Recipe for…Success?

in Programming

Some seven months ago, I released PassMaker Mobile for Android, the first of what I hope to be many mobile apps. Since then, a lot has happened. Even as I was spending what seemed to be endless hours pouring through API docs and slaving over Java code, the world, my world, was growing darker. PassMaker was made, I’ll admit, in a fit of panic.Not panic over computer security, mind you, but over what was happening to my family.

On November 3 of last year, my mother received a phone call that no one ever wants. My grandfather had had a stroke. At age 90, this was, of course, a major family emergency. But the consequences of that emergency were not immediate at all. This was not a deadly stroke, but the complications arising from it (and from failures on the parts of many) turned a yearlong recovery process into a three-month nightmare.

That nightmare ending by descent into an even deeper despair on February 4 of this year, the day that my grandfather passed away. For a full quarter I, along with the 30 or so “close” family members (everyone descended from my grandparents, and all their families), put everything else on hold. Except, in my case, for a password-generating app that I threw together in a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Nevertheless, almost five more months have passed since that fateful February evening. Now, as we, as a family, are starting to crawl out of the mental wreckage, I have good news. The fruits of my labors are like a beacon of hope, a bastion of normalcy in a world upturned. And I want to share those fruits.

Thus, I give to you another app, called A to Z Recipes. It is, at its heart, an organizer, turning your Android tablet into a replacement for notebooks, index cards, and even cookbooks. It’s really not much more than a way to store recipes in a database, without having to do the work of setting up a database. It does have a few niceties, however, including a “flipbook” mode, which lets you flip through recipes with a swipe, similar to a real book. Also included are a number of search options, including tags. You can also attach images taken with your tablet’s camera; these can cover the whole dish or a single direction in the step-by-step section.

There’s still a lot left to go, though. I’m mainly releasing A to Z Recipes now because of increasing pressure from outside, and just the sheer need to do something. Still to come are a fancier interface, more options, and, naturally, support for sharing your recipes through social networking.

A to Z Recipes is available on the Google Play Store (no longer called the Android Market) for $1.99, meaning that it is my first paid app. However, the source is available under an open-source license, and you can find it linked on my profile at GitHub. My hope, of course, is that you will actually buy the app, since that does help me. But I would rather have “freeloading” users than no users at all, so I give you the option of downloading the source and building and installing it yourself.

Click the button for A to Z Recipes, and keep watching this space for more apps. Hopefully, they’ll be here sooner rather than later.

Android app on Google Play