Jump to content


Photo

New mobile app (iPhone, iPad, Android) for reef keeping


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1
tiggs

tiggs

    www.fragconnection.com

  • Members
  • 355 posts
  • Joined 02 Feb 2011
  • Jersey Shore

I'm in the process of developing a new mobile app that would act as a companion to the busy reefkeeper. I'm thinking of something that would keep track of current levels, include reef-specific calculators, and allow for scheduling and alerting of important maintenance tasks. I'm also thinking of including a portable mini reef encyclopedia to use when you see something appealing at the LFS. There are a couple out there (Reefmaster PRO and aquaPlanner), but I don't think any of them quite nail it. Now for anyone that wants to give their input :)

1. Have you used any of the existing reef management apps? If so, what are your thoughts?

2. What's a fair price for an app like this? I was thinking $1.99.

3. What is your wish list of features for an app like this?

4. Would you be interested in an integration with Amazon for easy dry goods shopping?


Thanks in advance for your help!

#2
bonomo53

bonomo53

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 469 posts
  • Joined 29 Jan 2010
  • Long Island NY
havent used any reef management apps but the encyclopedia sounds like a great idea considering iam always looking stuff up on my phone when i see something i like at the the lfs ..1.99 sounds fair
feedback

Biocube 14

38 gallon

Bonomo53's 57 rimless

#3
19jeffro83

19jeffro83

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 2,805 posts
  • Joined 15 Dec 2009
  • NJ
I'll buy it up for 1.99. Hook it up tiggs.

#4
Nanoreefing65

Nanoreefing65

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 45 posts
  • Joined 13 Mar 2011
  • Rhode island
Right!? Sounds like an awesome app to me!
I've spent more on apps that are "junk"
Can't wait to check it out!
Lori

#5
brandolando4

brandolando4

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,085 posts
  • Joined 09 Dec 2010
  • Fort Collins CO, and Ewa Hawaii
Yah I would spend 5 dollars on this, if it works,lol I bought this other stupid app called aquarium handbook for 15 dollars and it sucks

Take heart in the fact that it was an honorable, not to mention cool, death.

Guess I should have used a smiley so you didn't get butt hurt
We friends now?

Check out my tank!!

Posted Image

And my baby tank
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=264349

#6
tiomm

tiomm

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 48 posts
  • Joined 22 Nov 2010
I think the more useful stuff you can get into it - the better.

Right now I use Aquaplanner to remind me of my tasks and AquaStatix for keeping track of my parameters.
I really like Aquaplanner, it's nicely designed and helps me keep track of everything I need and then some.
AquaStatix on the other hand is really ugly, but it's OK for logging parameters.

I think that if you can combine the two and add the encyclopedia with great graphics and design you'll be able to charge at least $10. I would definitely buy it.

Good luck!

#7
jdl

jdl

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,224 posts
  • Joined 12 Oct 2009
  • south florida
do it!!

#8
fatreef

fatreef

    nano-reefer

  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Joined 11 Mar 2011
  • Chester Co. PA
This would be the only app i dont mind paying for lol!!!

#9
tiggs

tiggs

    www.fragconnection.com

  • Members
  • 355 posts
  • Joined 02 Feb 2011
  • Jersey Shore
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I plan on making this the swiss army knife of reefkeeping applications. Before it goes into development, I'll share my mockups for additional feedback. Thanks again!

#10
mmcguffi

mmcguffi

    meow mixer

  • Members
  • 3,403 posts
  • Joined 16 Jan 2011
  • Ann Arbor MI
Absolutely on the encyclopedia. If it's made very user friendly, clean-looking and has a huge variety of species in it Id drop $10 or so for this alone!

#11
Ralgo

Ralgo

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 329 posts
  • Joined 29 Oct 2010
  • Coral Springs, FL
This might not be a popular suggestion for potential users but you may be able to fund the app by collaborating with advertisers of reef supplies, coral and fish... maybe even some of the sponsors on here. That may drive the price down significantly and if its awesome enough (which it will be) could pull even more people into the hobby. I know a great number of people who download every free app on the app store just to try it out. I wouldn't mind looking at a few banner ads along the bottom of the app while I log my info. That being said here are my ideas.

1. Integrate with the iPhone or android phone camera for quick photo capture.
-Useful to log growth and new livestock acquisitions plus a weekly FTS would make a kicka$$ slide-show after a few months.

2. Integrate google search (image or otherwise) into the encyclopedia for anything not already listed

3. To summarize my intro... Offer a free, ad supported version as well as a paid no-ad one

4. +1 to encyclopedia... scientific names, region located, tank size/tank mates/tank parameters compatibility checking; reef safe yes/no status, hitchhiker identification and maybe even comparable prices found online (I ALWAYS want to know that if I see something interesting at a LFS)

5. +1 to parameter logging (make it easy and fast to do.. maybe a series of screens that auto advance after
each parameter is entered)

6. Minigames!!! Who doesn't love em

7. Last but not least..... MAKE IT RIGHT NOW!!! I want it by this weekend k? thanks

#12
boyscoutrickybobby

boyscoutrickybobby

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 14 posts
  • Joined 31 Jan 2011
I would deffinatley buy this app and hitch hiker I'd would be awesome and a coral chart with lighting and requirements an photots would be nice.

#13
HecticDialectics

HecticDialectics

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 43,634 posts
  • Joined 25 Oct 2006
Set it up to stream an HD webcam of the tank to your phone...

#14
Ralgo

Ralgo

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 329 posts
  • Joined 29 Oct 2010
  • Coral Springs, FL

Set it up to stream an HD webcam of the tank to your phone...


YES Definitely. I tried to do this once and my wife just shook her head and looked at me funny...

#15
fatreef

fatreef

    nano-reefer

  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Joined 11 Mar 2011
  • Chester Co. PA
Any update on this AWESOME idea of an app? I need this thing haha

#16
Mini-Dude

Mini-Dude

    5' 1 1/2" and proud of it B)

  • Members
  • 6,405 posts
  • Joined 24 Dec 2010
  • Arkansas
What divice would it be on? All?
-Spencer

My Feedback

#17
bensanders

bensanders

    engineered reefs

  • Members
  • 1,449 posts
  • Joined 16 Nov 2010
  • Austin, TX
Yeah give us some updates. I'd pay $10 for a badass app like this.
sandman's 40br
40br LED build
DIY Vortech Battery Backup

"I think it odd that a cephalopod would invent itself a god"

#18
tiggs

tiggs

    www.fragconnection.com

  • Members
  • 355 posts
  • Joined 02 Feb 2011
  • Jersey Shore
Sorry for the delayed response :) The concept sketches have been completed and the feature list for version 1 are as follows.. The initial version will be for iPhone/iPod Touch only, but future versions will be released on Android as well.

1. Compatibility chart for all marine fish
2. Care reference guide for all marine fish, corals, and inverts (with the ability to search and narrow your search down)
3. Integration with Google Images API. This will allow you to enter any fish, invert, or coral and it will display numerous images of each (This was done to make the app more lightweight. If we had images integrated with the app itself, it would be too large)
4. Log - It will automatically pull the current date, then provide spaces to log SG, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Calcium, Alk, and pH.
5. Schedule - It will allow you to schedule water changes, feeding, dosing (with a space to enter what you're dosing), top-offs, water testing, order goods (with a space to enter what goods), change bulbs, and other (with a space to enter whatever you want). Once you schedule these events, they will automatically added to your calendar with pop-up reminders.
6. Parameter Graphing - You'll be able to enter a start date and end date. From there, you can choose which parameter(s) to graph (SG, Ammonia, pH, etc). Once you select your parameters and press "graph it", a line graph with corresponding dates will show the progress of your parameters in a visual manner.
7. Schedule Graphing - This will be exactly like parameter graphing, except it will be for scheduled events that you've completed. You'll be able to choose which item(s) you want graphed and there will also be a drop down for the "dosing" category since most people will have scheduled more than one type of dosing.
8. Settings - There will be some miscellaneous settings on the "other" page. We'll also offer a section for sponsors and helpful links. Trusted companies will be able to purchase advertising space here and we'll include links to nano-reefs, reefcentral, and a few others that we decide are helpful to hobbyists.



In future versions, we hope to implement the ability to stream live video from your tank. This would require a IP based webcam and a few tweaks to your home router. This is pretty far out, so we figured it best to leave out of the initial version.

Now that I've laid out the plans, here's what I need from you guys :)

1. Help us name this app. Names actually mean a lot in the mobile app world.
2. Help us figure out a cost. I'm thinking somewhere in the $2.99 - $4.99 range. More or Less?


Thanks!

#19
Mini-Dude

Mini-Dude

    5' 1 1/2" and proud of it B)

  • Members
  • 6,405 posts
  • Joined 24 Dec 2010
  • Arkansas
Im buying :D
-Spencer

My Feedback

#20
Ralgo

Ralgo

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 329 posts
  • Joined 29 Oct 2010
  • Coral Springs, FL
As for a name, how about REEF NANNY?

I think that going with sponsors as well as making it a paid app might be a mistake. In my experience with the app store (my company does marketing/advertising in apps) People tend to look unfavorably at apps that charge as well as advertise. Granted we here on NR all know how awesome the app is but to get it picked up in droves by the regular customer you would have to decide... either make it a paid app and offer no advertising or make it free and subsidize it with ads and sponsors. Either way I cant wait for this app to be released. If its not free the going rate for single purpose productivity apps on the app store is $0.99 while multi-function productivity apps run between $1.99 - $2.99. There are a few do-it-all apps running for $4.99 so you might be able to price it there if there are no competing reef log apps.

Either way best of luck with this project. Cant wait to see the final product. You got a place in my app store budget my friend.

#21
Mini-Dude

Mini-Dude

    5' 1 1/2" and proud of it B)

  • Members
  • 6,405 posts
  • Joined 24 Dec 2010
  • Arkansas
Hey tiggs..you could donate some of the money you make to NR. ;)
-Spencer

My Feedback

#22
Milkeeway

Milkeeway

    Nano Reviewer

  • Members
  • 248 posts
  • Joined 27 Mar 2011
  • Torrance, CA
If it has a very nice GUI(Graphical User Interface) Think Windows 7, good colors, bubbly, overall modern looking $1.99 easy. If it's going to be simple and more Windows XP looking boxy, older looking colors, etc I'd say $0.99. I would advise that you do a "free addition" with ads maybe minus one feature that makes it easier to use and a paid version with no ads plus that feature or more you left out. I'd be interested in purchasing an app like that. I know I used one Chemical tracking app (to monitor my tests) and the one thing I hated was all the typing I had to do! I suggest you do something similar to when you buy something online and it asks you your State you get a list to choose from instead of typing it out same for birthday, country etc. It makes things easier. With all that in mind keep it simple on our phones we want speed and usability no incredibly fancy backgrounds with fish or anything just nice modern looking contemporary design. Your biggest "paid market" will be iPhone and the iPhone is designed by a minimalist(Steve jobs) for minimalists. Android is a bit more clunky and people are not yet used to paying for apps.

70% free 30% paid on android
20% free 80% paid on iPhone
No guestimates on blackberry but it's a much smaller market.

Edited by Milkeeway, 31 March 2011 - 02:59 PM.


#23
Grimmpls

Grimmpls

    Reefer.

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Joined 11 Nov 2010
  • Boulder, CO
Great Idea! I would not use amazon though try to get Marine depot to sponsor it. But yes I would use it on my Ipad.

Reefin ain't easy but it's necessary


#24
tiggs

tiggs

    www.fragconnection.com

  • Members
  • 355 posts
  • Joined 02 Feb 2011
  • Jersey Shore
The sponsored ads wouldn't necessarily be for collecting money. I apologize for not explaining this properly. Basically, "Helpful Links and Sponsors" would be in their own section - not scrolling across the screen. We're not looking to make money from sponsors - we're looking to trade a link on our app for advertisement rights on their sites. Let's take nano-reef.com for example. If you notice on the top of your screen, there's a banner ad. The company pays to have that there. In exchange for us including a link to their site on our app, we'd be allowed to advertise (within reason) on their site.

As far as the GUI goes, it will be great so don't worry about that :) We're the top mobile application development company in NJ and already have over 40 apps in the Apple AppStore and Android Market. We debated making a free and lite version of the app, but decided that removing any of the functionality would greatly degrade the apps perception and value. I think we'll be in the $3.99 range since this will be a VERY helpful tool for reef keepers and upgrades will be FREE of charge as we release new versions. Let's face it - Reefing isn't a poor man's hobby, so why skimp on a useful tool :)

#25
19jeffro83

19jeffro83

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 2,805 posts
  • Joined 15 Dec 2009
  • NJ
Call it reef nipple. Sounds great so far. Add some alerts to this app maybe a water change alert, a dosing alert. All optional of course.