Apps by Students for September


This is the eleventh App by Students feature and it showcases the awesome creations that students have created. (details on how to submit your app at the end)

Congratulations to the students below who have challenged themselves and successfully published apps!

Atomic Imagination Royal Edge

Royal Edge – Solitaire Card Game

Programmed by Macon Shirley, Designed by Judith Yates (Not pictured)

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royal edge app icon
Download Royal Edge in the App Store


Tell us a little bit about your app:

Royal Edge for iPhone and iPad is an updated variation of the classic solitaire card game “Kings in the Corners (King’s Corner)” that involves sums of 10.

How did creating your next app compare to building the first three?

This was my first Swift app (my first three apps were built with Objective-C) and also my first time creating game logic. While the other apps have type in the answer and multiple choice quizzes, this app used a more complex logic because the game is played in different stages and I couldn’t always be sure of a certain outcome with each move so I had to build in every possibility. I know this sounds confusing, but it’s hard to explain. I just want you to know that I did it and you can too!

Using Chris’s “How to Make iPhone Apps – Using Swift” course was exactly what I needed to learn the world of Swift. Chris is very thorough in his explanation of the nuances of code and also with his thought process in creating code that takes him to the outcome of the situation.

What is one lesson you learned in the process of building this app?

You ‘can’ transition from thinking/programming in Objective-C to Swift. Swift is much easier to use but I recommend learning Objective-C first. Even though it’s more complex than Swift you learn more about the specifics of programming.

What is one piece of advice that you can give to people who are learning iOS development right now?

I wish I could say there was just one, but there are a few:

1. Write out a step by step overview of what your app will do in the order you want it to happen. No code, just what you want it to do as if you were explaining it to someone and use that as a punch list of things to do.

2. Don’t try to create the app in a day. Go through a couple of steps from your overview a day and if you get stuck, don’t dwell on it too long. Take a break, clear your mind and tackle it the next day.

3. Don’t overthink your goals for a certain situation. The answer may be right under your nose.

Scotty Bevill pHPools


by Scotty Bevill (Chicago, IL)

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pHPools app icon
Download pHPools in the App Store


Can you describe your app?

pHPools was created by pool owners to finally cut the tape from water testing and manual calculate chemical needs and usage. From notes to history and stored results, forecasting can be done for projecting costs. The intention was to maintain the crystal-blue and not the chlorine white water for the perfect experience conditions and controlling the pool biology

App Store Description

Welcome pHPools, a pool maintenance application designed for and by pool owners. You may be wondering why we decided to create this tool. The answer is simple; we decided to provide our fellow pool owners with a tool that would allow them to maintain consistent above average quality of their pool water. Used properly pHPools can reduce our annual maintenance costs by reducing waste due to inaccuracies and provide a collaborative forum for owners to share successes while enjoying the pleasures of pool ownership. In addition, we wanted to give you an unbiased platform to allow you to grow your knowledge by saving your historical measurements. We hope that you will find pHPools a must have tool in assuring the health of your pool for family members and friends by monitoring and controlling the quality of your pool water filtration and sanitization systems.

Get instant access to features including:

Embedded User Video and Help
Stored Preferences and Actuals History
Chemical Change Calculations
Notes and Table Views for Information Management
Historical Recommendations and Maintenance Dates (BackWash, Pool Opening/Closing)
Pool Volume Calculator
Social Media and SMS Integration of Photos and Notes for devices that support messaging and social media.

How long did it take you to build your app?

4 Weeks

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

Mathematics, initially each calculation was based on a single test and result. As it comes to pool maintenance, many chemicals have an impact on the ratios of another and do not share the same density (PPM) when diluted in water. So default preferences were created to ensure we had a baseline the user ‘wanted’ their pool to be. Then we can calculate back to the preference regardless of the test. From a dev perspective, all calculations were placed in separate delegate models to ensure the synchronous nature of dependent calculations handled values. Finally converting data storage from NSUserDefaults to Core Data gave us the persistence we wanted without impacting up the user’s cloud storage quotas.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

An old friend to me one to do wedding code reviews: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

1. Get a mentor (like (something old)

2. Ask fellow students that are learning with you (something new)

3. Don’t reinvent the wheel, leverage what others have done in your own way, adapt (something borrowed)

4. Get a skeptic – someone who can poke holes in any idea and develop the UX (User Experience) to overcome those objections (something blue)

With this much feedback, you’re sure to always have a compass heading. Just do it, you already “can”.

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TextED app icon
Download TextED in the App Store



TextED is an app that I created basically solely from what I learned in your course. Thank you so much for making app development less intimidating.

Franklin Hilliard

Pigeonhole Allen Benjamin


by Allen Benjamin (Lebanon, Oregon)

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pigeonhole app icon
Download Pigeonhole in the App Store

Can you describe your app?

My Pigeonhole game is like the “box components” of a game you might buy in a store. You also need pencil, paper, and two or more people to play it. First you select a category, then you roll the letter dice (aka tap the pigeon), start the timer, and start writing as many words and phrases as you can think of that start with that letter. It is a universal app and VoiceOver compatible.

How long did it take you to build your app?

My app took me 1 month and 17 days to make from start to finish, minus two weeks of vacation. I started with the Swift beginner app course on CodeWithChris in December of 2014. It took me about 5 months to learn Xcode and get comfortable with it, mostly because I was busy with schoolwork.

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

The biggest obstacle I had when I was working on my app was figuring out how to make constraints specific to different size classes and learning how autolayout works. This was especially confusing because my app is universal.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

Since I’m 14, my advice to young app developers is, “You can do it!”, and make sure you have a responsible adult to get an Apple Developer account and keep you motivated! Be willing to do mundane programs to start out! Don’t expect your first app to be a fancy video game.

Thank you Chris! I have wanted to program iOS apps for a long time, and your course made it possible! I think that it would be cool if you offered a special deal to schools who have a computer programming class so that kids like me could learn how to program apps as a class!

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parkguru app icon
Download ParkGuru in the App Store

Can you describe your app?

My app allows skateboarders, bikers, and in-line skaters to locate nearby skateparks using the GPS location of their device. Users can sign up for accounts, submit new skateparks that are not yet in the app, and upload/view photos of parks. They can also get directions to parks and manage a list of their favorite parks. It’s essentially a way for action sports riders to find the best skateparks and share images with one another.

How long did it take you to build your app?

It took me about 4 months in total, working around 6 hours every weekday. I spent the first 3 weeks designing the database, drawing the different screens of the app by hand, and planning everything out in extreme detail. I didn’t jump into coding until after I was confident I knew how to code every component of the app. I would highly recommend that strategy to anybody looking to create an app. Always design before coding!

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

Probably learning how to connect to my database from the iOS app. That was definitely tricky and involved learning how to write completion handlers in Swift as well as using a main and background thread. Also, auto layout was a royal pain in the a**! I’ll probably never figure that out 100%, but I’d rather use auto layout than code the UI by hand any day.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

Watch all of Chris’s videos and take notes on all of them. Follow along with them. Get an account on StackOverflow and ask very detailed questions. People are willing to help so long as you don’t ask vague questions. Other than that, I don’t have much advice because I’m actually a third year software engineering student at R.I.T so I’m definitely a little out of touch with what it’s like to be a beginner.

Robert Dane Mildly Perilous UFOs

Mildly Perilous Memory

by Robert Dane (Leeds, United Kingdom)

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mildly perilous memory app icon
Download Mildly Perilous Memory in the App Store

Can you describe your app?

Mildly Perilous Memory is a memory puzzle game. Players go though the levels finding the randomly generated sequences against the clock. The game starts very simple but over the levels will get more challenging and tricky.

How long did it take to build your app?

The idea for this started when following your card match tutorial. I started to think if I could adapt that but instead of finding pairs it was about finding the next in a sequence. When I finished my last game I started on this which took me about 4 months. My first game had lots of views on top of each other and a sprawling mess of code. This time, thanks to the container view tutorial, its a lot more organised.

What was the biggest obstacle that you overcame?

Some of my levels have animating blocks but it turns out you can’t interact with a UIView whilst its animating. Instead I had to put one gesture recogniser over the whole screen that detected where it was tapped and if it was in the frame of any of the blocks at that time.

Another major problem was trying to implement iAds in the tutorial. That took some research!

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

Writing in swift is fun if you enjoy having nothing work first time as you expect it to and then trying to solve the problem. Now I’ve been doing this a while things that confused me at first are now second nature and hopefully will be to you as well if you keep practising.

SATFlash – SAT Prep Game

by Angelo Ramos

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SATFlash app icon
Download SATFlash in the App Store

Can you describe your app?

SATFlash is a fun timer-based quiz game designed to help you study for the SAT!

How long did it take you to build your app?

From start to finish, it took me about 3 weeks to make, test, and fine tune. The another week for review by Apple.

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

Writing out all the questions! There are hundreds of questions in the app and it took quite a while to write.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

Finish the course! Once you finish, you’ll find that you know a lot more about swift and Xcode than you think.


by Rishi M

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SlickFunds app icon
Download SlickFunds in the App Store


Can you describe your app?

SlickFunds is an endeavour that aims to circumvent issues faced by investors in Indian Mutual Funds around managing their Mutual Fund Holdings, thereby providing a single summarised as well as detailed view of their MF Investments. It is based on 100% Native iOS Code and hence has been optimized to deliver full potential that iOS has to offer as a Mobile platform.

Here are some of the features SlickFunds has to offer:

– Multiple MF Portfolios based on asset class, goals or personal profiles.
– Daily updates for each Portfolio at the Portfolio, Scheme, as well as individual Transaction level.
– Consolidated Visual Analysis of Funds’ Allocation based on Asset Class, Fund House and Fund Scheme.
– Consolidated Visual Analysis of Funds’ Performance based on Asset Class, Fund House and Fund Scheme.
– History of unlimited BUY/SELL transactions. Slickfunds automatically adjusts Unit Balances & Gain for corresponding transactions against the holding based on transactions added.
– Daily updates for all NAVs of more than 15k funds serviced by Indian AMCs.
– No User Setup( login ) & Folio Numbers needed. This avoids personal data traveling distances and eventually be at risk of being compromised.
– All portfolios can be maintained anonymously.
– No Ads, hence a clutter-free UI experience.

How long did it take you to build your app?

A little over 3 Months including weekends.

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

Data-persistence and synchronization. I had a choice to use the simpler NSCoding protocol or the complex CoreData based solution. I initially designed the app using NSCoding protocol, which I later moved to CoreData, owing to the scalability and robustness offered by CoreData framework.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

It’s important to gain confidence by developing simpler apps (Chris’ iOS course comes to the rescue here). Thereon, it’s important to learn about the widely used iOS SDK frameworks, before one can release commercial apps on the App Store. Some of these frameworks are complex to master, but one’s passion to learn can help drive the learning process.

Focus Four

by Gary Dorman

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focus four app icon
Download Focus Four in the App Store

App Description:

You think you have a good memory? Put it to the test with the Focus Four iOS app. In this app you will rely on sight and sound to repeat the patterns that are randomly and progressively generated. Can you set a new high score each time?

Bird Shredder

by Dan Caston

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birdshredder app icon
Download Bird Shredder in the App Store

Can you describe your app?

Bird Shredder is a game designed for some quick entertainment. In this app a bird is flying on the screen and you are in charge of guiding the bird through the planes. To control the game, you tap anywhere on the screen and the bird will speed up. It may sound easy, however the game is very hard. I am currently working on an update to improve the background.

How long did it take you to build your app?

The actual app took me about 6 months to complete. I had no prior programming experience or graphics training, so I was learning huge amounts as I was going. I am now working on an update for the game, which is probably going to take 2 weeks to complete.

What was your biggest obstacle that you overcame?

With no experience at all, the biggest obstacle was just understanding swift. I attempted to learn swift about a year before I took the “Code with Chris” swift course, however I ended up giving up as I just couldn’t grasp all the concepts. A lot of information about swift on the internet will explains the code, but does not help understand it in a practicable way. When I decided to give it a try again, I found the “Code with Chris” course and it started to all make sense. The way the course was set up, helped it all sink in. I found the course very easy to follow. I still refer back to the course when I need a refresher.

What advice would you give others who are learning or want to get started?

I think the obvious advise, would be to take your course. It helped me get this game up and running. I don’t think I would have made it happen without the course. My second piece of advise would be to break up your idea into small sections and work on every little piece like it is the only thing you are working on. Otherwise it can feel very overwhelming when you look at the entire project as a whole.

After that, I would say, stick with it. It was tough to learn, however it is rewarding to see that app accepted by the App Store. My app was accepted on the first attempt and it felt great.

A huge congratulations to all the students above who overcame the learning curve, frustration and road blocks in order to publish their apps in the App Store! I can’t to see what apps you guys build next!

How to get featured
If you’re a reader or video course member and want to get your creation shared, let me know here!