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Interview with Alan Chait

This week I talked to Alan, from Bassettapps, creator of Fun with Flags, another app made with Kwik.

Tell a little bit about you and your company?

Bassettapps.com is a one person company – just me. I wanted to learn how to write apps for mobile devices after my son paid over $7,000 to have a simple app made (and it didn’t work very well). I’m in the printing business and not a programmer but I have limited experience in database programming and HTML/CSS which I enjoy very much.

To learn how to develop apps, in my limited spare time I started to read books and watch videos about creating mobile apps. It was like learning a foreign language. Objective-C was getting more and more frustrating. Then I found Corona and it was the solution I was looking for. I played around with writing some simple apps in Corona and it was fun. Then I found Kwik and realized that I can make simple apps or books in Photoshop which I am very familiar with (being in the printing business).  I started working on this app and went through nine or ten versions until I got it right. The last few were after watching people use it on my iPhone and iPad. They weren’t using it like I thought they would. So I’d rebuild it and watch them use it and saw other problems.  My final version was easy for everyone to use.

What is the app about?
It’s a simple quiz about flags of countries around the world. It was really just a learning experience for me and what an experience it was 🙂  There are 75 pages of flags (plus a few other pages). You can go right to the flags of any continent or just start going through them from the beginning. On each page you choose which country that flag belongs to by clicking on one of three choices. It will let you know if you’re correct or wrong both visually and with audio.  If you’re wrong, guess again until you get the correct choice. Then you go to the next page and try again. It’s interesting how many flags are so similar.

There is no timer and there is no score (I don’t think you can do that in Kwik and I didn’t want to write the code in Corona).  It’s just you against yourself.

How did Kwik help you to build it? Any favorite features?

Kwik is great if you have Photoshop and have a basic understanding of Corona SDK.  All you have to do is create the graphics and add the tools. The way Alex laid out the various tools is great. When you “preview” the app, it does the entire Corona build for you, opens it in the Corona simulator and you get to see how it looks and works on various devices. Very easy once you understand it.

The Lua files Kwik creates are beautifully written. I had no problem doing the final build in Corona with the files that Kwik created.

What I like best is that there is no need to write any code (because I don’t have the time to write and debug code). I also like how any button can have multiple actions.  Very cool.

Any trick/tip you would like to share?

First, follow Alex’s advice.  Have everything planned out ahead of time. In my case I created the app on the fly and it cost me a lot of time. However, it’s my first app so I was learning as I went along.

Using hide/show, triggered by a button, you can stack layers on top of each other in the same position. Then, depending on how you wrote the actions in the buttons, you can hide or show just one layer at a time.

What is your overall experience with us (product and services)?

Excellent.  The forum was great and Alex is awesome on answering questions and giving great advice.

What is next for you and your company?

I’m going to build another app in Kwik and then try one in Corona unless Kwik 2 comes before that time.

Thanks for sharing Alan. For everyone’s info, you can create timers (without no coding) in Kwik’s current version. K2 (next version codename) is not coming anytime soon so, keep creating good stuff with the current version!

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