esangston Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 1:41am
post #1 of

Working on an app for cake designing. I've been in the market for a good paint like app since i started decorating with almost no luck. So I'm wittering one. I was wondering what fellow cake decorators would like to see inan app.

Currently its basically a paint type program where you would select your cake shape from a list of templates, or just start with a blank screen. You pick from colors from Wilton and Americolor, but also have the ability to create acustom color. I'm working on the ability to put in generic flowers and the ability to draw a figurine or character and put it in place. I'm also adding a section to list flavors of cakes, icing and filings and compile it all into a document you can email and print. Its quite a work in progress but I'm rather impressed with myself and how far its come lol...

What functionality would you look for in an app? Its strictly a design app so I've only been pulling from my personal want list and figured I'd ask for another decorators opinion since we all decorate differently.thanks for your input in advance.

24 replies
chloe_52 Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 2:25am
post #2 of

I would like to see different borders, ball,shell etc. As well as drop strings, different types of bows.

jlynnw Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 2:51am
post #3 of

sizes with servings so when you email the sketch all information is there

HamSquad Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:10am
post #4 of

With your app cake designing program, is it possible to be able to design a cake with satellites cakes? The cake design programs so far only allows the placement of cakes to be stacked bottom to top only. More selection of decorations, such as fondant swags, more flowers and borders. I love cake graphic designing!

FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:47am
post #5 of

I'd love to be able to type in 150 servings and have a computer show me all the possible tier sizes/combinations possible to get me that number of servings +/- 10% (based on Wilton). Select the shape the client likes then start doodling designs from there.

I currently use http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.cgi like crazy, I'd love for this database to be taken one step further.

ApplegumPam Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:48am
post #6 of

If you want an international audience - don't make it specifically 'American'

sillywabbitz Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:50am
post #7 of

I would like the ability to easily add images to the cake. Something like a logo or design that you just want to show.Maybe I'm paint challenged but I find it hard to do in most tools.

Texture would also be awesome or some predone templates like swiss dots or quilting for an entire section.

esangston Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:42am
post #8 of

yall have given some awesome ideas!!!! i was planning on the borders and swags but completely forgot about that... so thanks for reminding me... (most of my cakes arent exactly the usual 3 tiered cakes lol so i dont use many bc borders, honestly i can go thru almost a full cake and never touch a piping bag lol)

jlynnw - awesome idea... may take some thinking and may not be in the original release but ya know.... if i can figure out how to do it... ill do it!

hamsquad - most of my cakes dont fall into the usual cake category... i do alot of sculpted cakes so the ability to have a free design is definitely gonna be there. i cant say that there will be an ability to do more than one template at a time, but i can possibly figure that out...

fromscratchfm - hmm.... if i can figure out the servings and tiers, i can try to figure out how to reverse search it and go from there. id like to have the ability to create templates by answering questions like sharp edges vs curved edges and shape sizes available etc. So that way it doesnt give you a bunch of templates for pans you dont have. I'm thinking the template designs may have to be on almost a webpage, that you can go to and download into the app. personally I dont have every pan so I dont need the temps for the pans i dont have. Its all a work in progress.

if i can get the templates and sizing stuff all together i may put it into a seperate app, i dont want the app to be too large and i can put more detail into the template app if its apart from the main design. so to design you would put in servings and get shapes into the template app, then open it in the design app??? would that be too complex? lol

applegumpam - ill look into how to make it available to nonamerican markets. i read something about setting that up but thats part of the publishing process and ive got a lil ways to go.

silly wabbitz - textures... not a bad idea.... and yeah. I'm gonna see about having the ability to cut out an image in another screen and paste it into the cake. I'm always doing some kind of logo and such and even being paint savvy i still find it hard to cut it into the design without the complexity of photoshop.

yall had some great ideas so far. glad to see im not the only one who would use this lol. crossing my fingers i can figure out how to get it to do most everything i can. in about a month i'm meeting with a coding student to go over the app and whatever i cant figure out, i'm sure they can help me with so i'll add all the ideas into my to do list and see what we can get.

ApplegumPam Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:54am
post #9 of

Oh I meant more like .... the American cake market is SO much different from ours - our cake serves are traditionally smaller - coffee serve is the norm here. We are probably more in line with English and South African decorating styles

Extended tiers and sharp edges - and buttercream is RARELY used for special occassion cakes - so no piped roses or piped edges.

Satellite cakes haven't made it to our shores yet - and the fountains and staircases haven't either icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 8:13am

I would use it! Another thing I thought of is to have your preset decorations color customizable. So instead of red and purple roses, you could make them yellow or white or any custom color. It would be so nice to use any custom decorations from the web, as well. There is a cake program that was geared toward brides that you can add on to, maybe check it out and get more ideas from there, and look at the cake apps that already exist. Make some cakes and make a wish list while you attempt to recreate cakes you have made in the past. Some great add ons would be standard items you can make from cutters that are readily available at Michael's or hobby lobby or global sugar art. Lace molds, impression mats, .... You can also use the premade decorations off these sites, like DecoPac gumpaste flowers, and luck's sugar sheets. Though you may need permission. Lol, how about promising them a link telling where to buy the items used.

I'd have you releasing it next century if you put in all my suggestions! Good luck! You are doing a great thing! I hope it makes you rich$$$$$$$ don't lose sight of the goal, and have fun!

You could even do a lite version that is free, more like a game. I already have 4 cake apps, and they all leave quite a bit to be desired. The add ons for a couple of them are quite extensive, but not good enough to use professionally. My kids love
Playing with them.

FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:33pm

If you check that link I posted, you can get your servings by volume.

For example:

"Your serving slice of cake is: 1" x 2" x 4", which is 8 cubic inches.

11" round:  5.5" x 5.5" x π x 4"   = 379.94 cubic inches

total volume: 379.94 cubic inches
379.94 / 8 = 47.4925 total servings"

So there you go. Same math that Wilton uses, only they round down. You don't need to look up every Wilton pan and type in a chart - I think all you need to do (or someone needs to do) is the formula based on how many cubic inches per serving so it would be universal and suit all countries. The tricky part would be figuring out a formula for the computer to figure out pan combinations to meet a serving requirement. Which is why it probably hasen't been done yet.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 4:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

The tricky part would be figuring out a formula for the computer to figure out pan combinations to meet a serving requirement.



You probably don't need a formula...the number of combinations that make sense is relatively small so you could prepopulate a sorted array with each combination and the volume. When the user enters the number of servings and the serving size it would convert to volume and display the list in ascending order starting from the closest matching combination, with a user-editable tolerance (e.g. 5% smaller to 10% larger).

FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 5:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

The tricky part would be figuring out a formula for the computer to figure out pan combinations to meet a serving requirement.


You probably don't need a formula...the number of combinations that make sense is relatively small so you could prepopulate a sorted array with each combination and the volume. When the user enters the number of servings and the serving size it would convert to volume and display the list in ascending order starting from the closest matching combination, with a user-editable tolerance (e.g. 5% smaller to 10% larger).




You're hired! Get on it, Jason! You'd make MILLIONS.

carmijok Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 6:28pm

I'm assuming you're going to have other shapes available besides round and square? I totally love the pattern and border ideas. Just being able to import items like logos, pictures and toppers and such could help a lot.

Different fonts to show lettering and initials.

I'd love the idea of putting in info like '75 servings, 3 tiers', and getting an example of what size pans would work to achieve that. Or maybe just having something similar to the 'shinymetalobjects' link that someone earlier mentioned where you find out the servings and then be able to visually stack the tiers based on that info. (I'm probably clear as mud).

Here are some random things that are just popping into my head...have design elements such as ganache drips, strawberries, various flowers both 'real' looking and fantasy (and the ability to fill with color). I like the idea of various borders, shell and such...also ribbon borders that you can change colors.

What about cake boards? They are an element of design as well.

So...aren't you glad you asked? If you can do half of this I'd be thrilled! Good luck to you!

jason_kraft Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:00pm

If I had the spare time and skills to do this I would (it's been years since I've done programming and I have no experience with Objective C or Cocoa, the iPhone app development platforms) so I think I'll let the OP take this.

There's a decent potential for monetization here, especially on the advertising side since you will be reaching a very specific niche.

Addictive_desserts Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 2:45am

I'd use it too! I agree with all the above suggestions!

esangston Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:16pm

And these replies are why i love this site! So much info from a simple question making me think of all kinds of things. I knew there was room for improvement from my own needs, as basing it on what i wanted in the first place was where the whole idea came from. most of the stuff I do is all sculpted cakes and fondant work... i dont think i've had to fill an icing bag in months! I do kinda miss it tho...

What i've got so far, is the ability to use premade wilton and americolor colors by name. I know that even with certain colors you can achieve different shades but thats a work in progress... I just figured if were gonna be working with colors, itd be nice to use the ones we have available. I'll see about tweaking the colors to give you the ability to lighten or darken the set color.

for the templates. I'm thinking it will be an add on. As as it stands the app with borders and such will be approaching the max limit. It may just be a website you go to. Im thinking it will base along the calculations someone posted earlier, As i found that when i was looking. I would like it to say how large is your serving size? then show the usual sizes of servings to choose from. Then how many tiers you would like and go from there. The shaped pans will calculate servings for each layer say an 8 in round is about 10 servings from what ive read... See i dont do too much with serving sizes... my cakes are scupted so i estimate via how many servings each batch of mix makes.... i know when you go by servings it matters about size of pan as well as number of layers??? so i guess that is an option to go by as well... ill refer to ya'll expertise when i start working on that further. would like to accomidate as many people as i can with it cause its all about choices and just adding in an extra option so its not too complex.

for the extra stuff like flowers and such. I'm going to see about having a friend of mine create the flowers and to give the option to color them accordingly in the app... say you chose a flower, well go with a rose. be it icing rose or gumpaste rose, it will prob be the same thing. then you decide it will be pink with darker pink highlights and the app colors it for you.

someone asked about drizzles of chocolate and strawberries... I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking I'll have the website available to download extras into the app. its easier for me to design the app with the basics included. then you add on the extras as you need them. I'm trying to create it as detailed as possible but im limited by app sizing and such, so certain things have to be an add on...

Btw i am only working within the android market at this time. I dont have access to an ipad anymore so maybe if i can make a few bucks from this I can purchase an ipad and move the app to the apple market too. I'm not exactly apple knowledgeable, ive never done anything with one until hubby won an ipad and then i got so tired of the apple android battle with info and apps within the house, i got rid of the ipad and got an android tablet... we are completely an android family lol...

thanks for all the great input... ya'll are making me think about things that hadnt even crossed my mind yet... some things are ways away as i learn more and more about writing apps... I had all intention of starting with an app geared more towards beginners to showcase what tips do and what all the tools are used for... but i started the design app and even in its unfinished state, i used it to design a cake yesterday and it was pretty awesome... .granted im still finishing the colors and such so i designed it in black and white but the ability to sit down with the stylus and tablet and bring to life what someone wanted was so great... gone are the days of graph paper and trying to get someone to see my vision!!!

keep the ideas coming!!! those of you overseas, i may talk to you further regarding the differences in decorating in your areas....

jason_kraft Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 7:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by esangston

Btw i am only working within the android market at this time. I dont have access to an ipad anymore so maybe if i can make a few bucks from this I can purchase an ipad and move the app to the apple market too.



To create an iPad/iPhone app you'll need a Mac, not an iPad. Just a Mac mini would be enough, the SDK includes an emulator so you can see how the app will look on an iPad or iPhone. Here's more info:
https://developer.apple.com/ipad/sdk/

Addictive_desserts Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 9:47pm

Sorry, I'm not an android person! This would have been useful to me!

owatto Posted 27 Dec 2012 , 10:54am

Is there any update on this?

It sounds like such a good idea that is desparately needed!!

SugaredSaffron Posted 27 Dec 2012 , 12:45pm

I'm android and this sounds right up my street,
 

Annabakescakes Posted 29 Dec 2012 , 4:48am

AI got rid of my iPhone, and got android for every member of the household for Christmas, I too, would love an update on how the app is coming along. There is a thread about the calculated cakes app for iPhone that has some constructive criticism that may be helpful in your creating! I would pay good money to be able to design a cake on an android tablet. $50 WOULDNT BE UNHEARD OF.

ReezieCakes Posted 30 Jan 2013 , 4:21am

AAny updates? This would be amazing for an iPad.

TashiaBrown Posted 17 Apr 2013 , 1:51am

I was wondering if this app was ever designed. I'll looking for an android app to help with cake design. I can draw them out but it takes FOREVER and I would love to have an app that i can sketch the design attach it to an e-mail along with a price quote and send it to a customer right from my Google nexus
 

Misty Jinks Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 1:34pm

Have you seen this new app Cake Stacker? You can generate a 3d cake for various cake shapes and sizes with it. Pretty neat...

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