Talking about FitMi
Time to briefly talk about our final project, Fitmi.
What is Fitmi? First, it’s a health app. We want to develop an app to keep you exercising and staying fit.
Secondly, it’s a game. You will be given an electronic pet, Mi. It’s a cute bear that can interact with you in different ways.
By combine the growth of your Mi with your daily exercise data (steps, distances you walk and flights you climb), we think this may be an interesting app to encourage you to exercise everyday. If you exercise more, you will have a stronger Mi, and you can battle against your friends to get rewards and unlock new skills and actions.
We developed it as a native iOS app as Health Kit on iOS is much easy to play with, and also we are all more familiar with iOS after surviving CS3217. By doing this, we have less trouble than web application, such as browser compatibility and user agent. But of course, we also face native-only challenges, such as Apple’s long review cycle, as well as more user experience concerns as an mobile app.
As for the team structure, we have our very own senior iOS developer, Jinghan, who have developed the overall structure of the application. You Jing, our own designer, draw a lot of awesome sprites and graphics to be used in the app. It is her who makes our Mi ‘alive’. Bohan is in charge of our backend. He doesn’t know iOS developing before, but he learnt quickly enough to implement the whole Facebook login feature in the iOS side alone. As for me, as a PM, I am in charge of managing the project progress to ensure we can deliver on time. As an developer, I also manage the client-server communication to ensure all the API calls returned as expected.
The first version seems made a record: passing the review in just 14 hours after submission to App Store. And within 5 days after first release we already have around 1000 downloads around the world. This is mainly because we set the price to be $0.99, but then make it free for a few days. This is a kind of strategy to play against the App Store ranking algorithm. And our app even got recommended by one Japanese app recommendation website.
By this point, most of the major features are ready and undergoing the dog-fooding stage, such as exercise, battle, goal system, and Facebook integration. We now focus on improving the user experience and adding in the achievement system (to attract and retain our customers). Our next release is just around the corner (this Wednesday). Kudo to the whole team :)