Tag Archives: Apple

December Mobile App Development Report

5 Jan
2017

Overall December was probably the month with the least amount of app development in 2016 for me. I spent more of my little app dev free time doing other things like playing video games and catching up on some TV shows. Also, Christmas is my favorite holiday so some of the month was spent doing things related to the holiday. This is the first year since my first release in 2011 that I didn’t release a new app. Something like 97% of the app dev work I did this year was devoted to updates. I like my older apps especially some of the ones I updated this year, but I did get a bit burned at times from not working on much new material. Regardless, in December I updated one of my most popular apps and continued to work a bit on my new app.

A few months ago Apple implemented stricter App Store Review Guidelines that involved probing the app store for old apps that haven’t been updated in a few years, apps with titles too long, and more. Once your app falls into at least one of those categories Apple sends you a nice notice that your app does not comply with one or more App Review Guidelines. Then for more details it advises the developer to go to the Resolution Center in iTunes Connect. Upon doing that you’ll find out why your app was targeted.

So far, the four of my apps that were targeted were because they haven’t been updated in years. Even if the app still works perfectly fine like mine did, Apple still wants you to update. So to resolve the issue and prevent Apple from removing the app from the App Store I had to submit updates. This actually happened to three of my apps last month and I decided to update two of them, and let one make its exit from the App Store. I actually forgot to write about it in last months progress post so I’ll write about on this post. Last month my apps Detective Deep, Strike the Goal, & Raven’s Hidden Hollows received a notice from Apple basically about not being updated in a while. All of these apps worked fine and as intended so the updates I submitted to keep them on the app store were mostly just time consuming. Instead of just giving a blank update though I made a few adjustments to Detective Deep & Strikes the Goal which resulted in faster load times, 64 bit support, & some image enhancements. These adjustments weren’t necessary or needed right now, but since I had to use some of my time to do an update in general I decided to add a bit more time to actually make some minor improvements. 64-bit isn’t a minor issue, but luckily the task of supporting it is currently a minor thing for me to update for.

I decided not to update Raven’s Hidden Hollows though because I no longer liked the presentation and gameplay of the app specifically. I also removed the app from other stores for the same reason. I should have added a story and maybe some puzzle elements to the app, but instead of adding those to an old app I decided to just remove it, and if I decide to make an app like it in the future I’ll add those features. The only hidden object games without a story that I want in my app portfolio right now are my Jumbo Egg Hunt games. Which brings me to the update I had to make in December. During this month Apple sent me the same notice mentioned earlier about my app Jumbo Egg Hunt. This app is one of my most downloaded older apps combined across all app stores and I like it a lot so updating it to avoid it being removed from the iOS App Store was imperative. Again, instead of submitting a blank update I decided to make a few improvements which included; 64 bit support, image enhancements, and faster load times. Since I was updating the iOS version with improvements I went ahead and updated the Android versions as well on Amazon & Google Play.

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An email from Apple

In December I also worked on gathering more data for my finance app. I thought I would be further along in development on this app, but the more research I do, the more I want to continue adding more & more data to the app. I graduated with a degree in Finance several years ago so some of the research has been like a refresher to me which causes me to dive into additional reading and researching. Some of it has basically been common knowledge to me too which is nice because it causes me to work quicker. Development takes odd turns sometimes in general, but it additionally happens for various intriguing reasons when I’m working on an app with a subject on something that I already had an interest in and am somewhat knowledgable about like finance, medicine, soccer & so on. So far I’ve created two soccer themed apps, and two medical educational apps, but this is my first finance related app and finance is a wide rating subject. To make development go smoother and make more progress I’ve finally determined which exact categories I’m going to focus on and the range of difficulty I want implemented. In January I’ll continue working on the finance app and hopefully make grand strides towards its completion. I’ll also be finishing writing and then posting my yearly overview progress report too. Until next time ∞

August Mobile App Development Report

7 Sep
2015

New apps are on the horizon, but first a couple of updates….

  • Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade received a minor update that improved the tweet feature to automatically input the hashtag(#CrunchyNumbersMathArcade) for the game in the editable tweet text box. The process of uploading the new build(and of course waiting on review period) took longer than the work in the actual update itself. Most players never tweet scores and I don’t think many people will use it in this game, but I wanted to do it because this is one of my favorite apps I’ve developed so it gets spoiled.
  • Motivational Quotes to inspire received a nice update. More info on it can be found on the Motivational Quotes to Inspire 1.5 Update post. One of the main changes in the new version was a minor update to the Settings section layout as seen below.

MQTI_beforeafterupdate

  • In August I also worked a lot of my new pharmacy quiz app which included a lot of research, heavy work with tables, & UI design. I’ve started to use the Paper app along with the Pencil stylus to mock up UI designs. Working on an interfaces in a drawing app is really neat. I can quickly change things to roughly see how it will look on different devices and also test if it’s user friendly for the users hands. One of the first main menu iterations can be seen below, the finished version is still incomplete. There’s been a lot of work going into this app. I’ve been able to use a bit of data and some code from Quiz of Medicine, but a lot of the new app is being built from of the ground up.  This new medical app will focus on the top 200 drugs in 2015 for the medicine portion of the quizzes whereas Quiz of Medicine focused on featuring over 400 different medications. My new pharmacy app will include brands, generics, indications and drug class quiz types like Quiz of Medicine, but it will also include a couple of new quiz types as well. This will be a very focused well rounded pharmacy app for students and various people in different medical positions.

IMG_0801  QoPFullSizeRender-7

  • During August I also started to compile a list of words for my new Word Owl’s Word Search app. This will be the Halloween Edition so the overall design and words will be of course be Halloween themed. This app will be completely kid friendly so there will be no horror images or shocking words. I’ll be putting my medical app aside and working on this app more in September because I plan on releasing it during the first week of October.
  • Somehow I thought I was going to be finished with the pharmacy app during August and then jumping right into the Halloween word search app after, but other plans got in the way of those plans……..and I’ve been really distracted by Rocket League during my app development time! Rocket League is a very fun game that features two of my favorite things; racing and soccer! The game was free in July on PS Plus and I had never heard of it before downloading it, but definitely glad that I did. Ok, back to working on the word search! Until next time ∞

July Mobile App Development Report

2 Aug
2015

July was an all over the place month in app development land. Worked on new apps and updates to previously released apps, and then there were even some updates to updates. This is what happens when I develop without a clear organized plan…..

During the beginning of the month I worked on my new relaxation app. I continued tidying up the UI that I’ve been working on previously, and then I started implementing logic. As I was deep into development logic I released that I may not be able to finish this app this year because I’m not sure if I’ll be visiting a beach this year. No, that’s not a typo or a mismatched sentence. I really want to incorporate beach sounds in this app, and I want it to record them myself like I’ve done for various other sounds that will be in this app. This app will have a heavy focus on sounds and I want the sound of the beach & ocean to be a segment of it. So the conclusion of this little tangent is that I’ve decided to stop development on this app until I’ve gathered and edited all of the main sounds for this app. I’m still really interested in working on this app and I can’t wait to release it, but I feel like I would prevent a lot of backtracking if I have one of the main focus points of the app finished before I get too deep into implementation of rules, attributes, and other developmental aspects.

During the middle and end of the month I worked on several updates to previously released apps. Some of them were minor and some of them were more substantial. Gift Wrap Difference, Light Up The Tree, & Zompy Jumpy all received 64-bit support updates which also decreased loading times. Right after the Light Up The Tree update was released I realized that I needed to fix a couple of links within the app. So I quickly fixed those issues and published another update which is currently waiting on review with Apple. After the Zompy Jumpy update went live I realized that I forgot to include a pre-typed hashtag within the tweet feature. I know it’s a very minor mishap that can even be added or deleted by any user, but I’m really into minor details. Usually the minor details I may revisit pertain to graphics, sound, or code, but this time it was a preloaded tweet. Yea kind of ridiculous, but I should have noticed it during the initial update I did this month. If I would have been more patient I could have avoided these two back to back updates. The latter two updates were minor but they were still time consuming in a month were I didn’t have much app dev time to consume. I’ve learned my lesson from these mishaps though and hopefully I’ll avoid these similar situations in the future.

In July I also worked on the Fireworks Showeator 1.4 update. More info on the update itself and the reasoning behind a part of it can be found on the linked post. Fireworks Showeator also received a minor iOS update after version 1.4 went live that was similar to the additional update that I submitted for Zompy Jumpy.

Last month I also finished my newest game. It’s a quick fast paced arcade game that I initially created during a space themed game jam. After the game jam I put it off for a while and went back to working on other apps. I recently decided to revisit the game, finish it, and release it on the Apple App Store. I may end up including the main gameplay of this game into a larger game in the future so I want to see how it’s received by the public. Most of the game has been finished for a while, but in order for me to feel fine with releasing it on the App Store I wanted to add a leaderboard and fully test it on different devices. So in July I incorporated Game Center leaderboards, added a main front screen to prepare players for the challenge, and then I tested it on different devices. The game has actually already been in front of you multiple times, but it’s just waiting on August 8th…..that’s a really lame inside joke that will make more sense when it’s released….

I recently quit a job that wasn’t related to my two separate ongoing careers (healthcare & app development) so things are going to start ramping up even more in app development land for me. My career focus is to stay on track with my two different paths, any other work is kind of a waste of my time, and I really don’t like wasting time. Anyways, I’m really excited about working on various new apps and sharing what I’ve been working on! I think I’ll start incorporating more images in these post too. I’m a visual person and I know a lot of other people are too. I’m excited about my healthcare career that’s been going well too, but this site isn’t about that. Back to the mobile apps. Until next time ∞

Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard App Trailer

30 Mar
2015

The trailer for Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard is here….the app was released a few months ago, but……hey look it’s a to the point app trailer for an awesome sound effects app! I bought an excellent piece of software called Reflector a couple of days ago, and now my life has changed in regards to videos for my apps. Seriously, Reflector is awesome and I regret not checking it out earlier. This is my first trailer using it and I can’t wait to use it for my next apps. Ceeeelllleeebrate good times, come on!

Word Owl’s Word Search iOS Updates

28 Feb
2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.39.42 PM

All four of my Word Owl’s Word Search apps on the Apple App Store received an exciting new update recently which includes;

√ 64-bit support

√ Universal device support

√ Faster load times on newer devices

√ New loading icons

When I developed the Kindergarten Edition in 2013 I thought the letter blocks on the word search would be too small for phones so I focused on tablets only during development and design for it and future Word Owl apps. However, I recently realized with the new iPhones that the screen size is big enough were these apps could be used comfortably without the problem of the screen being too small. So while I was updating these apps to have 64-bit support I decided to take some extra time to update them to support the various iPhones.

Judging from feedback, previous update numbers, and recent first day update numbers, a lot of people enjoy these apps. I’ve enjoyed developing them too and I was eager to complete these updates. All of those conclusions definitely made the extra time I squeezed in to work on these updates totally worth it. Now if you own them on your iPad you can download them on your iPhone at no charge.

July Mobile App Progress Report

2 Aug
2014
  • Ported Professor Piggy Bank to the Windows app store. My apps on Windows are still only available for tablets & PC. I may eventually have apps available for the Windows Phones too, but not anytime in the near future. For some reason the architecture for Windows tablets & Windows phones isn’t similar like the iPhone & iPad on the main engine I use.
  • Released Word Owl’s Word Search First Grade and Second Grade editions on the Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Windows App Stores. The Word Owl Word Search series is now complete. I really enjoyed working on these apps, and I’m pleased with the way they turned out. I hope a lot of children & parents find them useful and enjoyable!
  • I arrived at the conclusion to only release my future apps in the Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Windows App Stores, in that order of importance because that’s the order in which I obtain the majority of downloads. My main focus will be Apple & Amazon though because I’m most impressed with their devices, user numbers, and app store design & functionality. Porting to different app stores and working on different builds is becoming too time consuming. I’m excluding Google Play completely because I continue to run into problems with it. The search on Google Play is horrible, which is odd because Google search is great, and I barely get any downloads on it. For now I’ll continue to keep my apps available that are on that store already though.
  • Decided on which app I’ll be working on in August. I’ll be working on an entertainment app that’s similar to a couple of my previous apps. It shouldn’t take that long to finish this app, and after I finish it I’ll be jumping right into development on an educational game for kids. The educational game for kids will feature a unique colorful art style and hidden object gameplay.
  • I have several ideas for different “indie games” I want to eventually work on, and I really can’t wait to start working on them. I’m hoping to start development on one of those ideas when my full-time career situation becomes stable. I’ll continue to have development plans for educational apps and other categories, but I’ll eventually start to focus a bit more on games.
  • Last but not least. Amazon reviewed all of my apps currently on their app store and approved the ones below to be also available for download on their new Amazon Fire Phone!
  • IMG_1480

New Release: Word Owl’s Word Search First Grade and Second Grade

10 Jul
2014

1024x500 promo banner

Available on the Apple App Store  amazonappstore-black_badge_updated

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1024x500 promo banner

Available on the Apple App Store  amazonappstore-black_badge_updated

WindowsStore_badge_black_en_large_120x376

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Word Owl’s Word Search is a big and colorful word search for children. The First Grade and Second Grade Editions of Word Owl’s Word Search feature 200 sight words each for children in or around the 1st & 2nd Grade. These words have been compiled from numerous sight word lists provided by real 1st and 2nd grade classes in different schools. Help your kid learn and retain several words while having fun!

Simply slide your finger across the letters to form a word that’s displayed on the left side of the screen. The words are in the word search vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. All of the words are displayed in a forward  facing manner in the First Grade edition. Some of the words in The Second Grade edition are displayed in a backwards facing manner for an added challenge for the second graders.

√ 200 different sight words
√ Ten words to find per puzzle
√ Customizable letter and background colors
√ Nice colorful high-definition graphics
√ Features popular sight words used in numerous schools & books

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2048x1536 200 words

2048x1536 HD graphics

Settings

Updates for iOS Apps with Tweet Error

21 Feb
2014

Recently I discovered that people were starting to get errors when trying to post a tweet from within some of my apps. So after doing some digging I found the same bug within all of the apps with twitter integration, fixed them, and submitted updates to Apple. All of the apps affected now have live updates on the Apple App Store that resolve the problem. Also, now before you post a tweet from within any of the apps you’ll be able to edit it and add words, hashtags, emoticons, & etc.

The following apps now have updates live on the Apple App Store that eliminate the tweet error and add the tweet edit functionality;

Motivational Quotes to Inspire

Chinatown Fortune Cookie

Chinatown Galleta Fortuna

Fireworks Showeator

Fireworks Showeator XL