Class-ify is a digitalised school planner. It's main feature is to show you your Schedule and Tasks in a neat tabbed layout. It helps the most forgetful of us, and are our memories ever perfect? I learned Firebase as I created this app, not having any idea how much I'd use it down the road extending into more or less all the apps I develop. There are a few primary features of Firebase that I implemented in Class-ify to give a better and more engaging user experience.
Classify School Assistant and Planner
Class-ify is a digitalised school planner. It’s main feature is to show you your Schedule and Tasks in a neat tabbed layout. It helps the most forgetful of us, and are our memories ever perfect? I learned Firebase as I created this app, not having any idea how much I’d use it down the road extending into more or less all the apps I develop. There are a few primary features of Firebase that I implemented in Class-ify to give a better and more engaging user experience.
Skills Applied (Firebase Services)
I learned Firebase as I created this app, not having any idea how much I’d use it down the road extending into more or less all the apps I develop. There are a few primary features of Firebase that I implemented in Class-ify to give a better and more engaging user experience.
Realtime Cloud Database
Although the “realtime” part wasn’t needed, the database came in extremely useful (This was before the days of Firestore). A user’s schedule, tasks, and profile data would be stored in the database. It allowed them to sync their data across different devices and share their data seamlessly with peers.
With very similar use to the database with a larger focus on syncing and sharing images (such as profile pictures and images linked to tasks).
This allowed users to create an account and log in seamlessly into the app, either through their email or with Facebook. This allowed them seperate sets of data which can be synced and shared.
Bugs, they came. It’s inevitable with every app. However, debugging wasn’t a pain at all. It was quick and easy, and this allowed me to implement the most efficient solution to each one of them. With each crash report showing the frequency of each crash occurring as well as the exact line of code and state of the device the crash happened at, I saved hours and possibly even days worth of debugging.
Your schedule shows you details such as your teacher, room, and the time/period you have to be in each class. Going into each individual schedule, you also have the ability to take notes and see every unfinished task linked to that schedule. If you’re logged in, you can sync your schedule (and tasks) throughout all your devices.
You can even view your schedule on other days, or see your whole week in a timetable-like view that’s automatically generated based on your schedule.
The tasks pane shows you homework, tests, and other things that require you to take action on. The focus was to make it as quick and easy as possible to enter new tasks which we did through things smartly auto-filling fields. The app should be able to recognise what you’re going for when you select one option so it can automatically fill in the other fields based on its predictions.
Tasks offers standard features you’d expect such as the ability to set reminders (notifications) and take photos. It also colours in tasks nicely if their due dates are nearing as a nice little bit of warning.
On the other hand, we decided to incorporate the peer system which allows you to share your task with peers. Once their devices sync, they’ll be able to see the task you’ve shared to them without having to enter it in themselves… or you can take advantage of this yourself. Talk about teamwork!
Peers work similarly to friends in Facebook or Snapchat, but the primary focus is sharing task details so you can collaborate.
Adding a peer is made easy with the ability to scan someone’s QR code to send an adding request. If this doesn’t suit you, you can still add them by their username.
Essex Digital Awards
Class-ify won the Essex Digital Awards 2017 Gold Award for the Mobile App Category which was a crazy experience! This is only my first app and this was us competing against professionals in the industry. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of many around me.
In the Newspaper… Twice
The Story of Class-ify
I was only 15 when I started developing Class-ify, 1 year into Android Development. The idea for the app, however, was with me only 2 months after I started learning Android Development.
This was my first proper app, so it goes without saying that I really took my time to develop this.
I also needed a team to do things I couldn’t do greatly myself such as designing the graphical assets of the app. Thankfully, I had friends from school who were willing to help and lo they did! From designing to testing, it almost felt like we became a proper development team.
Around January 2017, I released the app’s beta version. It was released publicly, but only known to my school. I was fine with this. I just wanted opinions on the app. To my relief, people liked it and found it useful.
It was also around this time I found out about the Essex Digital Awards. It looked like a huge opportunity for me to challenge my talent and willpower, so we signed up for it.
To our surprise, several months later, we received an email from their team that we passed as finalists for the awards and that we’d be going to a prestigious event filled with professionals from the industry.
Preparing for it, we kept further developing the app, ridding it of any bugs, completing any unfinished features and refining it around the edges. We were able to officially release it on May 2017, only days before the awards evening of the Essex Digital Awards where we’d find out whether our app won or not.
So the night came, it was prestigious, fancy, professional. I almost felt out of place, only 16 at the time, surrounded by professionals in their mid-twenties or late sixties.
After almost an hour of suspense, the announcement came. “The winner of the mobile app category is… Class-ify School Assistant and Planner!”. I was overjoyed. My peers were overjoyed. Even the people we sat with were overjoyed. The honour one can get from earning an award at an age where most wouldn’t even be thinking of such awards.
Following the glory of this evening, Maldon and Burnham Standard volunteered to write an article about us, and another one a little down the line. Great people they are.
The app now has about 2000 downloads. It’s not a massive success. I flunked a little bit on the marketing side of it. However, it was surely an eventful one, and nevertheless, the beginning of my career.