Almost everyday, I struggle with finding a place to eat, especially one that's new and close by. I always forget what types of food are out there, and what restaurants even exist beyond the ones I frequent often.
What it does
This app streamlines the process of searching for a restaurant in a specific category of food. It works like this: one selects whatever style of cooking sounds the tastiest, enters in their location and/or what location they want the restaurant to be near, and that then takes you to a curated Google search that only includes restaurants that serve that style of food in that specified location. This search is broader than Google's own version of this app's processes as Google's only display's specialty restaurants and not fusion diners or places that serve a wide variety of foods, something that "Where To?" provides.
How we built it
The app was built using Java and Android Studio. Once I settled on an idea (one of the hardest parts of this Hackathon for me), I learned how to operate Android Studio, created a graphic for the logo, and got to work inputting code for the buttons, code to allow for an address to be entered, and code to access the internet.
Challenges we ran into
Being a self-taught coder, creating an app using API's and other such packages was unfamiliar territory. I spent the majority of this project just figuring out what I was doing and what everything I wrote down truly meant. Substantively, I ran into hurdle when trying to access the internet, and I was unable to input the text of what button was pressed when searching at first. I did end up overcoming these challenges eventually.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although the project is not tackling a major world issue and is fairly simplistic, I am incredibly proud that I was able to even build an app. This was something never thought I would have been able to do, and I am so proud of how far I have come as a coder in just a few short hours.
What we learned
Not only did I learn how to operate Android Studio, I learned some more advanced techniques involved in Java. I also learned some basics about implementing API's as one of my original prototypes involved he use of Android Studio's Map API.
What's next for "Where To?"
If I were to continue building on top of the framework I have already established, I would make it so the end result is not just a Google Search and is directions to the one restaurant that would match more specific specifications beyond just the style of food served. For example, I would expand the list of questions asked to include "dine-in or carryout?", prices, rating, and the kind of food ones craving.