Tag Archives: working on mobile apps

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 Only one of the previous screenshots would look outdated due to the update but I went ahead and made all new screenshots.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.

Photo Apr 11, 2 31 06 AM (1)

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 ∞

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.

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.

IMG_0801  QoPFullSizeRender-7

  • 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 ∞