When to release a free Android app? (development cycle)

Ben Rubinstein benr_mc at cogapp.com
Fri Dec 9 13:04:31 CST 2011


Hi Andy,

I can't give much insight into the market, because I'm new to the Android 
scene.  In relation to the phone versus tablet issue however, I've taken a 
look at it on the Kindle Fire and it seems pretty good to me.

I've only spotted two serious snags:

* I let the screen lock kick in while on the select weight page (trying to 
decide how much to lie) - when I unlocked the screen, it refreshed partially 
but not fully.  Not sure if there's a way you can detect/deal with this.

* The Fire has a soft control panel - instead of hardware buttons for 
home/menu/back it displays these plus search at the bottom of the screen 
whenever it sees fit (eg in the reading app, they disappear until you tap the 
center of the screen).  In the Fire's own apps, some other controls are 
somtimes added to thi standard set.  When using your app, this panel is 
permanently there; and it overlays your app's control bar (eg 
diary/food/exercise/breakdown).  Similarly when I select the menu button from 
that panel, your menu slides up but the bottom row is largely obscured by the 
Fire's control panel.

I'll post a separate query to the list on this topic, because I'd be 
interested to know the right way to handle it.

Apart from these, two things you could do which would I think make the app 
more pleasant to use on the Fire would be:

* a higher-resolution icon - the Fire shows recent icons really big on the 
home screen, and the current one for your app looks stretched

* support the reversed portrait orientation.  In my use, I find that I'm 
mostly using the Fire 'upside down' from what Amazon apparently expect (so 
that the power button is at the top); their standard apps all handle this, so 
it's jarring when another app can't handle it.

In my personal view, from my limited testing on this one device, if you fixed 
the above four issues it would be entirely reasonable to post the app, for 
tablets as well as phones.  But my Android experience is extremely limited, so 
I suspect you would do better to get some testing on a much wider range of 
devices.

HTH,

Ben



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