I live in Romania, a country in Eastern Europe, in a commune with a population of 60,000 inhabitants. One day, the electricity went down, so I thought a city app which would display local news and information, local points of interest on maps, would help a lot. I start building the app, I spent 6 months building it. A couple of days ago I sent it to Google Play for review and in the same day I got an email from DevPost, mentioning this hackathon. That was the moment I realized that this is a good opportunity to also send the app to the hackathon.
What it does
The app display local maps, local traffic on maps, local (searchable) point of interest on maps, grouped by categories (car shops, ATMs, doctors, vets, supermarkets, banks, hotels, restaurants and others). Besides these, it also notifies the users about local news, events and up-to-date information send by the TownHall.
How we built it
I built it in Android Studio, spending six months developing it, in Kotlin. I had no idea about Kotlin when I started the project, I only knew Java very well. I also knew Google Maps API quite well, because I also developed a Responsive Styled Google Maps WordPress plugin back in 2013. At that moment styling the maps was quite a new concept and I can say my plugin was a sucess and it allowed me to learn a lot about Google Maps.
Challenges we ran into
Challenges? Oh, well, when you develop things in Android Studio you encounter daily challenges :-) You update one framework, then another one, then when you think everything will go well, the app starts to crash because of X not matching Y anymore, and so on. The biggest challenge is to match together all those frameworks used in the app, to make them work smoothly together.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Even if I don't win the hackathon, I really hope that the app will be soon accepted in Google Play Store as my city app. Then, 60.000 inhabitants will benefit from it. That would make me very proud, I would be happy to help the local community.
What we learned
I mainly learned using Kotlin and Google Maps API for Android :-) When I started the project, I had no idea about Kotlin and Android Studio, but I learned a lot while developing the app. Even if I don't win, developing the app was fun because I learned things in the process.
What's next for eFlorești Android App
I really hope it will soon be accepted in Google Play Store and it will help 60.000 inhabitants who now live in this commune.
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