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Post-hoc Analysis of InstaWifi’s Launch

July 27, 2012 9:00 am by
high resolution instawifi icon

Launching My First Android App Ever

On July 24th, I launched InstaWifi, my first Android app into the market. InstaWifi enables you to connect and share wifi networks instantly with the people who you care about. It was my first Android app that I released in the market, and I was pretty excited to see how it would turn out. It’s quite amazing if you think about it, that a random guy (like me) behind a computer screen today in 2012, can reach out to an audience of thousands of people on the Internet to announce a new product. It’s a random thought but a powerful one — a thought that reminds us of how closely connected we are to other people in this world.

My marketing strategy was simple for InstaWifi, generate viral growth on social networks, and reach out to several news sources online to get some big pageviews so that it will trickle down to smaller blogs, news sources, and social networks. The best strategy, however, is to just make a solid polished app and one that actually solves a problem for users. Without a good implementation, it doesn’t matter how big your budget or effective your marketing strategy is.

This article will be doing a deep dive on the numbers and stats of InstaWifi’s launch for those people out there who are curious on what it’s like to launch an Android app and how successful InstaWifi was.

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About

Jesse is a software engineer at Facebook, who just graduated from UC Berkeley. Passionate about mobile technology and entrepreneurship, he started his own blog as a home for his tutorials, projects, and random thoughts. Follow him on Facebook to stay updated on his latest tutorials and projects.


Protip: Bash Autocomplete for Android ADB

February 17, 2012 3:00 pm by
bash autocomplete for adb

Introduction

This is a super quick tip that will only take 1 minute to make your android development so much easier.  Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a command-line tool that lets you interface with an emulator or an android device.  Its great and previously I wrote about how you can debug your Android app wirelessly on your device.  What sucks though is that you can’t tab autocomplete commands (e.g. type ‘adb d’ then tab and bash will autocomplete and fill out ‘adb devices’), which means having to look up adb commands to figure out what you want and/or wasting time by typing the whole command (every ms counts!).

This protip will get you setup with bash autocomplete for ADB in less than 1 minute.  Ready?  Here we go.

Instructions

  • Download the adb bash completion file here from Roman’s repo.  Another good one is here on github by mbrubeck.
  • Store the file somewhere safe.  Anywhere you want. I chose /bin.
  • Use your favorite editor of choice (which should be vim) to edit your ~/.bashrc file.
  • Add the following lines (substitute your own path to the adb bash completion file) to the end of your ~/.bashrc file:
if [ -e /bin/adb.txt ] ; then
     source /bin/adb.txt
fi
  • Save and quit.  In your terminal, type source ~/.bashrc to reload your bash.
  • Check if it works.  Type ‘adb d’ and press tab to see if it autocompletes to ‘adb devices’.

And that’s it!  I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time.  Hope it helps you as much as it did for me. :)

Filed under: Android — Tags: , , , , — Jesse Chen @ 3:00 PM

About

Jesse is a software engineer at Facebook, who just graduated from UC Berkeley. Passionate about mobile technology and entrepreneurship, he started his own blog as a home for his tutorials, projects, and random thoughts. Follow him on Facebook to stay updated on his latest tutorials and projects.


Google I/O Bound!

April 6, 2011 11:11 pm by
google-io-2010-moscone-center-san-francisco-210x140

Background

Last year, I had the privilege of attending Google I/O and it was nothing short of amazing.  When registration opened up for Google I/O 2011, it was sold out in 59 minutes.  I tried registering about 30 minutes upon opening, but I was unable to get a ticket.

Luckily, Google launched a contest called Last Call for Google I/O, which they describe as

“A contest that spans 10 days, 10 developer challenges and 100 chances to win tickets to attend the now-sold-out Google I/O 2011.”

I knew that this was my chance to win a ticket.  For each category, there was two rounds that developers must go through.  Round 1 is just a fast quiz that everyone enters, only the quickest and most accurate 200 submissions will move on to Round 2.  Round 2 is a 24-hour coding challenge, out of the 200 individuals that make it, only 10 will be selected for a free pass to Google I/O.

AccessibleYoutube

I made it to Round II in the Accessibility category, and for Round 2, the goal was to design an Android app that searches only for YouTube videos that have captions.  It must then be able to playback the video and be able to quickly share the URL with others.  It also must be accessible-friendly (obviously).

After 24 hours of disregarding homework, classes, and sleep to finish this app, I submitted it with little hope of winning.  I did not fully satisfy all the specifications, and my app was not optimized at all (Mark and I agree that it is quite the POS).

However, on April 4th, I received the great news that I was one of the 10 winners!  They even featured my name on the contest website along with the other winners.  Also, Google Code wrote a blog post that goes into more details about the winners of each category.

Conclusion

I will be attending Google I/O again this year, and I already can’t wait for it to begin.  I learned my lesson this year…next year I will make sure to be ready by the second.

In case anyone is interested, the source code for my AccessibleYoutube android app is here.

Screenshots of AccessibleYoutube

Filed under: Android,General — Tags: , , , , , , — Jesse Chen @ 11:11 PM

About

Jesse is a software engineer at Facebook, who just graduated from UC Berkeley. Passionate about mobile technology and entrepreneurship, he started his own blog as a home for his tutorials, projects, and random thoughts. Follow him on Facebook to stay updated on his latest tutorials and projects.