Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm On the Market - Simple Alarm Clock

I finally got back around to my Alarm Clock and made a few updates. It all started when I completed my Simple X10 Client and was thinking about releasing it as my "Free" client and then releasing the more feature-rich version for a fee.

Immediately I thought about the Android Market as well as integrating ads into my application. Since my alarm clock application was already completed and has served me well, I decided it would be the best candidate for looking to integrate ads and test it out.

I did a little bit of searching and advertisements seemed pretty simple. I picked a tutorial to follow and started downloading the necessary pieces. Eventually I had to go to AdMob.com set up an account. That process required information from the Android Market though and I had not taken that step yet.

I decided it was time and shelled out the $25 to become an official Android Market Developer. I reviewed the guidelines for publishing on the market and then set out putting icons together, screenshots and cleaned up my application. I renamed it from DonnsAlarm to SimpleAlarmClock and fixed a couple other minor things I didn't like about it. I tried to get the ads working, but kept running into issues. Eventually I just gave up and removed any of the code related to the advertisements. I typed up a little description, posted the icons and screenshots and then exported the signed apk file.

At this point, I was pretty excited to go online with my phone and download my application from the android market as opposed to from my home webserver. I easily found it by searching for "Simple Alarm Clock". Between my icon (left) and  my developer name 44D8 (appears under the app name), I was able to identify which was mine. I downloaded it, set an alarm for the morning and forgot about it.

The next morning though I had realized the mistake of not testing the app after the download. I screwed up the alarm function some how. What I found was, as I cleaned up the code, I deleted a little bit more than I should have and removed the entries for the alarm activity from the manifest.xml file.I just assumed that since I had been using the old DonnsAlarm version for months that it would just work. I realized it didn't work when my kids woke me up this morning, late, because they were calling for mom or dad from inside their room. The nice thing is they ensure I don't wake up too late no matter what. I was double pissed though when I realized I had overslept, I realized my first post was a defective app.

I got home tonight after work, downloaded the code from my original blog posting for the alarm app and filled in the missing pieces for my updated version. This time when I was all ready to post to the market, I downloaded it first to my phone and tested it.  When it worked, I posted to the market. I wanted to make sure I could get an update posted today so that anybody that had downloaded it could get an update and hopefully before the alarm fails them.

Currently the app is posted, for free and without any advertisement. I will probably continue to test the advertisement options with this until I get it. I am not sure if it will be kept on the alarm clock or not. Part of me wants to keep it off to keep it simple, but the other part wants to see what the advertisement model will do. We will just see. I think I want to figure out widgets next.

Here is the updated Simple Alarm Clock v1.1 project on box.net

3 comments:

  1. Nice little app. Two of the files needed by the project are not included; The widgetbg.png file and the nextalarmwidgetprovider.xml file. I was able to reconstruct them but lessor entities might find it a bit of a challenge.

    thanks for a great example. you should build a tutorial out of it.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up David.
    I thought I had everything posted and will be updating the files tonight.

    Got any good ideas you plan on putting into my Alarm App? Let me know if you do, I always love seeing when other people end up improving/changing something I have created.

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  3. The files have been updated. There are 2 new folders in the "res" directory, "xml" and "drawable"

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