How Long Until We're There? was built specifically for my seven year old daughter who on every car journey doesn't ask 'Are we there yet?', she asks 'HOW LONG UNTIL WE'RE THERE?', constantly! She wants to know where she is, and how long she'll be in the car for!
What it does
It's a kids fun & easy to use iOS mobile app which lets my daughter see where she is on a map, where she's going, and how many minutes until she's there! Her location shows up on the map as a little fun character - which can be changed. For me the app is really about empowerment - she wants to know where she is, she wants to know how long she'll be in the car for, and she wants to find out herself! So now on car journeys, she plays games on my iPhone, and every now and then flips over to the How Long Until We're There? app and checks!
How we built it
Native iOS app (swift, UIKit, cocoa-pods) using:
- Google maps ios-sdk
- Google maps places ios-sdk
- Google maps routes api
Challenges we ran into
Figuring out which of the different products to use - there are lots of different Google Maps SDKS and APIS - maps, directions, places, routes etc, so I had to read up a bit to decide which was best for the app.
I also had to come up with a fun design that my daughter would actually like, and want to use! So I went through lots of iterations, and got lots of feedback from the 7 year old who is never shy with her opinion! "I want to look like a lion on the map!"
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I'm proud of making an app that my daughter will use - and one that gives her a sense of empowerment. She was delighted that she can now see where she is on a map, she can see how long it'll be until she gets to where we're going - all by herself.
I'm also proud of getting it approved and published on the Apple App Store in a very short period of time!
What we learned
Lots about the Google Maps SDKS and APIs! I wrote a blog post / high-level tutorial on why and how I built the app here: https://lemarquisofandy.medium.com/tutorial-making-a-kids-maps-app-for-my-daughter-using-google-maps-10e6afb85f32
What's next for Kids Car Map App
So much more! I wanted to get it published in time for the submission, so there's a lot more features that I can add - more map customisation such as layering the route itself onto the map, more characters, adding voice control and audio sound effects, customising how the address search is shown, and more!
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