Category Archives: About Apps Development

Snowball finishes semester strong, sad about saying goodbye


It’s been a long 14 weeks since we started, but we MADE AN APP.

When we first met each other in January, we never imagined we’d be so invested in our product. But through the process of creating our baby, we realized that we had made something we are incredibly proud of. We left Demo Day with three awards — Most Original Idea, Best Presentation and Best Overall App — which is mind-blowing. Congratulations to everyone in this class for doing the damn thing and getting to Demo Day!!

We each thought about the semester, and have come away with a few realizations and messages for each other:

That GIF is me and Eitan dancing to show our excitement, and it’s all too accurate after 14 weeks of bonding and working on this with these great teammates. This class was equal parts challenging and rewarding. There were days when we all grew weary, but in the end this ended up being a project we are all proud of. I’m truly bummed that it is over and we all have to part ways. I had so much fun designing the app and making sure every little aesthetic detail was right (and spelling and grammar — you can take the copy desk chief out of The Daily Texan, but you can’t take the copy editing out of the copy desk chief). When Jackie and I teamed up with Eitan, Jonathan and Mantu at the beginning of the semester, I just knew we would be successful. I am so proud of us, Snowball team! Thank you, Jeff and Quigley, for a great class. Your encouragement pushed us through!

Our team is the best team!! I loved that we all got on the same page quickly, and how we managed to win THREE AWARDS for this app that we hate/love after so many bugs and still not being in the App Store. Thank you guys for trusting in my dumb humor and agreeing to do a skit or write crazy stories on our app. Our design is beautiful thanks to Kailey, and the app itself wouldn’t exist had it not been for our three wonderful developers. Also, shout out to Mantu for being the funniest person on our team and killing it onstage and in our second promo video.

Thank you to Jeff and Quigs for supporting us throughout this process and being the best critics and cheerleaders. Without Quigs, I would have never taken this class. Without Jeff, I would have even less of an idea of how Swift works. Thank you to our friends and family for keeping us sane this semester, and supporting us at Demo Day. Thank you to the Demo Day judges for seeing our passion for this project and getting why we loved it so much.

So nothing I say will live up to Mantu’s speech but here goes. When I first saw this class on the course schedule I was intrigued but I really knew nothing about it. The idea of making an app with journalism students sounded so interesting, a real departure from anything in the CS department. I think until now I didn’t realize what the CS department was missing, but it’s classes like this. I learned more from this class than most others I’ve taken. Teaching myself Swift and iOS development was stressful at first but I feel like I got the hang of it very quickly. I had always wanted to make an app but I never found the motivation, and never had an idea that I cared enough about. This class taught me that apps are fun to make, but honestly extremely difficult. It has taught me to respect apps, and pay attention to the little things. Jeff and Quigley, you guys really do an amazing job and I look forward to seeing what future iterations of this class come up with!

This class really is like no other that I’ve taken. I took an iOS app development class last year, and it doesn’t compare to what I’ve learned or experienced in this class. Diving into creating an app really forces you to learn quickly and more efficiently than a standard lecture. Working in a team environment was the most important takeaway from this class. In my four years at UT, I’ve always hated group projects. It usually seemed that there was always a person who wasn’t committed. I couldn’t ask for better teammates to create Snowball though! Everyone was really passionate about the app, and I couldn’t ask for any more effort than they put in. It’s really great to see that teams really do work before I leave UT and have to work in one in the real world!

There is an end to everything. When I first came to class, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anything about iOS development and I thought this is just another iOS class where our professor would teach us how to code. It wasn’t like that. We had to learn and code ourselves. I thought I couldn’t do it. Fortunately, I have awesome teammates who were super helpful and positive. The last time I felt like I didn’t want the class to end and part ways with my classmates was in 12th grade when I was in Vietnam. For seven years I stayed in America, and for all the classes I took in UT, only this time I had that feeling again. With my (poor) observation, every team here was great. They all did great jobs, their hard work showed on Demo Day, but they all lacked something. From discussing their apps in class, or presenting on stage, they lacked something, something that I can only find it in my team. Our team may not be the best at some things, but I know for sure we have the best synergy, energy, and enthusiasm. I felt like we are a family. It’s sad that we all have our paths and we may not be able to see each other again but it’s life. Good luck to them in the future. Love my teammates, also, love Jeff and Quigley as well for the great class. Thank you!


We’ve submitted a refined, updated build to Apple so keep your fingers crossed — we’re shooting for an acceptance this week. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date and find out when you can (finally) download the app from the App Store!


The Snowball team

Repped: Demo Day Success!

We did it y’all, thanks to everyone to came out and shoutout to all the teams for their great presentations!

And congrats to Snowball for winning three awards!

Like the title says, Demo Day was a complete success and the music lovers behind Repped seemed to really wow the crowd with the live demo. The supplemental dance videos also added that extra spice we were hoping for. The feedback we received from attendees was amazing and inspiring, with so many people expressing interest in using the app once it is available.

Check out some of the tweets about Repped below:

Not to mention we took home Best Design! Awww yeahhhhh. I’m sure that caught all of us on the team by surprise, but after thinking out it, the nature of our idea lent itself to a rather unique design flow, which is where I think we were able to capitalize. Seems like all that work on the digital mockups (even that one time they all got deleted….) did not go in vein!

A lot of hard work was put into this, as I’m sure the rest of the teams will agree, but to see it all culminate at Demo Day was extremely worth it. This week alone, Repped team members were meeting up constantly to make sure every part of our presentation was ready, from the video/dancer demo to the live demo. With countless rehearsals and hours of refinement, we were able to go in with confidence yesterday.

However, yesterday was more than just about showing off our app. After sitting at our booth (shoutout to Kevin for providing the jams and the journalism girls for the sweet setup and decorations) and talking to potential users, as well as hearing questions during our presentation, we learned just how much potential Repped has looking forward. From expanding on the whole ‘Rep’ social aspect to creating a new platform for users to listen to their favorite artists in real-time, the ideas were just flowing in.

Overall, this experience has been roller-coaster ride with multiple highs and lows, but a rewarding experience nonetheless. Being able to have freedom creatively has resulted in so many awesome creations. In our case, being able to combine tech and journalism with music was exactly what we wanted. The technical challenges associated with our app in particular stunted progress at multiple points throughout the semester but our dev team rose to the challenge. Similarly, our journalism team went above and beyond with our videos, presentations, etc. Professor Quigley and Jeff’s constant advice and feedback also influenced and guided our project in multiple ways. Their answers to our questions often saved us hours of work. Thanks for that guys!

Well, time to sign off. It’s been real! Don’t worry though, the amount of excitement for our app has served as motivation to get the app on the App Store ASAP! Make sure you follow us, @ReppedApp on Twitter and on Instagram, to stay updated on what’s happening with Repped and more importantly to see when the app is publicly available. Until then, keep calm and keep jammin ^_^


Demo Day has come and gone!


Demo Day has come and gone! We hope that you were able to make it to demo day and that you enjoyed all of the different apps that you saw. Congratulations to Snowball for taking home the big W. The App Store clearly doesn’t know what they are missing by not approving their app already! We are really proud of all of the work our classmates out in to create some really stellar apps. Shout out to Bao from MemoryCap for being the only developer on the team and coding the ENTIRE app. That is one impressive guy right there! And the whole time he didn’t even complain. What a guy.

As you all know we did have several technical difficulties during the presentation. It was a very unfortunate situation especially since we had everything set up beforehand and it was all working properly! However, minus the technical difficulties we had during our presentation Demo Day was a success! For those of you that came we truly appreciate it. You all have been the reason for us to continue working so diligently on Voyce. We hope that you all enjoy the app and make good use of it!

We do have some long term stretch goals for Voyce so keep on the lookout for some future updates. Of course we are always working to fix bugs and eliminate software issues, but we are also wanting to implement a way of adding and communicating with friends.

As you all know right now Voyce is open to the public. Anyone can see the content posted by everyone else. We know that it would be really neat to also allow a private feature as well, so that is what we will be implementing next. We think it would be really cool to have friends or followers in the app that could see the content you posted. Having both a public and private option, like Twitter would be a really great feature to have.

Thank you all very much for sticking with us throughout the semester. It takes a true fan (or professor) to read through this blog post each week! You all rock. We hope to continue to use you all with TestFlight when we further develop the app so stay on the lookout!

As always you can check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information. Thank you all for everything. We will be staying in touch! Enjoy these pictures from demo day below!



The Last Post from MemoryCap

Hi MemoryCapers,

Thank you so much to everyone who came to support MemoryCap at Demo Day.

Please let us introduce our app for the last time this semester:

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.

The last week was very busy for us. We met up almost everyday to practice our presentation, we changed our slides several times, just to get prepared for MemoryCap’s big day!

At Demo Day, we arrived two hours early to set up our table. We had a post board for people to share “what would you include in you time capsule”, and another poster to share their memories.


Our presentation went pretty well! Even better than we Expected. Starting with sharing our favorite memories with crowds, we introduced our design concepts, communication efforts and coding progress.


That’s the MemoryCap Bao and Yi created on the stage during the presentation.


That’s the MemoryCap we created for you!


We were so excited to see that audience and judges liked our idea. Also, we were grateful that you guys gave us so many useful feedbacks after our presentation, we will definitely try to improve our app in the future! MemoryCap is like our baby, We are so proud that you guys loved it.

During&After Demo Day, we had over 100 notifications on Twitter!


“Judges are currently discussing the winner of the day! Personal favorite was @MemoryCap”

— Hanna Chung @hanxyxc

“Team with @MemoryCap app tapping into popular trend of memory. Nostalgia media”

— Jeremy Shermak @JeremyShermak

“@MemoryCap’s UI has my inner designer’s heart”

— Brooke E. Sjöberg‏ @Sj0b3rg

How did memorycap become MemoryCap?

This semester, we spent three months on building and promoting MemoryCap. From a simple idea to a real app, we are so proud of ourselves. Three month seems short, but we did a lot, learned a lot, and all of us have went through so much together to have our first app succeed.

The memorable moments of MemoryCap:

Late-January: Start the project!

February:  Had the idea to do a digital time capsule app

                    MemoryCap! That’s the name!

                    Had our logo

                    Started coding and design

                    First commercial launched

March: Kept working on coding and design

              Tabling outside the Union

              Shot our second video

April: Had our test demo!

          Finalized UI designs

          Last two videos launched

          Demo Day! Introduced Introduced MemoryCap to the world!

What’s Next?

Yes! We still have the next!

Although we only have one more class this semester, MemoryCap would never say goodbye to you!

We will keep working on getting MemoryCap approved by Apple.

And like we said at Demo Day, we still have lots of improvements coming soon, so follow us on twitter @MemoryCap and sign up to test our app


Again, thank you so much, MemoryCapers! Love you!

Dresser: Last blog post!

Thank you all to our loyal blog readers, Facebook likers, and Instagram/Twitter followers. We’ve had a great couple of months updating you all about the Dresser app, and we’ve finally reached the end of the semester. For most of the team, it’s our last time in a classroom at UT.


Demo Day was a huge success! Thanks to all who showed up to support our team (cough, cough – moms, dads, significant others). Here’s a quick recap for those of you who couldn’t make it: Dresser won best logo! The team knows that this is because of the hard work Tori Townsend put into the design of our app from start to finish. Her first goal for the team was our logo, and we were in love with the design from the second we saw it. Tori also selected our color pallet and is the reason for the beautiful teal throughout the app. Good work, Tori!

We spent our time on Demo Day before the presentations mingling with the audience outside the auditorium. We set up a photo booth, and we’ll share those photos on social media on Monday. So follow, follow, follow us at @dresserstyleapp on all of the things. This time before the presentation also gave us a chance to walk people through the app on our own phones. We felt like our target audience (females 18-25) were really impressed with the app and seemed to be interested in using the app. We also got a lot of feedback through Twitter about how interested students were with the app! Check out the hashtag #UTapps on Twitter if you want to see all the fun we had on Saturday. Check out just a few of the tweets we loved reading on Saturday.

Dresser’s presentation ran smoothly, too. Tori worked really hard on the design of our presentation, and we think it turned out super clean. We stayed under 10 minutes and all had a chance to talk about the parts of Dresser that each of us worked on. Nicole talked about social media, Hannah talked about photo and video, Tori discussed design, and Ben and Adam talked about coding the app. We even had time to include a live demo of Dresser and a marketing video that Hannah made a couple weeks ago. Congratulations to all the teams for their hard work on their apps this semester!

Don’t worry, y’all. This isn’t the end of Dresser. You’ll still be able to download the app at We currently have more than 50 downloads of Dresser on the App Store and more than 140 outfits have been sent through the app. We only want those numbers to grow! Later updates to the app could be coming soon – that would include private messaging and bug fixes. Thanks again for those of you who have kept up with us this semester. We know it’s taken over all of our social media accounts, so we appreciate you sticking around and downloading Dresser.

The Home Stretch

For the past 4 months, the Repped Team has been working tirelessly to create the best way to listen to music with friends. Through trials and tears, the journey is finally coming to a close. Next Saturday we, as well as the rest of the Mobile Applications class, will be presenting our app to an audience at Demo Day.  To prepare for the Demo day we recorded our last video which will serve as our opening clip explaining at Demo Day.

This week we filmed our fourth video. Our main goal in this video was to portray a prime example of a situation in need of Repped. The follows one friend trying to show another friend new songs and the difficulty in showing the songs and receiving feedback about the song choices, the prime functionality of the application. Watch and be satisfied!

Our plans for Demo Day have changed a little over the past week as we worked through how we want to present Repped. Originally we planned to have props on the stage to portray three separate rooms, each with their own dancer in the room. As the demonstration progress, the dancers in the rooms would sync to dance to the same song. This idea proved to be very difficult to set to sync the demo with the rooms and coordinate a troupe of dancers. Instead, we have filmed short segments of individual dancers dancing to songs and as the demo progress, we will switch the video of each dancer as the song changes on the app.

Now the plan is for us to open with a quick introduction of ourselves and Repped and go start our fourth video. Afterward we will give a short biography of Repped, from its humble beginnings as Pass The Aux, see earlier blog posts, all the way to its current impressive state. We will conclude with the live demo, featuring the clips of dancers. You’ll have to come out to see the magic. Be sure to bring plenty of Kleenex, you’ll be weeping tears of joy.

On the dev side, it has been a mad rush to clean up the UI and add some last minute functionality to the app. On the UI side, we made a priority to clean up the music screen. Now listeners can add to their own queue so that they can have a queue ready if they get made the leader of the room. We also removed the clunky play button for the leaders of the room. Now when a leader adds the first song to an empty queue Repped will start playing that song. We also made it so that both leaders and listeners can see their queue and the recently played songs in the room. So as the leader plays songs off their queue they songs move into the recently play section of the table view. This is also reflected in the firebase entry for the room.


We also finally made the popup controller show the correct buttons for leaders and listeners and set up the respective functionality for the buttons. We did run into issues of the leader skipping the song and the correct song would play but the popup controller would not change the album art and song info. But not unlike most problems in a program we found a one line solution to a 4 hour problem. Our latest painstaking effort was spent adding titles on the navigation bar for the room page. Alas, the smallest changes seem to be the biggest pains.

Until the supreme gatekeepers of all thing’s Apple approve Repped to be on the App Store, sign up to be a beta tester and let us know what you think. Until next time stay classy San Diego


Snowball team writes story together as Demo Day draws near

As Demo Day approaches, the Snowball team wanted to get in the spirit of the app. So we sat down and wrote our own collaborative story. The prompt (thank you Reddit): “You are a patron saint, but you’ve never been told of what. Now, you’re trying to find out.”

Even as my father told me I could never believe him, I had lived a life that no deity would be proud of, and yet here I am.

I’ve searched so long for my destiny. I know I am a guardian of some, but have never been sure. Do I watch over the wanderers? The fast food addicts? The people who vape and blow the steam into others’ faces?

A part of me has always wondered, but I was too scared to find out. I’m afraid that I can’t live up to the answer. But after what happened, I knew I had to search to find out who I am.

I remembered when I was six years old, I had a toy car. A vampire sat in the driver’s seat. She looked like a toy police officer, but I knew the truth. She was a vampire, the mother of all vampires.

Why is the vampire 6 inches tall you ask? She refused to tell me. Apparently there are quite a few of them scattered around hiding as toys and other small objects sitting around houses.

It’s hard to tell whether what you’re seeing is actually a tiny vampire or just a glass figurine. It can be quite a scare when you pick up a beautiful ornament only for it to wink at you.

However, the scariest of all was none other than Glassferatu. He is a ruthless murderer who lives on people’s countertops waiting for the perfect chance to strike.

Glassferatu and I fought for ten weeks straight in 1997, but I had a lingering suspicion that we were approaching our relationship the wrong way. Even as the vampire slashed at my throat, I wanted to help him.

There’s something so endearing about a bad boy! After all, being a statue must be tough, most people “like” you are soulless pieces of glass, Things were beginning to really look up between Glassferatu and I until my sister came home and accidentally knocked him off of my dresser, and I watched in horror as he began to fall.

“GLASSY, NO,” I shouted as we both dived to catch him from certain death. Our elbows bumped and as we hit the ground, so did Glassferatu. He broke apart with a soft tinkling noise.

 The glass erupted into a pleasant looking snow, almost as serene as the inside of a snow globe. As soon as the shock of the situation wore off we both began to internalize what happened. However, even as we were looking at the tiny pieces of glass falling lightly to the floor, every single one of them spontaneously combusted.

She turned around and looked at me with tears in her eyes. “I’m so sorry, Edward. I know you really liked that toy.” She tried to sweep up the fragments but they all burned cleanly away.

“How dare you?!” Edward screamed at his mom. “You could have saved them!”

“You knew how important they were to me!” In that moment Edward knew what he had to do. He stormed down to the basement in a rage and opened the old trunk his dad had given him.

In the trunk, he found a magic wand his father had left for him. “Only use this in special cases, Edward,” his father had told him. He knew he had to punish his mother for what she had done.

I pulled myself out of my memories. I pulled out the wand. “I won’t forget, Father.” I knew who I was supposed to protect now, what I was patron saint of —

I am the patron saint of Tasty videos.

Thanks for reading! It got a little weird, but that’s the whole point of this app. We hope you had just as much fun reading this as we had writing it.

We also have our final promo video online:

See you all this Saturday at Demo Day!

- Jackie, Kailey, Eitan, Jonathan, Mantu

Commercial 4 is done!

What’s up!!!!

We are finally wrapping up Voyce! We had a busy week on both the marketing side of things and the technical side. Everyone has been working really, really hard and we are proud of the work we have accomplished. Thank you all for hanging in there with us and staying to the end!

It’s so hard to believe that we started from those hand drawn sketches and the unattractive mockups to a working, functional app. We honestly can’t believe that Voyce is in the app store! We were approved and this week we released our first update, Version 1.1. With that release we changed the time lapse on the login screen, added mobility within the app, and fixed some backend syncing issues.

You all should be expecting version 1.1.1 in the app store the next couple of days. It is currently being processed, but when released it will feature yet another time lapse change, better navigation through the app, server syncing fixes, font changes, color changes, a loading screen and overall bug fixes. We worked really hard this week on the technical side to get as many kinks out of Voyce as possible! We hope you enjoy!

There are definitely still quite a few bugs and issues with the app, but we will continue to work hard this week to get as many of those bugs fixed. Thanks for your feedback and for testing out our app. It’s been helpful as we have found out some problems we didn’t anticipate. That is okay! We wouldn’t be able to fix the issues if we didn’t know about them.

We look forward to demo day as we have prepared quite a bit for it! We decided that on our attire for the day so everyone be sure to check it out! We are in the process of getting custom made t-shirts with our logo on them. They are going to be great. This week we came up with a script and PowerPoint presentation for demo day, but we shouldn’t say more because we don’t want to spoil anything!

We were also able to shoot and produce our fourth Voyce commercial. This one is our favorite yet! We filmed random people around campus using Voyce and put them all together in a compilation. You can view the video below. Enjoy!

We really appreciate all of your patience as we create this new app. We are continuing to update Voyce so every release should be significantly better than the last. Stay tuned for more updates in the app store. You all rock! Keep watching our social media accounts and keep being awesome!


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:

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

Brunch is always a good idea

The Dresser team ended a productive week with a meeting over brunch Saturday at Snooze in Austin. We won’t bore you with the details of homemade sausage gravy or eggs benedict, but more importantly, the team came up with a redesigned slideshow for our Demo Day. We hope you’ll all be impressed with our slideshow theme and color. We spent the weekend rearranging slides, rewriting our pitch to the judges, and we’ll finally meet up Sunday night to do a run-through before our  in-class presentation on Monday. The in-class presentation is a way to work out all the kinks before the big day. We’ll also get to hear all the other app team’s proposals! We’re less than one week away from Demo Day, and the team is pumped to show off Dresser. Stop by Belo if you’re interested in seeing the final presentation and most updated version of the app.

We’ve reached nearly 50 users on Dresser this week, and the team has been sending photos back and forth to work out any problems in the app before Demo Day. The latest version of the app will be pushed out right before Demo Day and will include starred “top outfits” and the ability to add friends through Facebook. We talked about this in the last blog post, but the top outfits function will give you stars on your top three rated photos in your private profile. Here’s a sneak peak of the stars on your private profile.

This version is only available for the developers right now, but it will make its way to the App Store soon! Keep an eye on social media and your iPhone updates.

We also spent the week wrapped up in video production. Our fourth and final promo video will launch this Sunday, so make sure you’re monitoring your social accounts for that. This video is an entire walkthrough of the app, featuring two friends using Dresser while one decides what to wear for a job interview. She gets the job and the friends decide to meet up for drinks! We shot most of the video in Nicole’s apartment on Wednesday, then we met up at Epoch coffee for the final meetup shot. Hannah will spend Sunday editing and posting the video before our team meeting.

Tonight’s meeting will also serve as a chance to take a high-resolution shot of all of us for a slide in our Demo Day presentation. Hannah is bringing along her Canon Rebel to take a photo of all us together. This will be much better quality than last week’s Instagram post at Tap24. An iPhone camera can only do so much when it’s dark outside.

In final Dresser news, your loyal blog writer is sick as a dog. Most of my Dresser photos this week have been at the doctor’s office in leggings or crying in my bed. Please send me photos of your beautiful outfits @nicole on Dresser to cheer me up. That’s all for this week. We hope to see you at Demo Day on Saturday. RSVP to the Facebook event here.