First Android App Released


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Android Market

We just released our first app in the Android Market! This is a big milestone for our little project. We wanted to develop an app to confirm that we had all the components in place for us to tackle larger software projects in the future.

We learnt a lot about what we need from our development tools and how to manage the project.¬†Getting an app done requires a lot of careful thinking and lots of details that we didn’t initially anticipate. Now we feel good about taking on the next project.

The game uses the Google Search Image API to display a grid of images associated with a keyword. The user of the game has to guess what word matches the images. The images aren’t the right size for our UI and doing image scaling is expensive on the smartphone. So we also created an app on the Google App Engine using the Images Java API to scale the images in the Google cloud before it is displayed to the user on the phone. The image scaling app is hosted by Google completely free!

But releasing the app isn’t the end of it. Now starts an interesting phase of the project: marketing. I must admit I don’t have a lot of experience with that. This is going to be an interesting learning experience.

I created a website for the project which includes a description, the main features, some screenshots and a YouTube video of the app. The website is based on good ideas from various other commercial app websites. The YouTube video was created using the Android emulator which runs on the desktop and a screen capture tool called iShowU.

I posted the release of the app on the company Twitter account but since the account doesn’t have a lot of followers yet, I don’t expect that to drive traffic. I’m also planning to tell my family and friends about the app through my personal Facebook account and through my LinkedIn account.

The Android market provides online tools for app publishers to track the number of installs, user comments and app errors. I’ll be keeping an eye on that to see if we need to make a short term updates to the app.

Image of courtesy of Wikipedia.

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