Language Rocks has been creating online memory games since 1992. That’s a LOT of years. We’ve gone from having our games on CDs to putting them in apps. Today we are featuring a category in our billiekelpin.com blog called “Memory” and are sending the feed to our “Memory Isle App”.
Creating an app is a lonely business. You get little feedback from people regarding how well they like your app. You just hope the people who download your app are enjoying your games.
We understand that there are phenomenal software games out in the world. Case in point, last week, when we were at Joe’s Crab Shack, our friend’s son, Nicholas, was totally engrossed in a game simulator on an iPhone that allowed him to go in and out of an adorable scene. It was fast, it was engaging. And you probably can guess what we thought: “He’ll never get excited over our quiet classic Memory matching app.” To our very pleasant surprise, there we were, the crab legs on the table, the half-eaten hush puppies still waiting to be finished, and little Nicholas, totally engrossed in OUR game, Memory Isle App. He was zipping through the St.Patrick’s Day Game, one of nine games on the app menu (not Joe’s menu) and we couldn’t have been more delighted.
We created this app to be enjoyed by ALL AGES. Since adults have love our games as much as little Nicholas, we are announcing that we will be including a section of our online blog within the app. That section will focus on all things related to the mind and memory. This is the first posting within that blog category. We hope to provide you will lots of information regarding our amazing minds.
Extra for Bloggers and Small Business Owners:
And here’s a bonus for those of you who are trying to put your blog feed into an app, website, email, social network, etc. As you probably know, adding /feed/ to the end of your blog’s url will give your readers your blog with its updated information. For example: www.billiekelpin.com becomes www.billiekelpin.com/feed/ when I want to add it to a widget that takes RSS feed (Really, Simple, Syndication). The http was automatically installed when I put the url on the line required in the wordpress widget. If you have only ONE category in your blog that you want included, be sure you get the url of that category. For example, for our Memory App I wanted only the “Memory” catalog showing, so the url became www.billiekelpin.com/memory/feed/
Even software developers have a difficult time preparing an app for the Apple Store. If you are a writer, photographer, business owner, etc. who wants to use ibuildapp.com for creating your app, read on. When it comes to the publishing part and submission to Google Play and the Apple Store, if you’re not an experienced Apple software developer, it’s best to pay to have ibuildapp submit your app for you. My husband with 40 years of experience in the software field as coder, consultant, senior project leader, had to go through numerous hoops, especially for submission of my audiobook, “Live from Milwaukee, It’s Tuesday Night,” to the Apple Store. The costs keep changing at ibuildapp and if you’re paying for a monthly plan, be sure you’re charging a fee for your app that correclates to your projected sales OR give only a portion of your app for free and hope you have enough customers who will upgrade to the paid version.
Since we’ve had over 5900 downloads of “The Perfect Husband App”, we decided to go ahead and combine my audio essays, short story, and one-minute “dollop-a-day” features into an audio app. I’m using ibuildapp again, and after reacquainting myself with the in’s and out’s of one of my favorite do-it-yourself online software programs, I am ready to launch “Live, From Milwaukee, It’s Tuesday Night”. My husband, Mike, the software engineer and technical support for our company, Language Rocks, uses his developer’s certificate AND his expertise to help me upload the app to the Google Play store and to iTunes. I’ve decided to charge a small fee for this app, so we’ll see how that goes. Wish us luck.
Ibuildapp is a bit glitch-y to use, but they do have a help desk with online chatting available during certain hours along with email support. I have posted and will continue to post little hints I’ve found useful. One hint, before I close tonight, is to be aware, when using ibuildapp that the widgets are tied to the “manage content” functionality. You can turn off a widget that you don’t want by going all the way back up to the place you added your button images and then clicking on the “tab” button. There you will see an “on-off” switch for your widget.
More later and please don’t hesitate to add your comments or questions. Cheers, Billie
Let’s back-up a bit. The real reason I started to publish “The Perfect Husband App” was to try the new software at ibuildapp.com in order to convert my children’s narrated ebook, “Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy” as a narrated app. After struggling with the audio, I went back to interactbuilder.com which I had been trying to use about a year ago. That lets a user create really great looking mobile apps, but there is quite a cost involved. PLUS, I myself, find that software hard to use. I then tried talespring.com last to use their software, and that has possibilities except I don’t have a MAC and while I can create in that platform, I can’t test it out to make corrections, etc. To use Apple’s iBuild Author software which creates multi-media books, one would need a MAC 10.7 (LIon) or beter which retails at about $999. Bookbaby.com, the company with which I have published “Lucky…” for Kindle, Nook, etc. is not doing narrated apps at the moment. I contacted B-interacktive in Germany and they seemed interested in exploring whether they would create an app for me, but I haven’t heard back from them. I tried Desktop Author’s epagewiz which creates page-turning ebooks like my narrated, page-turning online ebook at www.leftpawedpuppy.com, but when your app then goes into the Desktop Author ebook store and when you download apps you have to use their app reader to run the software and finding a book app with Desktop Author app is a nightmare. So you might be able to see why I’m frustrated and disappointed.
All the forums keep saying getting a multi-media book made is “on the cutting edge.” I say, “It’s NOT on the cutting edge because software engineers are doing it throughout the world as evidenced by the narrated children’s apps that are out there.
My conclusion is this: There seems to be a big problem with integrating audio with images for apps. Somehow, some software coders who have figured it out are doing it and are charging a large sum for having accomplished this. Here’s my prediction – whoever comes up with a Do-It-Yourself piece of software that allows authors like me to integrate narration with images will have a multi-million dollar company. I wish my software husband could do it for me, but apparently you need C++ or Objective C or some other C thing to do it! With 12 computer languages in my guy’s brilliant head, and more than 40 years of programming under his belt, he’s not inclined to tackle any more languages. Who can blame him? Not me, but we do need a software hero to come swooping down and let creative children authors go to town. We’d pay! Because as a group, we may be a little cash poor, I’d say $150 for such software would be tolerable. If there are any super-heroes out there who can create this wysiwyg, diy software for multi-media ebooks, show forth thyself!
Dear Fellow Novice App Builders with ibuldapp,
Previously, I had talked about not being able to insert an image and type over it in the software for ibuildapp.com and that is true as I understand the software as it works on this date in September of 2012. What I was aiming for was a screen that looked like this:
Quite a daunting task this would be to create 20 images like the one to the right for each of entry in “The Perfect Husband App”.
So, if you’re asking, why don’t you just use a background color and insert a small image with your text, you would be about 1000 miles ahead of me. So that just occured to me this morning, and if it hadn’t occured to you, you might try this for your “quotation” app or other interesting “ibuildapp app.” The image on the right is the labor-intensive way of creating a colorful page in ibuildapp.
In the “Let’s eat out tonight” screen to the left, just one image imbedded on a page with color. It certainly cuts down on hours of work, and I think if I intersperse these pages with the other more “beautiful” screens, it will satisfy the customers.
And by the way, speaking of customers, don’t be disappointed if you have NONE. Unless you have an “Angry Birds” app or a boat-load of money, promoting your creation for thousands of downloads will be difficult. After I finish pretty-ing-up my app this weekend, I’m going to create a facebook business page for it and take out a facebook ad. We’ll see where that goes.
By the way, if you are kind of heart, I sure could use some positive reviews of my app at the googleplay.com store. Search for it with the “the” as in “The Perfect Husband App” or just click here. It’s only a 99 cents.
Cheerio for now. Let me hear from you. This is all very exciting, albeit a tad frustrating, but onward we go.
A Novice’s “Work-around” Ibuildapp’s App Builder
Dear Fellow Self-Published Authors,
Either we’re very ADHD or just quite forward-looking. Let’s assume the latter. So I’m not satisfied that “Lucky, the Left-Pawed Puppy” is published on Kindle, Nook, and whatever other e-reader platform is out there. I want the NARRATED version published as I published it on my website (www.leftpawedpuppy.com). However, that narrated version is an .exe file and can’t be uploaded to Kindle, etc. So I sell it from my casually visited website. Ugh! All that work!
So on my way to trying to get audio embedded in “Lucky…” my thoughts turned to app development, and I turned to ibuildapp.com. Not being able to figure out the audio embedding here, I decided to go ahead with a simpler app which I am presently calling, “The Perfect Husband App” which is essentially a “cheat sheet” for husbands who want to say the words their wives actually want to hear.That app is up in googleplay.com, (“Available now for only 99 cents!” tee-hee ) BUT I’m working to make it prettier. If you happen to find it and download it for your Android, be assured that within the week, the changes that will pretty-it-up will be automatically inserted in your app. (You can see what I mean if you click on the last item in the list – “OUR Words for YOU! That’s the one pretty page that I hope to duplicate for the rest of the perfect husband list.) Continue reading From Ebook to App with Ibuildapp.com