Friday, August 08, 2014

MyAnthem development - Progress report 1

It's been over two months since I began working on MyAnthem app for Android and I thought to summarize the progress.

The app has already 10 Alpha versions published on Google Play and most of the main features are already implemented. Not all versions were successful, there have been 3 or 4 who crashed. I still remember my first version which crashed, which brought me a real adrenaline rush during a Saturday morning. It turned out the bug was really easy to fix, it was a global define I forgot to update.

Being my first application on a new platform, the development time takes long. I had to start from zero with every single feature, researching, understanding, implementing and debugging it. Even the development and release work-flow I had to define and get used to it.

The biggest time consuming step in implementing a feature is not the actual coding part, but the research involved in understanding it. I usually have between 5-20 tabs open in Google Chrome every time I finish implementing a feature, not to mention the ones I closed to save RAM. Eclipse and Chrome can eat up a lot of RAM and the 8GB that I have on my laptop are not enough most of the times. Most usefull websites so far for researching were and Android developer. If the Android developer gives an overview of the feature, StackOverflow helps me find out solutions to various problems that others have faced. I've reached now 37 consecutive days when I visited StackOverflow and the way it goes, I'll probably get my first gold badge soon :)

Features available in the app:

  • Activity displaying the list of countries for which the anthem is available
  • Activity displaying anthem detail
  • Integration and usage of SQLite database
  • Instrumentation with Google Analytics
  • In-App Billing
  • In-App and interstitial ads
  • Anthem download and possibility to interrupt the download
  • Country Flag zoom
  • Anthem playing
  • Notifications in the status bar
  • Search functionality
  • Sharing
Even if I don't expect to earn much with this app, the things I learned about Java, concurrency, file parsing and Android Development are enough to keep me motivated to continue.

There are still a few features left to work on and a careful analysis and of the graphics and general UI of the app, so stay tuned for future updates.

In case anyone wants to become a Alpha tester, here is the link to MyAnthem