Tag Archives: apps

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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New Release: Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition

1 Oct
2015

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Trick and treat yourself to a great kid friendly Halloween puzzle game.

Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition is a fun word search puzzle game that features hundreds of Halloween related words. The design and words in this app are all kid friendly so it can be played by various ages. This app can be used as an educational tool and/or just for fun. The words in the word search have various lengths, and they are displayed forwards or backwards. On the letter block board the words can be found vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

For an increased challenge you can turn the “Show Words” option off and seek out Halloween related words in the word search. If you need help when the Show Words option is off you can press the Hint button and the words on the left that need to be found will appear for a few seconds. This game also features twelve different backgrounds and various letter block colors that can be changed in the settings section. The letter blocks are big and bold for ease of use with eyes and fingers for kids and/or adults.

No internet connection required to play, no ads, and no in-app purchases. Have fun! Happy Halloween!

  • Kid friendly design
  • Hundreds of Halloween related words
  • Different backgrounds and letter colors
  • Bold high-definition graphics
  • Show words on/off option

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Development, design & audio by: Avrin Ross / 8-Bit Avrin Apps

Motivational Quotes to Inspire 1.5 Update

15 Aug
2015

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  •  64-bit support
  •  Faster load times
  •  Redesigned conflicting areas
  •  Improved resolutions

 (Motivational Quotes to Inspire is available for free on the Apple iOS App Store)

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

March Mobile App Progress Report

7 Apr
2015

March was another busy… where did the time go?….kind of month. There are a lot of changes and movements going on in my life right now outside of app development. I’m behind where I wanted to be with app development progress overall, but I’m not too down about it because I have been getting a lot of efficient design & development done in small amounts of time.  Eventually things will smooth out some and I’ll put my app development on some sort of schedule. Here’s an overview of what happened in app development land in March….

  • Quiz of Medicine received an update on Android(Google Play & Amazon). This version 1.2 update included a new loading icon and faster startup load times. I also fixed lag issues on older devices and text that would display oddly on certain devices.
  • The biggest update this month was the Professor Piggy Bank 1.5 update (1.6 on Android). This update included enhanced coin graphics, new piggy bank colors in save mode, enhanced chalkboard graphics, faster load times, new graphics in play mode, a new loading icon, and a new app icon. The overall design and function of this app is great, but I felt like it deserved an update to enhance the look of it in certain areas. When I first developed this app I targeted phones but it should have initially been designed with tablets in mind, which means higher resolution graphics, and that’s part of what I accomplished with this update.
  • I also worked on the numbers game that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. A few months ago I thought I would have been near completion or totally finished with this app, but I haven’t been staying up late working on apps like I used to. Lately for this app I’ve been squeezing development time into bite size chunks throughout a couple of days each week. However, there has been a lot of progress made on this app and I think it will be ready for release in the coming months.

Earlier this year I made a rough overestimated schedule of my app releases for this year and the first half of next year. I’ll be revisiting this list soon and rearranging it to a more realistic schedule so I won’t be so hard on myself as the months go by. Regardless or not of how many or which apps will be released within that time frame I know one thing is for sure….all of them will be unique and awesome. Until next time ∞

Ultra Retro Game Soundboard 1.4 Update

4 Mar
2015

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  • 64-bit support (iOS)
  • Added a favorites feature! Simply hold down on a sound effect button for around 5 seconds to mark it as a favorite. If you hold down on that button again for around 5 seconds it will be unmarked. Now you’ll be able to easily remember which sounds you like the most.
  • Added new backgrounds. Some of the previous ones weren’t retro enough.
  • New loading icon
  • Faster load times

(This update went live on the Apple App Store on 02/27. Android(Amazon & Google Play) updates went live on 03/04 & 03/05. Windows version will be updated once publishing issues are resolved.)

Word Owl’s Word Search iOS Updates

28 Feb
2015

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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.

Top 8 Favorite Mobile Games of 2014

8 Jan
2015

Honorable mention: Timberman – It’s a challenging quick in & out arcade game that you’ll probably want to play multiple times to beat high scores. Great retro inspired art style. 

#8 – Run Sackboy Run!

Fun endless runner with great LittleBigPlanet style visuals and smooth gameplay. Sackboy still has the floaty jump that’s in the LittleBigPlanet console games, but after playing a couple of times I became familiar with it.

#7 – Crossy Road

Another fun quick in & out game that’s challenging. The art style is very neat, and I like how bright & vivid the colors are. Great take on the classic Frogger game. Neat gameplay that makes you think quickly.

#6 – Monument Valley

It’s a neat experience based artistic game. It’s kind of short, but I appreciate the work that went into this game because it looks like a lot of attention to detail was used while developing it. Excellent sound design.

#5 – Leo’s Fortune

I’m a big fan of retro art styles, and various other minimalistic art styles, but I also really appreciate good games with highly detailed graphics. Leo’s Fortune is an exquisite mobile platformer with appealing graphics.

#4 – Framed

Framed is a unique narrative puzzle game. I don’t play a ton of mobile games, but I have a sense there’s not much else like this game out there. I’ve never seen or played anything like it. It’s an innovative game, and I totally respect that.

#3 – Lyne

Lyne is a great challenging puzzle game that makes me feel slightly smarter after I play it sometimes, but it’s somehow kind of relaxing too. It was officially released at the end of 2013, and I didn’t discover it until 2014, so it deserves to be on this list.

#2 – Threes!

Threes! is awesome. It’s a challenging puzzle game with a simple gameplay mechanic that feels really natural. Great audio, charming characters, and the overall design is ace. Easy to pick up and play, and it always leaves me with a feeling that I should have spent more time with it after exiting.

#1 – Trials Frontier

Trials Frontier is the mobile game that I played the most in 2014. I’m a big fan of Trials HD and Trials Evolution, haven’t played Fusion yet, but I was skeptical of Frontier because I wasn’t sure how it would control on a touch screen. While I prefer Trials with a controller, Trials Frontier on the iPad was still incredibly fun. The free to play aspect of it never really bothered me. When I play mobile games it’s usually only for a few minutes at a time so I didn’t mind waiting on this or that. I actually make sure to watch ads on it to support the developers, which also gives me a gem, so win win. Awesome gameplay, excellent visuals, nice sound, and the updates have been great.