Little Piano (pro) – listed on Amazon Free App of the Day

My app – little piano (pro), normally priced 0.99$ was listed free for a day on Monday 19th December.

Thanks to all users who downloaded and provided their feedback.

Key learning – not to call ad free version of my app “(pro)” ever again. Using “(ads free)” would be much better and I will follow this naming convention for my next app – MazeBall which should be listed on Amazon soon (in review currently) with (ads free) option.

Harvest – how is bonus calculated

Bonus points are added as follows:

  • 1 Card – 1 Point
  • 2 Cards – 2 Points
  • 3 Cards – 3 Points
  • 4 Cards – 5 Points
  • 5 Cards – 7 Points
  • 6 Cards – 11 Points
  • 7 Cards – 17 Points
  • 8 Cards – 25 Points
  • 9 Cards – 38 Points
  • 10 Cards – 57 Points

Each bonus is roughly 150% of the previous one – for 15 Cards its over 400 points!.

Piano app – update

Piano app has been updated with “follow me” guide for that will show you how to play some well known mellodies (e.g. twinkle twinkle little start). Please let me know more melodies I can put in there. Thanks!

Piano App

Today I have learned how to play multiple sounds in parallel thanks to SoundPool class. Quite easy – you just need to save the streamID results from play() function is you want to stop them before your audio clip finishes.

Also – seems that multitouch allows only for two fingers tracking and is far from accurate when the fingers are close (at least on my HTC Desire) – all is fine when they are away or when you use single finger. Playing on two nearby kes is not that easy though. Hope this is a hardware “feature” in this model only.

Where to find media resources

As of today I use openclipart.org as the main source of all resources (images) for my apps. I have learned this the hard way … after having a short but interesting relation with oDesk.

It started with my Memo game. I was looking for 20 cartoon style images of different animals. I learned about oDesk from a friend and quickly registered and posted an offer “20 images for a kids game required”. In a mater of minutes first reply was posted and after 2-3 days I had few to choose from. My mistake – I have choosen the cheapest one, that guy from Pakistan had a good portfolio so I thought I am on my way to get pretty images cheap. I described what I looked for and in 2 days I had beautifull images in my inbox. Luckilly for me I had a short market research via images.google.com and I linked the nice images with the similar ones I have seen somewhere. After 15 mins of playing with images.google.com I found them … my graphic expert from oDesk took a copyrighted images, recolored them and tried to sell.

On that day I lost all trust I had in cheap workforce you can hire in low cost locations overseas. Sorry folks, no more offers from me. I found http://openclipart.org and I use it for all my needs – with thousands of images there – all public domain it is a matter of time to collect the images you need.

After my experience with images I have not even posted an offer for music or sound effects – instead I googled for open alternatives and found http://ccmixter.org/ – its not as easy in use as openclipart (checking an image takes blink of an eye, checking a mp3 clip takes minutes) but its good starting point. Just remember that CC license expects you inform audience who is the author of the music clip, and not all varietes of CC allow commercial usage or modifications.

If you have any similar repositories of public domain or creative commons licensed content please use comments to let others know.

Programming android … you can do it :)

After you check one or two of my apps you will surely notice they are not developed by a proffesional software development studio.

Better description for “playground” would be a daddy who has moved from an iPhone to android device [HTC Desire] and found his kids screaming for apps they previously enjoyed on an iPhone so he has coded few.

How is it possible? Well – android development is easy for someone who has any programming experience. I bought a very good book which I recommend “Hello, Android (3rd edition): Introducing Google’s Mobile Development Platform” – Ed Burnette has done a great job – he takes you through all the areas – from simple GUI controls, through multitouch to widgets development. If you want to start android programming – his book should be the one you buy.

Having an option to buy a PDF and start reading it a minute after purchase is also important!

PS. when you encounter issues – best way to get them addressed is to enter the error message into google search box. if it does not help – stackoverflow.com should be the place you go next.