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Lessons Learned Making Android Apps As A Side Project


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Lessons learned from three paid apps on the app store with the first two published in December 2012 (the third was published in March 2013). With two full years on the app store, I thought it was time to look back and try to pull out some lessons learned. I hope the presentation will be useful to other developers thinking of making their own Android apps.

Published in: Software
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Lessons Learned Making Android Apps As A Side Project

  1. 1. Android Apps As A Side Project Lessons Learned After Two Years Rand Graham
  2. 2. Why Android? ● Ecosystem ● Your Background ● Self Contained ● Portfolio ● Create Value
  3. 3. Always Check The App Store ● User Request ● Useful to You ● Fix Complaints
  4. 4. Best Book To Get Started ● Up To Date ● Code Samples ● Office Hours ● Multiple Formats ● Perfect For Side Project
  5. 5. Don’t Fear Design: Icons
  6. 6. Minimal Design ● Use A Theme ● Use Action Bar ● Use Icons ● Style Text ● Style Buttons
  7. 7. Talk To People ● Designer Referral ● ActionBarSherlock ● Feature Suggestions ● After Shipping: Users
  8. 8. The Emulator Is Painful Three Reasons 1. Paid Alternative Genymotion 2. Developers Don’t Use It 3. Microsoft Makes A Better One
  9. 9. Always Test On A Device ● Emulator For Development ● Use eBay “Java is a belt fed 240G automatic weapon where sometimes the belt has rounds, sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t during firing you get an NullPointerException, the gun explodes and you die.” Bjorn Tipling source
  10. 10. That Time I Shipped A Crash Bug ● Sanitize User Input “Also app crashes when trying to use decimal as em values for input widths.”
  11. 11. Sharing Is Easy
  12. 12. What is a JAR? Most Android libraries use Apache 2 Some Favorites ● AChartEngine ● ColorPickerPreference ● aFileChooser
  13. 13. Android Security ● Cannot override the home button o Make a home screen launcher o Example: MobiLock Kiosk Lockdown ● Cannot send email directly o Prevents device becoming a spam relay
  14. 14. Android Fragmentation Are the vast differences in possible screen sizes a problem? Not so much. FUD Actual
  15. 15. Best VCS For Side Project: Git Bitbucket Always use version control
  16. 16. Greatest Rewards Evidence of Value Creation “I used to pass around a pad and pen and then it would take me about a day trying to read everyone’s handwriting, not easy. When I do figure it out, many times emails bounced back because a letter was misread. The app makes things error free.” Happy Customers “Fantastic! Thank you for the update! I really appreciate it!” Portfolio
  17. 17. Q/A Questions?
  18. 18. Keep In Touch Check out my website at: Email: rdg at rmcore dot com Twitter: @rdg_rmcore