I made an Aaaaappp! I feel like an Opera Singer!
The App is Called Drop Height Calculator and you download it for free in the Windows Desktop Store. Here is the link. I’m so proud! Right now I have 2 downloads. And I bet those two people are having a great time. Dropping things from height!
The App was made in Visual Studio using C# for the Logic and XAML for the interface. XAML is a great language for quickly marking up interfaces.
I’ll be following my App iterations in the coming weeks, but the first I want to layout is the time, experiences, and and planning that is involved with your first app from a 10,000 foot view.
Coming up with a great idea is difficult if you are trying to come up with a great idea. Ideas usually come to me at the end of a random stream of thought. And just like anything, its a practice. You’ll become better and better at it the more you practice. So, having tools around that make this practice easier will help you come up with ideas. Half of my ideas stink, and the other half are decent, but getting in the practice of bringing these ideas out of your head and onto something less volatile is really important! So get a notebook or sketchpad, or even something digital Evernote, OneNote, Keep, or any of the other note taking apps to help you keep track of any ideas YOU find interesting.
For this project, I was inspired by gravity. More specifically that gravity accelerates all objects on earth equally. And if you ignore air resistance you can use that principal, a timer , and a small uniform object (Like a rock or coin (Not a feather… Unless its under vacuum)) to calculate a height.
Layout and UI
Next I spent about 30 minutes brainstorming then doodling what I wanted to UI to look like. This app only has one screen, which made it easy. But by taking time to doodle, I was able to come up/brainstorm new ways of arranging components and even looking to expand with new features.
This is the tough part. Soon I will have a post breaking down what really happens when building an App, but this in total probably took 8ish hours. Mostly because I had no idea what I was doing and was constantly referring to other materials and searching for help. Good news though, the help IS out there it just requires a good chunk of time to find and interpret. My first tip would be find a comfortable and quiet space to focus. Getting distracted at the height of productivity stinks.
The next thing is the details. I was all stoked that I had an App, and the button clicked and the time showed up and everything was great. I couldn’t wait to get in the store. Then boom, details. I like details. Where are your images? Where is your privacy page? Do you have an account? Do you have screenshots? What is your app called? What tags do you want to use? Very important details. This will be elaborated on in the next post. In all it took about an hour, and it was fun incorporating ‘business’ decisions into the building process. It makes sense, your product and business practices are very much in line when releasing an app.
Haaahahaa! This is the fun part, package those files and wait four hours for verification! Yes! Begin opera singing!