Category Archives: Dev Blog

Maestro Flash Cards for Windows 8.1 – Release 1.3 is live now

logo.scale-100

Here’s the first roll out in a series of updates for this month of May.

We wanted to focus on the quality of your experience first, so appreciating the feedback from user Michael Rivers we have fixed the following issues:

  1. The stems were the wrong length (they should be an octave tall).
  2. Some of the stems were facing the wrong direction.

Before and After:

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We apologize that we could not communicate with you Michael via the app store, Microsoft hasn’t enabled the ability for publishers to respond to reviews in the App Store for Windows Store apps yet.

Other changes:

  1. We have permanently lowered the price of the app to US $0.99. In the past the lowest price available was $1.49, but we feel like at this lower price point, more people will enjoy our app 🙂
  2. We refreshed the app logo.

Upcoming changes and Windows Phone update

  1. Windows Phone app will reflect these corrections to our musical notes. ETA: End of this week.
  2. Windows Phone app Spanish translation. ETA: this month.
  3. Quiz Mode for Windows & Windows Phone: we are 80% code complete on this feature, so we are hoping to be done this month.

Download app from Windows Store

Much needed updates for Maestro Flash Cards

A new set of features are coming soon, based on feedback and reviews written in the app stores, plus a couple of bug fixes and required changes to be Windows 8.1 – compliant, and Windows 10 and Windows Phone 10 compatible.

Here’s a summary of what we are working on:

New Features

  • Quiz Mode
  • Ability to hide known Flash Cards
  • Unification of Windows Store App and Windows Phone App

Windows Store App – specific features

  • Keyboard support for users without touch screen (in some app modes)
  • Storing preferences and learning progress in device

Windows Phone App – specific features

  • Spanish translation

Expected Release Timeline

  • Windows Store App – March 2015
  • Windows Phone App – April 2015

 

What about iOS and Android?

People keep asking about these other platforms, and development for iOS and Android is expected to resume planning after the Windows and Windows Phone updates go live, so expect some news in Q2 2015, and potential releases in Q3 and Q4 this year, plus some other big news for the Maestro platform.

 

 

logo_01_fullcolor_wbFirst there was Flex

Once upon a time I discovered Adobe Flex, and toyed with the idea of building mobile apps with a single code base and have the ability to publish it to iOS and Android. It was all going great until I tried hooking up web services and databases which was inefficient and very challenging.

I wasn’t giving up but then Adobe Flex became Apache Flex and all of a sudden all the Flex developers I knew were abandoning ship in favor of HTML 5 and/or native mobile development.

So back to square one.

The PhoneGaps of the World

As an Adobe Cloud subscriber, PhoneGap was the immediate next option that popped up but this option uses JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and that again was not what I was looking for.

And following suit, along came several other similar offerings which jumped on the HTML/JavaScript bandwagon, but again, I was looking for an alternative to this.

Landed on Xamarin and Mono

The journey has brought Xamarin to my attention, and at the moment I am discovering its capabilities during the 30-day trial.

Xamarin uses Mono, the open source implementation of the .NET framework and allows you to write code in C# and uses wrappers for Android and iOS so you can use C# to invoke the other frameworks in a very convenient way.

You also have the option of using a standalone IDE, or using a Visual Studio plug-in.

The premise and the promise are pretty ambitious, plus it’s not a cheap option, especially if your business is not making money.

I would love to hear about your journey, and also about your experience with Xamarin. Please drop us a note on Twitter @inerdtia or directly to me @alejandrormz, and feel free to comment here.

 

* The Apache Flex logo is property of the flex.apache.org.