The untold story of simple meal reminder

To give a quick background, Simple Meal Reminder is an Android App which I published summer of 2015. The purpose of the app as suggested in the name is to remind an individual to eat something regularly. I created the app after I met with my family doctor who recommended creating an alarm clock to avoid missing daily meals (which happened a lot when I was attending university).

The app encouraged me always to have snacks or other meals, and I found it very useful. I decided to publish the app on Google Play Store in case other users needed a similar notification system. Unfortunately, the responses to this app were not as positive as I thought and one-star reviews started to pop up. 

Days after days, people left reviews that the app was too simple and it did not include any settings for them to change the time. I initially set the scheduling system to remind based on my habits, which is to remind for breakfast between 7 AM to 10 AM, lunch between 11 AM and 2 PM, dinner between 6 PM and 9 PM and snack/water any other time. 

Shortsighted Apparently they forget about the people who need to eat more than three times a day. There is no setting to customize that.

An Unsuccessful attempt at a new version

I read the reviews and decided to allow the users to change the schedule; I thought that would resolve the problems people are having - I was wrong. People still left comments that they need more control over this “Simple” meal reminder application. I did not have time to modify the app, so I rolled back to the older version and left it as is. 

Since summer of 2015 when I released the app, it was installed around 2,099 times; however, it was uninstalled 2,089 times! So basically, for every install someone uninstalled the app.

Simple Meal Reminder stats from Google Play Developer Console

Lesson Learned

Simple Meal Reminder was never intended for production, and I was never expecting it to be used by more than 2 thousand people who nearly hated the app so much that they all deleted it. Although the app is not very popular in terms of reviews, there are currently 40 active installs which I believe are using the app without any issues.

The app showed me that not everything is meant for everyone and not everyone will use it the same way as we are expecting them to, and that is okay. What matters is that a small proportion of the population who are in need of such tools can use them.