We are two hackers from UCLA who were tired of walking all the way to our dining halls and cafés just to find out they're closed. So we decided to do something about it.
What it does
The main screen has a pre-loaded set of locations the user can search through (while narrowing down results by typing). Once the user selects a location, the app will immediately tell the user if that location is currently open. The main focus of the location information screen is whether or not it's open. Details underneath will include hours, rating, etc.
How I built it
The locations list uses an NSSearchResultsUpdater in a table view so that when a user types something, the search results are narrowed down by this query. The open/closed status and other details of a location are acquired using Google's Places API.
Challenges I ran into
Figuring out how to use github in a team collaboration workflow was especially difficult. In terms of the application itself, the Google Places API seems to be buggy at times, not reporting all information correctly, or at all.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
With the brevity of the hackathon, we were very content with how much progress we made on the app and our integration of Google API in determining the status of a certain location. We found that at UCLA, many students on the residential hill run into the issue of finding if a certain dining hall, mailing center, or restaurant in Westwood was open. Consequently, the fix that we found for the issues was to make a simple app that immediately spit out the location hours for a user.
What I learned
Since this was actually the first time my partner and I tackled API’s, we’d say the experience was extremely rewarding. We were able to learn more about GitHub flow and large file storage working as a team from the ground up, and we took a stab at some of the API features that Google provides. In addition, we learned more about the functionality of Search Results Updater in Swift and the simplicity of narrowing down items in a table view with a predictive search bar.
What's next for IsItOpen
At the beginning of the hackathon, we envisioned an app that would be purely location-based that alerted the user if there were certain venues that happened to be open at the time in the area. We realized that most apps such as Yelp, FourSquare, and Google, show a lot more information than a user needs at a given time, so the simplicity of the app is set to stay the same. In the future, we hope to add more locations and add a functional database to hold all the prominent locations that users check the hours for in a given area.