Business Startup Week 3: Android

After launching Amberleaf live last week, this week has been eventful as I continued work on the first Android app to be released through Plymouth Software.

The Android platform uses Java, and after indulging in the purity of Ruby for the past couple of years, switching back to Java was a fairly painful process. Nevertheless, after countless brews, I eventually figured out how to get the framework doing what I needed, and began putting together the first parts of my app.

In an upcoming post, I'll describe how I achieved double-tap detection on a MapView with multiple overlay markers - something I struggled to find much information about online.

Cup of tea and biscuit

Surviving Java

Amberleaf Developments

In the meantime, Amberleaf has been enjoying its first full release week. A number of subscribers have joined from the beta, and there are people trying out the app for the first time thanks to the 30 day free trial.

Visitors to the Amberleaf site have risen quite sharply since launch, increasing by over 300% according to Google Analytics. One problem that this has highlighted is people landing on the registration page (the 2nd most popular entry after the homepage) and leaving after 30 seconds or so.

A friend checking out the site noticed that nowhere on the registration page is the subscription plan (and, importantly, price) mentioned - certainly a barrier to entering registration information! Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see what should be obvious! I'll be revising the registration page accordingly in the coming week.

Explay 2010

On Friday, I headed to Extended Play 2010, Plymouth's first games event organised by Designed in Devon. Interesting speakers and a panel interview, a great recently redeveloped venue, and seeing a few familiar faces made for a great event. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn of several new resources for startup businesses in the area, including Formation Zone, office spaces designated at the University.

Lecturn at Explay 2010

Waiting for Explay 2010 to start

More inspiring, though, was seeing how much energy there was to see Plymouth recognised as a hub for digital creative excellence. After several years away from that community, I was excited and inspired by what's happening within local businesses and the University to build a vibrant creative community in the city and its surrounding area.

Overall, what started as a frustrating week reminding myself about Java ended very well. Next week will be exciting as I get my business card designs off to Solopress, and I'll be working with a couple of customers on their own new projects.