Today is a sad day for TPG Monitor as I have unpublished it from Google Play Store. Reasoning behind this decision is because for several years, I've been unable to maintain/support the app (app was last updated 15 March 2014).

The inability to update the app was largely due to two things:

  1. Moved off TPG mobile: no longer had an account for testing
  2. Changed my laptop: couldn't bring up the dev env to make any changes

Despite not being able to make any changes, the app relied on the same APIs as TPG's official app and it surprisingly continued to work for the most part. Occasionally I would receive emails saying the app was broken, and upon investigation it turned out that it was always TPG's API misbehaving!

For nostalgia's sake, rough timeline of major milestones:

2010-12-12 First commit!
2011-05-28 Published v0.8-beta!!! Finally on Google Play Store!!!
2012-07-21 Published v1.0: Major features: auto-sync and donations \o/
2013-10-28 Published v2.0: Complete refactor: use APIs instead of screen scraping!
2014-03-15 Published v2.0.4: Minor changes requested by TPG (the auto-sync feature was overloading their servers so had to randomise the default sync time)
2017-03-04 Unpublished :(

...and a screenshot of the ratings which I am quite proud of:

TPG Monitor Rating

By releasing the TPG Monitor, I definitely achieved my goal of learning more about Android development (unfortunately a lot of it has since changed). However, I feel it was the non-technical takeaways that have been more valuable.

The top three takeaways that I kept in mind while making my Mr. Tiddles and Trichroma were:

  • Get feedback early: this may be simply talking to people, testing with paper prototype or releasing a version that works, but you're not quite happy with yet. You need this early feedback because what people want and what you think they want are most likely going to be different
  • It will get super boring/tedious: when you first have the idea you'll have tonnes of motivation, everything will seem awesome, you'll be itching to get home from work to dive straight into more coding. However there will definitely be a period where motivation disappears and you just can't be bothered. This is the critical time to just keep at it to take it over the line
  • Creating something that people use and find useful: super awesome & amazing feeling :)