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Rune Madsen & His Next TTC Application

Next TTC iPhone Application

At a recent Toronto user group meeting of Mac, iPhone, and iPad developers (the official name is the Toronto Area Cocoa and WebObjects) I had the pleasure of receiving a presentation by Rune Madsen, founder and creative director of The App Boutique here in Toronto. Runeís presentation detailed some of the challenges he encountered when developing an application called NextTTC. This application was targeted at Toronto area residents who travel on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) by subway, streetcar, or by bus.

Rune Madsen Presenting the Next TTC Application

Sorry about the crappy quality picture!

I was impressed by his presentation for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if youíve ever waited for a bus in the middle of winter when its 20 below zero and youíre unsure of when the next bus is coming, this application would help set your expectations correctly. You may not like to know that you just missed the busóbut at least you know. The second reason I was so impressed with Rune was when I talked to him about his development methodology. The fact that he forgoes the use of Interface Builder within Xcode is very impressive indeed (in the same way that I have more respect for html developers that use only a text editor instead of tools like Dreamweaver). It means they know their stuff. And in Runeís case, he really knows his stuff.

Challenges in Developing Next TTC iPhone Application

The NextTTC application achieves its smarts from using a combination of Apples ďlocation smartsĒ to identify where the user is along with data provided by the TTC. Rune took us through the not-so-obvious programming techniques you have to apply to the problem. An iPhone first locates the nearest cell tower, then any nearby hot spots and, if it can, a GPS location. The GPS location is the ideal location data you want to receive. But you canít always get a GPS signal (e.g. if youíre inside a building). Other challenges when developing the NextTTC application include the fact that some streetcars in Toronto actually turn around and start going the other way! In addition, sometimes there may be four variations to a single bus route (e.g. bus 53, 53A, 53B, 53B, 53C, etc.).

I Wish I Had the Next TTC iPhone Application When I was 18

Seeing Runeís presentation was also a coincidence of sorts. The previous night I had just mentioned the need for exactly this type of application to my wife. Why? Our son is going to summer school (so heíll have a spare next year), and when he gets to the bus stop he has no idea how long heíll have to wait. Having the NextTTC application would allow him to know exactly when the next bus will arrive (for better or worse). (And perhaps heíd hustle his butt out of school quicker if he knew the bus was coming in 5 minutes.)

Supporting Rune Madsen's Next TTC App

Rune Madsen

Way to go Rune. When my son gets an iPhone (someday), Iím absolutely sure heíll be downloading your app.

Rune also mentioned various people using cracked versions of his application. Thatís just ridiculous. Who canít afford 99 cents!? Plus, this isnít a developer in some far off place. Heís a home town boy. Letís support him!

Rune, if youíre ever interested in tutoring an old hacker like myself, let me know! Objective-C is giving me headaches. Xcode too! I need a pill.

Contact Rune Madsen

Rune Madsen
Found & Creative Developer
The App Boutique

Toronto, Canada
416-825-5532
rune@theappboutique.com
Twitter @runmad

 
 

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Email Patrick Lannigan at lannigan at gmail dot com for more information



This page was created and/or refreshed on April 12, 2017 @ 14:50:56
by Patrick Lannigan (or one of his cronies) in Markham, Ontario, Canada
The page subject is: Next TTC / Rune Madsen