I am currently developing an app called Shuttle Tracker for iOS. I have taken on the project as part of an elective course; formally known as MIS 4399 iOS App Development.
I first came up with the idea during my sophomore year at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) while a friend and I were waiting for the campus shuttle. Since the shuttle doesn’t run on a set schedule – it’s hard to know when it will arrive. A decision had to be made: would it be faster to walk or wait for the shuttle?
There’s nothing worse than waiting 15-25 minutes for a shuttle; deciding to walk, a half-mile, only to get passed up by the shuttle and arrive extremely late to class.
With the app I am developing – there will no longer be a need to make such an uninformed decision again! The app will determine where the shuttles are located on campus, which shuttle is the closest to the student, how long it will take for the closest shuttle to reach the student’s current location and then how long it will take to reach the student’s final destination. The app will also compare how long it would take to walk to the student’s final destination vs taking the shuttle. Then the app will either suggest to walk or wait for the shuttle.
Generally it isn’t recommended to share your app ideas with the public before the app is available in the App Store, but for the class I needed to run through the whole process of creating an app and marketing it.
Since publishing our apps to the App Store isn’t a requirement – the only way to simulate the demand for our app would be to measure the number of likes it receives on Facebook.
So far, Shuttle Tracker has received 60 likes organically. That means, even after I was awarded $50 from Facebook for receiving 50 likes for my app – I did not utilize their targeted advertising tools. I didn’t want my app to go UIW viral until after I finished it and had it up in the App Store.
Even while trying to keep “mum” about the app I managed to have a feature article written about it in the LOGOS, UIW’s student newspaper. Perhaps at this point it wouldn’t matter if I used the targeted advertising tools or not – it already has potential of attracting a lot of attention! I have been told that the article should be coming out in their next issue.
Shuttle Tracker was never intended as just a class project – it has always been something more. And since it’s designed specifically for the students at UIW, it’s only right that they get to witness it develop. I hope to continue working on the app long after I graduate in May. But, until the app is complete, I’ll try to keep the megaphone’s volume on 1.