Aside

Finally I’ve started feeling that I can get back to serious app development work. Nabiha is all settled in the prep school routine and prefers to do most things on her own. Abdullah, turned 11 months on the 5th of march. Other than his teething crankiness, he is a very peaceful, self regulating, piece of work. So far I’m getting ample time to follow a course on Coursera a great website that offers courses that can be taken from home. I listen to weekly lectures, give quizzes and submit assignments, sometimes I browse through the forum too just to see how the rest of the “class” is doing. Getting back to studying learning something is really a lot of fun (Only a full time housewife could say it with the enthusiasm I’m feeling over this). 

The course is called Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems offered by University of Maryland conducted by Dr. Adam Porter. The course started from 21st January with the last lecture on 18th March. This course is the first of the three courses that will lead to a Specialization. Since I signed up through the Signature Track. If I manage to complete three courses and the Capstone Project at the end of the courses, I will receive a Verified specialization certificate. All this will cost me $196 (of which $49 I’v already paid) and around 8 months (of which 7 weeks have already passed). 

I’m glad I took this course. It has cleared out so many of my concepts and also increased my confidence. I have started work on the new version of Expense Manger which I will probably release as a new app (since I unpublished the last Expense Manager quite a while ago). This time I’ve started work with the interface design. 

Will post a video of my piechart screen soon to show off the sleek animation I coded into it. 

And now I will get back to my assignment about sensors, location and maps 

:)

 

Reviewed on Drippler.com

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A short review on Drippler.com by Abhimanyu Ghoshal is very encouraging.“Here’s one for those who swear by a budget: VanillaUtils’ Expense Manager lets you track your spending against a monthly limit, a stipulated amount while you’re on vacation or a business trip. You can even use this for budgeted projects such as home remodeling. A simple pie chart and listing of your expense categories help you get a clear perspective on your spending. Not bad for a free app that looks great to boot.”Thank you!

via Reviewed on Drippler.com.

VanillaUtils – Expense Manager stats so far

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3 downloads

2 from Pakistan (my lovely mother in law and my sister) – Both Asus Nexus 7

1 from Canada (maybe my brother in law) – Ruby

Feeling a little disappointed. I was hoping for at least 5 downloads on the first day from friends and family. But the issue is most people I know are using Apples or Nokias.

Another problem is that when you search “Expense Manager” on Google Play from the computer. My app appears on the fourth page. Thats terrible. No random person will go to the fourth page to download a random app. Worse still when you search “Expense Manager” from a mobile device only the first 500 apps appear and my application is not in it! Ofcourse if anyone searches my developer name “vanillautils” on GooglePlay from mobile or computer they will  get my app pronto. But no random person in the world will search vanillautils.

Husband is finding my sad face very entertaining. He is quiet is positive. He is expecting a few downloads from his friends when he goes to work tomorrow. Lets see how it goes.

Going forward, the only solution I can think of is doing some SEO optimization to get my app to appear on the first two pages of GooglePlay. But I have to see how it will be done. A blog I read quoted to tips

1. Using the right keywords in the GooglePlay app listing page

2. Getting Vanillautils and Expense Manager reviewed (I guess that would mean more links to my page) on other sites

Other than that I have to start work on charts and graphs for my Expense Manager. I have already downloaded the aChartEngine library a popular library for making graphs and charts. Going to tweak the demo they have provided to see how to make pie charts, bar charts and line graphs.

So this is the story so far. Looking forward for some comments from the readers:)

tc

Link

Android app on Google Play

An Android app to get a grasp of your expenses and budgets. Makes budget planning so simple anyone can do it. Create a budget plan, add expenses as they occur and analyze your budget performance.

Features
– Create multiple budget plans. Don’t worry about accuracy you can edit your budget later.
– Easy to use expense manager to add, edit or remove expenses.
– Organize expenses by category or by date
– View a summary of your spending
– Analyze how your budget is doing. Have your expenses crossed your budget limit? If not will you cross it before the budget period ends? How much are you spending per day on average? How much you should be spending to avoid a budget overflow.

Follow news on the app on

https://vanillautils.wordpress.com

Twitter: @VanillaUtils

GooglePlus: Vanilla Utils

 

Domain Name

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My mind is boiling right now. I’m sure if you see me now you’ll see steam coming out my ears. I can’t find a good domain name that has not already been taken. Half the day is gone and not one name that has potential. I did come up with one name a few days ago and was quite happy with it. I even made the perfect logo for it last night. But HD rejected it saying it was too long and the acronym version of it was already taken. 

Finding a good domain name isn’t easy. It needs to be meaningful, attractive, memorable and the worst of all unique. 

App Developement:Learning, then Experimenting, then Doing

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Just experimented with my blog theme. Found out you can change almost anything. Don’t really need to pay $30 to be allowed to make changes (not that I know much of CSS). Reason why I’m looking into all this is….. drum roll!!

I need to get another blog on board. This one will actually have purpose. This one will have its own domain name! I’m so psyched!

Actually I’ve been working on an application for Android phones and tablets.I started working on it a year ago when I decided to experiment with programming and choose Android as my platform. At that time I never dreamt that I’d manage to develop a complete application let alone get a hang of a completely new programming language. I have a business degree with a bi-major in Finance and IT. I have taken a few programming courses but not enough to make me a professional programmer. But my husband who knows programming said it’s all about aptitude and developing your skill. Obviously he was right.

My application is called Expense Manager (Lite). It will soon be out on GooglePlay as a free app. This app allows you to

1. set up your own budget with a start date, end date and an amount you plan to spend within this time.

2. log expenses as they  occur

3. analyze how your budget is being utilised. (For example are you already over the budget limit, if not based on your average expenditure are you going to cross your budget limit, etc).

4. and finally, you can view a summary of how you are spending your budget by date and by categories.

As life goes we are juggling multiple budgets at one time (college budget, home renovation budget. monthly home expenses etc). So This app allows you to maintain multiple budgets.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past one year. Learning, then experimenting, then doing. And now that its done. I have to publish it. I have given my app around to a few people for yet another round of testing. Once that’s done Expense Manager(Lite) will be out for everyone to download.

That bring me back to why I was experimenting with the themes. I have to make a proper website to showcase my app. I’m planning to do it on WordPress. Its going to cost me $19 to have a .com website hosted by WordPress. I’ve already thought of an appropriate name for the site. Now all I need is my husbands credit card. Just kidding I also need the following

1. Some content icon, header, tagline, text

2. A structure for my site. I want to have an about page, blog page and a page about the app and its features, and a page about updates and changes to my app (technically called a change log) and finally a contact us page with my email address. I guess I’ve already brainstormed my structure here

Anyway learning and developing has been great so far. The next step is publishing. I really hope I’ll be posting more often to update about my experience with publishing on GooglePlay.