Tag Archives: indie app development blog

January Mobile App Development Report

18 Feb
2017

Whoa, so I almost forgot to write a report on what I worked on in January. For the first half of January I mostly worked on writing the big App Development & Design in 2016 Overview post, and making a banner for it. I like to write those yearly posts to kind of wrap up the previous year in app development land, and look back on what happened and how it’s going to impact the new year. I also like to write it to give viewers a sense of how much work, time, and effort goes into my apps and also remind myself of that, which I can also use to better organize things for future endeavors. I also like looking at download numbers and seeing overall which apps received the most downloads & etc. It’s also nice to look to see which apps received customer reviews. The trend continues that most people who download my apps don’t leave reviews so I don’t look out for them much, but it is nice and a bit reassuring that the majority of reviews that I do get are positive. My goal is to continue to create unique great apps that I want to make that are within my skill realm, and try to make sure they provide a great experience for users, whether it be through education, entertainment, fun, or tranquility.

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Working on the promotional banner for my Development & Design in 2016 Overview post

Throughout the month I also continued to work on gathering, reviewing, and organizing information for my finance app. I’m trying to somehow condense the information but not take away too much from how vast the app is in regards to how much varied information it contains. When it’s complete it’s going to have thousands of lines of information within it without needing any sort of internet connection. I’m hoping to delve into the design of the app in March and publish it in April or May. After that I might jump into my next relaxation app. I’ve also been thinking about doing a different graphical design(aka reskinning) to one of my previous apps so I may mess around with that first. Until next time ∞

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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.

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.

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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.

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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 ∞