Current and future projects

Android  |  January 9, 2012  |  1 response  

Hello everyone! In this post I’ll update you on all of the projects I currently have in the works, describe a little about where they came from and where I hope they’re going, as well as a few ideas I’m currently juggling and trying to decide which to make and which not to.

 

Android Language Flashcards

Android Flashcards

Around 2010 I was in French classes, and had made myself a really simple flashcard set. Good enough, but not awesome. As soon as I had picked up my first Android programming book in February 2011 I knew that my first app would be French flashcards. I used this to teach myself Android programming, and about September 2011 I had finished it.

But… why stop with French? With the help of a PHP script and Google Translate, I quickly populated a whole database full of French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Portuguese words and translations. Before you run out and do the same, I must warn you that Google Translate is no replacement for a actual person doing the translating, as some negative comments in the Android Market let me know. I later had to have these words translated professionally, but I saved a ton of money since I didn’t pay a translation, but a “review”. Plus at that time I was already making some money from these, so it was really an investment.

I currently have a free version (about 250 words in 10 categories), as well as a paid version (about 1000 words in 20 categories) for each language.

Website: http://www.rfxlabs.com/apps/language-flashcards/ (download here)

Current status: This app is currently what’s making most of my money, and it doesn’t demand much time either. I’m pretty happy since I believe it’s a solid product with a really big market. I’m getting about 800 new downloads of the free versions per day, which I consider isn’t bad and is the reason I’ve decided to go back and improve the app. It has a couple of weak points (for example the first time you run it, it takes a reaaally long time to install the words) which I’m working to update.

Income: December’s income for all languages was $233.43 (I’m hoping to expand this by language in future posts).

Future plans: I’m experimenting on ways to increment revenue for this app. One thing I’m considering is to include the possibility to purchase the additional 750 words from the free version as an in-app purchase, instead of the user having to look for and purchase the full version as a separate app. I’m also working on a Russian version (already received the translations), and possibly a Japanese version in the future. A large percentage of users are from these two countries.

The free version currently shows an ad, inviting to purchase the full version. I’m planning on replacing this ad (partially at least) for ads from a network. I suspect that if a person does buy the Pro version, he or she will do it shortly after trying the free version. So those that decide that the free version is good enough will eventually get ads from the network.

One thing I’m going to do is to upload this app into other app sites to increase downloads of the free version and hopefully increase sales of the Pro version. It is currently only available in the Android Market.

Last, I’m currently re-architecting the way this app works. During the first run all the words are downloaded from a file into a SQLite database. This takes way too long (a major complaint in the user reviews) so I’m finding a workaround for this issue.

 

 

Electrician Calculator Pro

Android CalculatorThis app is my own case of  “connecting the dots” (for those of you who haven’t seen Steve Job’s famous commencement address, watch it here first). For several years after graduation, I worked in an electric design company before finally decided that that wasn’t for me. I had programmed since I was 14, and it was very frustrating to not have chosen software development as a career, and to have to “start over” in a sense. During those years I learned alot about electrical work as well as the calculations electricians and engineers are frequently required to perform. This app was made for that purpose.

I’m pretty excited about this app, since I believe it’s a great niche that I know well, and after having used several almost similar apps I sincerely believe that mine is the best out there. I’m trying to constantly add sections to it, to ensure that this app is absolutely the best in it’s class.

Another great thing from a developer’s point of view is that since it’s niche product, I can charge more than your average app and people will still buy it.

Website: www.ElectricianCalculator.com (download here)

Current status: Sales are constant, but not enough to call home about. I have a few new sections planned.

Income: December’s income for this app: $174.99

Future plans: As I mentioned before, my goal is to make this app the best of it’s kind. I have a few more sections I want to add for a future version (the cool thing about this app is that adding new functionality is really easy. In about a day I can code, debug, and test a new section). A must for this app is to add support for the 2011 version of the National Electrical Code; this is on the way also.

Another big thing for this app is that I’m planning to make a version for iOS. The only thing stopping me at the moment is that… I don’t know how to program for iOS! But I’m definitely willing to learn, so this could be my project for the next months.

On the marketing front I have some cool things in the works. I’ve emailed a couple of electrician blogs and websites requesting a review and got positive responses. I’ve also been able to contact the owner of a really popular website in the electrical industry and hopefully we will reach an agreement in which they will post this app on their site.

I’m also going to make a video for this app. I got a friend who will help me; just a matter of time.

 

Future projects

As I polish my existing apps I’m trying to decide what my next project will be. Creating a new app takes alot of time and effort, so I don’t want to rush into a project without being sure it’s a good fit with me, and that there is a large enough market for it.

I’ve recently talked to a really talented artist and we’ve agreed to meet soon to talk about the possibility of making a game. Since it would be my first Android game, I’m thinking something simple graphics-wise, maybe something like a virtual pet.

An important next project is to port the Electrician Calculator Pro to iOS. My brother is learning iOS development in his job, and he might be able to help me with this. Although iOS is pretty cool and it wouldn’t hurt to learn, I’m not incredibly excited about all the time it will take me to ramp up on iOS development. I’m feeling pretty cozy here in the Android development world, and with 700,000 new users per day, I believe it’s a big enough market for a micropreneur like myself to make a living.

Until I actually decide on a project, a low risk option is to use the same source code as the language flashcards to create flashcards for another topic (for example: country capitals, animal names, etc.) and see how that works out. In the code’s current state this would be really quick and possibly a good source of additional income.

Stay tuned!