Monthly Archives: November 2013

Origami Android gets featured!

So I have been work­ing at Origa­mi since mid-July 2013. Origa­mi is a mobile com­merce plat­form that allows users to effec­tive­ly cre­ate their own per­son­al­ized shop by fol­low­ing only the brands/merchants that they are inter­est­ed in. Every brand/merchant on Origa­mi also have phys­i­cal shops, and so online-to-offline con­ver­sions (encour­ag­ing users of the app to go into the phys­i­cal shops) are also a big theme. The com­pa­ny was found­ed last year and is cur­rent­ly focused on the Japan­ese mar­ket. [This is not an offi­cial post by Origa­mi, so any­thing men­tioned here only reflects my own opin­ion and under­stand­ing.]

I was tasked with build­ing an Android app coun­ter­part (from scratch) to their exist­ing iOS app, which was released ear­li­er this year. I had com­plete free­dom to decide the tech­ni­cal archi­tec­ture of the Android app, which has made for a very inter­est­ing and edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence. The app start­ed out as Ant/E­clipse-based, with a short tran­si­tion to a Maven/Intellij base, before final­ly set­tling on Gradle/Android Stu­dio. The var­i­ous libraries used also evolved in a sim­i­lar fash­ion.

The iOS app has been rel­a­tive­ly well received (also becom­ing fea­tured on the App Store), and so the Android app had a lot to live up to. After three months of hard work, the Origa­mi Android app was final­ly released on 21st Octo­ber 2013.

The app soon caught the atten­tion of var­i­ous peo­ple at Google, and much to my delight, it was decid­ed that the app would be fea­tured on Google Play!

Google Play Apps Home.

Google Play Apps Home.

Detail page.

Detail page.

From 2013/11/08 until 2013/11/15, if you opened the ‘Apps’ home page on the Google Play app (while in Japan), you would be greet­ed with a rather large Origa­mi ban­ner. Click­ing on the ban­ner led to a small detail page with a descrip­tion of Origa­mi, which then sub­se­quent­ly led to the app download/info page. In terms of app pro­mo­tion on Google Play, this is about as good as it gets!

Although the ban­ner is no longer shown, Origa­mi can also cur­rent­ly be found in the ‘今週のおすすめ’ (‘This week’s rec­om­mend­ed apps’) and the ‘まずはこれから始めよう’ (‘First­ly, let’s start from here’ / ‘Essen­tials’) sec­tions. It also holds a strong rank­ing in the ‘Shop­ping’ cat­e­go­ry (cur­rent­ly #10 Top Free). This pub­lic­i­ty is pro­vid­ing a great boost to our down­loads and hope­ful­ly the ini­tial suc­cess will only con­tin­ue. I am very excit­ed at the buzz cur­rent­ly sur­round­ing Origa­mi, and feel inspired to deliv­er an even bet­ter Android expe­ri­ence from here!

Category: Android

Site revival

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ひさしぶり!Somehow it has become Novem­ber 2013, three years and one domain trans­fer since I last post­ed an update! My pre­vi­ous post was about going to an Octo­ber­fest in Yoko­hama in 2010. That day is now one I vivid­ly remem­ber — not because it was a par­tic­u­lar­ly spe­cial day, but because, for some rea­son or anoth­er, it was the day I stopped blog­ging. It has occurred to me many times since then that a) blog­ging was real­ly, real­ly enjoy­able and b) I can’t have my life sto­ry (accord­ing to the Inter­net) end at a Ger­man beer fes­ti­val in Japan (as much fun as it was!).

And so I shall con­tin­ue.

As a quick sum­ma­ry, I have spent about half of the past three years in Lon­don, and about half in Tokyo, work­ing as an Soft­ware Engi­neer devel­op­ing Android apps. Most of the posts from now on will be about Android/programming or Japan­ese language/culture. If you are inter­est­ed in those two things, please check again soon!

Yokohama Octoberfest 2013 - we've come full circle!

Yoko­hama Octo­ber­fest 2013 — we’ve come full cir­cle!

Category: Meta