How did you/your team come up with the idea for your app? Why did you decide to publish your application for Android?
Olivier is the graphic designer of the application that had the idea of the PaperBoard widget. He proposed to me to develop a widget that would allow him to place anywhere he wanted his photos to personalize his Home. I was amazed that no widget proposed this function. You can find excellent launcher and widgets on the Market that allow many configurations but not this one. None allows placement without following the grid layout. And then we went further in thinking: if we can put photos anywhere we want, we can do the same thing with the application icons, custom Text…
We quickly realized the creative potential of a such wigdet. And as we found nothing on the Market, we decided to do it ourselves and make available to Android users.
Can you briefly describe the process you/your team took from first thinking up the idea for the app to publishing it onto the Android Market?
For all our applications, the process is the same. First, I check that technically there is no impossible development. Then, with Olivier, we do a paper mockup of the application with the functions and procedures. We try to be as comprehensive as possible and then we select a few features that will be in the first released.
Our philosophy is to make available as soon as possible a first release. This avoids time to wait for perfection for in the end nothing release at all. Olivier then performs a graphic model in Photoshop. Meanwhile, I put up the entire skeleton of the application on Android: functions … And we integrate its graphics. An equally important step is the distribution business model that we choose: free, freemium, paid, lite, with ads…
Are there any things in your app at the moment you think need to be improved?
We offer a PaperBaord update every Friday. We take into account regular feedback from users or through their comments on the Market, either through forums messages or simply by mail. An important focus for improvement is its full-compatibilty with the tablets!
Is your application currently available on other platforms such as the iOS or the Blackberry? How different is it to create an application for the different platforms?
For now, our applications are only available on Android. There are two main difficulties to develop on other platforms: the SDK and the graphics. If time and experience enable us to quickly develop features. It should be pondered for each OS graphics, ergonomics and procedure. Why? Because it is necessary to integrate the philosophy of the OS. The use of an iPhone is not the same as a blackberry or an Android phone. You can see a lot of iPhone application that keeps its design on Android. But Android users don’t want to use an iPhone application but an Android application. That’s why we try to separate when developing the content and design of the application. But for now, we remain focused on Android.
Are there any problems when developing for Android? If so what are they and how should Google address them?
The Android community is powerful and responsive. It is unusual to get stuck on a problem of development. That’s why it’s good to develop on this platform! Google is very responsive through the development site Android. Google publishes regular updates of content: help, example, tutorials …
Does the number of different Android versions cause many problems for you as a app developer?
This is not the number of versions that are problematic but the number of different phones. Each phone has its screen propertie, it is necessary to test its application for each size, each density and each screen resolution. In addition, it is possible that applications do not behave the same way on two different phones manufacturer with the same version of Android.
Are you happy with the response you have received for your application?
The feedback through the comments and messages on the forums is good. We hope to keep pace with the weekly update. I think it is important to offer a vibrant and dynamic application users.
Do you have any other Android apps in the works or planned for the future? If so what are they?
We have different projects (widget, game …) but for now we remain focused on the widget PaperBoard.
What smartphone do you use personally?
I personally use an HTC Desire, a Tablet Archos 101 … and a Blackberry bold;)
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