School Scheduler – Would you like to sync that?

After a long coding marathon, a new update has been submitted to Google Play for School Scheduler. The main feature for this update is sync support with Google Calendar, which has been asked for by many.

Click here to check out the update on Google Play.

I hope to bring an update to the Lite version soon. I’m moving away from AdMob and will see about implementing something out, perhaps in-house ads to change things up from the stuff everyone sees in every other free app out there.

I’m looking to offer limited sync support in the free version, perhaps with one course only, so users can try it out on their device to make sure it works beforehand.

Here’s the changelist for the full version:
New Features:

  • Google Calendar sync support for devices with Google Calendar app installed.
    • Does not currently import from Calendar or recognize external modifications to events.
    •  Does not import from Calendar or recognize modifications made outside of the app!
    • Offically supported on 4.0 and higher. If your device version is lower than Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) you *may* have sync functionality if the calendar can be found. Sync may not work on some devices.
  • A new Settings menu is available with various settings
  • Start/End semester dates are now definable in settings
  • Added optional office and notes fields for courses
  • When selecting dates, a calendar appears for honeycomb and newer devices (3.0.x and higher).
  • It’s now possible to select the date in the Schedule Tab to change the current day.
Fixes:
  • Tasks not assigned to a course in the lite version are now imported correctly.
  • Lecture labels have been renamed to “Classes”
I’m looking to deal with any issues that come up as users transition to the update while sorting out an update for the Lite/free version. After that I’ll take a look at persisting save state when the device rotates, a holo-light theme and maybe even tablet friendly layouts.
Stay tuned!

School Scheduler – Lite is now on Amazon

Just a quick note to point out that the releases of both School Scheduler and School Scheduler – Lite are available on the Amazon App Store. They are currently older versions from the ones available on Google Play, but given the time it takes to approve the apps on the store I feel it’s best to bundle in syncing changes with the next update.

Which leads me to my next note. I am in the middle of integrating Google Calendar sync capabilities with the app. There are still a few hurdles to overcome, but adding a lecture is now creating a corresponding event in the calendar.

For the initial release, I’m thinking of leaving sync capabilities disabled (by default) with options to enable them in a new Settings screen. This screen will also allow to select which calendar to use that’s on your Android device (for example, the local calendar, gmail, hotmail, etc).

I’m trying to be very careful when it comes to implementing this, by adding safeguards if the device doesn’t have the Google Calendar (such as the Kindle Fire). One of the biggest hurdles is Google is only officially supporting the Android Calendar API from ICS (4.0 and up).

This only covers around 60% of the current install base. It’s possible to implement similar functionality for previous Android versions but they will be purely unofficial and I don’t really have hardware devices to test the changes on. I’m still thinking of the best way to tackle this, but I may add the functionality behind a disclaimer button.

Anyways, I’m going to get back to work. Thanks for reading 🙂

School Scheduler – A Small Update Has Arrived

I started looking into Calendar Sync for School Scheduler and realized this will take a bit of time to implement. It looks calling on the internal calendar isn’t officially supported until Android 4.0, which means I’ll have to be very careful in how I tackle this task.

As a result, I’m releasing my bundle of smaller changes early, to help improve the functionality of the app and reduce user pain a little bit.

Changes:

  • Added ability to tag a lecture as a lecture/lab/tutorial (Full version only)
  • Tasks are now sorted by due date
  • Improved the intuitiveness of the UI when modifying start/end term dates and lecture times while adding/editing lectures
  • Ability to view times in 12-hour or 24-hour formats
  • Adjusted theme colours
  • Added an about screen

The most noticable change will be the improved theme colours. The blue is much darker now and I switched out the calendar background to be grey. It’s looking rather spiffy.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys the update! For those who are keeping tabs on total installs I’ve now surpassed 1500 on the free version (as of 11am) so it will be interesting to see how the pattern goes in the coming week.

But for now it’s time to get some sleep and then it’s back to work in the morning 🙂

School Scheduler – Boy, That Escalated Quickly

Well, what a start.

Yesterday I released a free version of School Scheduler on Google Play and couldn’t believe the response it received. The free version sparked my first sales for both the paid version of the app and my first sales off of my Android development efforts.

Suffice to say, I’m pumped. The Reddit community has been extremely helpful in suggesting ways to improve the app, with the most requested feature being sync capabilities with Google Calendar. The people have spoken, and that’s what I’ll be looking to include in the next update 🙂

For those curious, here are some statistics after the first day.

School Scheduler – Lite
Note:
These stats only update once per day and were listed about 5 hours ago, approximately 17 hours after releasing and posting about the free version

Total User Installs: 691 (total number of installs of the app)
Active User Installs: 597 (number of devices that still have the app installed)

School Scheduler (Full)

Total Sales: 64
Cancellations: 1
Take home:  ~$44.80

Overall, it’s been an impressive start. I honestly didn’t expect it to turn out this well. Total installs for the free version outnumber my Killboard Buddy installs (which just surpassed 490 total installs and 256 active installs). So for those of you who downloaded it and checked it out. Thank you!

I’m still waiting for Amazon to approve the update to the paid app and the free app submission, so hopefully those will pass review in the next day or so.

I’ve made a few small changes to the app, so here’s a hint of what’s in store for the next update:

  • Tasks are sorted by ascending order in the tasks tab
  • It’s now possible to distinguish between lectures, labs and tutorials. I’m looking to keep this as a full version feature
  • Improved the intuitiveness of adding/editing lectures. The term start/end dates and lecture start/end times are now grouped together in their own headers. Previously the start and end dates/times were grouped together. This gave the impression that the class would span multiple days when that’s not how the app was treating the data.

As for now, it’s time to start looking at the Google API’s and find out how to get my app to sync with the calendar 🙂