Sunday, March 3, 2013


It has been a very prolific period in my Android career. Last week I published another app. It's very simple, yet funny and entertaining. Also, I don't think there's anything similar out there. It simulates a toothbrush, i.e. it produces toothbrush sounds when you move your phone as if you were brushing your teeth. Check it out on Google Play and maybe leave me a nice comment or let me know if something is not working for you.

What went well

This time I chose a really original idea. I'd had it in mind for quite some time before I decided to implement it, so I was sure it wasn't one of those brilliant thoughts of mine which excites me at first and then becomes less and less appealing over time.

Apart from that, the idea was very simple and could be done in a short period of time. I know that many people overcommit to one big project. I always try to avoid it, because my motivation slowly diminishes with time and the risk of failure is just too big. You never know if your app is going to be successful and having virtually none marketing resources, you can't influence people's tastes.

Finally, I had a chance to learn how to utilize an accelerometer. It turned out to be more difficult than I first thought. I don't mean the implementation here, but rather dealing with its inaccuracy and differences in sensitivity across various devices. Anyway, it really works for me when I incorporate some new things I haven't used before into my programs. It makes me curious and helps me stay focused on the task. I just have to remember not to take on too much at once, but this time it was an optimal amount.

What went bad

I couldn't really test the app on different devices and this time I really think it does matter. I've read various posts on StackOverflow and in other places mentioning accelerometer problems with certain device models and brands. I got some feedback from my friends and in one case the phone seemed to be too slow to handle the app. Fortunately other friends enjoyed it and no one has left me a negative comment yet, so maybe it's not as bad as I first thought. Well, if something wasn't working, I don't even know how I could fix it without an access to that particular device...

Will it be a best seller?

It's been a week since I published Toothbrush on Google Play. Right now, my active/total installs ratio is 21/61 - definitely not an astonishing figure. We'll see how it goes in the future. I asked some friends to help me with French and Spanish translations. I already have a Polish, Italian and English one. If you want to help me with other languages, just let me know and you'll have your part in the production process. Anyway, it seems I'm not going to get rich this time as well and I'm going to end up with another app with a couple hundred installs.

Some updates

I'm not going to give you an income report, because nothing has significantly changed since the last one. I just want to mention my Milan Subway Map app, which is doing fairly well with 70/104 active/total installs and 2 paid copies sold. I think the ratio is quite promising - almost 70% of the people who install it, keep it on their phones. If only I could win a large audience somehow, they would probably like it. If only...

Having some more free time lately, I'm working on a simple game now. I don't want to reveal it just yet, but if you come back in a week or two, I should give some hints about what it is or maybe even have it done. Yesterday, I had a sudden revelation of another amazingly simple and brilliant app idea, so I might end up doing a little break from game development and coding it first.

It looks like my audience is growing and I'm not writing this blog solely for myself and a bunch of friends any more. Last month I had three times as many visits as in the whole previous history. I hope you enjoy reading my musings. I'm preparing something special for the next post, so stay tuned and don't miss it.


  1. Liked this post. Learnt to:
    - make sure idea is original
    - testing on many devices is an issue
    - live with an idea before you commit (works for tattoos also)
    - make sure projects are not too ambitious
    - marketing is perhaps quite important
    Thanks WB.

    1. Nice little list you made there. I'm glad you're finding information useful for you. I'll do my best to keep up the level of the blog.