Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Jumping into Android App Design and Java. Anyone have any experience with it?

  1. #1
    Web Consultant
    Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    9,856
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Jumping into Android App Design and Java. Anyone have any experience with it?

    Well, I've decided that I need to learn how to build apps. It's always something that I've been interested in, but thought it would be too difficult to get into. However, Google has a really good resources to get you started, as well as tutorials to get you going. Much more than was available when I learned WordPress...and back then I didn't know any HTML, PHP or anything.

    At the moment it looks like the hieroglyphics from the inside of the underground Alien vs. Predator cave, but looks totally doable.

    Why? Basically I noticed that there just aren't a lot of functional apps for small businesses to engage their customers. And to have something built is extremely expensive for the average small business AND for most businesses, it just seems out of reach.

    I have a few ideas that I think can change that and give businesses a more affordable option to get into the market and make it easy for their customers to do business with them on the go.
    So, the only way to pull it off and be able to run it, is to learn how to build and manage them. Which means learning Java so that I can begin to have a clue what's going on.

    Was wondering if anyone else here is into it, or has ever had an app built for their business?
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 05-19-2012 at 09:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Post Impressionist
    Array
    vangogh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    15,061
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I think learning how to build apps is a great idea. I'd like to do the same myself, though I'd go the iOS route instead of Android. The one thing you have to be careful about is to see if people will really download an app to communicate with a business. I don't think that's why people download apps. They download an app, because the app helps them accomplish some task or because the business is the app. But as another way to communicate with a business…? Think about it from the perspective of the person. What benefit will they get from the app and how much more benefit is it over visiting a website.

    I'm not saying a small business can't have a good app that people will download, but I think it has to be more than just an app to communicate with the business.
    l Join me as I share my creative process and journey as a writer | StevenBradley.me
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  3. #3
    Web Consultant
    Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    9,856
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Well, on that front I was thinking more about restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other service type companies. I have a few other ideas for some industry specific apps where I think people are missing the boat.

    What you said about why people use apps, I agree but, I think that's because that's all people are making.

    I completely believe that mobile devices ( tablets specifically) are the personal computers of the future, and the more the price comes down, they will eventually overtake laptops and desktops for the casual user that only surfs, emails, listens to music, and chats.

    If this is true ( and it may not be. I'm taking a risk on a hypothesis) , a good app will be more important than social media and gives you more control over content and access to your users, fans customers...whatever.
    Social Media requires the user to go to a 3rd party for updates, and it's one of the biggest arguments that I have always made against it. You don't own it. Now you do, and it's always with them.

    The only thing missing from tablets right now is a better user interface. Once that becomes more like an interactive desktop and not just a stack of app icons and widgets, I think that's it. Tablets will rule.

    After looking around, it's obvious to me that it is in the beginning stages. Lots of opportunity missed, Designs are still struggling to compensate for tablets and phones. I see potential. Games are out doing functional apps and if you remember the days of yore, that's EXACTLY how personal computing started. Games outsold software. Until the software got better and more intuitive...and units got cheaper. I think we are on the next phase of that and, unless we start plugging our brains right into the net, I think this is about as portable, affordable, and easy to use as it will get for a while..and we'll just keep imporving on it.

    In other words, it's going to be tough learning, but I think I still have time and can get in there.
    If I just learn enough to create the 3 apps that I have an idea for, I'll be pretty happy.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 05-20-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  4. #4

    Default

    cool, finally a developer here on SBF

  5. #5
    Web Consultant
    Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    9,856
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ in Vancouver View Post
    cool, finally a developer here on SBF
    Well, it's going to be a while before I can claim that. I've already learned over the past few days that you can't just jump into Java and think you can follow along. So I need to backtrack and learn what I need to, before any of it will start to make any sense.

  6. #6

    Default

    Take a look at computer science curriculum. From what I'm told they apply too all languages at a macro level. In other words, while I learned php, I would have been better off learning general info related to all programming such as OOP.

  7. #7
    Post Impressionist
    Array
    vangogh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    15,061
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I think that's because that's all people are making.
    I think it's more than that. People have tried lots of different apps and the market is now better at making the ones people actually want. Apps are great. I often prefer using an app to visiting a websites, but there are only so many apps you can realistically install and use. There has to be more of a reason than I've done business with this company to use their app.

    I was thinking more about restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other service type companies.
    An app might be fine for those types of businesses. However it really depends on what the app offers. For example if a restaurant app is just the menu on an app I couldn't imagine using it. If it's a restaurant I frequent a lot and the app enables me to reserve a table or place a take out order then it could offer enough convenience for me to use the app. It would really depend on how often I eat at the restaurant. If it's once every 3-6 months I probably don't need an app. If I eat there every week then an app might make sense.

    What makes more sense is a single app that can show me the menu for every restaurant in town and let me reserve a table or place a take out order, etc for all of them. That's the app you download and use. Building a separate app for each restaurant though doesn't make sense because it would only fill up my phone or tablet with lots of icons. I agree with you that mobile devices are the future of computing, but a lot of it will still take place in a browser. Most people aren't going to need or want apps for everything. They'll want apps for some things, but not all things. It quickly becomes unmanageable to have an app for every company they do business with.

    I don't mean any of this to suggest you shouldn't build apps for business. Just want you to keep in mind your app is competing for a small amount of real estate on someone's device and it has to be more than a means for the business to communicate with the customer of you want the customer to download and use the app.
    l Join me as I share my creative process and journey as a writer | StevenBradley.me
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  8. #8
    Web Consultant
    Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    9,856
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    We're on the same wavelength. Certainly every business doesn't need an app. My ideas are more for overall industry apps, that can be used by more than one business.
    And all of my ideas are pretty much centered around service businesses, entertainment, and entertainers.

    I think I have a couple of good ideas that will help make things more efficient for a few select industries.
    Maybe not for every Mom and pop, but certainly for companies with multiple locations.

    And building mobile friendly websites is still an option for those that don't need an app or don't have that kind of clientele. I'm not thinking about trying to sell these to people who don't need them. I'm more on the train of thought of providing specific features and an easy to use format for those that do want it, but don't know where to turn, nor want to spend 10K and up to do it.

    I've had too many past clients that have had ideas for apps for their business, and I didn't know where to turn or who to recommend to them. They weren't all trying to be the next Angry Birds. They just wanted something that their customers could download to have access to their company, get alerts of new products, maybe invite friends to join them at a wine tasting. Or one of my most recent, just wanted something where people could see their work, get turn by turn directions, and contact them with a photo of areas that needed work done and schedule a consultation...and on the confirmation they wanted to be able to send an image of the person coming out to the clients house.

    They didn't really care if 10,000 people downloaded it. But they wanted it available for the people who want to use it.

    I should be able to put together something that simple. And every other busines in that industry could probably use the exact same app.

    There are some good apps out there, but when you start getting into apps specific to one business, many of them ( outside of the large players) suck.
    My feeling is that an app should be a portal. An experience. Not just a glorified RSS feed that merely shows the same thing that you can find by going to the website.

    I can totally see apps being the promotion tool of the near future. Especially when it comes to entertainment.
    What's better? Exclusive content for Facebook fans, or exclusive content for app subscribers? You can only do so much with Facebook (and it's not your.

    I've downloaded a lot of apps in this area, and there is still opportunity there to do better. And the sharing on many of them is rediculously backwoods.
    And hardly anyone is designing for tablets. Most tablet apps are just phone apps blown up. (For Android. I know iPad apps are plentiful).

    The first step is to learn how to do it. Once I get in there, I may see other opportunity, or adjust some of my current ideas to meet a specific need.
    But it's definitely something I'm going to learn. I don't see it being a wasted skill.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 05-21-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Post Impressionist
    Array
    vangogh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    15,061
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    That makes sense. Originally I thought you might be thinking something along the lines of website in an app, which I couldn't see people downloading. If you're thinking something across an industry that's different. Apps definitely need to be more than a single rss feed.

    something where people could see their work, get turn by turn directions, and contact them with a photo of areas that needed work done and schedule a consultation...and on the confirmation they wanted to be able to send an image of the person coming out to the clients house.
    I'm not sure how well something like this would work. It's possible the most loyal customers of this business might want it, but even then I'm not so sure. Google Maps on Android phones already offers turn by turn directions and it now seems likely Apple will offer the same when it switches to it's own mapping application later this year. The photos are just as easily put on a website or in an email as in an app. It might be more convenient to have them in an app, but would someone use this often enough to justify an app.

    Because…

    They didn't really care if 10,000 people downloaded it. But they wanted it available for the people who want to use it.
    They want it, until they find out how much it will cost. Developing an app isn't inexpensive, especially if you want the app available for both iOS and Android, and maybe even Windows too. I think in time you'll find developing the app will cost more than adding a new section to an existing site.

    Of course everything I'm saying really depends on the details of the app and so maybe customers of this business would find it very useful and it would be worth the cost. Regardless I think it makes a lot of sense to learn how to build apps. There's no question people are migrating from desktop and laptop to smartphone and tablet and on the latter two many people prefer using an app to a web app. I'm not trying to knock the idea of learning to build apps at all. Just trying to get you to think about what would make an app better.

    But it's definitely something I'm going to learn. I don't see it being a wasted skill.
    I agree completely. I've been hoping to find more time to learn how to develop iOS apps
    l Join me as I share my creative process and journey as a writer | StevenBradley.me
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Get my book about Design Fundamentals

  10. #10
    Post Impressionist
    Array
    vangogh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    15,061
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Now here's the app you need to create.

    l Join me as I share my creative process and journey as a writer | StevenBradley.me
    l Design, Development, Marketing, and SEO Tutorials | Steven Bradley's Notebook
    l Get my book about Design Fundamentals

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •