With the ongoing rollout of the Myki card ticketing system replacing Metcard in Metropolitan Melbourne’s public transport, the state’s commuters are now required to keep track of travel fares and card usage after every trip.
To help make the transition a little easier, development company Rhino Loft has come up with Notify4Myki – a $1.99 app for travellers that lets users monitor their Myki passes and sends push notifications when the card balance is running low.
Macworld Australia chatted with Director and developer of Rhino Loft, Kim Beveridge, to found out more about plans for future updates of the app and what the development process entailed.
What is the Notify4Myki app all about?
Notify4Myki allows the user to monitor the balance and day pass of their Myki public transport card. It also sends push notifications to the user’s device when the Myki balance falls beneath a configurable threshold.
How many downloads has the app received to date?
Around 500 downloads so far.
What upcoming improvements or additional features do you have planned for the app?
Some ideas of additional features may be to list trips that you have taken using your Myki. Another feature could be to top up your Myki card balance using a pre-configured credit card.
What has been the feedback from users?
I have had good feedback from users, some users have had some suggestions for new features as mentioned above.
How long did it take you to develop the app?
Around six weeks part time.
Were there any difficulties that you faced during the process?
I didn’t face any major difficulties, as well as the iPhone app there is a back-end server side application that stores the user’s notification preferences which is hosted on the Cloud.
How did you first get started in iOS development?
I just started playing around with the iOS platform and developed a couple of educational maths apps for the iPhone. Then I had ye idea of the Notify4Myki app out of a personal requirement of my own from using the Melbourne public transport system. I am still on the hunt for the million dollar app idea.
Do you develop apps for Android platforms, too?
No not yet, but I am considering porting Notify4Myki to the Android platform. From what I have heard it is a bit harder to develop for Android due to the number of software versions and device types out there. I like the controlled structure of the Apple ecosystem.
What advice do you have for aspiring developers wanting to break into the industry?
Just give it a go, you might not strike it rich, but it is very rewarding if you can come up with an app that even a few people use and appreciate.
What is your favourite app to use, besides your own?
Instagram is pretty cool, I mostly use convenience type apps like eBay, my bank app, PocketWeather etc.
What is your favourite Apple device?
IPhone is a great personal device, iPad is good floating around the house, iMac is an awesome family desktop and my MacBook is my workhorse. Can’t wait for the iPhone 5.
What tech invention do you think has had the greatest impact in the market?
iPhone for sure, it has changed the way we use and interact with technology.
Where do you think iOS will be 10 years from now? What will it look like?
Wow, with Apple’s track record anything is possible. I don’t have much imagination, I couldn’t even guess.