In which the app experiments continue
It’s been a couple of weeks since Walletscope launched, and as far as launches go, it was pretty quiet, and very informative. Walletscope is in a comfortable beta status, and I’m working on the next round of updates to get the momentum up.
First is the landing page. It’s currently not the most visually exciting page. People visit it, and don’t entirely get the full understanding of the service. An update is in the works with better visuals and information.
The other big thing is a native app. I realize now that a product like this really calls for a dedicated mobile app, and I hoped to get away with a responsive web experience. But if you’re on the go, there’s a huge difference between finding a tab in Safari and just clicking on an app icon!
I’ve made good headway into the iOS app, and barring any App Store setbacks (like those ever happen…) I hope to release it in the next month.
There are other features I’d like to start working on too. Things like receipt uploads, locations, and a way to associate business related expenses to clients or projects.
I’m also tinkering on a few other projects, building experiments and MVPs, and seeing where they’ll go. I have a new found surge of creativity and really want to exploit it for as long as I can.
The two projects I’m most excited about sharing are my unnamed electronics simulator, and a SaaS dependency tracking and monitoring app AppCost.
As Yet Unnamed Electronics Simulator 2017
I’m a big fan of games like Factorio, TIS-100, Kerbal Space Program and of course Minecraft; and I’ve recently been getting back into electronics, and investigating homebrew computing with the design of relatively simple Z80/6510 based systems.
So as those things got mushed up in my brain I started wondering if I could build an easy to use electronics simulator, with a few liberties and conceptual simplification. It’s basically Snap Circuits, but in your computer — or mobile device.
I fired up Unity about a week ago, and ordered a physical starter kit from Adafruit — so I’d have some physical hardware reference, instead of just theory, Ohm’s law, and my hazy memory of high school electronics classes…
As it turns out, I‘ve been able to successfully build a simple prototype, and had fun doing it too. It’s pretty far along, as of last night I can simulate a basic LED circuit with a resistor and LED in series (it also dutifully simulates destroying the LED if you don’t include said resistor). Next I need to clean up the UI, and add other components into the mix.
When I have the base simulation further along, I’m envisioning adding a 3D interface for the larger-scale game, instead of merely a 2D circuit diagram. The end goal being to be able to build something resembling a computer, with IC chips and all.
I’ll post updates and an Itch.io link when it’s ready for public consumption.
This one is inspired by the Running Costs page over at Cushion. I’ve been a fan of Jonnie Hallman’s work for a long time, and this page really resonated with me. Having an ongoing breakdown of the services an app uses, and the total cost is a great idea that I haven’t seen implemented anywhere else yet.
Once you have a collection of services that your app is using, it makes sense to include monitoring and reminder systems, so you have a single place that collects all your dependencies and you can quickly see if there are any outages — or if it’s time to renew that domain name!
I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and seeing where these projects go! There’ll be time to knuckle-down, but so far it feels really great to be able to explore different ideas.
This was part 2 of my on-going indie hacker saga. Previously, I was about to launch the Walletscope beta.