Status of the A Beautiful Mess App

A Beautiful Mess AppHi there. It’s me, Trey. You may or may not know this. But in addition to managing the sponsorship program here at ABM, I handle all communication with our app agency. So our process works like this: Elsie + Emma dream the ideas and designs for the app, I aggregate it and pass it on to the app agency to develop. Then the agency and I go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, until it’s working like we’d all imagined. So we figured I’d be the best one to update you on the status of the A Beautiful Mess photo app.

First, the exciting part: We’re totally revamping the app with some new (huge) features, improved functionality, new art objects—the works. And yes, this version will definitely be available on Android.  

And the less exciting part: timing. Yes, we originally said early to mid-October. When our agency built out the initial timeline, we were shooting to have both the iOS update and the Android version uploaded to the App Store and Google Play by October 12 at the latest. As you might've noticed, that didn't happen. Without bogging you down with too much technical jargon, there have been a handful of unexpected hold-ups in the development—certain pieces not coming together as smoothly as initially anticipated.

To give you a quick look into app development, there are two big challenges any developer has to overcome.

First, active memory. This is how much your phone can do and retain at once. While smartphones are powerful little devices, they’re still not quite as fast as computers. But we still need them to be, right? I can’t tell you how first-world bratty I get when my YouTube video (that I absolutely don’t need to see) takes too “long” to load. Anyway, a photo app working with high resolution photos can be pretty taxing on your phone, when it’s also trying to keep that functionality smooth and seamless. Your phone can only do so much at once. So developers have to get creative on the backend.

The second big challenge is retaining consistency across devices. On iOS, this is actually a little easier, since there are only 2 screen sizes, and most are on the same operating system. But each device still has its nuances. We have had several test builds that worked great on the 4 and 5, but crashed like crazy on 4s and 5s. And with Android, you can multiply that challenge by 50. There are a lot of screen sizes and devices made by completely different companies, so ensuring it works across the board is not as straightforward as I’d originally hoped. As an Android user, I’m sure it must be frustrating to know you’re using the most popular operating system, but so many apps aren’t available. The simple answer is that it’s just easier to develop for iOS for this very reason.

To give you a frame of reference of the work and time put into this, we’re on test build number 81. Yep, 81. So if you’re ever in a Springfield coffee shop and see me spread out playing with, like, 5 different phones, please know I understand and am sorry for how ridiculous I look. And we can all roll our eyes together.

But the best news is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Test build number 81 is feeling really solid. We’re far enough along that we’re going to be able to send out a version to our test group within the day. That means, we’re just checking for final bugs, and then we’re good to go! Presuming no major hiccups, we’re just a couple weeks or less away from a release (we hope).

We’re so sorry for the delays. We want this to come out just as badly as you all do. We just want it to be great. Emma + Elsie will be posting about all the new features soon, so stay tuned.

--Trey

p.s. Windows users, we didn’t forget about you. More to come on that in a few months.

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