Bracket for Android

feedback, i love it:

Bracket is an Android application for editing your March Madness bracket. After entering your picks, while the tournament is going on, scores will be updated in the application (via an internet connection) and your picks will light up green or red if they're right or wrong, respectively. This page will keep you updated on the state of the application, updates, etc.

2012 edition recap

I think 2012 was a good year.  I'll jump right into graphs cause they're my favorite.  Here are the active device installs:

The peak looks like just over 30k this year, before people stopped following their brackets as closely and starting uninstalling.  This is a little better than last year, which peaked under 30k, but not that much growth.  It could be that this is the number I'm going to get, which I would be totally fine with, or maybe next year I'll do a little advertising, we'll see.

And now let's take a peek at the traffic:

Yeah, those numbers are real, over 20 qps on the first day of the tournament!!  Okay, let's be honest though, this is in part driven by a new feature this year, which is the auto-update button.  It only makes one request per minute, but that's 1qps per 60 users that have it on at any given time, so that 20 qps is really only 1200 users with auto-update on.  Still, it's pretty cool.  And this year it got expensive!  Appengine stopped giving away quite as much for free as it used to, and I ended up paying nearly $100 in server fees.

And finally, the comments were good I think.  Generally favorable compared to previous years, for example:

1-star comments: 2011 - 16  2012 - 4
5-star comments: 2011 - 60  2012 - 53

So there are just a couple fewer comments overall but they're a little more heavily positive.


The big story this year was the official NCAA Tournament app, which focused on live video of the games.  I'd link to it but it seems like they actually removed it from the marketplace between tournaments.  This is kind of to-the-side of what I'm doing, but related.  It didn't work out that well for them, at least on the Android side, but, from my vantage point of working on these apps for a couple years now, everyone's first version has been problematic.  ESPN's app last year (their first try) had all kinds of issues and this year seemed much less problematic.  I'm sure the official app will be much more reliable next year.  Yahoo also jumped in this year, they seemed to have some first year jitters, but I've been impressed with Yahoo's apps so far so I have high hopes for them next year.

I didn't get a good look at any other indies this year, I was more rushed than last year, but it looks like Jeff Richards' excellent Bracket Tracker had another good year, and he's got some nice features around full pool management that I don't intend on touching.  I didn't see anything else noteworthy, but like I said I didn't have time to look very hard this year.

New features for Bracket 2012 edition

This year totally crept up on me, but I managed to hustle and make a couple changes suggested from last year, and one that I really really wanted to make.

View re-tooling

The older versions were very static in their UI setup, to the point of specifically having different UI's for each device geometry.  It was, in a word, gross.  But it worked.  This year I managed to find a way to make one UI setup work for all the different geometries (I hope, at least, crossed fingers and all).

Winners bracket

This was one of the top two requested features, so I figured I'd put it in.  When you select "Winners" as your bracket, you can't make any picks, you just see who won the games.  I'll be honest, I'm not crazy about this feature, I think of this as an app to track your personal brackets, but it really was widely requested, so it's there for now.

Game times

This was the other top requested feature, and one I have no philosophical issues with.  The only problem with it is finding a place for the text on these little phone screens.  I think I've got something reasonable, we'll see how many complaints there are about cramped real estate.

Show the name of the bracket

This was just a dumb oversight in previous versions, it was easy and obvious to do, I just didn't notice it until someone pointed it out last year.
Joe Daverin,
Mar 11, 2012, 11:34 PM
Joe Daverin,
Mar 11, 2012, 11:37 PM