I Wrote an App!

Posted January 18, 2014 by Bill Amend

Back when I was in high school and college, I enjoyed drawing cartoons. But I loved programming computers. In fact, my suspicion is I owe my current career in large part to the fact that I just wasn’t all that great at the computer stuff.

One evening last January I decided that my 2013 New Year’s resolution would be to reawaken that happy younger me by updating my 30-years-out-of-date programming skills to the point where I could try writing an iOS app. I even had a super-easy-to-implement app idea in mind: a Jason Fox themed math quiz. In hindsight I was probably drunk at the time, or at minimum on cold medicine. Anyway, after about two weeks of reading books and watching Stanford CS lectures via iTunes, I was convinced that writing a math app was not only doable, but probably wouldn’t take me that long. Silly cartoonist.

It took me a ridiculously long 11 months to make it, but the important thing is it’s done. And Apple-approved. And available for 99 cents on iTunes.

It’s called The Jason Fox Math Quizzer, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The quiz difficulty can be adjusted to make it challenging for a broad range of abilities, and there are a dozen geeky math cartoons to unlock and silly little Jason animations that show up when you finish a quiz without any mistakes. I had a ridiculous amount of fun making it. Seriously. I think one of the reasons I stopped doing dailies was the sense that I wasn’t learning anything new in my job, and this project was like an avalanche of learning.

Anyway, I hope people like it. Apart from the sound effects, every element in it was handmade by me.

Note: Requires iPhone or iPad with iOS 7.