Author Archives: Karla Benitez

The wait is over

When we started the MemoryCap project in late-January, the task seemed daunting. A group of journalism students teaming up with a computer science student to design, market and create an app. Despite the initial thoughts, the project turned out to be a success despite the hardships and now, we get to present our app to you.

Team for left to right: Bao, Albert, Karla and Yi

Team for left to right: Bao, Albert, Karla and Yi

On Saturday, we and other teams in our class will present our app at Demo Day. And guess what, you are invited. Demo Day will take place on the second floor of the Belo Center for New Media. Starting at 12:30 P.M., each group will have 15 minutes to present and showcase their app. MemoryCap will be second to present, so make sure to get there early.

Here is a list of things to expect from MemoryCap at Demo Day:

  • Meet the team: all members of the group will be present to answer questions and comments. We will be outside the conference room before and after the presentation to meet everyone.
  • A time capsule of everyone – after the presentation, we will officially set the first time -capsule of everyone in attendance so make sure to come picture ready.
  • Download our app – we are working hard to get our app in the app store. Even if we are unable to do so by Saturday, you will still be able use our app in TestFlight.
  • Lots of fun – we can assure you that this will be a fun event. A lot of hard work has been put in from all the teams and we are all excited to showcase our progress.

What’s Next?

After Demo Day, we will continue to work on getting our app in the app store, if we haven’t done so already. Making changes to the app based on you feedback will be the most crucial step in the days after. Our app can only be great if you enjoy it, and therefor, your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Our latest video will showcase our app in its entirety. With our app fully coded and finished, we wanted to make a video that showcased how to use it. Karla Benitez was directing once again and shot footage of our app around campus. Make sure to follow us on social media to see the debut of this video.

Notes from the coder:

Latest version of our app: Home Screen

Latest version of our app: Home Screen

Our team was the only one to have one coder and huge round of applause goes to Bao Trinh. He has turned all our mockups into a reality and is the only reason we have an app up and running. In the past week, he has added a camera to the app. Before, you had to choose photos from your gallery but now, you can take new photos in app. The backpack page has been created and it shows all your previous capsules’ content. Lastly, report and delete capsule buttons were added to ensure security. If you haven’t done so already, you can sign up to test our app here: https://goo.gl/forms/raw1fgo1ZuBo3iyx2

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Demo Day. See you there!

Memory Cap Update

Hello MemoryCapers,

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We hope everyone is doing well and enjoying these last weeks of the semester. Here at Memory Cap we have been working pretty hard trying to get our app ready for the public. We have stumbled upon some roadblocks that have set us back; however, we are pushing through and are hoping for a simple and working app. Preparing for demo day, we have a few things we need to accomplish:

On the coding side we are yet to achieve a completed app, but as soon as we check a few things off Memory Cap should be ready to go.

  • Fix backpack page

  • Change photopicker

  • Add favorites feature

  • Allowing for some interactivity between users is important so adding a feature where a user can like other people’s time capsule is something we are aiming to accomplish. Originally we wanted to create an interface, where users can comment and react to other people’s capsules; however at this point we are going to add a like feature.

  • Have on TestFlight by April 16 at the latest

  • Add logout button

Communication Efforts

  • Video 4

  • Ideas: We are hoping to shoot our last promo and show the app working on a phone. Ideally for this video we want to record a montage of different people creating capsules and setting them to a location. If we are not able to get this idea going, then we still want to get as close as possible in showing the app and depicting the central theme of app: making time capsules.

  • Send out invites for testing

  • Getting feedback from potential users on how they like the functionality of our app is very important, because it will determine any adjustments we have to make to the app.

  • Demo Day presentation

  • 3 Blog posts (one each by journalism students for rest of semester)

Overall we have come a long way since the beginning of the semester and we are proud of what we have created thus far. We have definitely overcome serious obstacles and learned a lot during this process. Bao, our head coder has developed Memory Cap on his own, without previous experience coding an IOS app. That is very impressive and we send him a round of applause.

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The journalism students took on a bit of designing in Xcode, which was very interesting and definitely gave us insight as how much work goes behind building an app. The three of us took on a different screens that needed to be added to the app. We did the login page, icon bar, and create a capsule page. We hope that our efforts helped Bao out in the coding process.

As we near demo day–April 29–we are really doing everything possible to reach a point where wen can present a nice looking app that works. All of us at Memory Cap really like our app and are excited to show everyone what we spent the semester creating. We hope to see you at our demo day so that you can witness all the work we have done.

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Where has all the time gone?

It’s official, we have submitted our app to the app store and we are awaiting approval from Apple. We have come a long way since day one, but we still need your help to ensure we make the best app possible. The following is list for you to help better our app.

  1. Test our app using TestFlight – even though our app isn’t yet available, we have a demo that you can test. The sign up is simple. Fill out this google form with your name and email and we will send you an invite to our app.
  2. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates – Want to know when our app is going to be available in app store? Twitter is the go-to place. Not only is that where you can find the latest news surrounding our app, but you can also reach out to us for any questions you have.
  3. Leave us feedback – Our app can only be great if you like and enjoy it. For that, we need your feedback. Let us know what works and what doesn’t. Even if that means letting us know what’s missing, we want to hear what you have to say. When you sign up to test our app on TestFlight, a follow-up email for feedback will be sent to you.

Introducing our newest video:

For our third video, we wanted to take the next step towards revealing our app. If you remember, in video one we introduced the idea of our app. In our second video, we showcased the possibilities of our app and the memories you could save. In our latest video, it is all about the memories. We all have that special memory we wish we could have encapsulated. Share yours on our Twitter in short video to be showcased at an upcoming event.

Demo Day 2017

On April 29, we will be introducing our app alongside fellow classmates who have been working hard on their own apps. Other apps include: Repped (a unique way to share music and listen to music with friends), Voyce (a social discussion app), Snowball (a collaborative storytelling game) and Dresser (an app that allows you to vote on your friends’ outfits)

Be there to meet the team, learn about our app and see a live demo. A scavenger hunt using our app is in the works and there will be a prize for the winner.

Directors Cut: Karla Benitez takes you behind the scenes of her editing of video 3

“This week we filmed and edited our third promo video. We are serious about following through the share your favorite memory campaign, which is why we deiced to film people sharing their favorite memory with us. Overall, we wanted to create a quick and simple video that could possibly encourage viewers and potential users to engage with us. MemoryCap has come a long way and as we reach demo day, we hope to continue creating content that will inspire the public to take an interest in our app. We really hope you enjoy our promo and watch this space for our last promo.”

From all of us at Alternative Apps we hope to see you at our demo day.

 

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves

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Hello from Alternative Apps,

These past few weeks have been a little crazy and intense, but the finish line is right around the corner. If you haven’t heard of our app yet, allow us to reintroduce ourselves. Memory Cap is a twist on storing your favorite memories to special locations. MemoryCap is the only app that allows you to encapsulate photos to geolocations. The possibilities are endless. Not only are you able to save these favorite memories, but you can also see other memories for users as your roam around town.

Development continued smoothly. We implemented the features we needed for our MVP, namely the interfaces for creating and viewing capsules along with the profile page that displays capsules you’ve created.

New Design: 

Our unified design concepts being finalized, we’re ready to realize these designs and release the initial version of our app this week.

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Share your favorite memory on Twitter using #MemoryCap:

The past few weeks members of our team have shared their favorite memories that they wish could have been encapsulated.  We want to hear your memories! Using the #MemoryCap on Twitter share your favorite memories with us and they could be featured in a future blog post.

Sign up now

 If you want to test our app before it is released, fill out this Google Doc and we will invite you to our TestFlight where you will have access to our app.

Last week, Albert and Karla shared their favorite memories. This week two new group members share their favorite memories.

Bao Trinh:

My dog wandered off one night while we were in a different neighborhood. Our flyers and searches at the shelters turned up nothing. Five months later we moved houses and accepted that he was lost. One day a stranger my mother was talking to recognized her description as the stray she had adopted. When we arrived at their door he burst out their gates and leapt on me. No one could believe the reunion.

Yi Li:

It was my last year in high school. It was an early spring night. After some exams, my friend and I were walking on the playground and talking about our dream school. We were exhausted. All of a sudden, a light breeze wafted a delightful scent of flowers to us, that’s the most delightful scent I have ever smelled.

What’s Next? 

As we mentioned earlier, our app will be submitted to Apple in the coming days with hopes of being released by mid-April. Follow us Twitter for the latest update. In the coming days, our team will be working on adding those who are interested in trying our app on TestFlight. We also plan on having our latest meet and great in front of the Union. This time around we will have a working demo of our app and you guessed it, free candy. Our hopes are to get your feedback so we can make necessary changes in version 1.2. You will also have the opportunity to share your favorite memories with us which can be showcased in a future blog post.

What’s your favorite memory?

Hello from MemoryCap,

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As the submission date for our app approaches, we are hard at work trying to make the best app we possibly can. On the coding side of things, our team member has gotten the basic functionality of creating a setting a time capsule to your desired location and has begun implementing UI design to allow our users to have the best experience with MemoryCap. The UI designs have been through another round of editing and have been improved and simplified from their original versions. There is still time for you to take our survey and provide input on the functionality.

Since our app’s main purpose is to save memories to time capsules, this week we are sharing with you our favorite memories. We hope you share with us your favorite memory @memorycap.

Our Favorite Memories:

Karla Benitez:

When I was in seventh grade, my family and I traveled to Colorado to celebrate New Year. I remember driving from the airport to hotel and seeing snow falling from the sky. This was the first time I had ever seen snow. My younger brothers were asleep next to me and I could not keep my eyes off window hoping to see as much snow as possible. The next day was amazing! Seeing the snow in the sunlight was breathtaking. Since I am from McAllen, Texas the closest thing I had seen to snow was ice cream. The next few days turned out to be the best ever and to this day Breckenridge, Colorado is one of my favorite places on Earth. After taking in the snow, I proceeded to build the biggest snowman my body would allow and named him Fred.

Albert Valdez:

My eyes were glued to the television. Disbelief sunk in as my father cheered ecstatically besides me. The eruption of cheers from the stadium erupted through the televisions speakers. Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns had just erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth-quarter to win the national championship. A 12-year-old at the time, I remember celebrating with my father afterwards and thinking how surreal the moment felt because a win didn’t seem likely late in that game. That day, Jan. 4, 2006, is the day that I set out the goal of graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. The cheers and joy I shared with my father that day are ones that I wish I could have encapsulated.

Check back next week as other members of MemoryCap share their favorite memories. Share your favorite memories on Twitter with us using the #MemoryCap. Your memory could be showcased in an upcoming blog post.

Meetup 2.0

How does some free cookies and candy sound? This week will be tabling outside of the FAC with demos of our app available. Be the first to see our app and test it before it is released in the Apple app store. Your feedback will be appreciated. Day and time is to be determined but you can follow us on Twitter, @memorycap, to get the latest updates on the meetup.

Launch is upon us

Hello Memory Capers,

From all of us at Alternative Apps we would like to wish you a fun and safe spring break. Take time to enjoy a sun filled week and catch up on some much needed zzzz. Before you check out here are a few updates on our side of things. We are well into the development of Memory Cap with a submission to the app store scheduled for April 3, so prepare yourself for the exciting launch.

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For those of you who are coding enthusiasts here is where we stand…

Coding

We are deep into coding and are nearly ready to submit to the app store. With that being said we will be releasing a TestFlight version in the coming weeks and we need volunteers. If you or anyone else would like to access to MemoryCap and all of its features before anyone else. Contact us by email: memorycap@outlook.com. You can also reach out to us on social media and we provide more info on how to get set up with TestFlight. Stay tuned!

#Stopthedigging

The time has come…

The need for shovels to dig up your time capsules is over. We here your frustration and you are tired of blowing out your back and forgetting where to dig. We at MemoryCap have three easy steps to cure this condition.

Step 1. Relax Step 2. Keep Calm Step 3. #StopTheDigging

Launching in Spring 2017, MemoryCap will forever put an end to digging up capsules. Share your memories of of times when you wished you could store a memory in a digital capsule at a special location to you using #StopTheDigging. Find us on Twitter: @MemoryCap

Facebook Update:

We are in the process of growing both of our social pages, but we need your help with Facebook. Our page isn’t off to the start that we would like and with your help, we can change that. Share your favorite moment on our page for the opportunity to win early access to our app and other prizes.

Video #2

 

This week we shot our second video for Memory Cap. When thinking of what to shoot, we knew we wanted to incorporate more of the app and memories given that the name of our app is Memory Cap. We thought long and hard about what we can create to engage the viewer and spread the word about Memory Cap. Eventually we came up with the idea of creating a montage of memories and how the user can use Memory cap in order capture these moments in a time capsule. We shot several moments around campus, including the group laughing, a guy playing with his puppy, making a wish, running, and a proposal. When we began editing the video, we soon realized that something was missing so we incorporated some of our own footage in order to demonstrate that Memory Cap can be used to store a wide range of special moments. Once these videos were incorporated into the video, it came alive, and alongside the music and title cards with information about the app, the promo turned out fun. We really want our users to have fun using Memory Cap, so that is something we are working to connote.

 We hope you enjoy this promo and continue to follow us in our quest of creating Memory Cap.

New week brings new progress for MemoryCap

Hello MemoryCapers,

From everyone at Alternative Apps we hope you are having a wonderful week. Here at Alternative Apps we have been hard at work creating the best app we can so that you can have a great time using it when it is ready. I know you all have very busy and fulfilling lives but if you could take a second and take our very short survey and follow us on Twitter @memorycap. Taking the survey helps us a great deal, because then we know how YOU would like the app to look like and function.

Design Progress

Below are our latest design mockups. Changes include incorporating the color scheme we decided on this week, as well as our new logo. The color scheme consists of three shades of grey and one red color. The red color will solely be used for markers and certain buttons.The login page was newly created and we have included a blurred map in the background. The blurred map background that will appear in our app will be your geolocation.  These designs are not final and are subject to feedback that we get this week. These designs will be showcased this week at our next meet and greet for feedback from you.

Advertising Progress

Part of our plan to introduce potential users to our app was to set up a table by the FAC in order to gain more followers and have people take our survey. To entice people to stop at our table we laid out some candy on the table and creates a contest in which people share their favorite memory and the winner gets a batch of homemade cookies. Getting input from potential users so we were hoping to get more people to take our survey and give us their opinion on the functionality of the app.

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Though we were excited to share to the public our app idea, we were not successful in getting many people to stop. We stayed for two hours, however we only succeed in stopping a handful of people. We have not given up hope and will try again next week with a much better plan on how to reach more potential users.

Goals for Next Week

For the following week, we hope to film our second video promoting MemoryCap as we have developed plentiful ideas on how it should be filmed without the risk of using the app on our phones. We also plan to set up tabling for the following week in order to get more people to check out our app and take our survey compared to this week. Communication within the coding portion hasn’t been consistent, though we have implemented and improved our code. We plan to meet up for improving the MVP to when we can use the app efficiently. Finally, we hope to improve our designs for the UI pages.

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Tweet your favorite memory and include our handle (@memorycap) and we will pick the coolest one. Winner gets a batch of homemade treats and early access to our app when it becomes available.

 

 

MemoryCap commercial launches in 3…2…1

For our video we wanted to create something fun and creative that would introduce our audience to MemoryCap. Several ideas were in the works, but ultimately we decided to incorporate digging up a time capsule and how difficult that could be, in order to attract users to our mobile time capsule app.

The premise of the video is two friends attempting to find a time capsule they buried in the sand of a volleyball court. They begin digging a hole, but soon realize that the capsule is not there, so the duo start digging another hole where they think there time capsule may be. After digging several holes they still cannot find their time capsule, when a passerby approaches them and asks what they are doing. The passerby shows the friends MemoryCap and how saving memories to a location is much easier via MemoryCap than by physically digging a time capsule. Through the editing process, we decided that stylistically, the video would resemble a 1920s silent film. Making this decision turned out very successful, because it kept the mood light and fun, which is what we wanted to connote with our promo video. We really want our users to have fun when they use our app so we are very excited to introduce MemoryCap in its first video.

The Time Capsule Quest from Karla Benitez on Vimeo.

Other week 4 updates: 

New social media campaign:

We hear your frustration, you’re tired of digging up time capsules. You get dirty and you don’t always remember where you buried them. As you know, MemoryCap aims to replace your traditional time capsule with digital versions. With that mission in mind, we are introducing our #StopTheDigging campaign. In the coming weeks you may start to notice stickers around campus with this hashtag. Don’t pass them up! Snap a photo and share them with us on Twitter, @memorycap to enter our early access contest. We will be picking random winners who will gain early access to our beta versions of MemoryCap. Use the hashtag to share your stories and comments of when you wished you could store a photo to a geolocation that was special to you but couldn’t.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, @MemoryCap for the latest news on our app and feel free to leave any comments or questions you have. We have a new Facebook page, click on the link to follow.

Coding progress

Among many small interface adjustments, we’ve integrated Facebook authentication into our sign-in system. Now you’ll no longer need to create an account with an email/password pair if you have a Facebook account. This was a small feature that proved to be more difficult than expected. Although ultimately, we successfully integrated Facebook’s system into our front and back end systems, paving the way for Facebook share capabilities in the future.

What’s next?

In the coming week, make sure to stay tuned to our social media accounts to learn more about our upcoming meet and greet.

With the logos we have designed previously, we had gained a few points of feedback from our peers that our app logo is too complex compared to typical Apple app logos. As we finalize our color pallet and logo, look for mockups that will be more in tune to what our final app will look like.

Behind the scenes photos of our commercial shooting

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Meet MemoryCap

Welcome to MemoryCap!

Graduation day has finally arrived and you decide to take one last selfie in front of the tower. What a moment, right? But what if it could last forever in the exact spot you took the photo, wouldn’t that be awesome? Well that is the idea behind our app, MemoryCap. Snap a photo and save it to the geolocation and share with anyone that passes by, or keep it private to friends and family. The possibilities are endless.

This social app will create a unique environment so that users can be creative and go back and relive important moments in their lives. Not only do we want MemoryCap to be user friendly and pleasing to look at, but also allow users to interact with one another by publishing their memories (pictures, videos, and or text). Pinning capsules to locations, will ideally make the content more entertaining to watch, since it would have taken place in the same spot the user is able to view the capsule. The app will consist of different tiers—standard to gold—at the highest level, the users has above a certain amount

of capsules that have been viewed many times. This structure will hopefully encourage users to create unique capsules and to use the app more frequently. Overall, our principle aim is to establish a working social app that focuses on people’s memories and the importance of sharing that with the rest of the world.

At its core, our app relies on these “time capsules” that are dropped off wherever you would like and allowed for anyone to walk by and view them. We believe that the exploration aspect that our idea brings is something to differentiate from all the competition.

Be sure to stay tuned as we take our app live in the coming months. In the coming weeks we hope to share updates on the app and promotional videos. Until then, we hope you take the time to meet the team.

Follow us on Twitter: @memorycap

Find us on Facebook here

Meet the Team:

albert

Albert Valdez is a Senior journalism major from Corpus Christi, Texas. Like the other group members, he hopes to create a unique social media experience.

hassanHassan Sheikh is a Senior Computer Science major from Austin, Texas, currently working at Intel as a software engineering intern for almost 3 years, working on projects using Python, Java, and C Shell. Eager to extend his skills in coding, he is willing to put in all of his effort into working with this team to help create MemoryCap.

 

bao

Bao Trinh is a Senior computer science major from Houston, Texas. With a focus on systems programming and network security, he’s now focused on expanding his software dev skills. In his off-time he enjoys biking, freeform dance, and talking about himself in the third person.

 

yi

Yi Li is a graduate journalism major from Hangzhou, China. With experience in campaign design, she hopes to make MemoryCap a popular social app.

karla

Karla Benitez is a Journalism and RTF senior. She is very excited to be taking this class and cannot wait to see what the end product will look like. Her strengths are graphic design and editing so with her skills she hopes to bring creativity to the team in order to reach their goals.