Question: Can you take a simple idea, and design, develop, test and release a mobile app for Android and iOS in a single day?
Why should everything be complicated?
My daughter was trying to memorise simple multiplication “times-tables” so she could solve larger problems with multiple place values. With most things in maths, one concept builds upon another, and if you don’t know the prerequisite concept well, things just get rapidly harder!
I used to know what this meant when I was at university… (pause for head-scratching)
Scratch cards were already created to help learn the multiplication tables (actually, we’re in the process of creating a new exciting app for this too…so watch this space!) but to keep the momentum going my daughter needed to improve the speed at which she recalled the results, so we started to set a time limit for each result, reducing the time as she improved.
I thought to myself, this is bound to be built in to my iPhone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t quite there (I had to keep manually starting it for one). Yes, there’s a timer. Yes, you could create a scripted shortcut. Yes, there’s a web-based utility with 10000 ads and trackers. Yes, as a reader you probably already know an app which already does this.
The point was that I wanted a very simple, easily-accessible timer which anyone could use. Also, I wanted the timer to automatically repeat itself for short intervals. I knew things like HIIT timer apps existed, but I really didn’t want to sign up for an exercise account or have an app with a million bells and whistles I would never use.
I literally wanted an app which had a start/stop button, a way to input the interval time in seconds, and some sort of indicator when the countdown reached zero each time. No ads, no trackers, inexpensive, easy to use. At the time, I couldn’t find this but knew it couldn’t be that hard to develop my own app and release it in publicly for free in the hope that it would help others too.
I’m very busy (like everyone, I know) and needed something quickly…but how quickly could I put this together from concept to release? I decided to set myself a challenge!
I drew a quick diagram of the app and what it would to, shared with my wife and daughter to get some feedback, and then began rapid development using a cross-platform tool (React Native). The app would use two simple screens, an input box for entering the timer interval in seconds, a start/stop button, and a way of vibrating the device and playing a bell sound each time the timer reaches zero.
I then rapidly tested the mobile app on Android and iOS, mobile phones and tablets, with my wife and daughter.
After making some adjustments, I then began the process of releasing the final app to the Apple App and Google Play stores. Ironically, more time was spent jumping through hoops to get the various bits of metadata together for the app stores than actually writing code to develop the mobile app! I had released a few mobile apps before, but I was reminded again never to underestimate this part.
Everything was out of my control now…but the next morning (in record time I might add!) the app had been approved by Apple and Google and was released to the wild. Okay, it was the next day, but technically still under 24 hours!
Here’s a couple of screenshots of the app. I told you it was simple:
If you think this app would be useful to you too, please download it for free from the App Store or Google Play following the image links below:
Do you have a great idea you would love to see realised in a mobile app (Android, iOS or both)?
Get in touch – we’d love to work with you!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, because of reduced super-human capabilities, not all mobile apps can be created in a single day. Yours may take a few 😉