Three days, one app

As I was in the process of making the Procrastinator app as my entry for the SFR JTD contest, the jury contacted us with an unexpected request : a few weeks before the deadline that had been set for the contest, they informed us (I believe it was the middle of the week) that any application submitted before the end of the week would be preinstalled on every Palm Pre they would sell (for the background, SFR is a telco company and they had an exclusive deal with Palm regarding webOS devices).

As I was far from being done with my main app, I started thinking of apps that could be done quickly enough to be ready by this new deadline. And so it came to me, wht not FML ?

For those of you not familiar with this website, fmylife.com (viedemerde.fr in french) describes itself this way :

“Fmylife.com is a collection of user-submitted stories, likely to happen to anyone, which we then publish on the site. Simple. This is a place where you can let it all hang out and unwind by sharing the little things that screw with your day, and maybe realize that you are not alone in experiencing day-to-day crap. There now, don’t you feel better?”The website was pretty popular in France and already had iOS and Android apps. I was pretty positive, however, that they did not have anything for webOS yet, so I started developping the app

The structure of the app was very similar to the website : the main screen displayed the lastest stories of every category, and three buttons allowed you to switch between the latest stories, the most popular ones, and a random selection. Clicking on one of the stories would take you to its detail page, where you could read the comments associated with it.
The menu at the top allowed you to change the current category (love, work, etc.).

The user was also able to log in their FML account, which then allowed them to upvote, downvote and comment on a story, as well as add it to their favourites, and obviously, submit their own.

Altough I was able to submit the app on time, for some reason, SFR backed up on their decision and did not preinstall any third party app on their devices.

However, releasing the app to the webOS store helped in another way, a few weeks later, when Palm (or was it HP ?) launched their own contest, which offered to give prizes to the 100 most downloaded webOS apps. I’m happy to say FML made it to the leaderboard 🙂