Tag Archives: iphone

June Mobile App Development Report

6 Jul
2017

June was a month that mostly consisted of finishing an app and then releasing it along with a bit of a positive distraction towards the end.

Quiz of Finance & Investing was released on June 22 but a lot of work went into the app before that in June. When I first started working on design for this app I thought about and worked on a few different dimensions to go for but I eventually firmly decided to go with a standard stock trading screen as the main design influence. Stock trading screens involve a lot of green and red to track gains and losses and moving parts so I incorporated some of that throughout the app without making it distracting from its main focus as an educational app. One of the first things I concerned myself with was finding a text font style that had a professional & computer related look. After looking at a lot and testing a few I ended up going with two different fonts. One mainly for the quiz section which was more standardized and then one for other sections of the app that had an LED dot style. I remember seeing a neat stock ticker banner outside in New York City the last time I was there a few years ago and it had the LED dots type of font to show the stock symbol, numbers & etc so I felt great going with that type of font for the non-quiz sections of the app as well as the promotional images to help drive the stock trading design goal.

Getting ready to do a mock-up of the main menu screen

End result of the main menu mock-up

After picking a font and deciding on the main colors to use throughout the app I made buttons and static text sections. After incorporating the buttons and other text areas I gave the main screen subtle animations to make it appear active and alive like stock trading is during the open hours because of the constant trades and reactions. So on the main menu screen I incorporated randomized movements to the bar buttons that the categories are placed on. The main menu was also the first place that I incorporated the moving ticker at the bottom. I did a lot of testing with the ticker to make sure it looped without overlapping but also somewhat recycled itself to prevent any bog down on the performance of the app.

Working on the main menu layout in Pixelmator

This app doesn’t need or require an internet connection so I didn’t want that to change at all for a cosmetic addition, so I just incorporated some historic data for that ticker to pull from for the main menu. Then on the results screen I added a ticker that gives the results. The results are shown as the focus on the center part of the screen so the ticker is just there to add to the overall design of the app. The last place I added a ticker was on the Statistics screen that repeats the results that are shown in the statistics table.

Which brings me to one of the main additions I added in June. The Statistics section that tracks how many questions you’ve answered in each category along with the correct amount answered and percentage correct. I also incorporated an erase option to wipe the slate if the user wants to. I used the same features in my RX Quiz of Pharmacy app so I was able to reuse a lot of code which was very helpful and efficient when working on this feature. I mainly had to pull the data from differently named sections that were loaded into the app and change around a few numbers since the question count options are a little different in this app. I also added a green/red delegation that depends on if the percentage correct is above or below 50%.

After implementing all the data and design within the app I worked on sound effects. This app isn’t audio heavy so it didn’t take long to finish this aspect. I knew I wanted computer related & breaking news style sound effects so I went into GarageBand with those intentions and created some audio to incorporate. The last aspect of finishing the app build for me was making an icon. I usually wait to make the app icon towards the end of the apps development because by that time I definitely know what the app is about and how I want it represented. I’ve written about the importance of a well represented app icon before and there are plenty of other articles about that as well. At this point of the app process I had the design of the app cemented freshly into my mind so thankfully it didn’t take long to create an app icon that I was happy with. After finishing the icon I tested the app on different devices like usual. I only ran into a couple of functionality bugs and they were easily fixed. I also tested the visibility conditions to ensure the text sizes were adequate for the different categories since they each had a variance in the lengths of the questions & answers. I ended up adjusting the text sizes so they are different but more fitting depending on the category chosen on the main menu and throughout the changes in an Assorted category quiz. After completing a release ready build I uploaded it and worked on descriptions, metadata, screenshots & etc.

Working on the app icon in Pixelmator

After my new app was approved and went live I spent a few days relaxing. It’s deserved! Then while I was on the Amazon developer portal a few days later to change some keywords I noticed an Alexa skill promotion that stated that developers who created a new skill that passed certification in June would receive an Echo dot. I remember seeing this briefly in an email before but this time I thought about it as a challenge. Voice recognition software is neat, I like Amazon as a company, the Echo devices are intriguing, I recently successfully completed a new app and I was up for the challenge of learning and trying something new. So I challenged myself to make a skill in one day. I went through a couple of skill ideas and then quickly decided upon making a Game of Thrones related skill because its my favorite TV show and season 7 is coming out in a few weeks!

I worked on the skill off & on through the day and stayed up late to finish it. The first thing I did was scour the internet for quotes as well as implementing some of my favorites on a spreadsheet. Throughout development I used a template provided by Amazon and a couple of different articles which were mostly helpful. After having a somewhat finished product I went back and forth with testing until it worked as intended. I got stuck on one part were Alexa would just keep responding with the phrase I gave her to say when she doesn’t understand a request. Eventually I found the error on my part, fixed it, and then the skill worked fine. The first certification review was rejected because my example phrases had an incorrect format which thankfully was an easy fix. After changing those and re-submitting it my Alexa skill passed certification and went live. Overall I made the skill within one day and it was approved within two. This is my first Alexa skill and it’s called Quotes of Game of Thrones. I recently received the email about receiving my Echo Dot too so I should be getting that sometime soon in July. Learned some new things, got a result I’m satisfied with, and I’m getting a neat item for free. Awesome! I may or may not make another Alexa skill down the road, not exactly sure either way right now.

Towards the end of June I decided that I wanted to make a simple to the point trailer for my new Quiz of Finance & Investing app. I probably should have done this before release but oh well. I used Reflector 2 to record the screen on my iPhone to capture different question scenarios from my app so I could pick and choose during final editing in iMovie. After I finished gathering different screen captures I worked on the music. While in GarageBand experimenting I believe I got influenced by a combination of Daft Punk and school marching bands because that’s what the end result of my trailer song reminded me of. I was really satisfied with how the song turned out. It makes me want to move and it has a nice orchestral feel to it.

Alright this post was longer than I initially intended it to be. In July I’ll mainly be working on and hopefully finishing my new soundboard app. I’ll probably post some peeks into it on my Twitter and/or Instagram before release. Until next time ∞

Saving Bunnies! Update & New Availability

31 Jul
2016

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Saving Bunnies! is now available for free on the Google Play & Amazon app stores!

Also, the new update to the iOS version includes new mountain graphics, audio enhancements, and faster load times. These improvement are also within the two new Android versions mentioned above.

Thank you to the thousands of players that have already saved thousands of bunnies. I hope you continue to enjoy the game, and welcome to the new players. Have fun saving those bunnies!

Ultra Fortune Ball 4.0 Update

3 Mar
2016

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(Available on the Apple and Amazon App Stores)

(Free versions available on Apple, Amazon, and Google Play)

Today is a special day for me. 5 years ago I released my first app, which was Ultra Fortune Ball on the iOS App Store. I would go into more detail about this journey but it would take a while and I’m kind of in a rush right now which has been normal lately. I may write more about this journey later, but for now here are the details on the big update that went live today for Ultra Fortune Ball. Available on the Apple, Amazon, & Google Play app stores.

√ Completely updated and enhanced all of the graphics.

√ New fortunes/answers added.

√ New get fortune animation.

√ Added vibration reaction feature.

√ Faster load times.

√ New app icon.

Have fun and enjoy!

*The update for the free version is publicly shown as 4.1 instead of 4.0 on the Apple, Amazon & Google Play App Stores.

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

August Mobile App Development Report

7 Sep
2015

New apps are on the horizon, but first a couple of updates….

  • Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade received a minor update that improved the tweet feature to automatically input the hashtag(#CrunchyNumbersMathArcade) for the game in the editable tweet text box. The process of uploading the new build(and of course waiting on review period) took longer than the work in the actual update itself. Most players never tweet scores and I don’t think many people will use it in this game, but I wanted to do it because this is one of my favorite apps I’ve developed so it gets spoiled.
  • Motivational Quotes to inspire received a nice update. More info on it can be found on the Motivational Quotes to Inspire 1.5 Update post. One of the main changes in the new version was a minor update to the Settings section layout as seen below.

MQTI_beforeafterupdate

  • In August I also worked a lot of my new pharmacy quiz app which included a lot of research, heavy work with tables, & UI design. I’ve started to use the Paper app along with the Pencil stylus to mock up UI designs. Working on an interfaces in a drawing app is really neat. I can quickly change things to roughly see how it will look on different devices and also test if it’s user friendly for the users hands. One of the first main menu iterations can be seen below, the finished version is still incomplete. There’s been a lot of work going into this app. I’ve been able to use a bit of data and some code from Quiz of Medicine, but a lot of the new app is being built from of the ground up.  This new medical app will focus on the top 200 drugs in 2015 for the medicine portion of the quizzes whereas Quiz of Medicine focused on featuring over 400 different medications. My new pharmacy app will include brands, generics, indications and drug class quiz types like Quiz of Medicine, but it will also include a couple of new quiz types as well. This will be a very focused well rounded pharmacy app for students and various people in different medical positions.

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  • During August I also started to compile a list of words for my new Word Owl’s Word Search app. This will be the Halloween Edition so the overall design and words will be of course be Halloween themed. This app will be completely kid friendly so there will be no horror images or shocking words. I’ll be putting my medical app aside and working on this app more in September because I plan on releasing it during the first week of October.
  • Somehow I thought I was going to be finished with the pharmacy app during August and then jumping right into the Halloween word search app after, but other plans got in the way of those plans……..and I’ve been really distracted by Rocket League during my app development time! Rocket League is a very fun game that features two of my favorite things; racing and soccer! The game was free in July on PS Plus and I had never heard of it before downloading it, but definitely glad that I did. Ok, back to working on the word search! Until next time ∞

New Release: Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade

23 May
2015

Available on the Apple App Store

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Crunchy Numbers Math Arcade is a fun, challenging, & educational math arcade game. Use that amazing brain of yours to help Cruncher Bot eat the correct numbers. Cruncher Bot is always hungry for the right multiple, prime, factor, & roman numeral, but the Red Chompers are trying to stop him from feeding his mathematical appetite. Build up a combo by eating consecutive correct numbers to greatly increase your high score or just play casually for fun. Either way you’ll be thinking….eating….thinking…eating…thinking..eating..thinking.eating.thinkingeatingthinkingeating….get it?

This game will make you smarter because numbers are delicious and learning is nutritious!

• Multiples, primes, factors, & roman numerals
• High scores for each game mode on both difficulties
• Dry erase board design with retro inspired graphics & audio
• Leaderboards – Game Center(Apple) / Game Circle(Amazon)
• Fun & challenging math game for various ages

correct answer red munchers powerups incorrect answer

(Categories: Games – Educational, Puzzle, Arcade)

(Development, Design & Audio by: Avrin Ross of 8-Bit Avrin Apps)

Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard App Trailer

30 Mar
2015

The trailer for Ultra Big Celebration Soundboard is here….the app was released a few months ago, but……hey look it’s a to the point app trailer for an awesome sound effects app! I bought an excellent piece of software called Reflector a couple of days ago, and now my life has changed in regards to videos for my apps. Seriously, Reflector is awesome and I regret not checking it out earlier. This is my first trailer using it and I can’t wait to use it for my next apps. Ceeeelllleeebrate good times, come on!

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.