Tag Archives: independent app developer

May Mobile App Development Report

8 Jun
2017

The one and only app I worked on in May is the educational finance app, and the work that was done on it varied greatly in 30min-2hour increments throughout the month. The only aspect of the app I worked on in May was adding more information and also rewording some information. As I added more info I decided to change the wording in some of the questions so there wasn’t any hesitation of what the answer would be if you were sure of the answer. With my educational apps I’m not trying to trick anyone into thinking something false, but instead help people become knowledgable about something new to them and also refresh and/or retain the knowledge of those that are informed on the subject or have been in the past.

In May I finished the formulas & ratios section which turned out to be the second largest category in the app and probably my favorite to work on. One reason why I liked working on it is because you can ask more than one question about each ratio without repeating the same question or answer. You can ask about the definition of the ratio, what the ratio is used for, the formula of the ratio, and what different results exhibit about a company or stock. Ratios are a very informative area of finance and I think this category of my app will be very useful for a wide range of investors and students.

Working on the formulas & ratios category in my app. The visible data on the spreadsheet only shows about .05% of the informational data in this app!

Throughout May I also added a few more lines of data to the abbreviations section. One of the podcasts I listen to on a somewhat normal basis in the car is a finance & investing podcast so there were a couple of moments where I would hear something and notice that the issue or terminology used wasn’t incorporated in my app yet. So when this happened I would jot down a quick note in my phone(at a stop light ūüôā ) to remind myself to add information about that topic during one of my next app dev sessions.

In June I plan on finishing and releasing this finance app. I’m really looking forward to completing this app. This app is kind of a personal project for me because I have an interest in Finance and investing personally and professionally. I also have a degree in Business Administration Finance but I don’t use the knowledge I obtained throughout those college¬†years on a daily basis and not even professionally so using this app will be a nice way to refresh and retain information. I think it will end up being very useful for others in a somewhat similar experience like me, newcomers to this subject matter, and people who work in finance and investing areas.

After finishing the Finance app, hopefully in June, I’ll be jumping back into a soundboard app I’ve been working on and I hope to finish and release it in July! It will probably be my last soundboard app for a while though. I like making soundboard apps and the ones I’ve created get downloads, some more than others of course, so those are two good reasons to continue with them. Anyways, back to work on this finance app. Until next time ‚ąě

Advertisements

App Development & Design in 2016 Overview | 8-Bit Avrin Apps

27 Jan
2017

updatesin2016bannerwithlines

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 ‚Äď 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 ‚ąě

photo-jan-15-2-28-44-am photo-jan-13-10-04-51-am photo-jan-13-10-04-03-am wo-halloween-review-on-windows

2016 reviews on Google Play

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-56-49-am screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-58-43-am screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-57-20-am screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-57-44-am

2015 Overview –¬†2014 Overview¬†–¬†2013 Overview¬†–¬†2012 Overview

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 ‚ąě

June Mobile App Development Report

8 Jul
2015

June wasn’t as bountiful¬†as May in app development land, but May was a month packed with working on an app, finishing that app, releasing it, and then working on another app immediately after.¬†I also had a lot of non app dev work going on, however, I did make some nice progress with one of my new apps. In June I continued working on the user interface on my new relaxation app. I decided to make the main features¬†of the app the actual main menu/first screen so as soon as the app loads you can immediately go into a realm of relaxation. In the past couple of years I started to realize how important design is within apps and I’ve been intertwining development and design when possible. So instead of mainly developing/coding¬†first or designing first, I often¬†go back and forth between the two to see what looks and feels right.

While working on the user interface for this new app I had a hard time deciding on what font to use. I didn’t want the font to be too demanding to the eye, but I also didn’t want it to be seen as feeble. While deciding I looked at several complete words in different fonts next to each other and within the actual scene in which they would appear in the app. I basically ended up¬†staring at¬†a lot of font styles in different test environments until I eventually decided on one.¬†I don’t plan on releasing this app until probably Fall or Winter this year so I’ll be working on another app that’s near completion in addition to this one in the month of July. Until next time ‚ąě

February Mobile App Progress Report

11 Mar
2015

Usually I write these posts during the first week of the month, but March is becoming an extremely busy month inside and outside app development like February was. Here’s an overview of what I accomplished in app dev land during February.

  • During the beginning of February I worked¬†a little bit on my numbers game I’ve been working on. I finally decided on an art style to use for it, and I started making changes to the main¬†graphics to reflect that decision. I’m very pleased with how it’s looking and playing so far. I can’t wait to eventually jump back into development on it, which will be after I finish a couple more updates in March.
  • Speaking of updates, the rest of February was filled with iOS updates that included 64-support, and some of the apps received additional features. The first app I updated with 64-bit support was Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard. It recently received a few improvements in prior updates so for this update I just focused on 64-bit support for iOS.
  • Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 received a 64-bit support and faster load time update. I also implemented full screen support on this update so now there are no wide black bars on the Apple versions.
  • Word Owl’s Word Search Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, & Christmas editions all received updates in February as well. All of these updates included 64-bit support, faster load times, themed loading¬†icons, and…..universal support! Previously all four of these apps were iPad only on the Apple App Store, but now they’re playable on newer iPhone & iPod Touch devices. Click here to read more about the Word Owl’s Word Search app updates.
  • I also worked on the awesome Ultra Retro Game Soundboard 1.4 update in February. This update included 64-bit support(iOS only), a favorites feature, full screen support, a themed loading icon, and new custom backgrounds because the original custom ones weren’t retro enough. The iOS version of the update was released in February and the Android(Amazon & Google Play) versions were released in the first week of March.

So yea February was packed with updates, and March has been also dedicated to updates so far. I didn’t have a lot of development time in February, but I worked hard when I did have it, and I tried to work as efficiently as possible. Some¬†of the things taking up my time outside of app development are really important so I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t get much done. However,¬†I’m pleased and surprised with the amount of work I did in February given the small amount of time I had to do it. Until next time ‚ąě

October Mobile App Progress Report

4 Nov
2014

Finished development on Zompy Jumpy, and published it on the Apple, Amazon, and Google Play app stores. It’s a challenging game with minimalistic retro design and simple gameplay. As I wrote in the September progress report, I felt like making a quick game that’s kind of silly since I had a lot of stress going on in my life. Working on the difficulty was the most difficult task I had while creating Zompy Jumpy. I wanted it to be hard, but also have a decent amount of short replay value. I knew going into it that I wanted it to remain a simple quick in & out game so there’s not any character progression or anything like that. The main replay value for a game like this is the challenge of increasing your score on the next run and moving up the leaderboards. I used Game Center on iOS, and Amazon Game Circle on Android for leaderboards. Once again people have proven to me that they’re better than I am at my own games, which is totally cool. There’s already a person on the Game Center leaderboard that survived 60 seconds which is REALLY good for this game. It’s more than double my high score!

Zompy Jumpy was released a week later than I wanted to, but I kept going back and forth on a couple of issues with the game. At first I thought about having the bottom character automatically jump every time the top character did like some sort of shadow, which makes sense since the character at the bottom is a silhouette of the top character. Then I decided to give separate jump controls to both characters. Both styles made the player pay attention to zombies on both sides of the screen, but the first control scheme made the game become too much about luck instead of skill since the zombies are somewhat randomly generated. Eventually I decided to let the player control both characters since it kept the game challenging, but also made the game more about the skill of timing jumps and double jumps instead of just hoping zombies came at both characters at the same time….which in that case would make the bottom half of the screen somewhat irrelevant. Having both characters separate makes the players look back and forth at both sides of the screen while deciding on when to jump. I eventually made the zombies spawn were sometimes both characters need to jump at the same time and sometimes they don’t. The moral of this story is…..Game development involves a lot of trail and error even when there’s only one or two main game mechanics.

Since Zompy Jumpy is free I wanted to use an ad platform on both Apple and Android versions. I went with iAds on Apple since it’s a solid platform that I’ve used before. I’ve had up & down results with iAds in the past, but it’s easy to implement and the statistical dashboards available for it are informative so I’ll continue to use it for my free Apple apps. I’ve never used an ad platform on Android, but after doing some research I decided to give Chartboost a try. I’m not sure what to expect aside from the possible positive and negative things I’ve read about it online, however, it will be interesting to see how it performs. If I’m dissatisfied with it I may switch to Revmob in the future, but I’ll give Chartboost a fair chance with a couple of different apps first. I don’t write about monetization much because it’s not my main focus with app development, but I spent some of my app development time researching different ad platforms. So yeap, that’s mainly it for October. I think this might be the first monthly progress report were I don’t have a list of different apps I worked on. November has started out in a nice positive direction though, and I’m back on schedule somewhat in app development land so….Until next time ‚ąě

June Mobile App Progress Report

2 Jul
2014
  • Updated the pricing for all my apps on the Windows app store to 0.99 cents. When I originally started releasing apps in the Windows app store the lowest price you could list apps at was 1.49 or free. However, I discovered in June that there was a 0.99 cents option so I immediately updated all of my apps currently on Windows to that price because that’s what they’re listed at on the other app stores.
  • Finished Word Owl’s Word Search First Grade AND Second Grade edition! I finished the 1st grade version a few weeks ago and then went straight into working on the 2nd grade version and finished it on June 30th! They both will be released in the Apple & Amazon app stores on July 10th. They’ll also be available on Barnes & Noble around that time as well. They don’t have an option to set a specific date so I’m not exactly sure when it will be available there. I’m currently working on a Windows version of my Word Owl sight word apps so hopefully all three of them will be available¬†for¬†Windows tablets & computers¬†soon. Most of my development time in June went towards these two apps. They’re similar to the Kindergarten Edition¬†I released last year, but the 1st grade and 2nd grade version both feature 200 sight words each. The 2nd grade version also has some of the words displayed backwards in the word search puzzle section.
  • In June I also decided¬†which app I’ll be working on next. It’s going to be another educational¬†app for kids, but it’s all about colors, shapes, and numbers. I’ll post and/or tweet some images from it soon.

April Mobile App Progress Report

7 May
2014
  • Released Quiz of Medicine on the Apple, Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble app stores. It’s a neat informative app that has¬†thousands of questions for over 400 drugs. (Finished the build of the¬†iOS version in March, followed by the Android versions in early April.)
  • Continued working on the soccer/football/futbol themed app. Definitely aiming¬†to release this app before the World Cup starts in June because I’m sure a lot of people will want to use it while watching the games. (Made a lot of progress on this app recently so it should be finished and released in May.)
  • Worked¬†on the 1st Grade Edition of Word Owl’s Word Search. Put together a big compilation of¬†sight words from different school lists. Wasn’t¬†able to work on this app much because I was working on the soccer app during the sparse¬†app development time I had in April.
  • Fixed a couple of issues and enhanced some of the graphics¬†in the¬†version 1.1 update of¬†Word Owl Word Search: Kindergarten¬†Edition.