There is pretty much an app for everything that you need. Health, shopping, entertainment, information and productivity are available to download with a touch of the screen in any operating system, whether its Android, iOS and Windows. Just a couple years ago, it normally takes an agency to plan and develop an app but now anybody with a computer can create one, it just takes some patience, some studying and some creativity to make your idea downloadable.
One of the individuals that took his talent to a different direction is my cousin Gino Rivera, a software engineer. When he’s not busy developing data based programs he spends his free time studying and implementing codes that create apps out of his two favorite hobbies, movies and video games. I took the time to interview him about his experience developing these apps and how anyone with a passion and idea can now make their own if they take the time to understand the process.
What made you pursue app development?
I have always loved creating software yet only companies and niche business have ever used my software. Apps is the first time I am able to create software for everyone and that is really satisfying. Mobile phones and tablets are amazing because of the reach you can have with your app. It really is a global business.
Tell me a little bit about an app you developed to pull movie information?
The app you are referring to is called Movie Tamer. Movie Tamer came about because of the age old question. Hey honey what movie should we watch? I don’t know what do you want to watch? I remember this going on for over an hour and we would never decide on what to watch. With Movie Tamer we made it easy to create a list of movies you need to watch. Then when the time comes to watch a movie and the question comes up you can ask Movie Tamer for suggesstions based on the collection you have.
You also developed an app to pull information from any game ever created, how is that possible?
Beat that Game was our first app and we indeed can pull information from almost every game ever created. As you can imagine the task of including every game ever created inside the app would have been impossible. We make web service calls to an open database of game data based on what you are searching on. The information we get back we use to show you the game information and images you see in the app.
What was your process in developing these apps?
The process before any developement began was first to have a simple issue the app needs to solve. Then we needed a source of game and movie information. Once we had our source in place it was time to design the pages. We sketched out every page of the app before we ever touched the computer. This gave us a clear direction of what each page was suppose to do. With all these pieces in place we were ready for the development process. The careful planning lead to a relativly short developemt period. Beat that Game took 2 months and Movie Tamer 2 weeks. During developemt I worked on getting naviagtion done first so you can see right away how a user would naviage througout the app. Once that was in place we worked on one page at a time until we were complete.
What programs did you use to develop these apps?
Since these are android apps we used Eclipse with the android plugin to code the apps. We also used a SQLite tool to verify what we were saving when a user would save game information in the apps. Android had a lot of tools and tutorials that helped out during development.
How are these apps doing so far?
The apps are doing rather well. They have close to 300 downloads between them and they have only been out a month. The great thing about apps is that very rarely are they huge hits day 1 it takes time to find an audience. The feedback we have recieved has been very positive and it makes you feel good that people are enjoying your app
Will we see them in other platforms?
We are actually in the process of creating iOS version of Movie Tamer and Beat that Game. We did not want to exclude users who prefer iOS apps. One of the biggest questions we had during launch was when the ios version would be out. We figured the demand was there so we should start working on iOS versions. Going forward all new apps will be on both platforms.
What advice would you like to give others who like to pursue mobile app development?
Advice I would give to future app developers would be to be prepared to study and research. Not just the developement but the marketing and how to support your app after it’s been available in the store. It’s a lot of work but very rewarding as well. If they are not developers either partner with one or start reading programming books.
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