As a traveler (or someone who follows the trips of a traveler, such as a coworker or spouse), it’s often difficult to remember which time zone the trip is in, and what the time difference is. This is especially true for trips that span numerous countries and cities, as that time zone might change throughout the trip. Time zone information is crucial in order to keep in contact with others – if you get the time zone wrong, you might accidentally try to video chat at 3am, or schedule a conference call during their lunch meeting. So using iOS 8 and its new “Today” extensions, I was able to build the TripTime Today extension to be included in v3.4 of the TripCase app.
TripTime Today Extension
TripTime is actually rather simple – it sits in your Today screen on your iPhone or iPad and shows the time zone(s) of the cities on the trip that you most recently viewed in your TripCase app. If you’re the traveler, this can be especially handy to keep your bearings. If you’re following someone who is on a trip, it can be an absolute lifesaver!
If you have more than one trip in your TripCase, you can simply view that trip within the app, and the TripTime Today extension will automatically update to that trip.
TripTime is the result of something that I have written about before – managers continuing to code. I’d been looking for a project that could keep my coding skills sharp, and I noticed that with the release of iOS 8 earlier this year, the various Extensions (Today, Share, Action, Photo Editing, Document Provider, Keyboard) were getting quite a lot of buzz. So, after a brief discussion with the team and business, I decided to focus on building a Today extension for TripCase. You can learn more about my process here, but I decided to dedicate a small amount of time over a couple of weeks to learn about Extensions by watching WWDC videos, and started practicing with the sample code. I shared with my team during our regular code readings and “lunch and learn” sessions, to get their feedback. Most importantly, we shipped this new code in v3.4 of the TripCase mobile app, which is available in the App Store.
As a manager it is really hard to work with your agile team, since you cannot really commit the time on a regular basis. So I had to find a problem/enhancement/improvement that would be beneficial to the product and then work on it to make it “almost” ready. Once it reached that stage, I could commit the time to work with the team to release the new feature in our app.