Tag Archives: educational apps

October Mobile App Development Report

4 Nov
2015

October started with a new app release on October 1st, and the rest of app dev work during the month went towards a new app that’s being released today(November 4th)!

The first couple of days went towards promoting and enjoying the release of Word Owl’s Word Search: Halloween Edition.

Then….because I’m a workaholic that set ambitious goals for the rest of the year….I went right into work on finishing RX Quiz of Pharmacy. I finished several tables containing questions and answers  in September so October development went towards implementation of that data into the actual app, design, testing & audio. After implementing the quiz data I jumped more into design, design, & more design. I decided to make the app basically look like a clipboard with pills on it but also have an overall clean bold look. So I made flat clipboard backgrounds and slightly raised buttons that looked like tablets.  For the color of the tablet graphics I used colors from actual real life pill images online. After finishing those graphics I decided to make a statistics page that would store the number of questions answered, number answered correctly, and answered correct percentages.

After the all the work mentioned above was finished, I went into the testing phase. After finding and fixing some of the data issues I went to work on the audio. For most of the audio on the app I recorded sound effects using actual pills and pill bottles. The button click sounds are the sounds of tablets dropping into a bottle. The Start Quiz button sound effect is the sound of a pill bottle opening with pills inside, and the sound heard after finishing a quiz is the sound of pouring pills on a table. I added minor effects to these sounds in GarageBand after recording them to make sound more bounteous. Then after finishing those sounds I also made basic correct & incorrect sound effects.

Photo Oct 18, 11 52 41 PM

Recording sound effects for RX Quiz of Pharmacy

I really wanted to make sure this app looked different from my Quiz of Medicine app, but also kind of pay homage to it because that app inspired me to make this app. When I started working on Quiz of Medicine I thought I was going to make it more focused, but I went a little overboard with the medications and the app ended up turning into a massive quiz app featuring thousands of questions for over 400 medications. However, I definitely wasn’t disappointed with how that app turned out. I still think it’s a great app and it’s one of my best performing and well received apps with a lot of downloads and mostly positive reviews. 

My goal for RX Quiz of Pharmacy was for it to be more focused on pharmacy overall as a whole. I believe I succeeded with that goal by having it feature abbreviations, law, history, and only the top 200 drugs(in 2015 currently). I’m also really satisfied with the look of the app. I even smiled at the app icon for about a minute after finishing it. Working on an app icon is usually one of the final things I do during development, and that was also the case for this app. So I wasn’t just smiling because I really liked the look of the app icon, but also because it was a moment of culmination.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 8.12.10 PM

Working on the RX Quiz of Pharmacy app icon

Up next on my app development plate will be a finance app and the next Word Owl’s Word Search app. Not sure which one I’ll focus more on, but I’ll be working on both until I figure it out. Until next time ∞

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September Mobile App Development Report

9 Oct
2015

September development time consisted of a lot work on two new apps. Most of that time went to working on and finishing Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, but work also continued on my new educational medical app.

  • In the beginning of the month I continued working on organizing words for Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition. I grouped the words into similar categories for some of the puzzles and then eventually randomly jumbled some of them together. There’s an option to hide the words to seek out to make the game more challenging so I wanted the earlier puzzles to have similar words. By doing this the players will get the idea of what words to possibly look for in later puzzles if they’re playing with the Show Words option off.

 

  • During the beginning and middle of the month A LOT of design work went into effect for the Word Owl Halloween app. I completed the look of the main menu which consisted of working on button graphics and the overall layout. On my previous Word Owl word search apps I have the owl popping up on different areas of the main menu screen but I decided to have a window where it could pop up from in different areas. I ran into some problems with layering and transparency on the main menu, but ended up working those out during a late night session. I also worked on the ghost costume for the owl and its candy bucket that shows up after puzzles and on the loading screen. I already had white and black letter blocks from previous apps so I just had to make orange ones this time and then incorporate some rules in game to have a mixed color block option. I also made different backgrounds, some really simple, and some more elaborate. 
Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 8.07.11 PM

Eventually ended up removing the ears from the owl while in costume, and changing the color on the main menu window to a layered gray instead of white.

  • I was able to use a lot of the code from my previous word search apps so I saved a lot of time in that area during development of this game, but I still had a decent amount of work to do in that area though. It definitely wasn’t just graphics and audio work for this app. After completing the game and finishing testing I submitted the app to the app stores and set the release date to October 1st. The app was released earlier on Barnes & Noble store because there’s no way to set a future release date on that store. I also submitted to the Barnes & Noble store earlier than I wanted to because I tried to make a promotion deadline for them but ended up missing it by a day. Apple and Amazon are usually my main stores in terms of downloads, so it wasn’t a big deal that I ended up missing that deadline. While the app was waiting on review I made some promo images, a gameplay video trailer, and wrote the press release. 

 

  • I really like the design of my word owl games and how they all have things in common, but they also each have their own identify. The sight word apps have their playful classroom feel, the Christmas edition is wrapped in Christmas joy with the art and sound, and now this Halloween edition has a definite kid friendly Halloween focus with its look and sound. I like for the design of these apps to be big & bold, approachable, and colorful in their own theme. I try not to make them look too detailed, but I also make sure they don’t turn out plain and/or bland. I plan on making two more Word Owl apps eventually, and then that will probably be all for the Word Owl Word Search series. I’m planning on making a third grade sight words edition, and then an Easter edition. On the iOS App Store there will eventually be a classroom bundle and then a Holiday bundle, and they both will be available at discounted prices. If any of the other app stores they’re on give developers the option of making bundles then I will definitely share the bundle love with their stores customers too.

 

  • Throughout the month during dev time I took a couple of breaks from the word search app to continue working on my new pharmacy quiz app. There are going to be six quiz types, plus a mixed/assorted option. I finished the questions for the brands, generics, indications, and drug class category quiz modes. There will also be a top 100 or 200 drugs option for those quiz types to narrow down or widen the scope of questions. I also worked on questions & answers for the other two quiz types. Hopefully I’ll finish this app in October, but I’m not sure what exact date I’ll release it….probably towards the beginning of November.

 

I would like to finish and release at least three new apps by the end of 2015, including the pharmacy app mentioned above. However, with everything going on in life there’s a chance that number may be lowered to two, but then there’s also a chance that number could be four! We’ll see. Until next time ∞