Smart Phones are one of the best technologies to happen in recent times. A lot of apps help in actually simplifying human life and make things possible that previously were not. Apps like online payment, ticket bookings, train tickets, you name them and they are there for every field.
Then there are apps like Ola, Uber which make things possible that previously were not. When I had my first phone little did I know that it will become a reason for me to give up my Job! I was quite hooked on to my first Smart Phone and various apps started to capture my imagination on what kind of apps were possible. I was keen to learn Android app development and try out a app myself. But then I thought its better to have some great Idea to execute first. I had few apps in mind but not clear thoughts on what it would be. I is to travel for an hour to my office so I made good use of that time. I is to close my eyes and only evaluate various ideas, either throw them out completely or think on various pros and cons. One of thing observed was whenever I opted to go by Car I is to see so many people going to office in a car with lone person driving the car. And few people proudly in there big cars, environment doesn’t matter, the pain they create for others doesn’t matter, only self and so called comfort matters. It was annoying to see that as its painful and very slow moving traffic in Mumbai. I is to try and convince colleagues in office staying near by my office to do car pool. But it never worked well especially because we didn’t have common time to go back home because of work pressure. I searched through various carpool sites and checked if that could work for me. But none of the sites looked good for it, most of them seemed to struggle to get enough number. So a thought crossed my mind why not have Carpool App. Android GPS, showing people on the map where they were was a great feature which was never possible before. I thought it would be very useful for building some apps around it. I quickly checked Google play store if there were already apps for Carpool in Mumbai and the result pleased me there wasn’t a single app doing this. It was like Wow, I am going to create a Carpool app then.
Once the plan was finalized the issue was that I didn’t know Android. Back in 2012 almost everyone was just starting to get introduced to smart Phone forget about knowing development of software on it. After some research I found out that it’s easier to build a Android hybrid app with the knowledge of HTML, CSS and Jquery you can build a hybrid app by using something like Phone gap. One of interesting situation was I could only learn how to make App by reading about it on Smart Phone. I had no extra time to spend for learning and only way to learn it was to take up a bus instead of Car while traveling to office and make use of that time for reading the book. I really loved the smart phone as it was new for me to get Amazon Kindle downloaded while on the move and then make online payment and get a book downloaded in. All this in less than 5 min while bus had hardly moved a Kilometer I felt like I had moved 100 miles ahead then where I was! Armed with everything required to create a mobile application. I is to be so engrossed reading the book that bus reaching the stop nearby office is to make me feel bad. It is to be like oh, now remaining part of the book in the evening while going back home. As I started to learn and try out development of app I also started to think on quitting my Job and doing something different. I was in Job since last 15 years getting out of job and start doing business was bit of tough thought to take it seriously. But the thrill of having a successful app, working on new apps got better of it and tied over the worry on what If it doesn’t work. I jumped in the direction of thrill rolled out the first ever app. I named it as Smart Traveler. I had noticed that carpool sites were struggling to make the match as it was difficult to find people nearby to you who were either offering a lift or looking for a lift. What I thought to myself If I use GPS and use a radius of 2 kilometers around it to only show people within certain radius it will help find people near by. Another feature I added to the app was to have a inbuilt chat, once the users notice other users nearby they can coordinate from within the app. All was right as far the functionality goes but after rollout the challenge was in marketing it. The app started to get downloads, it was ranked pretty high for keyword carpool. It was only second app within India to be available for carpool. The issue that struck Smart traveler was I couldn’t target particular region with paid advertising. I had no way to select cities with Advertising platforms like Admob and inMobi. The budgets were simply not enough to get enough concentration through advertising. The app got downloads from US, Australia, Germany, India and lots of other countries. But the match required for carpool to happen was never going to happen. It needed people within 2 kilometer of area and at same time and opposite category. If one was offering a lift another looking for it. That’s what came in the way of success for the app smart traveler. Later I thought of ideas to make it independently useful and introduced various Car maintenance statistics. Now I have removed the carpool part of it, the app is downloadable for someone who wants to know the expense on car month by month and maintenance break up on annual basis. Categories: Android apps | Tags: Android, Android App Development, Android Application development, Android Application development Mumbai, Carpool, Mobile Application development, Mobile Application development Mumbai, smart traveller