Get Me! was meant to be my first app published on the App Store but for various reasons its release was delayed. The basic idea was to provide an easy tool to share your location. Nowadays almost all devices have a GPS on board but almost nobody knows how to understand those ugly GPS coordinates! Those data, sent to another device, drawn on a map would have made the whole thing much simpler.
I must honestly admit that the idea was not mine… Emanuele, a colleague and a friend of mine, received a “gift” from Microsoft, a Nokia Lumia among with a 1-year subscription to the Windows Phone development program at one condition: he had to develop something. It was a good chance, I like to join these adventures, we could try a new phone, a new operating system and we could test a little bit of interaction with other platforms.
We thought together about what to develop:
It must be easy to use, the interaction should encourage people to use it and the development phase should be relatively short.
I would have developed the iOS application and Emanuele the Windows Phone one. At that point we stuck at first adversities: some initial ideas were rejected because Redmond's operating system was still a bit unripe and did not have the right tools to quickly develop such capabilities. No problem… the goal was to keep everything as simple as possible so those ideas were probably not the right ones.
The giants of “Silicon Valley”
It seems incredible but inside Get Me! the three "big" interacts with each other… We have already discussed about Microsoft and Apple, it was the time to let Google in. Big G joined the game not with its mobile OS: Android (Get Me! isn't available on Play Store) but it was used on the server side. Yes, because in our minds smartphones should play the role of real "terminals", they should only be the data source, on the other hand we needed something that could coordinate this exchange of information. Emanuele, always on the edge for tech news, immediately proposed Google App Engine, a cloud computing platform! It's free, you can code simple and it didn't have limitations for our project needs.
Interaction between the three computer giants
From paper to screen
So we started development! Between ups and downs, interruptions (in the meantime I released Operative Codes) and holidays, working always in my spare time I think it took me about 50/60 days, after that, on August 1st - just before going on vacation, I sent the first release to Apple. In no time I obtained a nice rejection! The reviewers found out that, in the App Store description, I had not included:
Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.
Apple guidelines were clear about that. Honestly, in that immense documentation, I had not even noticed this clause, however, for this omission I had to change the description and wait again for the approval mechanism. Despite this minor setback the application landed on the App Store in mid-August and on day one I was immediately able to use it for a boat trip! Inshore, who had not taken part in the excursion was able to follow us without any problem… This is such a small thing but I was very proud of it!