Getting our app onto the Google Play Store was relatively painless. Their approval period feels like the blink of an eye compared to Apple’s. We’ve reached a turning point where moving between views, implementing UI elements, interacting with Firebase, etc. are all well under our fingers. While our app could certainly be more efficient, now the building can happen without constantly referring to Stack Overflow or Youtube tutorials.
- For all the ease of integrating and using Firebase, writing to the database is not as flexible as we had hoped. Using push() to create new child nodes, for example, includes an associated timestamp that forced us to change the architecture of our database.
- We also published our app with a ‘low maturity’ content rating, which is not ideal. Apparently requesting location permissions in the manifest file immediately disqualifies an app from an ‘everyone’ rating. While undesirable, it may be unavoidable.
- We have also received feedback that our logo should be changed.
Now that our functionality is unlikely to change, we need to begin focusing on improving the usability of our app. Both in terms of pure aesthetics and user flow. Material Design best practices and User Interviews are the logical next steps, and requires diving into a relatively untouched skill set.
We need to decide how to best curate our database now that anyone can post a listing. Should a listing be incorrect, should other users be able to report it? Should listings be approved before they are added to the map, or only be taken down upon receiving enough complaints. This is the last big question that we will waste a lot of time building if we don’t settle on a system beforehand.
While the fundamental features of our app are complete, we have a few ideas such as a ratings system, a way for landlords and student to talk to each other through the app (with a way of verifying students are in facts students via a verification sent to a Tufts email), or reconnecting with Jump Off Campus about integrating more of their system into ours that were thrown around as ways to expand the app during development.
Building off of that, we would love to incentivize students to add content, as global advice and specific landlord/property reviews. Hopefully the feedback we receive from leg 6 will guide what we use the last month to build/re-build.