AAbiscuit (Android app)

AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-18-36-33 AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-18-59-36 AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-19-42-00 AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-19-43-56 AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-19-44-02 AAbiscuit_2014-02-20-19-44-15

Overview

AAbiscuit is a simple commissions tool that allows you to quickly calculate a price, then send a record to yourself or your commissioner. Handy for custom art or craft requests on-site at an event!

  • For Android 2.3.3+
  • Download size: 282 KB
  • App size: 1.02 MB
  • This app will not store any data, and does not require any permissions.
  • You can download the app here.

Because this app isn’t available on Google Play, you’ll need to sideload. Follow the instructions here.

Features / How to use

  • Enter custom pricing information (your hourly rate, total hours of labour, any fixed costs, and a preferred markup for your fixed costs). Hourly rates and total hours are required. If you don’t enter a markup, the app will assume there is none.
  • The app will calculate a price using the formula (fixed costs * markup) + (hourly rate * total hours).
  • By default, the app will round up (e.g., 2.245 becomes 2.25). You can also set the app to round even (e.g., 2.245 becomes 2.24). Most of the time this will not make a difference and is a matter of preference.
  • Once a price has been calculated, the app will show more options for you to add details about the commission, including names of the parties involved, contact info, and any notes.
  • Send a record through as an email, an SMS text, or whatever method you prefer which is available and set up on your device. It also works with note-taking applications so that you can save the record for use later. The record will include a date/timestamp of when the actual price was generated.
  • Please note: the user is responsible for any errors, omissions, or other issues arising from the use of this app.

About the creation of AAbiscuit

OK, this is really more of a utilitarian tool than anything else I’ve posted here, but as my first original Android app I was pretty proud of it. Hopefully it will be a stepping stone to more interactive pieces.

I run a AAtoast!, a community for artist alley fans – hence the name AAbiscuit for a small, portable snack! AAbiscuit was created as a final assignment in my Coursera class “Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps” with the Android SDK (Eclipse).

When I do commissions on-site at events, I usually just price things in my head on the spot, but math doesn’t come easily to me. I thought it would be helpful to have a predefined formula I could punch my numbers into to make it faster than doing it from scratch with a calculator, and also have a record of what you and your commissioner have agreed to. It’s pretty easy when you’re taking a commission from home and have access to all your usual record-keeping tools, but you don’t have the luxury of having all your stuff with you when you’re on the road and at a convention. So this would hopefully make your life a tiny bit easier.

AAbiscuit definitely has a lot of room to be more polished and professional, but it serves its basic purpose. It was a lot of fun to be able to take an idea and actually make a working app with it!

For those interested, AAbiscuit utilizes BigDecimal with DecimalFormat to calculate numbers. To maintain accuracy, the numbers are never rounded till the end of the calculation, when the final price is displayed. This is probably way more complex than necessary for the situations in which this app will be used, but I wanted to do my best to follow programming best practices for working with currency.

BigDecimal’s default rounding method, half_even (also known as banker’s rounding), rounds to the nearest even number. So if the number in front of the final 5 is an even digit, it will round down. This averages things out and minimizes statistical bias. However, we commonly round up, so I provided both options to the user so you can have whichever you prefer (even though 99.99% of the time it won’t make a difference for our purposes …).

Versions / Changelog

  • 1.0: Release Feb 8, 2014. Original version submitted for Coursera assignment. Rounds even only.
  • 1.1: Released Feb 19, 2014. Includes toggle to round up or round even.