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CreaBros Oy: Taxi app

Taxi app

Nov 19, 01:54 AM

Just finished a cross platform Taxi App. There is a big taxi company in Finland called Lähitaksi and they have nice textmessage based ordering system. I pitched about two years ago, that I could make them a geolocation based cross platform app to help users so that they don’t have to type in long road names. Application was published by Fairspectrum.

Platforms were Windows Phone, Android, iOS and Symbian. I decided to use PhoneGap or Cordova

Coding the original application took about two days. Goal was to use Cordova wrapper and quickly adapt the Javascript to different platforms.

Initially all went very well. All platforms except Symbian had Cordova implementation. Original estimation that it would take two days / platform to do the adaptation was quite close. Main problem was that our original design didn’t work quite seamlessly across the different platforms and had to be tuned a bit.

Then we ran into problems. We had hoped to use Openlayers and Open Streetmap for mapping and Nominatim for reverse geocoding. Unfortunately Open Streetmaps in Helsinki region weren’t quite upto date and we had to adapt. So for iOS we used Mapkit, for Symbian and Android Google maps and for Windows Bing maps. This increased work load about ten fold. First problem was that it was first time we were coding a “real” app for Windows so little bit of studying was needed. Our Javascript codebase needed some branching. On iPhone and Windows Phone we used the native map widget, but on Symbian and Android Openlayers.

Biggest problem was Windows Phone. Cordova fought back the whole way home, but finally we succeeded. Main problem was, that when we wanted to send events to the Javascript from C# code, the events arrived multiple times. We ran out of time and just redesigned the code to ignore multiple events.

Cordova project doesn’t include Symbian wrapper so we had to use QWebView to do it. It worked out very nicely though Symbian Web Runtime was also a viable alternative. Main problem was the poor quality of Symbian tools. We couldn’t debug on the device – phone rebooted when debugger connected etc. But application works really well.

Beautiful graphical design was created by Mainostuli

Android version: Google Play
iOS version: iTunes
Windows Phone: Window Phone Store
Symbian Version: Submission pending

Kalle Kuismanen

Current Projects, Mobile

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