Countless times throughout the years, one or many of us have been lost or separated from the rest. Oftentimes, this happens whenever we want to meet up to do something fun, like watch a movie, but we end up not meeting at the same place or the same entrance. Thus, we have always wanted and needed a way to find our friends easily, in a service that has provided a good UI that helped guide us to our friends.
What it does
Finder pulls the location of two people and constantly pings each phone with the location of the other phone. It then generates a compass and map for each phone that shows the direction and location, respectively, of the other phone, helping guide one person to the other.
How we built it
Our IDE of choice for this project was Android Studio, which we had some experience before in creating Android apps. For our database, we used Firebase to host the login info and location of each user. The map was created using the Google Maps API, and XML was used to create the layout of each "screen" of the app.
Challenges we ran into
The first challenge that we encountered was that integrating Firebase into our app was far more difficult than we had anticipated. Our team member Drew spent many hours working on this part of the project. Later, we found that we did not know how to use Fragments in Android Studio to create scrollable tabs, and team member Tyler spent over six hours creating the UI of the compass and map.
In addition to these specific challenges, Android Studio also has provided numerous challenges of its own in the form of API differences causing crashes, random imports of libraries not working as intended, and other automatically generated code that made the process more difficult.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of coming up with what we think is a genuinely cool and useful app concept and how much work we've put into it to make it functional.
What we learned
We've learned how to use Firebase in an Android app, as well as the Google Maps API and other functionality of Android Studio that we had not touched before.
What's next for Finder
We would want to upgrade the user system and how it works, fix any lingering compass and map issues, and make the UI more presentable and nice to look out.