As you may know, we’ve been making an app for the BeerTengoku site and we thought it would be an ideal chance to let you know what we’ve been doing with it and our plans for it. We haven’t spoken much about it recently as it’s kind of been our new baby and as such, we didn’t want to say too much about it.
- It’s not going to replace the site.
We’ve worked hard on the site and plan to keep the site up for as long as we possibly can – basically until Joe and Rob suffer from some serious illness so that we can’t drink any more. It’s simply going to be a handheld version of condensed reviews of bars, brewpubs, and shops.
- The list is going to be updated on a monthly basis.
The first version is going to be basic – and we know that. The first version is simply going to be a basic listing of bars, brewpubs, and shops, along with a map to pinpoint your location and directions. It’s taken us five months to get to a stage where we are happy with it in its base form. Updating the listings will take time so expect monthly updates on that.
- App development – why Apple and not Android?
Apple iOS is the easiest to develop for – most of the market is on the same OS so there isn’t going to be issues with things we can and cannot do. The same thing can not be said for Android. However, that’s not to say it’s not going to happen. We do want the app on Android as we want to help as many people as we can. As to when? We don’t know – this iOS version took about 4 months to make so the Android version could take the same, if not longer.
We’re going to try and keep the cost as low as possible for the moment. We’re looking at ¥100 or thereabouts. Why not free? Unfortunately the app uses Google Firebase as its database? Why? Because this means we can push updates to the app in terms of places without having to push it through the Apple Certification process. The main issue with this is that server costs scale up with users, the more users that access the database, the more bandwidth is used up and the costs go up.
- Future of the App
If you have suggestions, we’d love to hear them. Things we have planned for, or that are in the pipeline for the app:
- Search function (by far the hardest thing so far to implement)
- Bilingual with Japanese and English in the same app.
- Other areas such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and so on
- Clickable map pins