LHS Football 2014 for iOS is an app built out of necessity. You see, my youngest son plays high school football for Lakeside High School in Evans, GA and my wife was constantly asking me who #X was during the game. So I built an app the included the roster, schedule (with scores), staff, and sponsors. Admittedly, I was looking for an excuse to write another mobile app since releasing Trail To Eagle in 2012 and this gave me an opportunity to do that.
This log is inspired by Amir Rajan’s A Dark Room for iOS project log. I too wanted to make sure that I logged everything that I did around this app. Granted the target audience for this football app is very small it still gave me an opportunity to experiment with some cool technologies.
October 8, 2014: Initial Commit
I wrote my first app, Trail To Eagle, using PhoneGap and the PhoneGap Build service. I even talked about my experience building this app on Scott Hanselman’s podcast. Since releasing Trail To Eagle I had been looking for a project that I could use Xamarin Studio and this football app presented a great opportunity to do just that.
October 22, 2014: Released to app store
It took this app nearly 10 days to get through Apple’s approval process. I assume this is because I submitted the app right around the same time as the release of iOS 8 so there must have been a backlog of apps updating to support iOS 8to go through the approval process.
October 28, 2014: v2014.1 released
The app has had 21 downloads since being released. In this version I updated game scores and some typo’s from the initial release. I also reformatted the schedule and coaching staff lists.
October 31, 2014: Changing Development Tools
The more feedback that I got, the more I realized that there were features that I wanted to add that would put me over the app size restrictions imposed by using Xamarin Starter Edition. Don’t get me wrong, I think the tools that Xamarin are making are awesome. If you’re a .NET developer, Xamarin makes it extremely easy to start building apps for iOS and Android using the languages and many of the same tools that you already know.
To this point I had to build and publish a new version each time I wanted to update some piece of data, whether it was correcting a player’s name or updating the score to a game the team just played. I wanted to be able to push these updates to the device without having to submit a new build. I also wanted to be able to push live score updates to the app users as games were in progress. In researching how to do this I realized that I would need to use a service like Microsoft Azure Mobile Services or Parse So I made the decision to switch to using xCode and the Swift programming language. Swift is great. It shares a lot of similarities with languages that I was already familiar with like C# and F#.
November 3, 2014: v2014.2 released
There have been another 9 downloads since v2014.1 was released. In this update I made some text formatting changes. I also added some additional player data.
November 6, 2014: v2014.3 released
Another 5 downloads of the app, bringing the download total up to 25. For this update I added Parse.com push notifications and analytics. I also added Appirater so users could rate the app from inside the program. Also, used cocoa-pods to include the external links to parse and appirater.
November 7, 2104: First review
The app received it’s first review today 🙂
November 10, 2014: v2014.4 submitted
There was a bug in my Appirater implementation. I forgot to include a CFBundleDisplayName in the info.plist which would cause Appirater to show (null) for the app name.