Thursday, September 17, 2009

SmartFM Mobile Study Dictionary live in Android Marketplace!

So shortly after my last blog post, I managed to get my SmartFm mobile study dictionary app live in the Android Marketplace. I think I finally managed to set it up so it won't conflict with the ADC version of the same app.

In less than 24 hours the app jumped into the the 100-500 downloads range, and we got some great feedback and ratings. Steve O's comment that it was "Very easy to use and definitions are very accurate. Excellent!" was music to my ears. I can't accept that praise without thanking Robert Brewer, George Lee, Viil Lid, Karhai Chu and Kim Binsted at the University of Hawaii for input on the developing interface, and huge thanks to the SmartFM team for their input on all aspects of application and various adjustments to the API to make everything connect up properly.

When I woke up this morning there was another comment from SuaveAfro, about wanting the app to allow the user to download other people's lists. I've commented back that other user's lists can be downloaded through the "Search Lists" function in the menu tab, although it is not an easy function to find, since you have to click "More" in the menu to get there. That is partly intentional, as the focus of the app is on items rather than lists, but I have to concede I haven't put up a help manual or anything that explains all that. I was so focused on the ADC submission that there is not much in the way of online support materials, and only a cursory help system on the app itself. I'll do my best to make better documentation available, but in the meantime I'll put as much as I can on this blog to help users of the application.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video describing SmartFM Android Application

So the other week I submitted an android application to the second Android Developers Challenge (ADC). There's over a million dollars in prize money up for grabs from Google in the second such competition. Last time android was only available on emulators, but now the devices are out, so competition will be fierce.

I've put together a short video about my app, the SmartFM Mobile Study Dictionary, which shows you how I integrated the Google Speech Recognition component and got multimedia content creation working. I'm real excited about this application because now any user can create study content (focused on languages at the moment) on the go, uploading sounds and images. So say you learn a new word in the language you are studying you can check what it means using the dictionary, and if it doesn't exist, add the entry there and then. If it is there, you get helpful info on the word and its usage, and you can add new example sentences and usages you've discovered, with images and audio to illustrate.

The results from the ADC won't be in till late November, and owners of android devices should be able to vote on the best apps later this month (please vote for me :-), but I'll release this to the market before then, once I've worked out a few bugs.

Please check out the video and let me know what you think: