Goes by: Chito
Role: Director of the Mobile Development Team
Can you talk about the thought process development-wise behind the new TripCase?
The new TripCase gave us the opportunity to look at the best methods of developing a mobile app that would work across various platforms. Sharing as much code as possible across very diverse and ever-changing mobile platforms is always the goal, not only economically but also in terms of making sure the knowledge and patterns can be shared amongst developers. We created a single look and feel and applied it to a mobile website for devices like Blackberry and an app for Android and iOS devices.
What technology did you use?
A single-page web app enables a screen delivered on a mobile device instead of waiting on the final HTML and other information from the server, only requiring a data payload from the server. The data payload is also stored locally in the device so in the event of being offline, the application can still display the latest information about your trip.
So what does this mean for the average user?
This lessens the amount of data needed to send between the mobile client and the TripCase server, allowing for faster response times. Plus, the ability to store the most recent info for offline use enables travelers to view their trip details even when not connected to a network (for example, when on an airplane).
What is PhoneGap?
By utilizing a single-page web app, the development team was able to “wrap” it with a technology called PhoneGap. By doing so, we can deploy TripCase to the App Store and Google Play marketplaces. Not only does the PhoneGap wrap make TripCase accessible in both Android and Apple app stores, it creates a better user interface that works with specific device utilities like Push Notifications and ChildBrowser. This is great because now we can access other device utilities (like contacts, reading bar/QR codes, cameras) in future versions of TripCase. We have in essence laid the foundation for future improvements.
What did you learn during the process of creating the new TripCase?
In the course of developing the new TripCase, the team learned a number of new methods that enhance the screen rendering or displaying, make response time faster and ensuring proper transitions.
How does the new TripCase compare to the old version?
The new TripCase is easy-to-navigate, pleasing to the eye and just a beautiful product. There is definitely a more consistent look and feel. The old TripCase relied on native app technology. We wrote the new version using web technologies – thus making future improvements and changes much easier to make across platforms.
I love the two ways to view your trip: a) Timeline View with a one-screen trip summary and b) Action View which shows what’s next in your trip along with alerts and important messages. Also, the new app separates active and past trips into two different tabs.