MTG Tracker 6.1 – Supporting casual formats

We just published version 6.1 of MTG Tracker, and is all about casual formats.

We were the first ones to support EDH more than 3 years ago. Long before it got the name changed to Commander. We love casual formats, that’s why It was time to include some other formats that are getting more and more popular lately.

  • Tiny Leaders is getting steam quickly, it is a smaller Commander mode with cards of converted mana cost of 3 or less, decks of exactly 50 card, 25 life points and no Commander damage. Check it out at the official site.
  • Pauper is a format when you can only use commons. Very cheap to build, lots of fun. It has been a format for Magic Online for a while.
  • Duel Commander is a modified version of Commander designed to play one-on-one. Different ban list and 35 life. Check the official site for details.

These formats have now a slot under the formats section, a deck type that checks for invalid cards and in the case of Tiny Leaders and Duel Commander, a game mode.

New Formats

Also, business as usual, the latest set “Dragons of Tarkir” has been added to the app. The cards from “Duel Decks: Elspeth Vs Kiora” have been also added.


MTG Tracker 6.0 – Material Design

MTG Tracker has been updating a lot, usually UI changes are made gradually, but sometimes they are big. This update is one of the big ones, and I want to take the chance to look back to all the journey.

MTG Tracker UI journey

The app started with a single screen with a life counter for 2 players. Nothing really flashy. New features were added as tabs, Mana Pool, then Stats, then Decks. Tabs were cool on the early days of mobile apps.

1st_versionThen the ActionBar was presented, and with that, MTG Tracker moved to ActionBar + Dashboard. That is the other time the app had a considerable redesign.


Moving forward, and adding features, at some point the app had so many features that a Dashboard was not enough. Also, a new pattern was emerging: Menu Drawers. So, we added one, not a big change, but still important.


MTG Tracker with Material Design

And with this, we get to Material Design, the big push from Google with Lollipop. We are adopting quite some new patterns. An image is worth a thousand words.

material design_small

Toolbar replaces ActionBar

The new toolbar has a more obvious drawer icon and the icon is removed from the bar, leaving some space for options and titles. It also has a very nice animation when opening the menu drawer.

There used to be a blue bar under the action bar for extra options on some screens. This is now part of the toolbar, giving am ore consistent look and feel.

Bonus points: Decks also have a Quick Return Header pattern, which hides part of the header when you scroll down and shows it again when you scroll up.

Floating Action Button

In most of the screens, there is a floating action button for the most prominent action (like add a new deck or add cards to a deck or a list).

Popup Menu replaces Quick Action Menu

The extra options for elements on a list were displayed with a quick action menu, which was cool when we started using it, but now everyone is moving to the popup menu with 3 dots, which is also more clean, so that has changed as well.

New simpler, cleaner icons

We also changed the icons of the home screen and the drawer to simpler, more clear versions of them.

Search is now an option on the menu drawer as well as in the main screen. It is much more accessible there than from the icon on the action bar.


Deck Edit is no more

Deck edit has disappeared. It was confusing and was not adding much value. The decks can be edited now at any time. As it was for Card Lists and Trades.

Something else?

I want to change some other parts of the user flow, but that will have to wait another update. No spoilers on that one.

But of course, there is a bit more:

  • Added cards from Fate Reforged
  • EDH banned list has been updated.
  • Fixed a problem when adding the card “_______” to a deck or list.

MTG Tracker 5.9

It’s been a while since the app became version 5.X, hopefully this will be the last update before we move to 6.0, which will include material design.

But let’s focus on this release. Commander 2014 is about to hit the shelves and here is another update of MTG Tracker.

MTG Tracker on Google Play


  • Added Commander 2014
  • Added Duel Deck: Speed Vs. Cunning
  • Improved filters on card lists (notice of filtering and option to clean the list)
  • Fixed CMC sorting (cards with 10+ CMC were out of order)
  • Fixed name of Valor, Call of the Herd & Altar of Dementia

Card Lists in detail

Until now, there was little to none information about if a list was being filtered or not, just the amount of cards displayed Vs. the total cards in the list.

In previous versions, the filter criteria was shared among card lists, which was a bug that has been solved. Now each card list has now its own criteria.

Also, filters are now cleared when you exit the card list. Before this version they were stored even among application runs, bringing lots of confusion. Combined with the previous bug, it was quite confusing. I hope to have solved all that issues.

Finally, there is a new easy & prominent way to clear the filter of a list as soon as some cards are being hidden by the filter.

device-2014-11-07-162517_framed (3)

Happy taping.

MTG Tracker 5.7

Another core set is here: Magic 2014 Core Set, and another update of MTG Tracker is here as well.

Apart from the new set, there are a few other improvements:

  • Added Magic 2015 Core Set
  • Improved format validation (deck size & number of cards)
  • Fixes in Tournament mode
  • Minur UI and navigations tweaks
  • Added setting to disable animations on the life counter
  • Stability improvements

In particular, I want to talk about the improvements on format validation.

Improved format validation

Until now the format validation checked if the cards were valid or not. Just that.

With this update it will validate that you don’t have more than 4 copies of any card (except basic lands and *cough* Relentless Rats)

It will also validate that any constructed deck has at least 60 cards, for unknown formats the lower limit is 40 cards.

Finally, for EDH, it will specifically check that you have exactly 100 cards (general included) and that you have one copy of each card (except, again, basic lands and Relentless Rats)

In future updates the restricted list will be added to vintage with proper validation.

MTG Tracker on Google Play

MTG Tracker 5.6

WotC has just released a new set designed for draft: Conspiracy. As any new set, it has new cards, and so, a new version of MTG Tracker is released.

MTG Tracker on Google Play


  • Added Conspiracy
  • Added Modern Event Deck
  • Added option “Import into List” on Card Lists.
  • Minor UI tweaks
  • Improved stability

A bit more in detail

So, in addition to including Conspiracy and Modern Event Deck, other improvements have been done.

MTG Tracker has migrated away from ActionBarSherlock and now uses the official ActionBarCompat and DrawerMenu. This visually only means that the icon on the top left shows three lines when it opens a menu and an arrow when it goes back. Subtle, yet important.

The drawer menu seems to be hard to discover, so now the dashboard adds two new items, one of them called “More…” which opens the side menu. You can compare the old and new dashboards and also see the difference in the action bar icon (arrow Vs. three lines).


Some animations have been added to the card display and the life counter, they are meant to make the user experience more enjoyable with a more playful design.

When we added multiple lists, the functionality to import cards from a text file inside an existing list was missed. It has been added again, now named “Import Into List”

And a few bug fixes, specially crashes when browsing many cards.


MTG Tracker 5.5

There is a new set coming out -Journey into Nyx- and as usual there is a new version of MTG Tracker, but it does not only add the cards from Journey Into Nyx and Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska, it also has some new features.

MTG Tracker on Google Play

Multiple Card Lists

Many people was using collection and / or wishlist for keeping multiple lists by saving them and importing them again. That is quite inefficient, so now you can have as many card lists as you want.

Want a list for the top priority cards you want? What you have borrowed to someone? The cards in your Drafting Cube? Which ones you are willing to trade? The missing cards for a deck?

Now it is up to you, create a list, name it, and you can use it for whatever you want.


Playtest Improvements

Playtest is nice, but there was no way to keep track of what was tapped and what was untapped. For quick tests, you can track it in your head, but that is far from ideal.

From this version you can tap / untap the cards on the battlefield. And yes, they do untap when you click next turn.


Also, some people complained that they exited playtest by clicking back accidentally. For those cases there is a new setting to display a confirmation dialog before exiting. I know some people will love it.

Notes for Decks

Another feature requested many times is to add notes to decks. There is now a 3rd tab on each deck where you can keep your notes.

More options for prices

Card prices is one of the features people like. To save network traffic the prices are cached for 3 days, but when some cards get banned or unbanned prices may change quickly.

Since this version, you have new settings for how long you want to have the price cached (and to clean all prices manually) and the option to show Normal / Foil or Low / Avg / High (if the price provider has that).

MTG Tracker on Google Play

The importance of a “Rate Us” dialog

Paid apps always had a better ratio of users leaving feedback than free ones, but in the case of MTG Tracker it was too much.

MTG Tracker used to have a very good ratio of users that leave comments. This was reduced when Google Play required G+ sign in to leave a comment, and that was specially bad for the free version, which was released after that change was made.

Things looked like this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 13.07.04

Both had good average rating, but while almost a 6% of the users leave a rating on the paid version, for the free one that number it is under 0.6%. Yes, 10 times less.

So, I decided to add a “Rate Us” dialog to improve that, knowing that the users of the app use it a lot and just may never thought of rating it.


I did not add it before because for a while I only had the paid app, which has a good amount of reviews. After one week, I went to check the results of the dialog. The stats looked like this:

Please note that the free version has much more installs per day.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 12.09.30

So, almost 100 new ratings on the paid version and 35 more for the free. The conversion rate grow for both apps. Still the paid version got even more ratings.

I decided to let a few more days pass and checked again.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 14.48.11

Another 80 ratings for the paid version and 40 for the free one. Also, average ratings for the paid app keep getting higher, but the ones for the free seem to oscillate.

As it turns out, the percentage of users leaving a rating on the paid app is almost the same as before the dialog was introduced, but the ratio of reviews for the free version has grown up to 0.7%, may not seem much, but the free app has 30% more ratings than before.


After this experiment, it is very clear to me that you must always add a “Rate Us” dialog, even if your current amount of ratings is good. Most users are lazy and will not rate your app unless you ask them to do it.

Some final notes:

  • Don’t be intrusive, if the user does not want to rate you, so be it. Always have a “No, thanks” option
  • Trigger the pop-up after a satisfying user experience, users will be more likely to give you positive reviews if they are in good mood.

MTG Tracker 5.4 Released

With the new set of Magic The Gathering ™ comes a new version of MTG Tracker. Let’s see what’s new:

Added Born of the Gods

Obviously, as with a new set, the cards need to be added to the app.

Foil prices from TCGPlayer

This has been requested many times. Although it was possible to get foil prices via CardShark, most people uses TCGPlayer as a price reference.

Because of the limited space we have on screen, I have removed the high and low prices, keeping only average and foil. The screen looks like this:


Fixed crashes on card lists on tablets

There were a few crashes and misbehaviour on the card list section when used on a tablet. I was aware of the bug thanks to a user that mailed me with very extensive steps to replicate both problems.

Is because of users like this that I love building the best product I can.

Improve rules search: Allow literals (with quotes) and negatives (with ~)

Another feature suggested by a user. Adding more power to the advanced search by allowing literals and negations. Some examples of why this is useful.

Because it is not the same to search for “target player discard” than for target player discard. The results are down from 232 to “just” 91.


But it gets better, when searching for creature damage, we get almost 2,000 results, but if we want to filter out the cards that do not require to target, we just add ~target to the search, and we are down to “only” 811 cards. Still plenty of creatures that do damage when summoned, but definitely a shorter list.


Library filtering in playtest

Also a very requested feature, when you use any kind or ramping effect (searching for basic lands) or any type of tutor, searching all the library was inconvenient.

Decks can be sorted by Converted Mana Cost

Cards inside decks have been always been sorted alphabetically, but this may not be the most convenient sorting for some power players. Now the contents of the deck can be sorted by CMC (ascending or descending)

Improved Card lists and Trade with card details

Since the last version, deck screens included the cards casting cost and type. This “extended information” view was very well received and it is now also included on card lists and trade.

MTG Tracker 5.3 Released

Another update for MTG Tracker, just in time for another pre-release.

First things first, the changelog:

  • Added Theros
  • Fixed crash filtering collection / wish list
  • Improved deck view with card details
  • Improved deck list with color and format
  • Improved flow for adding cards to deck
  • Price for a list now applies on the selection
  • Taping on a card on a list selects the proper set image

Now, apart from a few bugs on the collection / wish list section, all this one does is to improve the screens and the flow on the decks area. Because it is one of the most used features of the app, and I want to provide the best experience for the users.

To notice how much of an improvement on the UI this version is, I have to show two screenshots. This is how it was until this version:


This is quite a nice screen with good information. Being able to see the deck list together with the details is nice, and it has been good for a long time, but with today’s release it looks like this:
decks_deck_new_framed (1)Now, each card on a deck has type information and casting cost… I can’t believe I had not added that before, now I can’t imagine that screen without them.

But also, for each deck, you can now see the format of the deck and the colors it uses. Because it is always nice to know that stuff.


MTG Tracker 5.2 Released

A new set of Magic the Gathering is out, and a new version of MTG Tracker comes with it. This time it is Magic 2014 Core Set.

With this version the playtesting feature includes Library manipulation, the key part that was missing (and that many people kept asking on the reviews on Google Play)

Also, a subtle change in the UI of the advanced search. It was like this:

Advanced search example

The icons for color selection were bad, it was not trivial to see when they were selected and they had a very old design and did not fit with the new tendency towards flat design, so I updated them.

The sort of change that is barely noticeable, but it works. It looks like this now:

new search

Full ChangeLog of MTG Tracker 5.2:

  • Magic M14 Core Set
  • Library manipulation on playtest
  • Fixed reset of playtest on device rotation
  • Fixed problems with format search on Spanish / German / French
  • UI update on Advanced search