of mouth, and/or anything else positive about my apps. It was a year full of changes, but I was able to develop & release five neat high quality apps, and also complete some great updates. I didn’t have much time to develop, so when I did have time I had to make sure to laser focus on the tasks I needed to complete. Here’s some lists of my top apps that were downloaded, top countries that downloaded my apps, and the best months for downloads. After that I’ll go into some more detail on 2015, 2016, and post some great app reviews received in 2015.

Top 5 Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard

Top 5 Free Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies
  • Survive in Hyperdrive

Top 5 Paid Downloads

  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search – First Grade

Top 5 Countries for Downloads

  • United States
  • India
  • United Kingdom
  • Philippines
  • Canada

Top 5 Download Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • August
  • May

In 2015 I had to rearrange my app schedule a couple of times to become more realistic, but I made sure to work on apps that I really wanted to release in 2015 that I could given the lack of time I had. Every month I write a sort of progress report of what I accomplished and worked on in the previous month and what I plan on working on in the future. Instead of going into detail of the apps I worked on in 2015 in this post I’m just going to put a link to every monthly progress report along with a note of the main apps I wrote about in that post.

January (Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard), February (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Word Owl’s Word Search, Ultra Retro Game Soundboard), March (Professor Piggy Bank, Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Quiz of Medicine),  April (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade), May (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, unfinished relaxation app), June (unfinished relaxation app), July (unfinished relaxation app, several minor updates, Survive in Hyperdrive), August (Motivational Quotes to Inspire, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), September (Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), October (Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), November (Word Owl’s Word Search Third Grade), December (Word Owls Word Search Third Grade & Christmas editions)

In 2016 I plan on releasing only a few apps due to my increasing time constraints, but thankfully now given the situations I’m in I’ll be able to focus more on creativity and less on monetization. For me developing apps has always been an outlet were I can be in total control of my own work and create something that’s truly unique. In 2016 I plan on taking more time on updates and new app developments to insure what I release is exactly what I want to do within my skill set without compromising anything because of lack of time. One of the greatest feelings is creating something and having random people all over the world use it and find the item you created useful and/or fun depending on what it’s purpose is. I hope I can continue to do that in 2016 and continue building upon this little indie mobile app empire I seem to have created. In 2016 I’m going to also try to increase marketing of old and new apps. One of my disappointments in 2015 was the lack of creating promo media, and other forms of advertisements that I didn’t do for my apps. That needs to change, because you can make something really neat and fun and/or useful but if nobody knows about it they can’t find out how great it is for themselves and possibly others.

One more thing. Most people who download my apps don’t leave reviews which I consider a good thing because people in general are quicker to talk about their dislike of something they didn’t enjoy instead of talking about something that they’re satisfied with. However, I do want to highlight some of the great customer reviews some of my apps received in a collage I put together below. I’ll also post a couple of links and images for professional reviews that were written about my apps below the customer review collage. Thank you to the people who wrote these great reviews on both avenues and thank you to everyone who download my apps, I truly hope you enjoyed them. Until next time ∞

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Some customer review highlights in 2015

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Professor Piggy Bank professional review from Jill Goodman at Participate Learning

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Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition professional review by Rob Klindt in Literacy Resources at Concordia Online Education

2014 Overview – 2013 Overview – 2012 Overview

8-Bit Avrin Mobile App Vines in 2014

8 Feb
2015

A compilation of my app videos that I made on Vine in 2014.

8-Bit Avrin Apps 2014 Overview

11 Jan
2015

2014 app releases banner 2048x1000

Well, 2014 is in the books. First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an app, liked or shared a post, favorited or retweeted a tweet, spread news word of mouth, or anything else positive for me. It was another busy all over the place year for me personally, but I was able to develop & release seven neat high quality apps that I’m proud of. My skills in app development and design continued to get better, I came up with some new app ideas, and some of the ideas I already had ended up transforming into something different. 

I probably won’t release as many apps in 2015 as I did in the previous two years, but I have a schedule in my mind of a few apps I definitely want to finish and release this year. In 2014 I became more organized and focused in my app development. I narrowed down the kind of apps I wanted to work on to specific categories; education, entertainment, health, & arcade games.  I’ll continue with those specific categories in the future but I’ll also be working on puzzle games & adventure games as well.  

In 2014 I continued the Word Owl’s Word Search series I started in 2013 with a First Grade & Second Grade edition. I really enjoyed working on these apps. They’re educational and I really like the cartoon wooden block design I went with. My Word Owl apps continue to acquire downloads, especially on the Apple App Store for iPad which is what they were initially designed for. I decided to make a couple of sound effects apps and include Ultra in the title to make it kind of like a series with Ultra Soccer Match SoundboardUltra Big Celebration Soundboard in 2014. Based on download numbers people seem to like my soundboard apps which is great because I enjoy designing them and working on the audio in GarageBand.

I also developed a medication quiz app(Quiz of Medicine) which has received way more downloads than I thought it would. I initially developed it to help myself and a few others learn more about medicine, but download numbers indicate that I’ve helped A LOT of people instead, which is awesome. I decided to develop Zompy Jumpy because I realized the fact that I have never created a game with zombies which I think is a requirement in the indie game developer world…….not really, I actually just wanted to make a quick challenging arcade game with dancing zombies, because why not?

I also joined a couple of game jams in 2014 as well. I liked the challenge of creating a theme specific game in a short time span so I’ll probably continue joining them in the future if they interest me. I created 8-Bit Eagle Smash in the span of a weekend during the Flappy Jam earlier in the year, and I also developed two other games during separate game jams. For those games I was able to make slim versions that were complete enough for the jams, but not complete enough for me personally to release officially. I’ll be working to make complete versions of these games in 2015, especially the numerical education one I’ve been referring to on different posts.

2014 also consisted of a few updates to some of my apps to increase performance or fix a minor issue. When something’s not working or looking right I always try to fix it as soon as possible, but so far I don’t recall ever releasing a broken app that needed an immediate fix. In 2014 I also started writing monthly progress reports where I give an overview of what I’ve been working on and what I plan to work on. I liked writing these post for various reasons so I’ll continue that in 2015. For previous posts feel free to use the category drop down on the top right of the website, search bar above the category section, or the archive section on the bottom right. 

Most people who download my apps never leave reviews, but I’ve made a little collage of a few reviews I received in 2014 that I’ll add below. First, here’s a few top 5 lists for my app downloads in 2014….

Top 5 Countries That Downloaded My Apps

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia 
  • Philippines

 

Top 5 Free Apps Downloaded

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • 8-Bit Eagle Smash
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies

 

Top 5 Paid Apps Downloaded

  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Rest, Relax, & Reflect
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search: Kindergarten

 

Top 5 Download Months

  • September
  • December
  • March
  • October
  • May

 

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“Awesome mobile apps, inspired by the past, from the future.”

8-Bit Avrin Apps | Avrin Ross

Until next time ∞

2013 Overview2012 Overview

8-Bit Avrin Apps 2013 Overview

18 Jan
2014

My App Releases In 2013 Banner

2013 was a year of great forward progress for my old and new apps. Some of my older apps received updates that improved their performance, and some of them received updates that added content and/or features. In 2013 I also went from being in three app stores to being in five by expanding into the Windows and Barnes & Noble app stores. My app development time in 2013 was all over the place. Porting apps to new app stores, updating apps with improvements, and developing new apps that were released in 2013. Definitely a busy and successful year.

2013 wasn’t by any means perfect though. I had a few set backs in development, and some of my apps didn’t perform as well as I thought they should. Marketing is still the hardest aspect to grasp in the mobile apps business for me. I still plan on concentrating mainly on the app itself though because if the app isn’t great it doesn’t matter much if the marketing is good. However, I did release some of my best apps ever in 2013, and some of them performed very well on some of the app stores. I’m very pleased with most of my new apps and the outcome of 2013 overall. I’m learning from mistakes I made as well as learning & thriving on the positive leaps and bounds I made. My development and design skills are continuing to improve greatly and they’ve shown through the apps I released in 2013 on the inside and outside.

Amazon and Apple continue to be the best outlets for my apps. However, things started off fairly bright on Windows and Barnes & Noble was definitely a nice addition for my apps. Below I’ll list the top 5 countries where I received the most downloads and my top 5 apps that were downloaded the most. As usual I won’t be posting any specific numbers because I don’t do that. I’m not rich though so don’t get that idea.

Top 5 Counties That Downloaded My Apps:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Australia
  4. Canada
  5. Germany

My Overall Top 5 Downloaded Apps:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt
  2. Jumbo Egg Hunt 2
  3. Professor Piggy Bank
  4. Raven’s Hidden Hollows
  5. Ultra Retro Game Soundboard

I’m planning & working on some great things for 2014 and beyond when time permits, and I can’t wait to share more info on them. I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who has downloaded any of my apps, and another big THANK YOU to the people in my life that have been supportive. I develop apps for you random people out there and because I have a bunch of ideas that pop in my head that I need to eventually get out. Have fun!

2012 Overview: https://8bitavrin.com/2013/01/05/my-top-downloads-in-2012-etc/

My Top Downloads In 2012 & etc

5 Jan
2013

My App Releases In 2012 Banner_1024x512

2012 was an extremely busy year for me. I only develop apps part-time, when I have time. So I usually end up giving up sleep and/or my little leisure time in order to develop apps. I somehow ended up releasing ten apps throughout the year. One of those ten apps was a Spanish spin-off of my fortune cookie app, and one was a free version of one of my apps. However that still leaves 8 original “IPs”(intellectual properties), so yea that’s a lot of work.

I came up with the ideas for some of the apps in 2011 and towards the beginning of 2012. Some of the apps I developed happened kind of sporadically when ideas popped into my head throughout the year. I started development on Chinatown Fortune Cookie and Lightspeed Bit Bit in 2011, but development on the other eight started throughout the year. 2012 was a year of some success and also a bit of failure. One of the things I look into as I reflect back on 2012 are the amount of downloads I’ve received. Amazon & Apple turned out being the more successful app stores for me in 2012. We’ll see what the future holds for my apps on Google Play. Here’s the conclusions from some of the data I’ve gathered.

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Top 5 Countries That Downloaded My Apps in 2012:

  1. US

  2. UK

  3. Australia 

  4. Canada

  5. Mexico

(Countries that almost made # 5 – Germany & China)

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Top 3 Downloaded Paid Apps on Apple:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt

  2. Ultra Fortune Ball

  3. Lightspeed Bit Bit

(Sidenote: My two free apps on the iOS Apple App Store have received a ton a downloads, but I’m just considering paid apps for this list.)

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Top 3 Downloaded Paid Apps on Amazon:

  1. Jumbo Egg Hunt

  2. Raven’s Hidden Hollows

  3. Strike The Goal

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THANK YOU to everybody that’s downloaded any of my apps! It really brings a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart when my apps are downloaded. Developing apps isn’t easy, especially when you like to pay close attention to detail like I do. Also, thank you to the people who have helped spread the word about my apps in real life and on the Twitters with the retweets, mentions & etc. I’ve met several great people and fellow game devs through Twitter, so I’d like to give a little thanks to Twitter for being a neat tool for networking and marketing. I’ve learned how hard it is to market apps so every little bit counts. 

Also thank you to those of you that gave positive or constructive feedback. The majority of people who download my apps don’t leave reviews, but I’ll just take that as a compliment. People in general seem to be quicker to give negative reviews than positive ones, which is a shame, but oh well that’s the internet for you.

In 2013 I plan on releasing fewer apps, but they’ll be even higher in quality than some of my previous ones. I’m going to start concentrating more on my full-time career this year so I can do something I actually like at a company that I like and respect. It’s also important that I try to move my family to a better area, and it’s becoming increasingly important to me especially since I have a kiddo now. I want him to grow up and go to school in a better city than the one we currently live in and be surrounded by more opportunities. Also I really dislike this city, the cons outweigh the pros for me.

If developing apps becomes successful enough to become a full-time job than that’s great, but I’m not going to just automatically think that’s going to happen. When I first started developing apps it was just a hobby, but it eventually turned into a part-time adventure as well. I’m not ruling it becoming full-time out, but I’m not depending on that happening either. So I’ve got to dust off my degree, clean up my resume, and see what’s out there. However, I’m going to continue making time for app development. I’ve got several awesome ideas and I hope I’m able to bring some of them to life on phones & tablets throughout the world this year. If all goes well….. I’ll be releasing my first app of 2013 in a few weeks……..more details later……..OYE!