The best way to really learn something is to actually do it

Philip Hodder from Encodis Consulting, first embarked on his app development journey with Amsys last year, by taking our 5 day iOS app development course, to turn an idea that he had been exploring into an app. The app is called “RTQ” and was recently accepted onto the App Store.
Congratulations Philip!
We got in touch with Philip to find out why he created his app “RTQ,” what the app does, and how Amsys Training helped him in achieving his app development goals.
Why did you attend our iOS App Development course?
I’ve found that the best way to really learn something is to actually do it! For iOS programming this obviously meant starting with an idea and ending up with a published app on the App Store.
Fortunately I’d been kicking the idea for the app around for a while, so after the course I could get stuck in straight away.
Why did you create the App?
There are a number of “daily quote” apps in the App Store, but these tend to be focused on one specific subject (Shakespeare, for example, or a particular TV show) – there didn’t seem to be many that allowed you to make up your own lists.
What functionality/features are included within the App?
In essence the app (called RTQ) is quite simple.
Imagine you have a list of things, arranged as a simple table. This table could contain anything:

– Different routes to run as part of a workout.
– Quotes from your favourite films.
– A list of books to read.

And so on.
You can select a table within the app and it will show a random row (or entry) from it. RTQ is short for “Random Tables and Quotes,”, which is what the app does!
Of course, there is a lot more functionality in there if you need it:

– Have several tables in the same “table set.”
– Adjust the formatting (font, colours and so on.)
– Add and edit tables and table entries within the app.
– Tables can be filtered by categories and sorted and so on.

There’s also a feature to import (from an email attachment, say, or from Dropbox) a text file containing a definition of a table set. This is useful for tables with a large number of entries.
How can the App be used?
Anyway you like! One of my primary target audiences for this app is the table top role playing game community. These games use lots of tables, and the app has lots of features to support quite complex tables.
How did Amsys training help you to create the App?
iOS programming has quite a steep learning curve – there’s a lot to learn about the programming language itself (Objective-C) and the environment you develop it in (XCode). The Amsys course was incredibly useful in getting up that curve!
Although there are a lot of iOS programming resources on the Internet nothing beats being able to ask someone how something works – or why something isn’t working! – right there and then. This gave me a solid grounding in the basics and sped things up considerably.
Are you planning on developing any more Apps in the future?
Definitely! Version 1.1 of RTQ is coming soon, although that’s more of a stability update. V1.2 will incorporate social media – so you can post a favourite quote on Facebook, for example.
The next versions will incorporate notifications – iOS 8 will probably have been released by then, and I’m keen to see what some of its new features can do in that area.
I’m also exploring an idea for another app with a colleague. This has the potential to be of interest to a range of users – from individual “hobbyists” all the way up to quite large companies. From a technical perspective, this will mean getting to grips with Core Data and iCloud, which I’m quite looking forward to!
RTQ edit table set RTQ table sets

RTQ-formatting RTQ-castle-names

We wish Philip lots of luck with his new app, and hope that the App receives plenty of downloads. We have thought of some great ways that this app can be used, for example, creating a list to generate ideas for what to cook for dinner tonight!
You can download “RTQ” for 69p from the APP Store today.
If you would like to start your app development journey with Amsys, please call us on 0208 645 5806, or check out our range of iOS app development courses for beginner and advanced developers.