Programming Contest 2


Our second App Studio Programming Contest is now complete. There were good entries, demonstrating how far the developers and product has come in the past year.

We had two categories: Web Apps (available via download) and App Store (available through various App Stores). All registered NS Basic users were welcome to participate in the contest. Prizes were $100 USD in each category.

Judging was by NS Basic's experts. All judging was arbitrary and final. We looked for quality, performance, ease of use, sophistication and overall coolness. Apps could be anything: Enterprise, business, commercial, education, games or even something whimsical.

All programs had to be written using NSB/AppStudio. Entries could be commercial, shareware or freeware, and for iPhone, iPad, Android or multiple platforms.

Stay tuned for our next one!

Category: App Store

  Winner first, the rest in random order.

PreEPOS by Darren Windsor/England

ProEPOS for iPhone provides point-of-sale, inventory control and basic reporting allowing shop-keepers to sell products, track inventory, perform inventory audits, compile orders, book-on deliveries of goods and return goods to suppliers. It is primarily aimed at the convenience goods market but also has wider applications for general retail. It fully integrates with our ProEPOS desktop application (using websockets) to synchronise data with the main EPOS database at the store. Also has an iPad version.

Judge's Comments: Well designed app that is very easy to follow. Seems to be very useful for a businessman. Has lots of features and some interesting report builders for reference. Its best feature has to be its organization which would help a lot with anyone who has a lot of products to follow.

What would an award ceremony be without an acceptance speech?

It has been an absolute pleasure using App Studio to develop for the iPhone and iPad. Certainly nothing else I have seen comes close to providing such a productive and joyous-to-use development environment. I would happilly recommend the product to anyone (and often do!) It has enabled us to produce a market leading product and give us the edge over numerous competitors who have yet to tackle the mobile market. "Thank you" simply doesn't go far enough!

This software is: Freeware Link

Other Entries (alphabetical order)

Construction Estimator by Mike Omassey/USA

Construction Estimator is an easy to use estimating program to help a contractor or home owner estimate materials and cost of a project. The main menu of construction Estimator shows 11 functions to choose from. Construction Estimator does not have a set beginning point, you can start with any function. Each function has inputs that relate to the area to be calculated. After inputting the measurements press the calculate button. This will calculate and display the cost and the materials. These totals are remembered and saved in memory. Totals are also displayed in the totals form. Versions for iOS, Android and Nook.

Judge's Comments: Most areas of general home construction are well considered in this app. It has a colourful and inventive appearance that reminds the user what each term refers to. And because each unit price is input by the user for their local prices it will tend to be decently accurate. However this app can only possibly cover basic project shapes, so more complex projects will be further off from the estimate. This app also functions off the assumption that the user knows proper building code and standard methods. This is a fair assumption as one should assume the user is trying to complete their project safely.

This software is: Link

Engine Calculator by Ted Williams/USA

This is the result of my first attempt at writing an app with NSBasic. It uses localstorage and SQLite, gets gear tables using the add script at runtime trick, gets weather data in JSON format (JSON rocks!). I'm into racing and I figured what better way to learn a new programming environment then to write an app that utilizes most techniques I will use in the future.

Judge's Comments: This app houses a large variety of useful information, that is well organized and presented. Slight touchup to the main menu could make it a bit better. It also provides the user with a converter for the units it commonly used, allowing the user to look them up in app. This is good as it means less pages to go back through to see the numbers to convert which makes them easier to input. The best feature would be the auto input data using a gps location. Though this feature is sure not to be supported in all regions.

This software is: Commercial Link

Vier zum Sieg by Udo Henke/Germany

The popular game Connect-4. Play against another player or against the computer. When playing against the computer, you can choose easy, medium or hard.

Judge's Comments: No fancy bells and whistles. Just simple graphics, free and easy to use. Well suited for a mobile device as a result. (Note: sorry for the distorted sample images. Not the fault of the app.)

This software is: Free Link

WIFnProof by Helen Sandoz/USA

WIF 'n Proof is a weaver's tool. It will help you to design a draft, and it will read any WIF file to assist you while threading and while weaving by keeping track of where you are in the process. For iPhone, iPad and Kindle.

Judge's Comments: Has some pretty cool features, like online registration, data backup and sharing of pattern between users. This is a very nice app and has a lot of great features. The ability to design patterns and enter specific threading is very well done as well as the ability to store previous entries so that you never lose a pattern. The only issue this app has is that it uses both landscape and portrait screens but doesn't open them in the proper view, so you need to turn your phone to see the rest of some screens.

This software is: Commercial Link

XplusY by Hussain Al-Marzook/Bahrain

The game is on OVI ( ), android (multiple stores paid and free e.g., iOs ( )

With a good knowledge of Basic language and no to little web development experience, the game is written in the new HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3, thanks to NS Basic Studio for making this game a real, without the need to learn new language and in short time.

Judge's Comments: An interesting game which requires a decent amount of thought to play and is rather fun. It is very visually appealing, all the icons and menus are easy to follow with a short and direct help statement. The difficulty is in a way set by the user and as such the game is playable by most people. The game functions are still very straightforward as is the idea of the game, but the simplicity really helps it.

This software is: Commercial Link

Category: Web App

  Winner first, the rest in random order.

Australian Steel Band Festival by Tony Richardson/Austrialia

This is an iPhone app for a Music Festival we are holding next year, to be used by attendees while they are at the Festival.

Judge's Comments: This app is wonderfully put together. It houses all relevant information to the festival in an easy to follow and easy to find format. So far as festivals are concerned the priorities are figuring out what, where and when things are. But the really impressive thing about this app being developed and displayed almost a year in advance is to those who find it and download it they can easily keep it as a reminder to the event they have planned on attending. Add in the automatic updates that are proposed to be incorporated and you have a very well thought out app.

What would an awards ceremony be without an acceptance speech?

I first encountered NSBasic back in 2006 when I used it to make some forestry survey programs on a Palm Pilot. When I saw the release of App Studio in late 2010, I knew I had to use it to make some iPhone/iPad apps. What I didn't realise was how powerful, yet how simple, it would turn out to be. And the support provided by the App Studio team, and from everyone on the App Studio Forum has made using App Studio an absolute delight.

I have now written a suite of iPad apps that have revolutionised our travel survey business, and the Steelband Music Festival iPhone app that I entered in the contest was developed in less than 2 weeks. This, however, was not evidence of a rushed job; it was a tribute to the power and ease-of-use of NSBasic App Studio. I would like to thank the App Studio team at NSBasic for their unflagging support and continuing development of App Studio; Tom Gruber and others for their generous help via the Forum; and Julia Peddie for the Steelband Music Festival graphics used in the app.

This software is: Freeware Link

Other Entries (alphabetical order)

AW139 calculator by Graham Pettican/England

This app is a center of gravity calculator for Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters and is currently being used by several helicopter operators around the world.

Judge's Comments: This app could save lives, so it's immediately useful. Very specific app but gives a useful summary of information for those who would need it. It might need some expansion into other aircraft types to become more commercially useful. It's straightforward input system should be easy for anyone to use and could be expanded into a more commercial setting.

This software is: Freeware Link

BeebCast by Dr. Alan Teh/Malaysia

Beebcast is an app to quickly access audio news and the latest selected podcasts from the BBC. It should be compatible with most smartphones and tablets as well as some desktop browsers (Chrome and Safari).

Judge's Comments: Interesting and useful for the news if you want to listen to it while walking or are in some way visually engaged. It is very much like a news radio with a couple of channels.

This software is: Donationware Link

BodyCalc by Dr. Allan Teh/Malaysia

A little collection of commonly performed calculations for medical use.

Judge's Comments: Basic BMI and general health calculator. Has a decent amount of options and provides a good amount of information, but many similar apps already exist and the usefulness of this app would be far greater with more specific and specialized information input. Still is useful for a quick BMI check.

This software is: Freeware Link

Color/Shape by mizuno-ami/Japan

A color/shape matching game.

Judge's Comments: The game plays fine and is an interesting brain exercise, but it quickly loses the player's attention as the difficulty never changes. Once you are able to quickly see which to look for with only 4 options and a never changing time limit the challenge of the game unfortunately becomes how long can you play before you lose interest and then focus. The game could also be a little more visually appealing and could use the free space on the screen better.

This software is: Freeware Link

CowMate by Graham Barlow/New Zealand

Here are some screen shots from "Cow Mate". 1st Graph shows spread of results from body scoring cow condition and overlays that with previous scoring (In black with black dots) to quickly see any variance/movement in cow condition. 3rd screen shows how the herd scores on other aspects.

Judge's Comments: (received too late for judging)

This software is: unreleased.

D by mizuno-ami/Japan

Defend your town from big monster using... DICE!? This is a tiny game with simple rule, but be careful if you choose the dice.

Judge's Comments: A very cute game that is easy to play, but only once you have read how it works. The instructions could be a little clearer and the game could start a little easier for first time players. All in all it is fun but not very addicting.

This software is: Freeware Link

DateCalc by Dr. Alan Teh/Malaysia

Datecalc is a little utility to work out the number of days/weeks between two dates. The default will be the system date. You can manually change the date in either the 1st or 2nd date, or add/subtract a user defined number of days/weeks from the 2nd (default) or 1st date. You can now store up to 10 dates using the Mem button

Judge's Comments: Seems like a bit much to calculate the difference in dates. It works fine but I can't see why I'd use it over a calendar.

This software is: Freeware Link

Diabetes1 by Guy Gendreau/France

This application is used to determine the amount of carbohydrates to a meal a diabetic separated. Foods are chosen from a list of foods personal (user editable) or list feed information (not editable). The number of units of insulin was calculated from the amount of carbohydrates and the ratio for the type of meal. Eventually a correction can be made from the table of requirements (see doctor)

Judge's Comments: Though this app functions fine it is rather hard to use and understand the steps just by opening it up. A diabetic would more easily use this app supposing they have had to do similar tracking methods in the past. Insuline/InsuPhone is useful for storing and organizing the data as well as housing quite a few features, but the UI is hard to use and could really use a brief description under options. It's nice that this app is also offered in French.

This software is: Freeware Link

Drugs and Disease search by Dr. Alan Teh/Malaysia

DrugDz allows you to perform rapid drug or disease lookup via several free online information providers (you may have to sign in with a free account to access some of these). The applet will remember your last search options. searches only drugs, but the others - Mescape, Epocrates and Wikipedia allow drugs and disease searches.

Judge's Comments: Quick search engine that uses common search engines for medical information and keeps them all in one place. Simple design and pretty straight forward use.

This software is: Freeware Link

Electronic Workshop Assistant by Lew Joubert/Australia

Electronic workshop organizer.

Judge's Comments: This electronic workshop assistant app is well organized and will work to keep track of what you have in the workshop, but needs to add on some way of tracking where you have it. Other then the listing and searching capabilities this app doesn't offer much other then a large variety of listing categories.

This software is: Freeware Link

FieldNotes by James Waddell/USA

My friend is a police detective and often has to accurately record some quick notes while doing surveillance or checking officers in and out of crime scenes, etc. The program records the entered comments with a time stamp & optional date and GPS coordinates. It saves the data in a SQLite db. Just three screens, not much to it, but the idea is to keep it very simple as they are trying to keep attention on other matters.

Judge's Comments: It does what it was trying to accomplish well, making documented notes. The extra features allow it to be more versatile and include most information the note taker might need, though adding too much info gets crowded in the header section.

This software is: Freeware Link

Flipping by Tan Thoo Song/Singapore

Flipping is the classic memory card game.

Judge's Comments: Very typical game that's existed for a long time. For a game the appearance is very lacking. The high Score labeling doesn't make much sense. It might be fun to play once in a while but it's not a very impressive app.

This software is: Freeware Link

Football Cards by Tony Kingsmill/England

Football Cards is a card and football game rolled into one, for one player vs the computer. No knowledge of football is required. Chosen your team then try to win each match to win the cup!

Judge's Comments: The idea could be more fun then it is if the app made more possible actions from various card picks. As it is there are really only 4 possible actions that can happen even though there are 8 different types of cards. As well it feels only like a random card game rather then the feel of playing the game of football because there isn't any concept of field or position. This game is a random card game at the moment but could really do much better if they original idea that the how to play explains the game as came through better. The pictures on the cars are also hard to see and read.

This software is: Shareware Link

Game Trade Book by John Calhoun/USA

Game Trade Book (gtbRasa) is an inventory of needs management application for players of the on line role playing game "World of Warcraft" with in-app messaging and posting of items wanted or for sale. Most desired tradable World of Warcraft items are selectable from lists in Game Trade Book. It allows the user to record their trade item needs or haves for each of their characters and all US realms. When playing WoW the user can use this application to see their trade needs without switching characters in the online game. Additionally, the list of trade needs can be emailed to others and items "Wanted" or "For Sale" can be posted to our cloud server, thus facilitating trading when agreeable between players of the game.

Judge's Comments: This app is based off of the game World of Warcraft and is made to meet the needs of players wanting to exchange items between characters. The main feature this app has is it's item listing for both items owned and wanted. This information is shared publicly to other users along with your character ID allowing people to set up trades between themselves with what they have for what they want. It also hosts a forum, which should help promote the trades and hopefully build some sort of online community. All in all it does cover a commonly expressed need of players given the type of game it is designed for, but similar things and forums already do exist on websites.

This software is: Freeware Link

Golden Hour by Dr. Alexandre Amato/Brazil

What is the best time to shoot photos outside ? Right before sunrise and after the sundown ! This app lets you know when this will happen where you are right now.

Judge's Comments: Very interesting idea and the app works quite well and quickly for the calculation. Itis nicely organized but needs a few centering touchups. All in all a good application for any type of photographer.

This software is: Not for sale yet.

LottoBest by Frank Johns/England

Helps you pick numbers in Lotteries. An early version won several hundred pounds!

Judge's Comments: A good app to play around with and show your friend you made, but not very visually appealing and has a lot of small alignment errors such as the numbers and letters in the circles up top. It would also be better if the picked lotto number at the bottom were displayed one over then other rather then in a continuous string.

This software is: Don't know yet.

Market by Guy Gendreau/France

A simple shopping list. Available in French as well.

Judge's Comments: This app could be useful for keeping a grocery list on hand that is automatically sorted by section of the store. The organization and visuals of the app are a little lacking which makes the function of the app less intuitive. it would be much better if when you clicked a food section the scroll bar to choose the food popped up rather then staying hidden until clicked. The list unfortunately has another function problem which is it doesn't seem to have an end and scrolls on into a white page.

This software is: Freeware Link

MyTraffic by Dr. Alan Teh/Malaysia

My Traffic is a web app to help you quickly gather traffic conditions from various sources: LLM Malaysia, ITIS Malaysia, Land Transport Authority Singapore, Twitter and LiteFM.

Judge's Comments: This app lets you get the latest traffic info in Singaport and Malaysia quickly. In includes live traffic cams. I checked it at 2:30 AM Saturday and found a traffic jam. Quick and easy to use.

This software is: Freeware Link

PregCalc by Dr. Alan Teh/Malaysia

Date Calculations in pregnancy.

Judge's Comments: Very average calculation application. Works fine and is well arranged, though these simple calculator apps are appealing to very specific audiences and usually only for limited use.

This software is: Freeware Link

SMSified by Scott Page/USA

Here are screenshots of an app that I made using NSBasic to send out SMS Text alerts to our staff. Most of our employees do not like to carry both pagers and cell phones and prefer to receive messages via SMS on their phones. Our CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system does not provide for this functionality. The other cool thing about NSBasic is that I was able to use the same code and make a desktop version that can be used by Dispatch. I made the desktop version a chrome extension and installed it on their computers.

Judge's Comments: This app is very innovative in the way it creates and sends alerts. The use of a SMS host for the hub allows for almost simultaneous messages to be sent to the group rather then delayed messages across the group. As such all informed quickly and the user can be sure everyone was sent the message at the same time and should have similar response time, provided they have the means to receive the message. In the specific case that this was created for the use of non-user created groups is highly valuable for also making sure everyone who needs to be included is included and that the recipients list is moderated.

This software is: For internal company use only.