In September 2018, on the company’s 8th birthday, Rabid became Ackama - this was to reflect that fact that we work on large digital ecosystems, and given that nature is the largest ecosystem in the world we wanted a name that came from nature. Ackama, or Makamaka, is a small bushy tree with white flowers and red seeds. It’s found on the coast from Whangarei north.
Last summer was glorious. Sunny and warm like a summer should be. And I got to do some Android programming.
The project was just the sort that Rabid seeks out: good for the world. A smartphone app that measures and contributes to sustainable fishing. The good folk at Terramoana had created an iPhone application for recreational fishers to record their catch. The glaring missing piece was an Android app.
Our client preferred we stay close to the iphone design, but we worked through the parts of the UI that made sense to be different on an Android platform. For starters, Android has a “back” button, while iPhone relies on apps creating a back action on each screen where appropriate. With small modifications, we created an Android clone of their existing iPhone app - and got it into the Play store in time for the summer holiday fishing season. Quickly the number of Android installations overtook the number of iPhone installations.
As is the way with any project, small changes and improvements to the app were discovered and implemented instead of merely re-implementing exactly what was in the older iPhone app. It became clear that many of these interface tweaks were also needed on the iPhone code base (and a couple of bugs we’d found in the iPhone app needed squishing). We sorted most of this in parallell to the android work. (the client managed to get their previous software vendor to do some of the iPhone bug squishing).
Getting the modified iPhone app into the Apple store was a bit more of a mission. Google tends to let most anything in, and quickly. Apple do a whole review dance that takes days or weeks. After some confusing incorrect refusals by Apple, we eventually received approval and hurrah the app was only a few days late for summer.
This was a tight deadline project, and our five person project team found their roles and were moving like an efficient machine by the end. I was relatively new to Rabid and found a place doing some code, reviewing and testing the merge requests, and performing the manual human side of quality testing (we have the automated flavours too of course).
The app is named “Fish4All” and can be found on Google Play, and the Apple iPhone app store.
In other news, I now have a fishing rod. I have spent several relaxing weekend afternoons on Miramar wharf, and WHO KNOWS, one day i might actually catch a fish.