Bottoms Up!

Hello again! As ever hope you're all well.

So the news we've all been waiting for was finally announced this week! And it feels like we've been waiting forever. But yes, it's definitely happening - the next version of iOS will have widgets on the home screen! Sorry, what was that? You meant the news about pubs opening again? ohhhh... well yes, that too...

Cheers all! Next Saturday is going to be carnage, is it not...

Since my last blog life at Number Ten HQ has become busier than ever, as Mrs E's working hours recently shifted from part- to near full-time. Like many other lockdown couples, we've been balancing work and home schooling, and the balance has just shifted slightly further in my direction. For the next couple of months, progress on the app is likely to slow down a bit as my hours reduce to part-time. However, along with my Year 5 home schooling commitments (mixed fractions, The Railway Children and Anglo-Saxon Britain this week!) I have still managed to build a few new features in N10.

The big deliverable this week has been the Policy Questionnaire. One of the big design challenges in the election scenario is making the creation of a full manifesto as painless for the player as possible. While I'm sure there will be some people who will love the ability to set every minute policy detail to their own preference (I'm one), having to individually configure 150 or so policies is a pretty sure-fire way of putting off most people from playing the game.

Now, thanks to my automatic "Policy Creation Questionnaire", that's no longer necessary. By simply answering a small set of multiple-choice-answer questions covering your concerns and values, Number Ten is able to generate a full policy manifesto for you. To give an example, if you answer "Strongly Agree" for the statement "I believe we should put jobs above the environment", your manifesto will contain policies more suited to economic growth than green affairs. Somewhat unglamorous maybe, but I can imagine our famously detail-averse Prime Minister falling over himself to get hold of such a tool. Maybe I can offer it as a cheap replacement for Cummings if the app stiffs?

The N10 Policy Questionnaire! Some early feedback : "23 questions, who's going to have the patience to wade through all those?" I may yet have to reduce the number further for the attention-span deficient generation...

I've also started looking into another app idea (a side hustle on my side hustle, if you will?). Mrs E has long suggested I focus on a smaller, simpler app as a first project, in order to be able to get something on the App Store more quickly. With that in mind, I'm pausing work on N10 for a few days to investigate building a fitness app. The idea is that the app will track spontaneous running intervals - fartleks, to use the technical term (stop sniggering at the back), and provide the user with analysis on the intervals run. All of the interval timing apps I've found so far require the user to enter the intervals before starting the run. My idea is to allow the runner to stop and start their intervals as they choose, with the app doing the hard yards of calculating distance and pace afterwards. I'll need to learn a few extra skills in order to build this, so I'll be familiarising myself with Apple's CoreMotion and HealthKit technologies. If it's a goer I'll know soon enough.

As it's 33 degrees outside, I'm off for a bit of a Vitamin D top-up. Enjoy the sunshine, stay safe, and speak soon...


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