Tag Archives: indie 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

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

27 Jan
2017

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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

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2016 reviews on Google Play

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

My Top 8 Favorite Albums of 2016

5 Jan
2017

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My Top 8 Favorite Albums of 2016 Spotify playlist

 

#8

Porches ‚Äď Pool

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(Standout tracks: Underwater, Mood, Hour, Shaver)

 

#7

Kings of Leon – Walls

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(Standout tracks: Around the World, Find Me, Reverend, Over)

 

 

#6

Frank Ocean ‚ÄstBlond

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(Standout tracks: Ivy, Solo, Nights, Futura Free)

 

 

#5

Radiohead¬†‚ÄstA Moon Shaped Pool

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(Standout tracks: Daydreaming, Decks Dark, Ful Stop, Identikit)

 

 

#4

Metronomy¬†‚Äď Summer 08

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(Standout tracks: Old Skool, 16 Beat, Mick Slow, Night Owl)

 

 

#3

Young the Giant¬†‚ÄstHome of the Strange

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(Standout tracks: Amerika, Elsewhere, Repeat, Art Exhibit)

 

 

#2

Local Natives¬†‚ÄstSunlit Youth

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(Standout tracks: Villainy, Masters, Mother Emanuel, Everything All At Once)

 

 

#1

Kid Cudi¬†‚ÄstPassion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’

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(Standout tracks: By Design, Rose Golden, Baptized in Fire, Cosmic Warrior, The Commander)

 

(Top 8 Favorite Albums of 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)

April Mobile App Development Report

8 May
2016

App development work in April continued my current trend of working on updates. The first part of the month consisted of making new screenshots to go along with the major Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard 2.0 update. Only one of the previous screenshots would look outdated due to the update but I went ahead and made all new screenshots. Previously some of the screenshots were just plain screenshots and some consisted of a screenshot inside of a phone frame with written details. So this time I decided to use a screenshot mock-up frame app by using real in app screenshots and placing them in iPhone, iPad, & Android tablet frames. Then I used Pixelmator to arrange them and add written details pertaining to each screenshot. Doing this maximized the promo screenshot section since I made most of the screenshot images have two devices embedded with different screenshots and then each image also had additional typed info on it.

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A collage of some screenshots and images used in the final Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard screenshots.

I’ve read in different articles that a lot of app consumers mostly pay attention to the app icon and promo screenshots when deciding to download an app which also helped me understand the importance of app presentation. My app icons have always been top-notch in my opinion. I usually try to make them somewhat minimalistic but also present a great first impression of the app itself. I used to mainly just take a few different screenshots of the app and then use them as is in the promo screenshot sections. Lately I’ve been putting more work into my screenshots to make sure they do a good job of explaining what the app is about and its features. Previously, I didn’t work on screenshots until I was finished with the app and at that point I’ve just been ready to quickly publish and submit for review. However, in the past year or so I’ve been pushing back new release & update dates or initially setting them up for later to give myself more time if needed to work on screenshots & etc.

In April I also started working on an update for Chinatown Fortune Cookie. This update will feature higher resolution graphics, 64 bit support, and more fortunes! I’ll also be changing the main ad provider for the free versions. As usual though, the ads won’t be really annoying nor take away from the usability ¬†of the app itself. Previously the real fortune cookie photos were changed to retina size for older iPhones at 960×640, and then I used a Corel painting program¬†to give the oil painting effect. For the update though I’ve gone back to the orignal 3456×2304 photo size, changed them to the iPhone 6 plus retina size of 2208×1242 and then used the painting program to add an oil painting effect similar to the one I used initially. The difference will be very noticeable especially on the newer bigger phones & tablets. This update will probably be finished in May or June and then set for release soon after.

App dev progress¬†in May will consist of more app update work containing¬†minor & major improvements. That’s all for now. Until next time ‚ąě

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 ‚ąě

Farewell Nook App Store…. (Barnes & Noble shutting it down on March 15 2016)

14 Mar
2016

The Barnes & Noble Nook App Store is set to shutdown on March 15th 2016. I first made some of my apps available and joined the Nook App Store on March 6th 2013. My relationship with the Nook App Store during those two years was positive overall. There are things that I liked and disliked about the app store, but overall I’m definitely glad I put in the work¬†to release some of my older and new apps on it. One of the¬†main aspects that I liked about the Nook App Store was its focus on educational apps for children. It was the only app store that had several specific categories for different educational segments like time & money, writing, math, memory, geography¬†and many others. Another thing that I really liked about the Nook App Store were their¬†seasonal promotions were¬†they would let developers submit their seasonal apps for consideration to be a part of a special temporary seasonal section. Several of my apps were approved for these promotions in the past and one of them(Jumbo Egg Hunt 2) got extra¬†recognition by being selected for inclusion on promotional banners.

I also like that the¬†Nook App Store didn’t have a ton of low quality apps and clones of popular apps that could get in the way of high quality original apps being discovered. It had it’s fair share of those lower quality apps but it wasn’t incredibly overbearing like it often is¬†on other app stores. However, the customer base of the Nook App Store wasn’t¬†nearly as large as the Apple, Amazon or Google Play app stores so even though there was less competition there was also less of an audience to seek. Also, in regards to customer service towards developers. I didn’t have to contact them often but they were nice & informative when I did need to, although not nearly as timely compared to¬†other platforms. Editing/updating metadata wasn’t as smooth and quick as Amazon & Google Play either.

The Nook App Store was never my primary app store, but overall I will miss it. Apple is and has always been my primary app store, with Amazon being my secondary since I joined them. However, in 2016 I’ll continue to focus more on Google Play also which pairs well with the Nook App Store closing since Nook users will be and have been directed towards Google Play for their app needs. I’ll end this little goodbye post with some¬†screenshots of my apps being featured, customer reviews, and my apps that were available at the time of this post on the Nook App Store.

Farewell Barnes & Noble Nook App Store, and to all Nook tablet users, please look for and check out my apps on Google Play or any other app stores that you may have devices for like Apple, Amazon or Windows. Take care!

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My apps that were available as of March 2016.

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Jumbo Egg Hunt 2 was selected to be featured on the Season’s Best Apps promotional banner during the Easter season.

Seasons Best on Nook app store Dec 2013

Light Up The Tree & Gift Wrap Difference included in the Season’s Best Apps during the Christmas season.

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Professor Piggy Bank included in the Back to School Apps promo. (Not shown: some of my Word Owl Word Search apps were also included)

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8-Bit Avrin Apps 2015 Overview

20 Feb
2016

Releases in 2015 banner

First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that downloaded an¬†app, liked or shared a post, favorite or retweeted a tweet, spread news¬†word of mouth, and/or anything else positive about my apps. It was a year full of changes, but I was able to develop &¬†release five¬†neat high quality apps, and also complete some great updates. I¬†didn’t have much time to develop, so when I did have time I had to make sure to laser focus on the tasks I needed to complete. Here’s some lists of my top apps that were downloaded, top countries that downloaded my apps, and the best months for downloads. After that I’ll go into some more detail on 2015, 2016, and post some great¬†app reviews received in 2015.

Top 5 Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard

Top 5 Free Downloads

  • Quiz of Medicine
  • Motivational Quotes to Inspire
  • Ultra Fortune Ball – Free
  • Saving Bunnies
  • Survive in Hyperdrive

Top 5 Paid Downloads

  • Professor Piggy Bank
  • Ultra Retro Game Soundboard
  • Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard
  • Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard
  • Word Owl’s Word Search – First Grade

Top 5 Countries for Downloads

  • United States
  • India
  • United Kingdom
  • Philippines
  • Canada

Top 5 Download Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • August
  • May

In 2015 I had to rearrange my app schedule a couple of times to become more realistic, but I made sure to work on apps that I really wanted to release in 2015 that I could given the lack of time I had. Every month I write a sort of progress report of what I accomplished and worked on in the previous month and what I plan on working on in the future. Instead of going into detail of the apps I worked on in 2015 in this post I’m just going to put a link to every monthly progress report along with a note of the main¬†apps I wrote about in that post.

January (Ultra Soccer Match Soundboard), February (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Word Owl’s Word Search, Ultra Retro Game Soundboard), March (Professor Piggy Bank, Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, Quiz of Medicine), ¬†April (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade), May (Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade, unfinished¬†relaxation app), June (unfinished relaxation app), July (unfinished relaxation app, several minor updates, Survive in Hyperdrive), August (Motivational Quotes to Inspire, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), September (Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), October¬†(Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition, RX Quiz of Pharmacy), November (Word Owl’s Word Search Third Grade), December (Word Owls Word Search Third Grade & Christmas editions)

In 2016 I plan on releasing only a few apps due to my increasing time constraints, but thankfully now given the situations I’m in I’ll be able to focus more on creativity and less on monetization. For me developing apps has always been an outlet¬†were I can be in total control of my own work and create something that’s truly unique. In 2016 I plan on taking more time on updates and new app developments to insure what I release is exactly what I want to do within my skill set without compromising anything because of lack of time. One of the greatest feelings is creating something and having random people all over the world use it and find the item you created useful and/or fun depending on what it’s purpose is. I hope I can continue to do that in 2016 and continue building upon this little indie mobile app empire I seem to have created. In 2016 I’m going to also try to increase marketing of old and new apps. One of my disappointments in 2015 was¬†the lack of creating promo media, and other forms of advertisements that I didn’t do for my¬†apps. That needs to change, because you can make something really neat and fun and/or useful¬†but if nobody knows about it they can’t find out how great it is for themselves and possibly others.

One more thing. Most people who download my apps don’t leave reviews which I consider a good thing because people in general are quicker to talk about their dislike of something they didn’t enjoy instead of talking about something that they’re satisfied with. However, I do want to highlight some of the great customer¬†reviews some of my apps received in a collage I put together below. I’ll also post a couple of links and images for¬†professional reviews that were written¬†about my apps below the customer review collage. Thank you to the people who wrote¬†these great¬†reviews on both avenues and thank you to everyone who download my apps, I truly hope you enjoyed them. Until next time ‚ąě

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Some customer review highlights in 2015

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Professor Piggy Bank professional review from Jill Goodman at Participate Learning

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Word Owl’s Word Search Halloween Edition professional review by Rob Klindt in Literacy Resources at Concordia Online Education

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

December Mobile App Development Report

1 Jan
2016

Most of the app development in December happened during the first couple of weeks. After that I had some major¬†outside of app dev happenings that needed more attention. However, even with all the other things going on I believe I ended¬†this year in app dev land very nicely, let’s get into it…..

The first order of business was finishing Word Owl’s Word Search Third Grade. I made the main menu music which took a little longer than I anticipated. I wanted it to sound similar to my previous sight word searches but also different at the same time. I ended up making it more different from I thought I would but decided to go with it because I like what it evolved into.

During testing I decided to add a little more animation to the level complete pop up. I didn’t want it to be too aggressive since this app isn’t necessarily a level based game, its more of a continuous game. So I thought it would be nice to have different color blocks kind of flourish in the background in a somewhat orderly fashion. So I took a simple(on the outside) animation setting¬†from a previous app, changed the images and some of the attributes¬†and it turned out just like I wanted it to look.

After that the testing continued and then I worked on improving touch recognition so unwanted letters aren’t shown as being selected when they’re barely touched. The code in my word search games take it into consideration that unwanted blocks may be touched and it knows not to let it interfere with the correct word selections, but I wanted to show the player this by making it were those unwanted letter are less likely to show as selected.

After those improvements were made I fixed various bugs found during testing, and then I went into release mode by¬†working on screenshots, promo images & etc. Once the app was approved I put together the Word Owl’s Word Search Classroom Bundle and submitted it for review. Unfortunately bundles have to go through a review process and it didn’t get approved until after Apple’s holiday break, but it was approved on the day they returned….better late than never! I wanted the bundle to be available once this third grade edition went live, but I can’t be too let down though because overall I’m glad Apple even has a bundle option. They’re still the only app store that allows developers & publishers to create bundles and make them available at a discounted price.

After Word Owl Third Grade was complete I decided to work on an update for Word Owl’s Word Search Christmas Edition. This update included the touch recognition improvements that I added towards the end of development on the Third Grade edition. For this update I also fixed some UI(user interface) conflicts. Basically I made the menus look better by making the text &¬†button colors change depending on what background was selected.¬†

Then during the last week of December I stayed up late one night and worked on new graphics for Ultra Fortune Ball! Yeap, the first app I ever developed and¬†published is getting a nice well deserved makeover on the outside design and inside code. Aiming to have this finished in January and then released within the same month or February depending on what day it’s complete.