Backchannel Chat – Android

I have been busy building new mobile apps for Backchannel Chat, the first of which is for Android.

This is a complete re-write of the Backchannel Chat app. Previous versions used a HTML bridge to push events into the application from an embedded web view. This version communicates directly to the server without any embedded middleware.

The app was built using Xamarin Forms, I made use of this so that I could get both platforms for roughly the same effort. iOS and Android did require some platform specific renderers and services, but the Forms echo-system is growing at such a rate that finding pre-built controls and services is becoming easier.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The app can be downloaded for free:

Visual Refresh

I was really happy with the visual refresh that I did with Student Stock Trader recently, I decided it was time to update the Teacher Word Games that I put together last year.

I didn’t change any of the functionality, you can see build your own word lists with Teacher Word Games and build PDF Bingo Cards or Word Searches. You also get a game code that can be used with Student Word Games so that students can play these word searches or bingo on their devices without the need for any paper.

The Teacher Word Games refresh:

The Student Word Games refresh:

Both apps are free, so download now and play with your class.

Student Stock Trader iOS Update

I’ve recently updated our iOS Student Stock Trader app to have a nice fresh flat look and feel.

The app also has a number of requested features such as the ability to remember your last played games. This makes it easier to jump back into any games that you have recently played without having to lookup your unique game code.


I’m pretty happy with the way it has turned out.

Tax Depreciation Helper

Recently I’ve been watching my accountant wife work out depreciation for various assets. The process is pretty old fashioned, she would need to look up the asset in a big printed book (or online PDF form) and then do some calculations to work out the prime value or the diminishing value of the asset. The tables are broken up into categories, so if you know the particular category name you can then navigate to the asset. But if you don’t know the category then you end up doing quite a bit of searching.

The ideal process would be to search for the asset on your phone and then even do the calculation once you’ve found the asset. So I took the ATO document and parsed out all the relevant information. It’s possible to work out the prime and diminishing values from the effective life of the asset. Then I moved all of this data into a nice little SQL Lite database and built some features over the top of it such as browsing history and favorites. The ATO also provide a simple calculator that builds up a depreciation report, so I’ve also added the ability to generate a report similar to this, which also supports exporting as a PDF.

The Australian Tax Depreciation Helper is now available in the app store. Hopefully it saves accountants some time in looking up the depreciation rates of assets.