Always On Time

My first app (currently android only)

As a developer in the wild for over 10 years I felt a little uneasy that I had never published an app, not even a super basic one.

I am currently on a 1 year mini-retirement travelling long term for the first time (I’m mid thirties) and trying to stick to a daily food/accommodation budget of $25 USD per day.

Back to the app; so this was an opportunity to make said app, as I’m a .net C# person I’ve made mine using something called Xamarin and Visual Studio Community Edition. Today all of these tools are free (this wasn’t always the case) and they are some of the best tools available.

Visual Studio is the thing that you write the code in to compile and create a runnable application. Xamarin is a Visual Studio extension (now built in feature) that allows you to create mobile (and desktop?) applications that run on Android, IOS etc.

My app is super simple, it’s a countdown timer and the only interesting feature is that you can still see it when you use other apps (think Facebook chat heads). If the app gets any kind of traction I might add more features.

Download My App

I feel less uneasy now that I have reached this point however, the effort was far greater than I was expecting. Did you know that Android can kill any app any time to recover resources? Not very good if your timer gets killed and doesn’t do its job. I discovered there are certain hoops to jump through (a foreground service) to keep your app alive. It’s been a steep learning curve at times.

I hope that if you have an app idea or you just want the experience of creating & publishing one that you give it a go. There are such great free tools and resources today to make achieving this much easier.

Thanks for reading and happy app writing!