Android App: What would you want?

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by walterwhite, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    Hi folks,

    I've begun work on an Android app to record my smokes. My primary motivation is to sharpen my skill set with a real world project about a subject that interests me (*). And I'll probably want to share the results of my efforts. As such, I'd like to know what you would want in an Android phone/tablet app. Here's what I have in mind to record with each cook:
    • What's being smoked.
    • Weather conditions.
    • General comments on preparation.
    • Recipes for things like brines, rubs, sauces and so on.
    • Time/temperature readings for up to 8 temperatures along with a comment for each.
    • Ability to record more than one cook at a time (for those of us with more than one cooker. :D )
    • Final comments about results of the cook.
    Down the road I would consider adding:
    • Integrate pictures (Q-view!)
    • Export in some useful format such as HTML or CSV.
    I'm curious what you would want/need to make this a more useful app. Please let me know.

    (*) As such, I can make no guarantee that I'll actually complete this project. If something comes along that takes more of my time I might have to put it on the back burner. I also haven't decided if I will release the source though I do lean that way. If I do have to put this on the back burner, I'm pretty likely to release source if there is any interest in carrying this on.

    Also note that I was concerned that this post comes pretty close to a TOS violation so I have reviewed it in advance with Jeff. We have reviewed the guidelines and he has approved this post and will monitor to insure it does not proceed from an inquiry for information to a commercial post.
  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Divide the meats up for ease of use.Like they do here.
  3. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    Hi Michael,

    It would (should ;) ) have a search function so you can search for "beef", "pork" "chicken"  or whatever you like to call what you smoke. Do you think that would work?
  4. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    You bet.Were your at may be relevant for high altitude folks.
  5. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    publish to SMF feature!
  6. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    I should add altitude to weather conditions. That seems like a reasonable place to put that since it is part of the conditions under which the cook takes place.
    That would be a highly useful way to export!
  7. brian

    brian Fire Starter

    is it close?
  8. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like a cool app. I have no further suggestions other then what has already been suggested. 
  9. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Starting weight would be helpful as well. Over time you would get a general idea for how long a particular piece of meat will take.

    Ending weight would be kinda interesting as well to track yield although I doubt many would use it.
  10. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A calculating conversion chart for ingredients.
  11. garyinmd

    garyinmd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

  12. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    Not yet. ;)

    I usually put the starting weight in my notes. Do you think that's adequate?

    I thought about that too, but it would probably be a future refinement.
    Thanks for sharing your logs. I think I've got most of the particulars covered and I think anything else could go into the free form commentary.


  13. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I would think so for 90% of the folks who would use it. Love the UID btw. Is your real name Hank or is that another Breaking Bad reference?
  14. Hey WalterWhite, sounds like a killer app.  As for the data capture functions, couple things I might suggest.  First, you might want to add the 'weapon of choice' used for the smoke (for those of use that have more than one 'weapon')  Another thing I like to do in my log is make notes during the course of a smoke.  When I have time, I usually log the smoker temp, the meat temp (or temps- since I run a few probes for multiple meats) and then jot some notes about that reading.  As an example, if I'm using a gasser I might log:

    10:00 AM  Internal chamber temp:  240   Meat 1 Temp: 124   Meat 2 Temp: 120 Ambient Temp:  62  Notes: added more hickory chunks, wind picking up.

    11:00 AM  Internal chamber temp:  245   Meat 1 Temp: 126   Meat 2 Temp: 123 Ambient Temp:  64  Notes: nice TBS going

    The other thing I like to log is Total Smoke Time.  Final data point as it were.

    Other than that you seem to have it covered for data acquisition.  But  (you knew that had to be a 'but')  what good is data acq without great query/filter functionality.

    Here's my very humble $0.02 as to querying and filtering data at a later date.

    One thing I find myself doing on occasion is trying to figure out what I can cook, on which 'weapon of choice' in a given time.  In other words, you might want to add a 'smart' query for something that would let the user select the type of meat, a piece of equipment and the amount of target time to get the smoke done.  Again, this is just my $0.02....

    Hope this helps.  Thanks for reading!

  15. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    Hi Salt,

    Thanks for your comments. I anticipated your suggestion WRT comments with the temperature log because that's exactly what I do. As far as the weapon of choice, that gets to a design decision regarding structure. Ordinarily I note which of my cookers I'm using in what I'd classify as free form comments. I did think about putting in an item to list the equipment but have held off on that initially. The benefit is that it helps to enforce and remind the cook to record that information. The down side is that it now forces the cook to either enter that information or at least ignore it and the screen real estate it uses. So there are trade offs deciding what gets handled as a specific data field vs. what can be entered in the free form comments. I'm detailing weather for example to support searches on weather conditions. And clearly a series of related temperature measurements at various times deserve special treatment since they are probably the most important information (IMO) that is being recorded. (That and recipes for rubs, sauces, mops and so on.)

    Search will be interesting. I don't think I can put google on a phone or tablet. ;)
  16. Just a thought regarding the Equipment entry and screen real estate.  You might want to consider an initial entry screen for a given smoke.  This screen could capture the general data regarding the smoke.  As an example:


    Product(s) being smoked: (multi-entry field)

    Weight of Product(s) being smoked:

    Equipment being used: (for the sake of the database design, probably only one pc of equipment for V 1.0 of the app)

    Estimated Smoke Time:

    Then on a following screen start the chronological data capture/entry.  (This would allow your data structure to have a fairly basic relationship back to the 'master data')

    Then a final screen/form capturing:

    Final Notes:

    Total Smoke Time: (Should be calculated)

    And you may want to consider a field for 'Tasting Notes' which could be added after the product was actually eaten/tasted.  I log this info too, usually the day after as well as what sides I may have served with the meat/fish.

    Just my very humble $0.02

    As for putting Google on a phone or tablet, I really don't think that's going to be a problem. 

    Let me know if you're looking for Alpha/Beta testers when you roll out your fist prototype. 


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