It’s Been a While.

I haven’t been around here in a while.  Figured it was time for an update.  I’ve been mostly busy with life; work, family, kid, etc…  so my free tinkering time has been limited of late, but I haven’t been totally idle.

My latest Android app was launched early last year:  Raleigh Wing Guide.  Sitting around eating wings with friends (a fairly regular occurrence), I figured, “we do this enough, we should start reviewing these places” and so the Raleigh Wing Guide was born.  It is a pretty bare bones app, the idea being to provide “expert” opinions and ratings on various aspects of a wing place, and then let the users have some input with a simple thumbs up/thumbs down rating system.

Technically speaking, it was pretty straightforward.  I again used Parse to store the data.  It was my first use of it since they drastically changed their API, so there was a fair amount of re-leaning to do there.  The biggest technical add of this compared to my previous apps was user logins/data.  Parse made this pretty simple for me and I was up and running pretty quickly.  I also used the Android location functionality, which I had played with before, but never in a released app.

Probably the most important technical aspect of the project for me was switching over to Android Studio from Eclipse.  The IDE is functional, I much prefer it to the Eclipse plugins Android used to rely on.  It was also my first exposure to a Gradle build environment, new build setups are always a blast.

Like the disc golf app I wanted to make something with potential appeal to people who aren’t just my friends.  Unlike the disc golf app, the wing guide never got off the ground floor.  It may have the visual appeal of a first generation Android app, but it is functional.  It could use an overhaul, but I’m not sure if the idea warrants an app anyway.  Oh well, I’m happy with what I churned out given the limited time investment, I learned a few things along the way that I’ll be able to apply next time around.

That’s about all I’ve done since the last update.  I’ve spent free time diving into other things, a little bit of data mining and a lot of household chores, but nothing terribly exciting to report.  I’m getting the itch to try another app at some point, I haven’t had any great fits of inspiration for a great new app, so I’m not sure what it will be.  Whatever it is, I’ll be sure to update this blog 9 months after I’m done with it.

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