Interview: Konrad & Henning Creators of Cab4Me
Nov 29, 2008 3:42 PM –
We took time to interview the creators of Cab4Me… check it out!
AndroidTapp: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Konrad and Henning: We are both software developers with several years of experience. Our company Skycoders has been founded after we won the Android Developer Challenge with the Cab4Me idea.
AndroidTapp: Why did you create Cab4Me?
Konrad and Henning: We created Cab4Me for the Android Developer Challenge. It was one of several ideas we had. Cab4Me is something you really only use and need while you’re not at home. And usually a cab is never there when you need it. The idea of just pressing a button and then waiting for a cab was compelling. Even though the currently released Cab4Me light version does not support automatic ordering, it helps you by giving you phone numbers of cab companies who can send a cab to your location. This is a good start until we can provide the automatic ordering service.
AndroidTapp: What technology did you use in creating your App and why?
Konrad and Henning: Cab4Me uses the built-in map integration, location awareness and the Internet connection. Without those, an app like Cab4Me wouldn’t be possible. Especially the easy to use MapView allows people to build cool apps which are currently not possible on the iPhone, for example. The server side is designed for scalability – the most important aspect if you need a server for a software running on mobile phones.
AndroidTapp: Can you tell us about future feature enhancements with Cab4Me?
Konrad and Henning: The next release will show more details about the cab companies like accepted payment methods and available car types. We will provide a profile editor for cab companies, so they can enter this information on our website. We assume this will attract much more cab companies to Cab4Me, and therefore enrich our database. Additionally, users can rate the cab companies and send us missing companies very easily. We already got many emails not only from cab companies wanting to participate but also from users providing us with missing companies. We know that our database is far from complete and these enhancements help us to constantly improve it.
AndroidTapp: What did you really like about creating Apps on the Android platform?
Konrad and Henning: First of all, the development tool chain is running out of the box. On Windows, Mac and Linux. You develop in Java, you can use Eclipse. All required tools are for free. Most of all, Java allows developers to cut down time-to-market compared to other platforms. The language has proven itself to be one of the most productive languages on the market. In addition, the best development tools are available for Java. But what makes Android really special is the full access to the platform. It is a high responsibility for developers, but the kind of apps you can create with Android pay off for it. So far, only a small part of the potential has been really used.
AndroidTapp: What are some things you would like to see improved with Android?
Konrad and Henning: There is not much I’d want to change concerning the platform. The API will improve over time. Access to Bluetooth is one thing really missing right now. Also, multitouch as known from the iPhone would improve usability of the device. Another thing is the integration of corporate mail like Exchange. There is third-party software for this, but it is far away from complete. Android allows easy integration of such features, if it wasn’t for the gmail account doing auto synch. Android should be more flexible in this area.
AndroidTapp: Must-have Android Apps?
Konrad and Henning: Cab4Me of course Besides that, it really depends on what you want to use the phone for. There are quite some games available but I personally don’t play games very much with my phone. Apps using the barcode scanning function integrated in Android are very promising, but they still need to be improved. There are many location based apps, this is really a field with high potential.
AndroidTapp: What advice would you give to another aspiring mobile application
Konrad and Henning: Keep track of what’s going on in the market. The iPhone made the start, Android followed. It will be interesting to see what Windows Mobile 7 will do. But for a quick start, Android is probably the best platform. Development for Nokia is much more complex. Apps based on J2ME are restricted too much.
AndroidTapp: Can you tell us what future Android Apps you have brewing?
Konrad and Henning: We think about several apps, but not all will be published by skycoders. We also talk to other companies, show them the opportunities in the market and offer application development projects. Especially over here in Germany, where the phone is not on the market yet, there are many things one can work on until the launch. And as it always takes some time to build new apps, we don’t want to disclose too many details
Konrad and Henning
Thanks Konrad and Henning for the interview, good stuff! For more on Cab4Me, read our Android Tapp Review, you can Rate the App and even Post your Comments.