Status of the A Beautiful Mess App

A Beautiful Mess AppHi there. It’s me, Trey. You may or may not know this. But in addition to managing the sponsorship program here at ABM, I handle all communication with our app agency. So our process works like this: Elsie + Emma dream the ideas and designs for the app, I aggregate it and pass it on to the app agency to develop. Then the agency and I go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, until it’s working like we’d all imagined. So we figured I’d be the best one to update you on the status of the A Beautiful Mess photo app.

First, the exciting part: We’re totally revamping the app with some new (huge) features, improved functionality, new art objects—the works. And yes, this version will definitely be available on Android.  

And the less exciting part: timing. Yes, we originally said early to mid-October. When our agency built out the initial timeline, we were shooting to have both the iOS update and the Android version uploaded to the App Store and Google Play by October 12 at the latest. As you might've noticed, that didn't happen. Without bogging you down with too much technical jargon, there have been a handful of unexpected hold-ups in the development—certain pieces not coming together as smoothly as initially anticipated.

To give you a quick look into app development, there are two big challenges any developer has to overcome.

First, active memory. This is how much your phone can do and retain at once. While smartphones are powerful little devices, they’re still not quite as fast as computers. But we still need them to be, right? I can’t tell you how first-world bratty I get when my YouTube video (that I absolutely don’t need to see) takes too “long” to load. Anyway, a photo app working with high resolution photos can be pretty taxing on your phone, when it’s also trying to keep that functionality smooth and seamless. Your phone can only do so much at once. So developers have to get creative on the backend.

The second big challenge is retaining consistency across devices. On iOS, this is actually a little easier, since there are only 2 screen sizes, and most are on the same operating system. But each device still has its nuances. We have had several test builds that worked great on the 4 and 5, but crashed like crazy on 4s and 5s. And with Android, you can multiply that challenge by 50. There are a lot of screen sizes and devices made by completely different companies, so ensuring it works across the board is not as straightforward as I’d originally hoped. As an Android user, I’m sure it must be frustrating to know you’re using the most popular operating system, but so many apps aren’t available. The simple answer is that it’s just easier to develop for iOS for this very reason.

To give you a frame of reference of the work and time put into this, we’re on test build number 81. Yep, 81. So if you’re ever in a Springfield coffee shop and see me spread out playing with, like, 5 different phones, please know I understand and am sorry for how ridiculous I look. And we can all roll our eyes together.

But the best news is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Test build number 81 is feeling really solid. We’re far enough along that we’re going to be able to send out a version to our test group within the day. That means, we’re just checking for final bugs, and then we’re good to go! Presuming no major hiccups, we’re just a couple weeks or less away from a release (we hope).

We’re so sorry for the delays. We want this to come out just as badly as you all do. We just want it to be great. Emma + Elsie will be posting about all the new features soon, so stay tuned.

–Trey

p.s. Windows users, we didn’t forget about you. More to come on that in a few months.

  • Can I just say how nice it is to ‘meet’ Trey. Love your writing personality and can easily imagine how much fun you and Emma have together as a personable unit. Thanks for the update 🙂

  • I’m a PM for an app development group, so I totally get it! Best to deliver a tip-top product than backtrack trying to fix things. 🙂 can’t wait to update!

  • I was just wondering when us Android users were going to be able to download this app! I get so jealous when I see people using it & can’t wait until it’s finally available. Thanks for all the hard work you’re putting into it and I have a new appreciation for all the work that goes into creating an app now!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

  • My hubby is a web designer for Google+… we have every device known to man in our house haha! So used to “testing” design and functionality on every device possible. Takes a lot of work and testing to get out your best work. Good luck!

  • YES YES ! I have an android phone and I’ve been waiting for this exciting news for months now!! I am really happy with this post and I’m excited to buy the app!!
    Thank you for all the hard work you all put in it!

    Love from Belgium, Saar
    xx

  • It certainly isn’t easy developing out apps for Android but once you do, you pretty much have devoted customer base. Glad to see the kinks are being worked out! Developing apps is tough.

  • Thank you SO much for this update! I’m an android user and *may* have been checking the Google Play store for a few weeks. Can’t wait to use the app!

  • We’re not currently planning on it. Sadly, the Blackberry market is declining quite a bit, so it’s hard to get a solid return on investment for the cost of development. Should that change, we’ll definitely reconsider. –Trey

  • ahhhh!!!!!!!!
    every time i read an update i get all excited and then the date comes and boom!

    but now that Trey explains it like he did….i understand.
    it does make sense…and it also explains why apple has all the apps and droid takes forever.

    because of this i will keep on waiting.
    ive waited this long shouldnt give up now.
    its nice to know that although apple did get the app first, we awesome (patient) android uses will get an AWESOME release.

    eek! cant wait!

    also!, can Trey write more often here and there!!!?
    i love his style!
    he cracks me up!
    specially with that last post you did (about the office space) and the post with in it (building the table for his office!) super funny!

    thanks guys!!!!
    -les! <3

  • on behalf of all windows phone users who are sick and tired of all the neglect at the hands of app developers I say THANK YOU for remembering us! ♥♥♥

  • Yay! SO Exciting. I’m an android user, and I appreciate that you’re taking the time and putting the effort in to make sure the app is ready before it hits the android market. I would rather wait longer and have an awesome app for sure! 😀

  • YAY! I can’t wait for the app to be available for Android! My friends make me uber jealous with the cute pics they put together with your app 🙂

  • Haha don’t worry. I’m so looking forward to the update but enjoying the actual version in the meantime a lot.
    Love your work so much!!!

  • Well this post definitely gave me a good smile. Loved the apology with different phones all around you in a coffee shop. Thanks for the update!
    Keep up the ggg-great work!

  • I am so happy I could cry.
    Christmas has come early.
    We didn’t need a launch date,
    just some idea of where you guys are at.
    THANK YOU TREY.

  • I really hope this update will allow us to save photos bigger than they do now.They are too small to use on my blog.

  • I almost returned my Windows phone when I realized I could not have the App!
    do happy to hear it will be available 🙂

  • It’s such a great surprise getting to hear from you, Trey! I feel like many readers, like myself, are introduced to you from pictures and mentions by Emma and Elsie, but it’s only now that we really get to “know” you. Thanks for the insider’s spill on app-making! 🙂

  • Really looking forward to the app! Appreciate the hard work going into it as well

  • It’s so great heard these news! I hope we can start enjoying your app soon!! (I’m android user:)).
    Thanks for your work with the app and congrats for your blog,
    I love it!!!

  • Hello Trey, nice to “see you around” here… I hope everything will turn out well (actually I don’t hope, I’m sure of it)… Good luck with everything! and we’ll be waiting for the new upadate!

  • May I just say as an android and Windows user + Computer buff – YUSH YUSH YUSH!! You go girl! Thank you so much for the update, and for the existential crisis you are going through just for our sake. It means tons for us and Just that – you’re pretty dope trey. Love ya. Thanks

    -Aish

  • One thing I have appreciated about reading your blog for the last 4 years is that you ALWAYS follow through with what you say you’re going to do. There are several bloggers out there that you can pretty much just plan on them not following through but you are reliable. Kudos!

  • ABM family, what about the European ABM-readers? Will the app be available for us aswell? Can’t wait to post cute pictures on Instagram…

    Besos from Northern Spain 🙂

  • Thank you for the update and all your hard work! I definitely miss your app since moving from iphone to android! Can’t wait to see it and get it!!

  • I can tell you’re working hard.. I absolutely love using ABM on my iPhone and am really looking forward to the updates!
    Rosie x

  • So just out of curiosity is this why my current app won’t work on my 5s? I bought another background package and it asked me for my credit card information (apple did) and ever since then it stopped working. I can’t even get it to open, it crashes every single time. Same thing happened to my friend on her 5c, but it works on our old 4’s? I hate that I can’t use this app right now! I talked to my friend who works for Apple and she said that there hasn’t been an ios 7 update yet (whatever that means) and that’s probably why it started crashing? I really want it to work again. I love that app.

  • Shouldn’t be crashing on you like that. That’s weird. I will say, until the new update, the app isn’t optimized for iOS7. That’s a big piece of the update. That said, the crashing thing shouldn’t be happening. Try e-mailing support@rocketmobile.co. They should be able to help you out.

    Thanks!
    Trey

  • This app is one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) why I’m giving up my Android and going back to IPhone. Nuff said!

  • I have been waiting for this for months! Since I saw your blog in the summer! I check in everyday to see if there is any news about an Android version. I can’t wait!!! So excited!!

  • Help! I tried purchasing a doodle package today. The purchase didn’t go through and now the app crashes whenever I open it. Tried deleting and reinstalling. I’m running on iPhone 5s. Am I alone in my problem?

  • funny how for different people different operating systems are harder to create apps for. My husband does just fine for Android, but can’t get the IOS one to stay working. Good luck!! I know it takes a while and when you get it working on one phone it doesn’t always work on another. Can’t wait!

  • Oh, hooray – thanks for the update, Trey – I’m looking forward to using the app on my Android phone 🙂

  • I would rather have a solid app than a glitchy one at release. That said, if you need beta testers I’d be happy to help! I have an S3 and an HTC Incredible 2 and a Nexus (2012)

  • This is a really appreciated update and insight into the world of app development! I appreciate the time needed so much more now! It’s also nice to know how much you put in too Trey!!! Thanks! xx

  • Thank you for the update! I’ve been rubbing my hands together, waiting to get the app on my phone. Great job you guys and thanks for working so hard on the backend to roll everything out!

  • Thanks for sharing this. It’s neat to learn about the behind the scenes process of app making, especially when it comes to one I like so much. 🙂

  • My ABM app keeps crashing and logging me out. Is there currently an issue with the app? I tried deleting the app and downloading it again but this hasn’t seem to have helped. Are there any known issues at this stage? Chell.

  • Hi Trey,
    A Beautiful Mess has been my favorite app since I downloaded it several months ago. After the Thanksgiving huge update it hasn’t worked for me. I have an iPhone 4S and I’m running iOS 7.0.4. The app is extremely slow and gets “stuck” when Getting Image. I’ve tried restarting my phone to see if that helped. I see that you mentioned a lot of crashes for the 4S. The last time I was able to use the app was before the “2.0” update. Please help.