I have made "Joey for Reddit", android app that lets you read AMAs in magazine style QA format, add upcoming AMAs to your calendar and much more. AMA!
The App has been suspended from playstore for violating sexually explicit content policy by containing images with nudity.
I have asked Google play support team for a review.
I have released "Joey for Reddit", an unofficial android client for Reddit.
[Dev : /u/codesForLiving is mentioned in the playstore listing]
How it started
I like to read AMAs here at r/IAmA but reading them was pain. I searched google play for apps for AMA, but couldn't find one. I started developing an app exclusively for AMA. While developing, I thought about other ways in which the user experience can be improved for other content of reddit, and I kept adding those features, and now we have a full client for Reddit.
What makes Joey different?
Designed bottom up for AMAs
- Read AMAs in magazine style question answer format. See pic. See video.
- Read AMA category wise. Say if you want to read, only gaming AMA right now. See pic.
- Works for Crossposts, MultiAuthor AMA
- Never miss an AMA : See upcoming AMA in your local time, add them to your calendar. See pic.
- Shows live AMA going on right now
Most powerful text-editor[ yes, including RES :) ]
- Table, heading, code, and more. See pic.
16 million colors for themes, yes, including accent color.
Designed for comments.
Designed for albums : In current clients, we generally have to swipe horizontally to flip through photos and vertically to read the description of the photos.
- Joey has Vertical Cards for albums: swipe only in one direction. It also has in-place zoom. See video.
Optimized for r/science :
- Read the posts category wise. See pic.
- Add upcoming AMA to you calendar.
Optimized for r/askscience :
- Read the question category wise. See pic.
Optimized for r/LifeProTips :
- Read LPTs topic wise. See pic.
Real trophy-case for your Reddit trophies :) See pic.
Since this is my first app, some features might be broken or missing. If you have any suggestions or questions, ask away!
PS : NSFW is off by default. You can turn it on, from Settings->Filters->Show NSFW.
PPS : English is not my first language, pardon my mistakes.
Video Overview :: tl;dw : Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3.
I have used Joey as in baby Koala. Because they are cute, and the name is short and memorable.
Yes baby Kangaroo and baby wallaby too
What about baby quokkas?
yes them too.
Joeys are cute you say?
Why the word "Question" in huge letters and in green text?
Why not the actual question in one colour and the answer in say black? And/or the letter "Q" instead of "question"? How much are you gaining by having a big chunk of your screen taken up by a word that we all know?
Why not the actual question in one colour and the answer in say black?
That will not work well with day/night theme, and others themes that I plan to introduce.
And/or the letter "Q" instead of "question"?
It will be in a separate line from the actual question, so why not the whole word?
Because it uses up a huge amount of space.
Look at it this way: you could add an extra line to each section reading "this is from the reddit ama" and it would be similarly pointless and also take up space.
It gets annoying if people write "question"/"answer"/"statement" before what they write
I'm deliberately writing statement in front of each statement. Surely you can see how intrusive and annoying it is for a reader
I get your point, but we all know the next line is going to be statement. But we can't say the same for QA View. It can be Q-A or QQA or QAQQA.
How long did it take to make everything?
Follow up nerd questions:
10 months full time, 10 months a couple hours per day, 10 months on weekends?
Just you? You and a friend? Did you use libraries? If so, which?
10 months full time. Just me. Libraries : too many to remember off the top of my head : UIL, GreenDAO, Eventbus, calligraphy, jackson many more.
this question may be too personal, but: How did you survive 10 months without working? Savings?
Respects from r/india :)
that's so impressive what you've done... congrats!
what was your starting baseline? I read that you didn't know JAVA/Android when starting out, but did you know how to code in HTML or anything else? i pretty much know how to use google and my email, but not much beyond that. so how long would it take me to get to your baseline from which you started.. thanks for elaborating!
but did you know how to code in HTML or anything else?
how long would it take me to get to your baseline from which you started.
I will be way off, but will give it a shot. 2 years if full time effort.
Any job offers come out of this project?
Do you have any plans to make money off that app? 10 months full time sure seems like quite the investment.
Ads and paid version.
Awsome job. So what lessons, good and bad, have you learned from the experience?
Glad you liked it.
The lesson that I learned was, making things is the fastest way to learn programming. I started off by reading android docs and getting lost, then realized doing and learning on the go, is better approach for me.
The bad: I need to work on my procrastination.
I'm just about to start too ! I'll take the practical method in learning rather than the theoretical way , hence i'll struggle with the jargon , but i'll break it into small bricks ..you did an awesome job for Joey !
Any chance of an iOS version?
I don't have Mac mini. How many reddit apps are there for iOS?
Tips for future programmers?
Make real world projects or contribute to them, that is the best way to learn programming, IMO. You can start by contributing on github.
Any other possible benefits for people who might switch from 'reddit is fun'? Might not want to install the app just for AMAs (though I have space)..
Do you like reading comments? Then you know you can get lost in the deeply nested threads, without knowing the parent and grand parent comment.
In Joey, you can see all the ancestors of a comment with a single click. See Pic. See video
Or if you like to see albums : in current clients, we generally have to swipe horizontally to flip through photos and vertically to read the description of the photos. Joey has Vertical Cards for albums: swipe only in one direction. It also has in-place zoom. See video.
If you like to take part in discussion : Joey has the most powerful text editor.
If you like to customize : we offer 16 million colors, which no other app does.
It is also optimized for r/science, r/askscience and r/LifeProTips so that you can read the posts there category wise.
I have many more features planned that are not offered on existing clients.
Tried it for a minute, but it seems to waste/use way more screen space than Relay in the list view.
The cards are in full height image mode by default. You can switch to thumbnail for more posts per screen.
I plan to add compact mode in next week's feature release. Other people have also asked for it.
Compact view will be an instant buy from me. Just shrink the empty space in thumbnail view and it'll be awesome.
Will do it.
Interesting.. I'll take a look.. Hope it doesn't have intrusive ads.
It only has banner ad at the bottom, and the QA view have native ads at the end of the page.
Is there an in app purchase to remove?
It will be there. I have not coded in app billing yet. First focus is to implement any missing features.
A lot of these things seem pretty similar to 'Relay for Reddit.' Why should someone who has grown accustomed to and likes that app, switch to yours? If it's better, I'm interested.
If it's better
Yes it is better. Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3.
Why should someone who has grown accustomed to and likes that app,
I plan to implement the features that you would miss on switching to my app.
Your UI and general app brand needs a bit of patching up, currently the elements are good but the aesthetic needs some work done. I'm a designer who can help with look of the app and fix some of the issues you have, Or you can find another person to help! Either way, I recommend hiring a UI designer to come look at this and fix it up. You've done some amazing work regardless, kudos
I am glad you liked it. I cannot afford UI designer at the moment.
general app brand needs a bit of patching up
Please elaborate. I would like to know more.
The biggest issue I see is the menu. Gradients with flat illustrations don't look really good, and they can confuse the reader at times. Get rid of the gradients, although they are making a comeback, menus aren't the place for them to show. Very rarely are they used in menus successfully.
your icons for each category also don't share the same visual language with each other, more info on that here:
Further, your colours in the menu are also an issue. Having each menu element with a different background colour is a bad idea because there all fighting for attention with each other that way. Instead, you want them to all have the same level of hierarchy so that the viewer themselves can choose which category they would like. Currently the design is forcing hierarchy on certain categories through the colours, and ignoring others. You don't want the design itself controlling the hierarchy of a menu, decide what's important, and if there all equally important, then create a menu that has the same colour, fonts etc for each of them. It allows each element to demand the same amount of attention from the viewer, and the structure of mobile creates a natural top-bottom flow of information that you can use to your advantage (place the most popular categories top, least popular at bottom).
Besides your menu, your typography for the app is solid, but I would also venture into pairing another font with the current one you have. This will create contrast the two, and allow the viewer to quickly differentiate between two types of information. For example, setting your body text in a sans-serif would allow the viewer to immediately understand that serif=title (Question, Answer) and sans-serif=body copy (paragraphs). Be careful with this however: Font pairing is hard to do successfully, do some research and follow proper font/pairing rules. More on that here: http://fontpair.co/
I have more, I'll be back in a bit to possible add on to this. Cheers!
Gradients with flat illustrations don't look really good
Yes, I have been suggested by some people to use flat colors. I will be removing them.
Currently the design is forcing hierarchy on certain categories through the colours, and ignoring others
Interesting point. I didn't know about it.
I would also venture into pairing another font with the current one you have. This will create contrast the two, and allow the viewer to quickly differentiate between two types of information
Yes, I do this already, questions have Roboto medium by default and answers : roboto slab, and general comments roboto regular, and they all can be changed independently.
I have more, I'll be back in a bit to possible add on to this. Cheers!
Thanks for your detailed suggestions. Appreciate it.
Pic 1: So the upgrade is having pics for the categories as opposed to just text? Maybe I'm missing something. Pic 2: I like this. Pic 3: You can collapse comments on relay as well. Perhaps I'm not seeing how it is different.
Very interested in responses to pics 1 and 2.
Thank you for taking the time to reply and congrats on creating your app.
No: you can browse AMA category wise. You can't do that easily on the other apps.
Pic 3: I am not collapsing the comment, but the sibling of the ancestor. See carefully, which comment was clicked, and which comment collapsed. It shows you the parent of a comment, grand parent, grand grand parent by collapsing the sibling of ancestor.
Can I get a gif zoom? ;) I do find relays way of putting in subreddit at the top the easiest for me.
will do it, after more in demand features are done.
Definitely like the app. How difficult was the process of making the app?
Initially when I started I only had the idea of how the app should work, I didn't know Android or Java, so it was a bit difficult for me. After sometime the complexity of the task hit me. But I kept on doing one task at a time.
So, you didn't "codesForLiving" 10 months ago. And you did this full time for 10 months. How did you survive with no income for 10 months? Are you hoping this app will bring in enough money to live on, or are you hoping to leverage this into a job coding?
Maybe don't answer the money question if it's too personal, but my point is, I'd love to code apps, but can't quit my day job. For me to do the equivalent of "10 months full time", it'll take many years. I envy you.
How did you survive with no income for 10 months?
Are you hoping this app will bring in enough money to live on
I envy you.
Don't, I am not at enviable position by any standard, some people who know me IRL find it pitiable.
I'm not sure how this whole thing works, but I have heard several Reddit-viewing apps being pulled from the market. Why were those pulled, and is there any chance of that happening to you?
Do you have news link? The famous ones are still there.
Any possibilities for an ad free version?
Yes, definitely. I have not coded app billing yet. First focus is to implement any missing features.
Seems like a great app but honestly the ads are so annoying that I can't use it for more than a few minutes. I would be happy to pay a couple bucks for an ad-free version and the sooner the better. Or you might consider offering an ad free version for early adopters like those of us in this thread.
but honestly the ads are so annoying
Would you prefer native ads like those in QA view? because paid version is bit involved coding wise, and first focus is the features.
Or you might consider offering an ad free version for early adopters like those of us in this thread.
If only, I had that technology in place.
Yes, the native ads are a lot less annoying; I'd go with those throughout, if that's your only easy option. That said, as someone who always gets the ad-free version of any app I use regularly, I won't check the app out until there are no ads, and I suspect there are many users like me. If you don't make another big publicity splash when that's rolled out, I'll likely forget about the app, which is why I'd suggest putting out an ad-free apk for /r/android folks, to start generating loyalty and engagement. As you add features and squash bugs, folks will want to upgrade anyway, so it's not as though you're giving it away for free in the long term. Personally, I don't mind paying a reasonable price, so I suggest this not out of cheapness, but because I believe many folks just can't stand 15% of their browsing experience being taken up by a flashing ad.
I'd suggest putting out an ad-free apk for /r/android folks,
That will be only good for less than 3 days, I plan to release crash fixes on Wednesdays and feature releases on weekends. Thanks for you suggestion though, interesting idea.
I'd go with those throughout
Will try to add it ASAP.
Obligatory stupid unrelated AMA question:
What's your preference: Coffee or Tea?
OK, got that covered. No more need for those type of questions. Carry on people.
is there a feature that makes the emails rejecting your posts more gentle?
Nope. Nice idea though.
How hard was it to code out the app and what was the hardest part of making the app?
I will say moderately hard, since I didn't know Android and Java development before. The hardest part was making all compnents work together.
Are you using this AMA as a tester for your AMA app?
Haha, no, I have tested it for many AMAs already.
Fun fact, you can read multi author AMA too in the app, with the answers from all the authors.
Could you make it so it is sorted by top rated questions with ellipses as the reply for unanswered questions?
You can do that in the comments view. Sort the comments by top.
I get that, but if it is going to be in an asked and answered view, I think the ignored questions should appear as something more fitting than a blank spot. Especially given the way a lot of celebrities astroturf their AMAs
I had not thought about that, I will look into it. Thanks for your suggestion.
How likely would it be for you to make a Universal Windows app? You know, for all three of us that still use Windows Phone...
Man, that's amazing. Congratulations and thank you for this app. How much did you spend on this project? Did you seek for an investment? How was it?
The investment was in terms of time : 10 months.
So wait. You worked on this for 10 months. Why did you do that when there was already an AMA app made by reddit? Just for the ad revenue?
I would have not made it if I knew, they had it already. I searched for AMA app on the play store, and couldn't find one. The official app is not available in all countries.
Late in the development stage I saw some user had the trophy of Beta tester of Ask Me Anything app, and I thought damn, they are going to release AMA app, and my work will go to waste. Later I found out, the project was abandoned.
If it's built for three ground up just for AMA'S why is the default content the Frontpage? Seems odd and wasn't what I expected. I would install and use an AMA / QnA only app but not another full reddit client.
You can use this as full client :P
Also if you like to use only for AMA, click on the edit(pencil) next to subreddit in the left drawer and click on IAmA in the next window and click move to top. And next time you open your app, IAmA will be open by default.
Did you watch The Wire?
Nope. Should I?
Any reason you choose not to use material design?
I will remove the gradients, I thought gradients would look nice.
What APIs did you use to retrieve and/or process the Reddit data from the server side?
iOS version please?
Will look into it, will not be coding it myself, though.
Business question: How much revenue can a developer expect to make on a successful app from ad impressions?
That depends on how successful the app is. If I recall correctly, flappy bird was making to the tune of 100s of thousands per day.
You get any job interviews yet?
Is there a way to pay and get rid of ads?
I will be adding them. But first focus is to complete any missing features, so in the meantime, I will provide an option to switch between native and banner ads.
You see pic 1? Are those the best icons you could find? They look like clip art lmao. Try Behance, graphicburger or pixeden.
Also are you going to do nsfw categories like big tits or gore or whatever?
Otherwise good idea.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Yes NSFW categories are there. Go to settings->filters->show NSFW, to see them.
Are you planning to do one for AppStore???? Please 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
I don't have Mac mini. How many reddit apps are there for iOS? I can ask someone to do it, depends on them.
Will it also include follow-up questions that are answered? Or does it just take the parent comment of every response the OP makes?
Yes, it includes all follow up questions that are answered.
Do you have plans to let the community/moderators make their own subreddit optimizations for Joey in the future?
I would love to.
What IDE did you use?
Is it open source? If so, where can I find the source code?
Anyway, the application looks great! If it's open source, please add it to f-droid so I (and others without GApps) can try it out.
Sorry, it is not open source.
I might be a little late to the party but any chance for an iPhone tweak that works directly within the Reddit app?
No, I don't know much about iOS, but I don't think that would be possible.
Man, I really hope you will reconsider this. Got existed when I saw the screenshots and then noticed I couldn't find it in the app store :(
I was talking about tweak that will make it run within the Reddit app.
I will ask someone to do it for iOS, lets see if they are interested.
What are some of your special talents besides coding?
Thank you for reminding me to do develop some.
Why joey? You a fan of friends or something?
Joey : the baby Koala, not from friends.
Do you recommend Android Studio for developing apps, or are there better alternatives out there? And what tips do you have for someone who has developed two barebone apps and is looking to expand their expertise?
I think Android Studio is the best.
Read about OOP. Start making more complex apps, and learn along the way, why one approach is better suited for extensibility than the other.
Lol. Check my username. I am /u/codesForLiving
Will you release iOS version?
I can ask someone to do it, it is upto them. I don't have mac.
TIL. First choice will be to delegate, if they refuse, and the android version does well, I may do it.
Very cool idea.
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