Fun apps vs Practical appis -- a mobile device discussion...



  • I'm a believer that one of the hallmarks of a good software engineer is the ability and willingness to ask other software engineers for advice, and to be smart about of whom that advice is asked (is that right??). Especially those more experienced software engineers.

    Anyway, I have what I believe is a pretty good idea for a mobile app. There's probably tons of this kind of app out there already, so one more won't hurt. ;-)

    Anyway, I know that for the data I want to use AES encryption. I just don't know if I want to store the data on the user's device, in the cloud, or both.

    It's a simple, straightforward app.

    I don't really even know if I should do it...I mean, it's one of those "practical" ones...and it seems like more people these days are into "entertainment" or "informational" apps, instead of "practical" ones. But then again, what do I know?

    Anyway, some opinions on where to store the data would be appreciated. Also, what mobile devices should I target? I'm primarily a C# guy, but I'm teaching myself some Java. I could probably use Xamarin to do a C# app, or I could do a Web Service with a JavaScript library front-end, so I have some options.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @John2 said:

    Anyway, some opinions on where to store the data would be appreciated.

    Multiple places, so that the data is available to the user immediately if they're stuck with a shitty link (still quite common) and yet backed up off the device automatically anyway in case it crashes (that's also still quite common). Don't be afraid of some replication, but have ways to determine if a copy is corrupted and which is the newer version…



  • @John2 said:

    Anyway, I know that for the data I want to use AES encryption. I just don't know if I want to store the data on the user's device, in the cloud, or both.

    Unless encryption is 100% absolutely critical to the app (like a password manager perhaps), worry about this bit when you already have an otherwise-functional app.

    @John2 said:

    It's a simple, straightforward app.

    As long as it addresses a real need, go for it. If it's another flashlight app, screw it.

    @John2 said:

    I don't really even know if I should do it...I mean, it's one of those "practical" ones...and it seems like more people these days are into "entertainment" or "informational" apps, instead of "practical" ones. But then again, what do I know?

    It's a big enough market that there's room for you in it.

    @John2 said:

    Also, what mobile devices should I target?

    In this order: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, other.

    iOS has fewer users, but way more money flowing through the app store and far less piracy than Android. Also more "buzz" if your app becomes popular.

    I can't give advice on whether you should learn Obj-C for your iOS app or use a cross-platform dev tool... if you can find a cross-platform dev tool with a good record of successful use, including:

    1. A least a few apps that you've used yourself and work natively-enough that you can't tell the difference between them and actual native apps, and

    2. Apple actually approving them (remember: you're always at Apple's mercy on iOS, and they can reject an app for real petty issues)

    If you're really really keen on C#, you can try making a Windows Phone app first as something like a "pilot program" to see if the demand for the app exists.



  • I've heard that Xamarin supports all those formats. I'm much more familiar with C#, but I'm not averse to learning Java (which I already am) or ObjectiveC.

    Although, with things like PhoneGap, it's possible (or so I've heard) to basically write a "back end" (i.e. a web service), and call that from some JavaScript on the mobile device, and have things work that way.

    There could be connectivity problems there, though...



  • As well as the aforementioned shitty links, and possibly more data consumption for your users. I've also heard negative sounds about 'glorified webpage' apps.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @PleegWat said:

    I've also heard negative sounds about 'glorified webpage' apps.


  • SockDev

    :wtf;


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Likely the word 'fuck' in the URL and liberal use of it in the posts. There's no porn on there.

    Please click there.


  • SockDev

    I dunno, this smile could be considered alluring:

    :smile:

    And that zombo link? 509 :laughing:




  • SockDev

    Well, it's not advertising the tumblr app… ;)



  • Still...it's the thought that counts, right?



  • What are you doing behind our firewall?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said:

    Well, it's not advertising the tumblr app…

    There is a bit of irony on the second page:


  • BINNED

    Reminds me of Mobicow ads, that cover the entire fucking screen on a mobile, don't have an obvious "fuck off" button, and aren't a separate page so the back button takes you away from the site, or closes the browser if you got there as a link from a different app.

    They were in use on a popular meme site a while back. I never managed to see the actual pictures when the fullscreen bullshit came up, and was glad when Reddit blocked said meme site for unrelated reasons


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