Gizmodo’s Developers Cubed series offers a behind the scenes look into Australia’s up and coming dev scene. This week: TripView has changed the lives of so many Sydney commuters, but now the gorgeous competitor TripGo from Sydney-based start-up SkedGo is here to dethrone the reigning transport champ.
Who are you and where do you work? My name is Adrian Schoenig and I'm part of the SkedGo team. We're a Sydney-based start-up that's developing apps for personal transport. My main responsibilities are the routing backend as well as our iOS apps.
Why do we know you? What have you created? We just released our TripGo apps for iPhone and Android.
TripGo helps you find your way around Sydney considering all the options there are — we found that other existing transport apps only give you a small slice of the transport options.
There are public transport apps, taxi apps, satellite navigations apps, and so on; but comparing these or finding your way using a combination of public and private transport is a big hassle. Even Google Maps, which just added public transport directions for Sydney, requires a whole lot of switching back and forth if you want to compare or link different options.
This is the gap that we fill with TripGo. We want to give users a better way to choose how they travel. You can compare the different transport options by cost, time, carbon emissions and convenience, and we also show you mixed trips, such as taking the car to the train, or using a taxi for the final leg of a trip.
What platforms do you develop for? Native apps for iOS and Android. We are also working on a separate application which has a web component built on top of Google's Web Toolkit for targeting the desktop and other platforms.
What are you working on right now? For our TripGo users, we're currently hard at work adding the ability to save trips and view public transport timetables offline on the device. This is our most requested feature and something we ourselves are looking forward to using!
On the back-end, we are continuously improving our custom routing engine. The system we've built is powerful and flexible, now we want to make sure that it provides users with the high quality, accurate routes they expect - plus new suggestions they aren't aware of! So we're hungry for feedback on TripGo, especially regarding route suggestions and feature requests.
We also want to bring TripGo to more users. We already also cover Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains. We're now exploring which city to tackle next.
We're also making good progress with social extensions for TripGo since people often travel together or with the intend of meeting others. These extensions will give our users easy ways to figure out when and where best to catch up.
What do you think about the rise and rise of App Stores? How has it influenced your titles? For independent developers it's a fantastic way to try new ideas, access a large audience and get fast feedback.
In our case, rather than aiming for one big, all-in approach to application development, we're able to focus on developing smaller, specialised and focussed apps. We really like how the App Stores allow us to iterate quickly, but we are just getting started.
What's your favourite app that you didn't create? I like apps with attention to detail and polish. Reeder stands out in terms of its user interface, and Google is finally doing a good job with iOS applications as well as showcased by their release of Chrome for iOS, which is very well done.
What phone do you use? Why? I use an iPhone since I find the user experience and quality of apps unparalleled. It also works perfectly in combination with my MacBook Pro and iPad.
What advice do you have for budding Aussie developers out there?
Create something that you want to use yourself. If you have a great idea, get to the core of how it helps people. What's the single thing that separates your idea from the rest? That's what you should focus on.