Archive for January, 2013

KeepScore version 1.2.2: you asked for it, you got it

My favorite part about working on a software project with real-world users is the feedback I get. It’s often said by industry veterans that you don’t know what kind of app you’re building until your users actually get their hands on it, and the wisdom of this statement has proven itself to me over and over.

With KeepScore, the app itself is pretty simple – it just keeps score. And each time I write an update, I tell myself, “Welp, that’s about all it’ll ever need.” Then I get an email from an interested user with a cool new use case, and I just can’t help but code it up.

So the app keeps growing and growing, but at each step I have to be extra-careful to keep the UI itself streamlined, simple, and dead-easy to use. With KeepScore version 1.2.2 (released today), I think I’ve managed to strike a good balance between functionality and usability.

Here are the new features:

Share

As many of you requested, you can now share your KeepScore games with a friend. You can send a single game, specific games, or all your games.

Just choose the games you want, hit the “Share” button up top, and KeepScore will create a special XML file that a friend can open with KeepScore on their own device.

The "Share" feature.

The “Share” feature.

This feature also allows you to back up your saved games to Dropbox, Google Drive, or your favorite cloud storage service.

Automatic backups

Speaking of backups, there’s no more do-it-yourself! KeepScore automatically saves a backup whenever you start a new game. Look for them in the “Restore” popup.

All your games are automatically backed up.

All your games are automatically backed up.

These files are gzipped, so they take up a minimal amount of space on your external storage.

Export spreadsheet

As board gamers, we’re geeks. And as geeks, we love analyzing our board game habits in a number of different ways. Who wins the most games? Who’s scored the most points? What games do we play the most often?

The "Export Spreadsheet" feature.

The “Export Spreadsheet” feature.

Rather than create a separate screen to answer each of these questions, KeepScore now offers an “Export Spreadsheet” feature. The spreadsheet may be imported into Excel, LibreOffice, Google Docs, or any document editor that accepts CSV files.

Data nerds rejoice.

Data nerds rejoice.

Once you’ve opened up the spreadsheet, you can slice and dice the data to your geeky heart’s content.

More Holo goodness

KeepScore 1.2.2 expands support for the Android “Holo” theme, which means it will look more beautiful and more consistent across different Android devices.

Holo everywhere.

Holo everywhere.

Additionally, I’ve revamped the default “Light” theme to be more clean and minimalist. It’s inspired by the “card” interface from Google Now, which I adore.

The new, Holo-style look.

The new, Holo-style look.

And if you’re scared by change, the old look is still available in the settings under Color Scheme -> Classic Light.

The classic look.

The classic look.

Whose turn is it?

A perennial complaint from users is that it’s hard to know if you’ve forgotten to add a player’s score. For round-based games (like Hearts) or games where the scoring order is important (like cribbage) this can be a real nuisance.

KeepScore 1.2.2 solves this problem using a clever suggestion from my buddy Alex Lougheed: add a little bullet icon to show which player was updated last. This means you can go player-by-player, totaling up the individual scores, without ever losing your place.

The blue bullet indicates who was scored last.

The blue bullet indicates who was scored last.

And if you’re playing a game where the player order doesn’t matter, you can disable the bullet in the settings.

Zoom in on the chart

On many devices, the history chart doesn’t show up very well, because it either gets cut off or it’s too small to see. Rather than fiddle with the presets for every possible screen size, I’ve added some handy zoom in/zoom out buttons.

Zoom in, out, and all around.

Zoom in, out, and all around.

Of course, pinch-to-zoom would be even nicer, but this works in a pinch (no pun intended!).

Internationalization

As always, KeepScore is localized into French and Japanese by yours truly. The German translation is out of date, though, and no other languages are currently supported.

Parlez-vous nippon?

Parlez-vous nippon?

According to the Play Store statistics, the top languages of KeepScore users are:

  1. English (United States)
  2. English (United Kingdom)
  3. French (France)
  4. English (Canada)
  5. German (Germany)
  6. English (Australia)
  7. Japanese (Japan)
  8. Dutch (Netherlands)
  9. Italian (Italy)

So if you speak German, Dutch, or Italian, and if you have some free time, please offer a translation!

Donate

This isn’t really a new feature, but I’ve added a Donate version of KeepScore to the Google Play store for $2.99.

Since I started work on this app, many people have asked where they could throw some change in my jar. But I resisted adding a Donate button, because after all, it’s just a counting app.

Recently, though, I noticed that the number of code commits to the KeepScore repository has actually surpassed any other Android app I’ve written (even CatLog and Pok├ędroid!). So I’ve had to admit to myself that this little counting app has morphed into quite the serious project.

So if you’d like to support KeepScore, you can download the Donate version from the Google Play Store, or just donate via PayPal.

Rest assured, though, that I will continue working on KeepScore regardless of your donations. For me, it’s just a fun app to write, and plus there’s still a lot of work to do. Next up: colors per player and battery-saving enhancements.