Hello Carlos Morera, creator of Finger – tell us about your app. The first thought about Finger appeared one day while I was at a party, I took my phone to write a SMS and somebody punched me and the phone fell down on the floor and the home button crashed. It started as a necessity of having a second way to have access to the functionalities of the home button. After some weeks of thinking about the issue, I realized that what I meant to achieve was totally compatible with something I was thinking about for a long while. When you have a lot of apps installed on your system I find really annoying to navigate into the app list or on the home screen and have to be looking for the app I would like to open immediately.
So, at this point I though what would be easier than just remembering the initial of the app name and drawing it on your screen to launch it? Additionally if the app is able to launch these apps from anywhere, the app will bring up a new “multi task method”. Then the thought of creatinga new “shortcuts system” for the apps you use more became an idea. I started to search for already available apps like that. I found some apps which barely did it, but just when you are over the home screen. It wasn’t really what I needed, so I began work.Who is behind the app? I was a Computer Science student and at this moment I was finishing my studies and I had to develop the final project. The merge of the idea that came about and the fact that I had to develop this project was the perfect situation to make it a reality. I didn’t have to spend money hiring any company and I thought it could be a nice idea to extend the knowledge I got in my studies to the mobile devices area.
How is your app different from similar apps or competitors? Finger is being improved day by day using the users’ feedback and the suggestions I have received from Google Play comments, forums, and friends. It makes it better and better and the huge range of features makes Finger suitable for many users in many different situations. Moreover Finger is developed to be as light as possible for the system, taking special care about maintaining the general performance of the device and battery saving. These are two things which in my opinion are the most important points on the actual mobile devices.
How did you design your App UI and App icon? From my studies I had quite a lot of knowledge about how to design an UI based on UX, although it was a challenge as it was the first time I did it for my own purpose. The UI has been updated several times from its first version, following the users’ feedback, which in my opinion is the most important. In order to design the App Icon I had to ask for help to some of my friends who have studied publicity and graphic design related studies. Working together we were able to achieve an app icon that describes with an attractive design what Finger does.
What processes and/or people inspired or assisted you in creating the App? Finger started as a simple idea of launching apps, but with the support, ideas and suggestions from friend and, forums it became bigger and bigger with new features, to the point that launch apps is one of the simplest features now in the app. Users came up with features such as make calls, open your browser with a url, change the system settings or even block the screen just drawing a gesture on the screen. I can say that Finger’s users came up with more than 90% of the features, which is a fact that really motivates me to keep improving Finger and other apps on which I am working at the moment.
What lessons did you learn building your app? The most important lesson after building Finger has been the fact that you can have the best app on the world, but if you don’t put all your energy, time and money on promoting and making people aware of your app, nobody will get to know that it exists. As I am a Computer Science Engineer the development process was challenging but nothing I couldn’t handle. My conclusion is that the promotion process is the real challenge when you are an individual developer, your knowledge is mostly technical and you have never deal with commercial and promotion processes.
What went right and wrong with the final development and app release? Finger is compatible with Android 2.0 and up, but there are a large number of different Android devices and versions. I faced many problems realted to app crashes, as it’s impossible for an individual developer to test the app in more than three or four different devices and system versions. Once again users were the solution to the problem using their feedback to improve the app. The users were the most important piece as many of them have been included on the project as testers. I also have to really thank all the different websites and forums that noticed my app between all of the millions of apps available on the markets and have found it interesting enough to write articles, reviews and video tutorials about. It really helped me out to boost the number of users when noone knew Finger.
What were you doing before you created this app? I was studying as a Computer Science Engineer and Finger was the last part of my studies. It was my first work on mobile devices and it had an enormous influence on me and since then I’m finding it as both my hobby and job.
What are some of your favorite apps? My favourite apps are mainly apps which help with daily life, making it easier and more productive.