Interview with Marcus Terasa of SoftXPerience, Developer of Note Everything
Apr 21, 2010 10:31 AM –
If you’ve every used Note Everything or Note Everything Pro then you know it’s a must have app for productivity. Today we’re interviewing Marcus Terasa of SoftXPerience, developer of Note Everything. Learn more:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Marcus Terasa from Bremen, Germany. 29 years old. Working as a software developer. And in my free time I’m employed in a second job, developing websites, software, apps and much more.
Why did you create your app?
I had a Windows Mobile device before and I used it heavily for taking notes. I loved the ability to record voice notes and do paintings. When I got my first Android phone (G1 Dev Phone), I missed a note taking app and the market didn’t offer an app with voice and paint notes.
What technology did you use in creating your App and why?
I use the standard Android SDK and still compile against the 1.6 SDK and 1.5 features to be downward compatible. There are still many many 1.5 devices out there and I don’t want to lose those users. Also I use some derived and improved API classes to improve some functions and provide some more features.
About how long did it take to create your App?
Oh, that is hard to say. I think I was one of the “early adopters” of Android, beginning to develop my app in the beginning of 2009.
Now we have 2010, so it took about a year from the first release to the current feature-rich app. But as I wrote it in my free time, I cannot count the hours.
What is a cool uncovered tip or trick you can do with the App?
One might be the quick voice record by pressing the hardware-cam-button while in the notes list. That will start a new voice note with instant record. There are sooo many features, that are “hidden” in the menu, the context menu or in the context (for example you can send a note to the calendar if you choose to send it or you can send text data from other apps to a new note).
What other interesting uses can come from the App?
Note Everything is very customizeable. So I would advise everyone to have a detailed look in the preferences. Browse through all categories and options. Play around with some options to get the most out of Note Everything and to suit your needs.
Can you tell us about future feature enhancements with your App?
I’m working on a big update. Maybe called version 3.0.0. It gets many new features. Like in-note-search, infobar with detailed note meta-data, read-only mode, insert text from barcode and much more. But don’t want to reveal to much yet.
What did you really like about creating Apps on the Android platform?
I like the integration possibilities very much! Like integrating the barcode scanner. I can use a great feature without having to develop a barcode scanner on my own.
What are some things you would like to see improved with Android?
There are some hidden / restricted APIs that would be very useful to access, but are forbidden for “security reasons”. For example switch the state of background sync, display brightness and more. Users complain about missing features that delevopers can’t realize (on an official way).
Also an API for accessing the Google services (like Docs) without asking the users for their passwords would be great.
What is your opinion of the Android App Market’s distribution method? In comparison Apple’s model (strict control over the iTunes store) or the Windows Mobile model (no store at all).
A central appstore is definitely a must-have. I can’t imagine that my app was currently downloaded over 320.000 times. It’s amazing. And that wouldn’t be possible without an appstore.
And I appreciate the openness of the Android Market. I often heard about arbitrariness and delay in Apples store.
What is your Opinion on the state of the Rating/Feedback system in the App Market?
It really needs improvement. I think the greatest disadvantage is that you can’t contact the author of comments. I often read comments that complain about a “missing feature” that is already there. But I have no chance to contact the user and explain it to him.
Also you cannot see, which version the user tested and rated. Maybe he rated bad about an error or a missing function in a very old version that is already fixed.
Do you have plans on releasing Apps for other markets (i.e. iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, etc.)?
Currently not. Note Everything and my other Android projects are time consuming enough. But I’m interested in playing around with the iPhone SDK and maybe I’ll give it a try in the future.
Your app is a paid app, why did you choose this model over the free model, and how to you project its success?
I have also a free and a paid version. I think it is a good way to promote an app to give it away for free. So the users can test it and get familiar with it. And if they like it, I think it is fair to pay a little fee to support the developer. The baker also doesn’t have “open source biscuits” for free.
Must-have Android Apps?
Note Everything of course , Quick Profiles, (a slightly tweaked version of) K-9 Mail, Astro File Manager, MyBackup Pro, SMS Popup
What advice would you give to another aspiring mobile application developer?
Get familiar with the Android SDK, the lifecycles and do’s and don’ts to make a quality app with a good user experience. And keep with the Android guidelines of design and how to do things to avoid the fragmentation of apps appearance.
Can you tell us what future Android Apps you have brewing?
I would like to play around with live wallpapers and have an idea for one.
Also I would like to code a Pac Man clone.
Thank you Marcus for your insight on your app and advice to other developers. We look forward to more great apps from you! Don’t forget to check out SoftXPerience’s other apps like Quick Profiles and our 4.5 of 5 star rated Android App Review of Note Everything!