MMXX — The App Project

Emannuel Carvalho
Cocoa Academy
Published in
3 min readMar 4, 2020


Yesterday I read a post by Thiago Lioy — a great friend and an inspiration as a professional — about an app project for the year and a series of posts where he will discuss tools, methodologies, patterns and many other subjects related to the creation of a digital product. I decided to do something similar, although obviously less extensive.

There is a number of topics I would like to discuss, such as:

  • Isolating UI code and integrating a Design System
  • A/B testing and customization
  • Connecting to HealthKit
  • Using Word Embeddings and ML models on device
  • Creating and presenting dynamically created screens
  • Using ML for fast prototyping

The plan is quite simple: I’m gonna create an open source app, where I will try to use as many of those subjects as I can, and during the whole process I will write posts about them. I expect to learn a lot from the discussions in the commentaries and also in the repo.

Please, do not hesitate to share feedback or any suggestions you may have.

About the app

The icon for our app — at least for now

I will talk briefly about the idea of the app here, I promise to write a post about the app alone in the next few days.

Lisa Genova’s presentation at TED

In this ted talk, the amazing Lisa Genova (neuroscientist from Harvard and author of the best seller Still Alice) talks about what we can do to prevent from developing Alzheimer’s. Basically, there are two main fronts for us to fight: avoiding the concentration of amyloid-β — by eating healthy, good sleep and exercises — and building a cognitive reserve — by engaging in cognitively active activities, such as learning a new language, or a musical instrument, participating in a course or reading a book, for example.

Trees representing different levels

The app will help you work on those two fronts by the analogy of taking care of a tree. The quality of the soil will represent the concentration of amyloid-β and the branches and leaves will represent the cognitive reserve.

Basically, we will read data from HealthKit in order to estimate on the user’s progress on the "soil", and we will receive user input on activities to measure their progress on the "branches". Once in a while we will push a notification to the user in order to engage them to input relevant data and to exercise, eat better, go to sleep, read a book or start a course on a new language, etc. Also, it will be useful to have a few interactive screens with information about the disease and other helpful informations — ideally those screens will be dynamically created, so we don’t need to update the app in order to add or edit one of those screens.

In the next post I will talk more about the idea for the app and start drawing out the first features.

See you in a few days!