When Apple announced they would open iPhone OS (as it was called at that time) to developers in early 2008, the potential opportunities for end users catapulted my interest in mobile software to the next level. In 2007 smartphones first became a phenomena for the masses. Since then these gadgets have undergone a remarkable evolution, which propelled them to be our main computing devices. They have replaced almost all of the electronics we used to carry and yet have incredibly expanded opportunities for communication, navigation and information consumption. I have always dreamt of realizing my own ideas and with DayCalc for iOS I did the first step. But why stop there?
The natural path for goals in life is to pursue them until you succeed. At that point you have to think about the next step, that will enhance your skills and knowledge even further. Naturally, ambitious people are restless in that regard. There is no stopping, the finish line is death only. You do not rest on your laurels, because that is when you get left behind. Personally I want to excel in the ability to create applications for all major mobile platforms. Tablets and smartphones carry out the majority of all computing needs for the general population and they are just about to pick up momentum. The ability to program for iOS and Android therefore is essential for any app developer.
Naturally my next milestone was to port DayCalc to Android. Of course there are options for programming apps in a "neutral development environment" with a "neutral language" that makes it easy to later release the product on both platforms. However being able to use the native SDKs will give you the most coding flexibility and room for optimization. Building specifically for the targeted hardware is always the best choice. Also the ability to do both will make you a more valuable asset on the job market.
For this reason I spent some time with the Android Developer Studio. In conclusion I found that it has its similarities with Xcode and most other development environments for that matter. However, striking are the many differences. All of the skills I attained while working on DayCalc for iOS have made learning easier but do not remove the need to do so. Building the UI or using APIs to interact with the Android OS are radically different compared to iOS coding. I developed many small elements into DayCalc for iOS that the users would not notice, but which took a day or two of studying each. All of them have to be relearned. This is nothing scary but it is time intensive. Additionally having been an Apple user for almost 10 years has really helped me to subconsciously pick up on the company's design language. The conceptual skills of creating user interfaces for Android are certainly less developed than my iOS expertise.
DayCalc Roadmap for the 2017 Android Release
Porting DayCalc to Android is a project, which presumably can not be done in less than two months. My to do list is full right now and so there is the need to set up a roadmap for my upcoming projects. iOS 10 is around the corner and DayCalc for iOS needs to be updated to comply with the new Swift 3 language requirements, as well as the new App Store guidelines. Furthermore I would like to add some additional features and UI overhauls. The last three weeks of my semester break will not only be spent on this update, making time scarce. Semester 3 will be a tough one and the free time during this period may just be enough to get on top of my marketing game and make DayCalc for iOS a little more known.
So when is DayCalc for Android coming? The short answer: Late Q1 2017 (probably). The long answer: Depending on my university workload there may be some progress before the end of 2016. Either way, by January 2017 work would come to a complete halt due to exams. The final polishing would be done in February 2017. In this scenario the app would be released by the end of the month. It is however likely that the entire project has to be pushed to commencing in February 2017. In that case you will not find DayCalc in the Google Play Store before late March 2017. Finally there is always the possibility of unforeseen circumstances that could lead to an early Q2 2017 release. Let us keep our fingers crossed!
Download the full roadmap image here:
About the Author
Erik is a software developer, who specializes in mobile apps for iOS. He is passionate about designing user interfaces, practicing graphic design, as well as hiking, cycling and photography.
He currently works at Stocard GmbH and studies computer science at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. In his earlier days Erik graduated from Mannheim University and Robert Gordon University with business administration and management degrees.