16 January 2015
From the Forum — Issue #55
Welcome to the latest installment of From the Forum. In this series, guest blogger Alex Jackson highlights outstanding threads from the Corona Forum. The goal is to bring attention to the most captivating, interesting, and thought-provoking discussions taking place in our very own backyard.
Please visit the forum to join these conversations or start your own!
1. Using your own URL schemes? Keep an eye out for shortcuts…
Assisting app awareness means making sure you are allowing users to get in touch with you by any means possible. Whether that is through the Corona “share” functionality or some other method, getting the right info into the right hands means more user engagement and higher downloads, pretty much across the board.
Previously discussed Corona developer RoamingGamer posted a question regarding this topic not too long ago, wondering aloud if any other Corona dev knew of a way (through custom URL schemes) to interact with other apps on a device. Corona support engineer Rob Miracle was able to chime in with a very handy list of custom URL schemes (sometimes called hooks or callback urls) for some very popular social media apps.
Check out the original thread to learn more about this very intriguing discussion. If you have some suggestions or your own experiences to recount, definitely post them in the post!
2. Functionality over fashion
Keeping your apps code neat and tidy is one of the better ways to ensure performance optimization and to keep from your app getting bloated with unneeded functions and comments. One method to accomplish this is by modularizing your code as described this previous blog post. Another is to use databases and tables to access your function calls, which allows a function to be called from a string.
The below forum thread discusses use of the functions when inside of a database (SQL in this case, but the theory could apply to JSON as well) and how to handle a call for a specific function name. Head on over to the original thread to check out the suggestions, and to throw in your two cents if you have your own ideas.
3. New developers take note: Always Be Evaluating!
Virality is impossible to predict, ephemeral as a physical form and a wild goose chase to replicate. The most popular and viral apps can be said to have either a) a very lucky success story, or b) a healthy dose of black magic behind them.
One Corona developer was recently opining on the various methods an indie might go about marketing their apps to the public. The main idea being, apps are being downloaded every day; what makes any one app better or worse than another? If you’re making a clone of a popular title, what keeps yours from gaining some traction while others shoot into the stratosphere?
It’s an polarizing subject, and you should do yourself a favor and check out the thread. One developer links to a fascinating story about the “black magic” I was referring to earlier, and it is worth the price of admission. So, what are you waiting for? Get over to the link to read more about this subject!
Alex Jackson is an indie developer and the founder of Panc Software, specializing in retro-style gaming. He has created several mobile applications, enjoys long walks on the beach, pixel art, and reading the Corona forums. Contact him by email or follow him on Twitter: @pancsoftware. Check out his new game Crosstown Smash on iOS, Android, and Amazon devices!