Tag Archives: apps

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 ∞

8-Bit Eagle Smash 1.1 Update

14 Aug
2016

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√ 64-bit support

√ Faster initial load times

√ Updated score font

√ Fixed tweet bug

 

(This update went live earlier this month, but I forgot to make a quick post on it 🙂 )

Saving Bunnies! Update & New Availability

31 Jul
2016

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Saving Bunnies! is now available for free on the Google Play & Amazon app stores!

Also, the new update to the iOS version includes new mountain graphics, audio enhancements, and faster load times. These improvement are also within the two new Android versions mentioned above.

Thank you to the thousands of players that have already saved thousands of bunnies. I hope you continue to enjoy the game, and welcome to the new players. Have fun saving those bunnies!

Motivational Quotes to Inspire 2.0 Update

19 Jul
2016

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Available on the Apple App Store

Available for FREE on the Apple App Store.

√ Added a lot of old & new quotes.

√ Added a Spanish language feature which translates the entire app into Español.

√ Increased performance to provide faster initial load times.

New quotes added are from various people including; Elon Musk, Serena Williams, Albert Einstein, Satoru Iwata, Mark Zuckerberg, Muhammad Ali, and many more!

Chinatown Fortune Cookie 2.0 & 1.5.5 Update

30 Jun
2016

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  • Added more fortunes.
  • Updated and enhanced graphics.

 

Available for free on the Apple, Amazon & Google Play App Stores. Paid versions without ads also available on Apple & Amazon. New update version listed as 2.0 on Apple and 1.5.5 on Android for Amazon & Google Play.

March Mobile App Development Report

8 Apr
2016

App progress in March mostly consisted of work on a big update for Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard. The main feature of this update is the addition of 32 countries in the Anthems section which means 32 more flags & national anthems. With the Euro 2016 & Copa America 2016 tournaments approaching I wanted to make sure this app had all those teams in it. So I compared the list of current countries in the app with the countries participating in those tournaments and added the ones missing to a new list to be added. With the added countries the total came to 50 something but instead of stopping there I eventually thought it would be neat to double the complete total to 64. It also looked better design wise to just have two full pages of 32 teams. So I ended up going in reverse a bit to get the total up to 64 because I had already started the process of gathering flags & anthems. To achieve this new total goal I started adding other countries like Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico & etc. Some of the countries didn’t have highly renowned soccer/football teams but I’m sure those countries still have tons of fans.

Throughout March I worked with new flags by making flag buttons and mostly full screen flags that looked good on tablet & phone screens. The full screen flags part took a bit extra attention since it involved some trial and error on height and width adjustments. I wanted to make sure the flags appeared as full as possible without cutting out too much on smaller screens. I adjusted flag sizes in Pixelmator and added a 3D button effect to the smaller ones in Inkscape for the Anthems selection page. I also worked on the Anthems page text and layout by adding the new countries while rearranging the previous countries since I wanted to make the finished interface in alphabetical order. Then after finishing the flags I went around and gathered national anthems for all of the countries. Throughout the process of working on flags and anthems I went back into the code within the app and added the new anthems and flags for the corresponding countries.

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Adding a 3D button effect to smaller flags in Inkscape.

Also one night a few days before Easter I started working on a Word Owl Easter edition game. I mainly just figured out the new main colors and edited all letter blocks with those new colors. I knew there would be no way to finish the app on time for Easter but I just felt like working on it for a bit. I didn’t decide to make an Easter version until kind of last minute in relation to the holiday approaching, but I’ll finish it sometime this year and wait to release next year about a month before Easter. 

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Working on new letter block colors in Pixelmator.

Well that’s it for now. Only a few more minutes in this day so I’m going to hurry and post this while it’s still the 8th because……..8-Bit Avrin! Until next time ∞

January Mobile App Development Report

6 Feb
2016

January definitely felt like a new journey for me with various changes going on in my life, thankfully most of them were positive. The first week or so I was sick and recovering from a sinus infection which was lame, but I did manage to somehow make progress in app development land throughout the month.

The only app I really worked on in January was Ultra Fortune Ball which involved many improvements for the big 4.0 update that’s set for a March 3rd release. I choose that date because it’s the date this app was first released on the Apple App Store 5 years ago. Ultra Fortune Ball is the first app I ever developed and published so it’s a bit special to me in very unique kind of way. 

I started improving graphics during the last week of December, and then in the beginning of January I continued and finished the graphic enhancements. Pretty much every image in the app is now changed or enhanced in some way. I changed the actual fortune ball itself, but it’s still about the same size as before. Overall I wanted the app to look polished, uniform, and sharp overall. For the ball I made it darker and less blurry on the edges, and then I made the title text darker and sharper. I also decided to go with honeycomb/hexagon graphics for the inside “liquid” part of the ball. I liked the way the honeycomb images looked so much within the app that I eventually decided to make the background stars in the same shape and even the moon also! I also ended up making the buttons have less of a glow around the words and instead made the edges sharper with more contrast between the button and text.

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Being meticulous about design and comparing a few final images to themselves and other different images.

 

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Quick notes about sizes, effects and other random things.

After completing the graphics. I decided to jump into the mechanics of the app itself and how answers are retrieved. I added tables to make the app perform smoother and more functional overall. After adding tables I was able to delete a lot of old code rules within the app, and the code that replaced it was incredibly quicker to incorporate than what I had done years ago. I also added more responses for both languages. There ended up being 173 Spanish answers and then eventually 0ver 200 English answers. There’s more English answers than Spanish basically because I’m more familiar with various English jargons and sayings. After incorporating the changes to the code of the app I turned my attention back to presentation of the app. I added a vibrate feature so that your phone vibrates after you touch or shake the ball IF you have vibrate turned on in your phone settings. There’s also an option to turn this feature off within the app itself in case you want to keep vibrate on for your phone but not in this app.

On the older version of this app the ball would get smaller and then bigger while the inside spun while it was retrieving an answer. Although that looked fine with the new images I wanted to improve the answer animation to look more refined. So I incorporated a framed animation that uses the different honeycomb images that I made earlier in the month so that the sizes changed while the inside also spins. I tried a few different speeds for the sizes changes and spin until I saw one that felt right. After that I made the ball have a blur effect and a contained movement animation where it kind of bounces around without going off screen. After all of that and towards the end of the month I made new app icon and loading screens using the new images.

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Working on load screens for different device sizes.

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A side by side comparison of the main menu. Out with the old, in with the new.

I’m very satisfied with how the update turned out and I’m glad I decided to take time to work on a substantial update instead of something minor or ignoring it and working on a different app. I can’t wait to release it for all the people who have already downloaded the app, whether it be days ago, months ago, or years ago and of course for future downloaders also. Until next time ∞

New Release: Word Owl’s Word Search – Third Grade Edition

18 Dec
2015

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Word Owl’s Word Search is a big, educational & colorful word search for children. This Third Grade Edition of Word Owl’s Word Search features over 300 sight words for children in or around the 3rd Grade. These words have been compiled from numerous sight word lists provided by real 3rd grade classes in different schools. Help your kid learn and retain several words while having fun!

√ Over 300 different sight words
√ Ten words to find per puzzle
√ Letter and background color options
√ Sharp colorful retina resolution graphics
√ Features popular sight words used in numerous schools & books

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. Words will be displayed in a forward or backwards facing manner. Have fun!

(Sight words are commonly used words that children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words when they see them without having to use any distracting strategies. Sight words account for a large percentage of the words used in literature for children. One advantage for children being able to recognize sight words automatically is that the child will be able to identify the majority of words in a book before they even attempt to read it. When the child is able to do that they’ll be able to concentrate on the meaning and comprehension as they read without having to stop to figure out the actual word.)

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